Daily Prayer

Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached. 
                                                        – Ramakrishna  
                                                                            

Slowly their chants gain momentum, their
monolithic voice growing louder, filling
the small bookstore that sits hidden behind
a faded green wooden storefront.
They pause, slow down and then rush
ahead. Backward and forward, their rhythms
shift rapidly. One voice pulls another and they
cascade onward.

Some worshippers
rock their heads. Some swivel slightly
from their crouch positions on carpets
set out for the night’s prayer service
on the well-worn wooden floors
that are remains of once busy days
when the building was
a neighborhood department store.
  From strings of words, they come down to One…
And they chant the word again
and again and again, stretching it out, hammering
at it in a discordant chorus of voices.