Ma and the Train
If I were competitive.. I’d probably be married by now. And mom would be thrilled. And she [the mom] would live happily ever after. And not bring up stories of the girls who got engaged and the ones getting married, with that suggestive tone of voice mothers have and eyes that look at me in that certain implying way. And I wouldn’t have to come up with counter-stories of my imaginary happy life, where I pinpoint where these happy moments are under risk of being crucified and slaughtered if a marriage would occur for the sake of the neighbor’s sympathies and pity for me. Where she, the mom, turns her head away in disdain of my heresy and murmurs, “istakhkhkhfurallah!”. The moment where I am about to feel victorious and get back to staring at the wall and wondering why that tape is still holding that piece of thread that once held a chain of dangling balloons for someone’s last minute surprise birthday party - alas, comes the universal lecture of God’s will, the one she assumes I’ve never heard before during the many days, years and couple of decades of which I believe I have shown quite an impressive set of listening and apprehension skills, and I think to myself, I’ll get back to that piece of tape one day and perhaps scratch it off if I ever remember to look up.
“Yes, Mom. God’s will is that you and I have this conversation till God wills I get hitched. Till then, my dear loving Ma, God hasn’t willed yet.” And I don’t know how of all the wise, faithful words I just uttered, she only heard something so blasphemous that would deserve another - yet, angry, this time around - “Assstakhkhkhfurallaah!”
I hate mythical ticking clocks. I hate hypothetical trains.
But, I’m not competitive. So, this happens on a daily basis. Sometimes, it’s silent. For instance, I can sense it in her aura when watching a Khaleeji soap together, where the monstrous looking girl with horrifying swollen lips, peaking cheeks and farcical tattooed brows has miraculously caught the attention and admiration of the mother of a potential suitor.
Poor suitor, is what I think. Poor me for sitting and watching this vomit-like, pathetic excuse of a show. Poor Ma. An image of that damned train whooshing by must always flaunt her thoughts. Taunting her. Meanwhile, I crawl about in the fields on the other side of the rail - oblivious of the threshing sounds of any civil automated process - after a snail or a moth, lost in wonderment.
Why compete if it’s not for the fun of it? Why give a shit to society’s prizes of approval? If there’s no laugh at the finish line and throughout the race, why run?
Marriage is not a finish line. Marriage is not a reward. Marriage is a wildcard. Marriage is something I don’t quite comprehend. Marriage is a mystery that doesn’t quite entrance me. Until it does, I don’t see why.
Home is not where your heart is.. Not so eloquently precise, at least.
Home is where you’ve spent years trying to let go. Home is where you’ve served your sentence for someone else’s inhumanity. Home is where society is indebted to you. Home is where your heart is crushed.. to bits and pieces.. blown across the lonesome pavements.. unheeded in some alley. Forgotten.
That dark and bitter alley, that’s your home.
The ceramic chips of a broken vase toppled down from the 16th floor is your Starry Night. The scattered dirt you now garner in your parched palms gives you comfort. Cold and wet. Dark as night. Filled with little secrets. Like a soul you may have known. Like a home you may have tried to hone throughout the years of bitterness.
That is home - if you ask me. “You reap what you sow” has no weight in this alley. You give it your all and you hope to come out half alive. A smile here and there will do.
Home is not what you choose it to be. Home is what you mold into. And if you’re a great craftsman, you can mold into something quite nicely here.
انتشلني من هذا النطاق.. حيث لا أُطيق ولا أُطاق
وانتشيني كسنبلةٍ في بلدٍ منتهٍ حيث الروح تُراق
ثم تُساق لمجحفةٍ مكتسية بحروفٍ لم تُكتب
ومعانٍ لم تُدرك
وبيوتٍ لم تُسكَن
ٍكما لم تَسكُن جفنات
ترقب يوما لم يأتي
لكن لن أسمح
للأمل أن ينعسْ
ولا للنفسِ أن تتعسْ
وسَتُروى الوجنات من دمعي
وسَتُروى حكايات من أجلي
بحروفٍ لم تُكتب
ومعانٍ لم تُدرك
وسكينةٍ رُكِنت في زوايا بيوتٍ لم تُسْكَن
فانتشلني من أروقتي ومن أسطح المتاهات
وانتشيني كإسفنجةٍ مبتلةِ الثغرات
كن لي متاهات
من اللهو والسكنات
ًلا تُبقِ لي رمقا
ًكن أنت لي وطنا
Quickly, I jot it down - the way I feel - then and there, where I fail, to find a solid piece of ground.
