Poetry Sama’

We sit together, huddled closely,
Anxiously, on the front row

All eyes glued, not to you but
To the images that your words create

You lead us at a measured pace,
Over the peaks and down through the troughs.

Your carefully selected words take us from plane
To plane, each line a new sensory experience.

We wait patiently to follow your cue
To stand in front of your captured audience

And deliver our own humble efforts, Where
My words seem but weak in comparison

I’m nervous and uncomfortable, as I read
Out loud my innermost feelings, thoughts and fears

I see the occasional raised eyebrow, the occasional
Smile amongst faces deep in thought.

I read some more of my painful verse, not sure
If this is what is expected of me

The Round Robin continues through the night, one after
The other we take turns to share the eyes through which we see

The tempo rises and then falls, the mood swings round
Taking us with it on a spiritual journey.

Returning from the break, I find reassurance
In the smiling face and soft coaxing words of a friend.

The evening runs on, the audience
eagerly hold their hands out to be led away to that other world

And as we take them where we will, the half-dimmed room
hides from us their true reactions.

It is only when the evening draws to an end,
kind words from friendly strangers let us know that all is well

Tonight was truly an ecstatic exchange,
led by the master painter Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

NOTE:

Many of you have asked me for the Ruba’yat from which I read at the Poetry Sama’. Please click here to download the pdf.

Not Another Drop

With their guns and knifes drawn,
They rob us of our children.

On every page of every paper
We see the news of loved ones killed.

As we walk the streets in protest
They stand aside and watch.

Wearing anger on their sleeves
They walk a separate path.

Andalucian Butterflies

Treasures above the mountains lie
like precious jewels in the sky
in every hue our Lord has taught
we find the blessed butterfly

No greater sight could man have sought
or priceless gift with wealth have bought
their playful flight is indeed remembrance
that in this life we should not be caught.

Moon-Sighting with Shaykh Afifi

Wise words permeate the air,
A blessed gathering of wisdom shared.

We all watch, wait and listen,
Slowly the sun begins its divine descent.

Dipping below the clouds,
It leaves behind it a luminous trail.

The sun has set now,
And the night draws cold upon us.

The time has passed,
And yet the moon remains hidden.

Together we stand in prayer,
In submission to our Gracious Lord.

He’s Gone Now…

Riding the wave of grief
I feel strangely elated.

I knew this man once
in a previous existence.

He was no different to me
He lived my life just as I lived his.

I feel sorry for her now
not because he’s gone.

But because he lived so long
And never saw a need to live

I think of my own life
And how it nearly ended

He is gone now forever
But I remain caged in confusion

Strangely familiar faces
Come to pay their respects

He was a good man really
We just never saw it

His life has taken him
And yet he lives on forever

The drugs have consumed him
Just as they once made him

He was proud and strong
Yet humble and meek

I cry for him now
And for the years apart

I hear kind words
Whispering ashamedly

Why do we play pretend
He was us, and his fate is ours

My Princess

Every morning as I rise from slumber
and every night as I rest my head
I think of you and I wonder if you are ok.

Deep down I know I shouldn’t worry
for things are not as they were between us
sometimes I even resist the urge to ask.

But I often crave those simple words
“I’m fine, please don’t worry!”
and I run your voice through my mind.

I wont ask you anymore
but your response will always be there
please don’t take that away from me.

I know I must let go
and slowly I will in time find a way
but let me keep these words for now.

I know you dont understand
may be one day it will make more sense
and I will be able to explain to you my actions.

‘Me’ – who is that anyway?

I keep asking myself,
Should I be scared?

I worry about them,
I warn them to stay safe

Then they ask about me
And I fall silent again

‘Me’ – who is that anyway?
Am I supposed to care

From Whence We Come We Must Return…

The wheel of life turns slowly,
As if weary of its own power
Every cycle brings with it change
Every change brings with it hardship.

I see the sun rise every morning
Slowly creeping to its vantage point
It brings colour to the shadows of the night
Before returning to the depths of darkness.

