Category: Poetry


Alpha-bits

I think back now…

Listening to her words bobbing on melody’s surface,

It was only too clear how much of the past she did miss.

As we scratched the wooden tables using dull spoon tips,

We heard stories saved for retelling, spilling from dry chapped lips:

She spoke of exhausting days of glory and nights of hunger,

Nights where the people’s only wish was to be younger,

Wiser, stronger, and easier said than done: better.

I don’t care if people tell me the past can’t be relived,

And while my own pen marks and paper cuts are shortlived,

Still, I can imagine the stinging scars they bore on their hands,

And the burns which formed from clutching the deen’s thick strands.

Saa’d and AlBaraa: their bowls filled with bravery and strength,

Ibn Mas’ood: forget height, instead, reaching past arm’s length,

Zaid and Mu’ath: youth paired with both wisdom and dedication,

Leap after step, building after brick,  laying Islam’s foundation.

And what of…

The rulings of the four khulafaa’ followed by another’s,

What of the ummah and its hearts-of-steel mothers?

Taking their faith with them further than the grave,

Redefining known adjectives such as ‘great’ and ‘brave’.

Words, words, words

Are all I can bring forth, yet the words I hear her speaking of

Come from different dictionaries, despite the same language.

Radiya Allahu ‘anhuma jamee’an

May Allah be pleased with them all.

PS Thank you Hanaa 🙂

Circle of Life

Or at least, the circle of a student’s life:

.

School starts soon and I can’t wait

to make new beginnings after such a summer

of crazy, hopeful dreams and too little time – but oh, what’s this? Time

to wake up, get ready, find some bus money, for God’s sake stop sleeping! Instead, start thinking

very soon I won’t have to do this anymore

once school’s out and summer’s here

—————————————

once school’s out and summer’s here

very soon I won’t have to do this anymore

to wake up, get ready, find some bus money, for God’s sake stop sleeping! Instead, start thinking

of crazy, hopeful dreams and too little time – but oh, what’s this? Time

to make new beginnings after such a summer

School starts soon and I can’t wait

.

Actually, I can wait. I can wait a lot. 🙂

Back in my Day…

Way back in the day when I was simply a kid

Hidden in the shed I kept a small squid.

A tire swing hung on the tree in my yard,

And from my teacher that summer, a shiny postcard.

The following year my lunch box was new,

Always in it a stick of mint gum to chew

Which I was always forced to throw out,

Before it was even time for lights-out!

A whole fifty-six cents lived in my piggy bank,

I still haven’t the slightest idea how they shrank.

With a beige band-aid on my scabbed knee

(Mama wouldn’t buy the kind with the pink horse),

And a bag full of worked-hard-for sour candy

(For after dinner of course),

I had everything I wanted and a little bit more,

But above all, I had access to the corner bookstore.

And it was on a bright sunny day right there that I found ’em,

Words holding hands together to make me a favourite po-em.

By the time it was supper I had all of it memorized,

The slow walk back home that ‘noon I despised.

But thinking of it now, I just don’t know

Its words, its rhythm, how it used to flow!

I think it had something to do with a squid,

Or was it a bratty six-year-old kid?

No, no, a new pack of cherry gum!

Oh, but isn’t that somewhat rather dumb…

If only I could remember how exactly it went,

Alas, all those years how were they spent?

I think Cloony needs to get out of town. Either that or find a new hobby. Or maybe both.

“I’ll tell you the story of Cloony the Clown

Who worked in a circus that came through town.
His shoes were too big and his hat was too small,
But he just wasn’t, just wasn’t funny at all.
He had a trombone to play loud silly tunes,
He had a green dog and a thousand balloons.
He was floppy and sloppy and skinny and tall,
But he just wasn’t, just wasn’t funny at all.
And every time he did a trick,
Everyone felt a little sick.
And every time he told a joke,
Folks sighed as if their hearts were broke.
And every time he lost a shoe,
Everyone looked awfully blue.
And every time he stood on his head,
Everyone screamed, “Go back to bed!”
And every time he made a leap,
Everybody fell asleep.
And every time he ate his tie,
Everyone began to cry.
And Cloony could not make any money
Simply because he was not funny.
One day he said, “I’ll tell this town
How it feels to be an unfunny clown.”
And he told them all why he looked so sad,
And he told them all why he felt so bad.
He told of Pain and Rain and Cold,
He told of Darkness in his soul,
And after he finished his tale of woe,
Did everyone cry? Oh no, no, no!
They laughed until they shook the trees
With “Hah-Hah-Hahs” and “Hee-Hee-Hees.”
They laughed with howls and yowls and shrieks,
They laughed all day, they laughed all week,
They laughed until they had a fit,
They laughed until their jackets split.
The laughter spread for miles around
To every city, every town,
Over mountains, ‘cross the sea,
From Saint Tropez to Mun San Nee.
And soon the whole world rang with laughter,
Lasting till forever after,
While Cloony stood in the circus tent,
With his head drooped low and his shoulders bent.
And he said,”THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEANT –
I’M FUNNY JUST BY ACCIDENT.”
And while the world laughed outside,
Cloony the Clown sat down and cried.”

– Shel Silverstein