“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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DANCES WITH INSOMNIA #3- “PAIN”

What is pain? And more importantly, why is pain?

All the pain that you have ever felt- may it be as a child who could not get what he wanted or as one who was denied love or as one whose children left him forsaken at old age- all these different stages of pain, you separated and gave magnitudes to. Consequently, the reasons you arrived at, to understand why each particular suffering fell upon you; they were given stages and magnitudes too.

Because of this separation, you missed the larger and universal purpose of every single drop of pain that you tasted.

You see, they say that there can be no true goodness, beauty or gentleness within you if you don’t go through pain. As if the compassion and love you have developed for the world is credited to your suffering and all the nightmares that you had to live through. How can one thing so repelling be the foundation upon which you became beautiful? And more so, if you have conquered suffering by still staying gentle, isn’t that your own doing?

Pain does not come to you to make you beautiful or ugly. It does not have that power.

The sole purpose of all pain is to break you open so that your soul stands bare in front of the truth it has been seeking.
And at that moment, it is you who shall choose to embrace that truth and become wiser; or reject it and fall into bitterness and folly. 

This is why all goodness and all evil has a painful past. The ones who are strong enough to break their ego and look at the truth that their pain has brought before them are the ones who attain beauty and gentleness. But the ones who are too afraid of their nakedness and vulnerability immediately start to build new walls around themselves instead of understanding why the old ones were shattered.

So remember, when pain comes your way, do not be afraid of it and do not hide yourself thinking that you must not show your vulnerability. No one can see it without your consent. It is only between you and God until you become the one to go around in self-pity asking for people to praise you through your suffering. But even so, know that having a visible openness is better than having none at all, and the best of them is the openness you keep to yourself not desiring love and praise from any other except Him. This kind, even when shared with your most loved few, is selfless and pure.

And when you have learnt to deal this way with your suffering, look beyond it and see the truth that your walls were not letting you see.

In order to gain true knowledge and grasp the secrets of the universe, you have to be bare and vulnerable in your own self, your “Batin” but complete on the outside, the “Zahir”. This is what lovers of truth and wisdom have mastered. Rumi says, “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” This means that there will come a point when you have allowed your suffering and pain to make you so utterly bare in the face of truth that you will cease to build any walls. You will no longer need pain to teach you how to learn but you will be your own teacher. And you will be grateful for all good or bad that comes your way.

“LOVE AND TRUTH”

There it was again. The same serene place in front and around him.

A field of grass spreading as far as the eyes could see. The clear blue sky with just the perfect amount of sunlight falling upon the grass to make it glitter like emeralds of the purest green.

A single tree- the same large one that he saw everyday- bearing gorgeous fruit on its branches that hung low; it seemed to be inviting him to eat and enjoy God’s gifts upon him.

He sat down in its shade and thought to himself of how desperately he wanted to find God. And to thank Him Almighty, for what He had blessed His servant with. Lost in his praise and thoughts of God, his eyes fell suddenly on what he expected to see, yet secretly wished against.

There she was, standing tall. Her feet sunk in the grass just enough to expose her ankles, being brushed gently by the ends of her white dress. For a second his heart beat faster, like it always did at this point in his dream; and he gasped. It seemed as though she became more beautiful by the day. More silent, and more mysterious. In one single glance, he felt his whole body wanting to walk towards her. He breathed heavily, and stood up.

“Why must you trouble my heart with the thought of my beloved?” He looked to his left and spoke with a voice that was loud and stern, but drenched with hopelessness.

“So that you can know that losing yourself in fantasies of solitude is not the way of life”, replied his nafs*; grinning. It knew it had once again interrupted the man’s perfect dream.

He looked back where he had seen her- she had disappeared. Just like the emeralds and the blueness of the sky. What remained was his body and his nafs, in the darkness of a summer night. The sheet he had been sleeping on was now wet with his sweat.

“I do not want anything to do with your way of life! All I desire is the way of God, to God. And therein I shall spend all the rest of my days.”

“So you will simply forget her? Are you so selfish? Have you forgotten what she means to you? What she makes you think when you lay eyes upon her?”

“Do not dare! Do not dare try to sabotage my love. You keep your filth away from her. She is too pure to be mentioned by your worthless tongue!” He was on the verge of screaming now.

The nafs creeped out of the shadows and stood right in front of him. “You cannot simply forget her. Have you left behind what she made you feel?”

“I have not forgotten a thing, you foul creature! I remember exactly what it was like to be in her midst. To have more of her than fragments in dreams. To hear her voice and look at her eyes glowing in the day and in the night. I remember the entirety of what you want to remind me of, bringing her into my dreams of spirituality, every night. I can never forget! I can never be selfish.”

“Then why have you distanced yourself?” Its voice shook the very walls of his poor home.

“Because I cannot deny the truth she holds in her very existence! I cannot! Her silence, her kindness and the heart that pounds inside of her, her very life- all of that speaks of but one thing: God! That is all! All that I see when I look at her, is God and no other. It is only Him that could create her. It is only Him that made her beautiful and filled her soul with gentleness. There is no other who could have fashioned the being she is. When I think of her, I think of the One who created- Al-Khaaliq!”

He paused for a moment and looked at his nafs. It stood frozen.

Who could’ve known that a heart that belongs to God could turn a desire that the nafs put inside it and the selfish wanting that made men yearn for the beauty of the world; into the most prominent and constant reminder of his own Master, his Allah?

His eyes were streaming with tears now. He held his hand over his chest, lest his paining heart would fall out.

“I cannot be with her until I am with God. How can I be content, knowing only the creation and being oblivious towards the Khaaliq? I cannot. I simply cannot! I have to seek The One, before I seek what He made from a clot of blood. I love the art but I have found that my heart belongs to Al-Musawwir: The Artist.

I was a mere traveler of time, until God brought me to her. And since then I have found myself only needing Him. As if that was His plan all along.”

He now looked up, his shirt soaked with tears. And he found himself alone; with only God and himself.

*nafs: The part of a man that creates worldly desires (greed, lust, jealousy, etc.). Usually regarded in religion and sufism as a wall between one and God.