Contradictions

I pull them close
then push them away
both with open eyes…

I want to stand under the spotlight
without being noticed

To shout from the roof-tops
without being heard

To save every last soul
without actually having to care

A far cry from the man I was
No longer the man you loved.

The Land of Lebanon

The sound of the gentle waves
As they softly eat away at the ancient rocks

The smell of the nargileh
Mixes subtly with the crooning Arabic love song

The constant chatter of people
Arabic, French, English and the unspoken smiles

The vast expanse of water
Reaches effortlessly till eternity and back

This is the land of Lebanon
This is the smiling land, ever ravaged by war.

Under The Shade of the Cedar Tree

The shade of the majestic Cedars,
shields me from the burning sun.

There’s a cool breeze blowing,
and I watch as the wings of the Cedar sway gently with it.

It’s a beautiful day, a peaceful day.
It’s quiet up here.

Free from the polluted noise of daily life,
I find my mind wandering from truth to fiction,

From past to present,
From me to you.

Voices

Buzzing voices filter in and out of my ears,
The room is full, nearly bursting at its seams,
People talk and I casually respond,
People laugh and I laugh with them
We all stand together, yet in reality I am alone.

Between The Extremes

Amongst the confusion
Reigns a strong sense of surety

Between the extremes
I walk with frailty

A new life ahead
Clouded in obscurity

If I fall back again
I have no security

I Don’t Understand.

I don’t know if you knew what effect your words would have upon me. I don’t know if you knew how far back you would set me in my quest for the truth. Maybe it’s all a part of the journey, maybe before I can move forward I must step back.

Your words have made me question further, everything that I thought I knew about myself. My struggle has gone from one of searching for that which I knew not, to one of justification for the little that I do know.

I can no longer look for the answers to my many questions, without first breaking down those same questions and searching their inner depths for their intended purpose. What I may find scares me now more than ever before. The path I chose to walk only a few weeks ago, I must now question. Was it really I that chose it, or was I led astray by my false intentions.

When I claim to know how and why I act in the way I do, am I only fooling myself? From your words it is obvious I have not fooled you, yet I do not remember ever wishing to deceive you.

I told you once, not so long ago, that I thought of you as a friend and cared about you in the same way you did for me. Upon reflection, what a foolish statement this was. How can I put you into a box which I cannot define, a box for which I have no reference?

You told me how childish it was to simply mirror affection, you made me promise to always be honest, you told me I could not hurt you. But then you blocked my path, you sent me back the way I came, you banished me from life and in an odd way you set me free.

You asked me if what I possessed could be taught, I hesitated to answer, for I knew the truth would mean losing your trust. The truth is that what I have, I am not proud of, what I have I was not born with, what I have was created, tailored, for my soul.

‘You can be anything you want, if you put your mind to it.’ Who would have thought that I would live out such wise words in such a twisted way. For I become whatever I want to be, and what I want to be changes everyday and every night. I had always laid claim to noble intentions, ‘but I did it for her’ or ‘I did it for him’, however upon introspection maybe ‘I only ever did it for me’.

You never said the words but I felt the trust slip between us, when you questioned me as to how could you possibly know I was being truthfull, and I did not dare answer you truthfully. My silence spoke volumes, yet the look on your face resonated far louder drowning my feeble silence almost instantly.

So, as it comes to transpire, you know me better than I do. All I ask of you is that you tell me who you see. You readily dismiss my laughter and my joy as a cover for my pain, but who gave you the right to look through the windows to my soul.

I stayed away to protect you, but you dug deeper, you pushed harder. I warned you, but you dismissed my warning with a casual wave of your hand, as if to say ‘it’s ok, I’ts ok, I can do this, I will do this, this is not a burden, I don’t feel obliged, I want to do this, I care about you…’

But the truth is that it’s not ok, maybe you can do this but why should you, you might not feel burdened but that’s only because the light inside of you overshadows the darkness I surround you with, I know you don’t feel obliged but you make me feel like I must let you help me, you say you want to help me, that’s illogical, you say you care but you cant tell me why.

