“Just a Little More”

​You ask me why I don’t get angry?

It’s because I’ve watched my world burn

To ashes and smoke

Over and over and over again

And I’ve washed the blood trails

Of my wounds

Left on the flowers on my shirt

With my own hands

And I’ve lost my brother

To his hatred of another

And in any love they give

There is none left as mine

And I’ve loved those

Who broke me from up close

And yet I still love

With as fierce a love as any

That could survive being blown up

In landmines; maybe in this faded love

There is more strength

Than the love that allows free taking

As if divine

And with every passing year

I’ve paid for their sins

With my honour and shame, and

A streak of heartbreaks

And trust broken.

 

So don’t ask me why I don’t get angry

Because I am angry

Maybe just starting to be

Or maybe I’ve been

For a long time

But I have been hurt too

And moved

And awed

And loved

And celebrated

And pushed to the brink of survival

From where only my miracles could get me back

And how they did.

Oh, how they did!

So maybe I am burnt

And very much so,

But I am also reborn

My spirit, rekindled

And if my love can survive landmines

Then mere anger, holds no chance

I am going to try

Until it bends before me

And turns into determination

And fierce as it may be

It will be called mine.

And I’m going to hold on

“Just a little more”,

A thousand more times.


Hello everyone! I hadn’t written here in a long time because I think I was not brave enough to accept some things. I hope that this piece of spoken word poetry (arguably the most unapologetic kind of poetry) makes up for that. And I hope you liked it! 🙂

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“THE LEARNED MAN AND THE TREE”(DANCES WITH INSOMNIA #4)

THE LEARNED MAN

The becoming of the learned man is much like the growing of a tree.

For, as the soil has to be, before anything else, disturbed and dug up from all directions, so must he challenge his heart and destroy his ego, up until the point when he is empty and penetrable- his soul as hungry for his blossoming, as the soil from which the tree is to grow.

And then as the soil captures the seeds eagerly, so must his thirst be for gaining knowledge. Seed after seed, he should plant in his soul with no pride whatsoever over the knowledge he gains; for he knows that there are endless new seeds that could fall into his soil and endless words of wisdom that others have that he does not.

And as the signs of growth begin to appear outward, and he starts to become acknowledged for the wisdom he is gaining, by others and by his own self; he should take good care in keeping the pests of arrogance and impatience away from his plant. Because his only job that he has power over, is the watering of the plant; and that is the manifestation of his seeds. Much like how his knowledge is now to be used practically and his growth aided by good deeds. He is to now put others before himself and minimize his own needs and desires.

He should remember that he has no control over how much his plant grows and so he should never take measures of it. For the growth and measurement is the work of God, and every minute he stops to measure, is a minute gone without watering. And if he were to find that it is growing well, he would be captured by arrogance, and if he were to find that it has grown less than he hoped, he would become impatient and ungrateful; either way it will be his folly to forget that God tests you by giving, and God tests you by taking away and He alone knows how much you will outwardly blossom. So when you start quantifying the good that comes out of you, you interfere in God’s work and forget your own, thus ending up with nothing.

And then as his soul reaches the point at which he can give fruit, he should bow down and hang low his branches and humbly offer his fruit to the world. This fruit contains seeds for other plants of his sort to grow around him, but in a form that is more evolved than the seeds he had in his time of growth; for it is his own primitive knowledge but with the addition of his personal evolutionary adaptations that he went through in order to survive. Much like the fruit of the tree that withstood the harsh climate by adapting to it, and its seeds carry that forward; so shall the knowledge and wisdom he now gives to others be.

And remember that the tree never discriminates between people that come to it for fruit and shelter; so the learned man shall never turn away anyone who comes to him for aid. And the tree doesn’t withdraw its shelter from those who appear evil, it just shadows; so shall the learned man treat the supposed outlaws, the hopeless men that the world has rejected and sent away to rot. For as the evil man eats from the tree’s fruit, and sits in its shelter, his soul too, might blossom into a beautiful tree, and the once barren land shall be turned to green.

And what more shall you ask about the learned man, but this: He never stops looking for more knowledge and better seeds, even when he reaches the position to start giving fruit to others and spreading his knowledge, his roots reach deeper into the soil and stronger, searching far and wide with as much humility as the first time he came to learn. Searching for more and more and more wisdom and never letting pride touch him, because he knows that at any moment Allah commands “KUN” (BE!); “FAYAKUN” (AND IT IS). So as he gives fruit, he plants more seeds, and as the fruit is eaten he waters his new knowledge, and as his fruit grows, he digs up the soil again to renew himself.

