Down At The Deep End

By Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

Review and tribute by Louise Landes Levi


       DEEP END
Chemo poems and drawings

May 10 - August 3 2012

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

The Ecstatic Exchange

daniel moore painting 2
Allah dressed them in His own clothes
And he took them in His high protection

Ibn al Husayn al-Sulami

Daniel Moore is a national treasure.
In his early works Dawn Visions & Burnt Heart (City Lights
Press) he created a body of visionary work without precedent
in the American canon. Down At The Deep End - written more
than 50 Years after these classics, is no less remarkable.
of terminal illness —
for the poet & mystic Abdal-Hayy —
is a portal of discovery through which his life work
will be accomplished.

The books introduction makes the situation
clear- fr. there, we follow the poet through the litany of the
most advanced
treatments for his ailment juxtaposed w. the
most heart rendering expression of the
psyche & spirit now
subject to their
I hear nearby
Firing squad bullets

Meant for me

I am elsewhere
All my deeds in a little box
In my heart

Moore is less concerned w. 'healing', per se,
than he is w. spiritual release, indeed redemption.
At the same time, a life work of artistry & visionary practice of
the Aars poetica arms him w. the internal power necessary to
integrate his pain w. a vision, far beyond both pain & pleasure.
Indeed for the poet, his illness is an invitation
to divine encounter - the ultimate test of
his hard won faith.


is an Ars moriendi, rare in the 2lst century,
but equally an Ars Vivendi
spontaneous & tender
'Patience is the key to this savage sideshow' Rimbaud
I must refuse myself
And look for Mercy

Nothing happens
In the instant of our lives and deaths

But this
Sudden awakening.

Certain of these poems
draw fr. the French symbolist tradition & modern
American Zen & ecstatic tradition,
others fr. the high Sufi orders.
Sadi, Hafiz, Rumi
echo through these works, in perfect resonance
however, w. the historic moment in which we live.
I opened the newspaper this
Morning and all the

Type slid off onto my lap

I rearranged it to read
Angels Sighted Over Major Cities

Penguins have sent their
First representatives to the UN

Whale speech decoded and their
Good counsel received

A guide
to survival in the post modern era & also
the plaintiff call of a simple man,
who just happens to be a
great poet & practitioner,
in this case: the
Sufism conferred through
Sheikh Habbiya, of Fez.
For one who knows how can there be any difference between happiness &
sadness. That which is in the hidden core of the human heart is from him

I've known the author for most of my adult life.
was left as riveting amulet for me
when as a university student in Berkeley, Ca.
I sought something more. Both Moore & I have traveled
a far distance to meet again - never so
intimately as in my sojourn
through Down At The Deep End - his Ars Moriendi-Ars
Viviendi in 172 p. w. 16 beautiful illustrations - drawn by the
poet, originally in color, but printed in bl. & white,
with the exception of the
cover illustration
Down at the Deep End
is a death-bed journal
but as its author is an important poet
& noted visionary, it is above all a life journal of poetry —
during the treacherous & effective, gratefully, for the poet,
anti tumor therapy. For Abdal-Hayy, even the exigencies of
serve as invitation indeed as initiation.
Profound meditation & decades of intimate application,
allow him to go beyond the confines & characteristics
ordinarily attributed to this process.

The introduction to the book is a testament to his
clarity and intention:
Will you shake your fist from so far away and 'fight the disease'
which has been granted to you, or will you work to neutralize its ill effects
and make peace with it by your soul's anchoring in holy ground, and praying
to that One Alone that your healing method of choice eradicate the disease
as efficiently as possible, and as if — why not? — by magic.

Hovering between the domain of so-called life & death, the
poet reveals the insight & initiation that
transcends the two & unites them.
But this is not a sectarian text.
Looking for territory to expand
A wild agenda

Gods blessings upon all of us
felt along the knots of
the spine

and will serve
as inspiration - far beyond
the sick bed - to seekers,
mystics, poets of every persuasion.
Abdal-Hayy has arrived
at the gate of
victory —

doing so he invites
his readers-indeed his intimatesto
the dance..

I have had light shed on me


has written for half a century
to fertilize, to inspire & finally, however
gently & w. humor to instruct.
This is sacred writ of
the highest order.
The world is but a road Heaven a roadside inn
True lovers leave them behind
To reach the Beloved
ibn al Husayn al-Sulami


Gratitude to Raymond Foye in helping us find some of Daniel's art.
To learn more about Daniel Moore please visit his website at