I’d shout it out, as if my lungs were engines of endless sound.
I’d blurt it out, if meaning would surpass the thickest walls, profound.
I’d break the rule of every book bred by the stiffest bounds.
I’d bend myself to far extremes then rebound, safe and sound.
I’d stir the darkness in their sleep and in their wake,
and I would do what it takes
just for the sake of higher stakes.
I’ll scream and pound,
I’ll shake them down,
I’ll leave nothing,
then lurk around.
I’ll bend, they’ll break,
I’ll bounce, they’ll ache
and suffer from their rigid ends.
I’ll hear them clank like icicles and snowy flakes.
They will not melt, I will not wait.
I’d listen to their crushing sounds,
like autumn leaves left un-raked.
I would do all that, and I will do more,
save that I can do nothing of that sort!
And that I’ve just let it out, like water I have poured.
Fluidly let loose all agitation,
through my pure imagination,
and all this here, this creation,
is nothing but,
That is why precisely I, jot down the way I feel. So I would find, that peace of mind; that solid piece of ground.
Somewhere in the dunes of time,
where despair dwelled in silence, it pranced.
It hummed and it swayed, then it bolted its gaze;
Salvation in chance, I danced.
Out of hope. Out of fear.
My legs had taken a stance.
Scrape the Starry Skies
Soon, we will commence, and let our worlds collide.
The blueprints of pretense, we’ll lay them side by side.
We’ll dig into our fears, and self-construct our pride.
We’ll draw upon our tears and raft the moonlit tides.
Sometimes I may sprawl. Sometimes I’ll help you rise,
And in between our falls, we’ll scrape the starry skies.
I’ll wish upon a star that glimmered in your eyes,
For it to shine forever, through and beyond our lives.
At times our hopes will fade. So dull we’ll feel we are,
But dawn will wrap the shade and thus, ignite us all.
Like portraits on a wall, our pain will visualize.
Exhibiting it all, the truth will crystallize.
To each, their own way, and each will empathize.
Beauty, won’t fall astray, it will immortalize.
Where the Rivers Bent
Pens raced in and out of time
Met the verge of suicide
They lay there where the rivers bent
To streaming thoughts, tapped their toes
Not sure where the rivers set
But hoped to God it flows
Flow it like an avalanche or flow it so it spins
It’s all but indifference
Driven by the swirl of winds
Bullets eyed vivacious rhymes
Trees swayed en route cello sighs
They lay there where the rivers bent
Their fears and hopes all disclosed
Not knowing what the Lord had meant
But hoped to God it flows
Flow it like a salsa twist or flow it like the rays
Flow it so that lucid truth
And beauty sail away
Today it rained, in my mind, perhaps a thousand million times
I waited, and my patience, Oh,
It killed a part of me each time;
Feeding off the moments
That once were my mine
But vanity, pined me in so deep
Into a passive shrine,
An opiate - so to speak.
Today I died. Yes, I did,
perhaps a thousand million times
He killed me when he saw me not
Then shot me with his silent talk
I perished with his loaded gun:
Eternity just passed me by
I motioned, Hello–
A gust of air; remains of a goodbye
Condoled me so and left me there
What time have I to spare?
Today again, in my mind, perhaps a thousand million times
Poured the raindrops from your skies, into my thoughts, and rinsed my eyes
It gushed a monsoon in my heart; A birth, a symphony, a waltz!
“Oh! Dear God,
Bless my time,
Bless those moments never mine.”