“SILENT AND ETERNAL”

Breathe in the night
Let the stars get drained into your chest
You shall not gain a more pleasant rest
Or a better delight;

And to be kind
Stronger than iron you must first be
Then gentle as clouds towards all you see
Dead or alive;

In testing times-
Let peace run through your gushing blood
For the wind never makes the river flood-
Patience, is sublime;

Gaze at the sky
And down into your heart to find God
Flow like water through rise and rot
Become the endless mind.


I have been thinking of this a lot lately. What makes a peaceful life, what makes a boundless mind? There is an ayah in the Holy Qur’an that says:

So be patient; with gracious patience.

And I think this is the most beautiful summary of all that we need to be, to enter a journey of becoming. So what is gracious patience? For this I would like to quote the magical Elif Shafak, who says, in “Forty Rules of Love”:
“Patience does not mean to passively endure.”

Truly, if you just shut yourself up like a box and suffer; you will never achieve happiness. Gracious patience is so much more. It is being silent, it is being grateful, it is being peaceful as a consequence of undying faith in The Almighty. It is being open. Like the empty cup from Buddhism. It is learning all that the universe is trying to teach you. You just have to listen silently. Pay attention. This is what this poem is about.

About becoming silent, and in turn eternal.

“BRICKS AND BREATHS” (A Philosophical Phenomenon)

I have always been fascinated with old buildings.

(Old meaning either abandoned buildings or buildings that were built long ago but are not abandoned or buildings whose oldness does not not depend on the age of their bricks but the fact that I, personally have grown out of them, making them feel old to me.)

Now, as I was saying, old buildings somehow have a way of captivating me. They seem to be calling me in. As if singing a haunting song with my name, but inaudible; I only know about it because I feel in underneath my skin. Whenever I happen to pass by one, I get this sensation as if I am being watched by it. Not by ghosts or anything but by it. It is a look of longing- not necessarily the bad kind- just the kind one may see on a little lost child’s face. I do not yet know the exact reason why this happens, neither am I aware of whether it happens with you too, or not. All I have been able to think of are mere assumptions.

Perhaps I find it related to my belief that the stories that happen inside a building are not just words or tales of days but instead they are living. In another dimension, they replay themselves, over and over. So if I was a part of a building that I have now left, the version of me that lived in those moments still lives there, and replays my time spent breathing inside those premises. It never dies.

So you see, an old building has millions of these stories; all breathing, all happening; so how can it just be made of bricks and cement when each grain of dust in there has been inhaled and exhaled by the people in those stories?

And now that, those old versions of us are old stories, trapped inside an old building, they only want to be seen, heard and felt again. That is why they call my name in their songs, and maybe yours too, because they are alive but not the same way they once were, the way we are right at this moment.

They are immortal and that has sucked all the life out of them that comes from being someone who has to die.

x

Now, when you come upon an old building, stare at it. Observe until your vision enters the other dimension and the stories begin playing in front of you. Watch closely. I am sure that will leave them smiling.

“HOLES” (Another poem)

Since you all seemed to like my previous poem, (thank you for that) here’s another that I wrote two mornings ago at around 5 am after I had spent the whole night without sleeping. I think we now know why I couldn’t sleep. It’s weird when you have a little idea tingling in the back of your head and it wants out, it pulls at you as if it were your child that wanted to buy candy. And in the end, you have to give in.

So this is me, giving in.

I hope you enjoy!

I grew up tall and sharp, but with holes in my heart,
Thought they would be filled, by people playing parts
That were given to them by destiny and fate…
I told myself to worry not, it wasn’t too late.

Two girls came walking by, I showed them my heart.
”Fill it up!”, I nicely said, ”Play your part!”
They smiled and held my hand, for months, ten plus eight.
But left me for some other friend, a new hole they had made.

Then a man came walking by, I showed him my heart.
”Fill it up now!”, I nicely said, ”Play your part!”
He looked at me, puzzled, asked me to wait.
But never came to get me, a new hole he had made.

So I sat, one day, cursing the holes in my heart.
How people’d just made more, by playing their parts.
I decided I’d had enough of false destiny and fate
And filled up, by my own self, the holes, and felt great.