You come to help me, and then you ask me to do this for myself. You obviously don’t know me as well as I thought. May be I was wrong about you, may be you were wrong about me, may be we will never know…

I’m Sorry but…

This isn’t about me really
Is it?

I can’t do this for me
I refuse.

You tell me you care
I ask why?

You want to help me
You can’t

You call me a friend
I don’t understand

You saw me self-destruct
I’m sorry

You saw me fight for life
I’m sorry

I will not hurt you
I’m sorry

I will be honest with you
I’m sorry

I will fail you
I’m sure

I will fail myself
It’s inevitable

Never Alone

They snatch from me
The few possessions I have.

They rip from my arms
The things I value most.

Their ideas seem to smother me
Their thoughts held high above mine.

I haven’t their respect
I want not their sympathy.

They intrude like burglars in the night
They steal my passions from me.

They tear from me my very life
Draining every drop of blood.

They disregard my feelings
They claim to know me better.

They shred my moral fibre
Leaving no stone unturned.

They cover me from head to toe
To save me from myself.

They say they want to help me
To make me happy again.

They suffocate me with their care
I smile and laugh and play pretend.

They promise they’ll never leave me
With them I’ll never be alone.

Please Don’t…

One day at a time
Step by step
Rebuilding my life
Finding my self

New roads ahead
Dimly lit
Barely visible
Shuffling forward

No looking back
Rose tint fading
New friends found
Colleagues lost

Still hurting bad
Too nuch pain
Can’t leave now
Only tears to gain

Bright soothing colours
Calming smile
True friendship
Makes me care

Please dont cry
Tears drown me
Too much pain
I’ve hurt you

You saved me
I lived for you
You waited
I cried

I need answers
What’s the question
I need help
Please dont leave me.

I Know I Hurt You…

Life’s little joys seem to pass so soon
Days only lived by the light of the moon
My memories so fresh, so cruel
My thoughts and feelings around my feet are strewn.

Too many years without formal rule
Unhappy memories of a joyous school
My pain did I myself create
Drowning always in my own blood’s pool

For years now I’ve stood behind the gate
Staring head on at my inevitable fate
Why I made myself so sad
And forced myself to not love or hate.

I know the things I did were bad
Never wanting the love I had
I know I hurt you, I know, I know
But years of loneliness drove me mad.

Dark Nights

Alone again, so soon
after the storm.
Another full rotation, of blessed
seasons unblessed.

Unanswered questions loom
like tear filled clouds.
Only this time, answers slip
so easy of my tongue.

Cold and lonely, yet
warm and loved.
Spiritually high, yet forever
rebellious.

Dark nights and
vicious cycles.
Long days of
unlived lies…

The Darkness Returns…

Isn’t it funny how we never see it coming? As it rises every morning lighting the sky, lifting the colours and moods of everything it touches, it never clicks that it will pass through its cycle and eventually bring with it the night and all the pain associated.

Isn’t if funny how the darkness comes upon us without warning, how the clouds begin to box in the sun early in the afternoon, how as the day progresses the warmth and blessings of the sun seem to lessen on our faces, how the eerie shadows begin to take their form, how the colours of nature begin to darken and eventually lose their hue altogether, and yet we never see it coming.

How as the evening sets in, even the lights fail to ward off the evil shadows, the window seems to shrink and the darkness seems to overwhelm.

Isn’t is strange that we never see the struggle of the sun, is infact a mirror in the struggle of life, that although we acknowledge that after hardship comes ease, we sometimes forget that the circle does not end there, and actually hardship and ease often chase each others tale, just as the light and the darkness of the sun and moon follow each other almost naturally.

I guess I thought the darkness had left me, I guess I was wrong… the sun had to set eventually, the day had to end with darkness, I dont like the dark, I am afraid of the dark

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