My father visited today, by the river
I asked, pray, father, is it selfish of me to wish separation from all objects, from my being, just to be reacquainted with the joy of rejoice?
he said, how can you claim naught existence, when your very roots intertwine His?
For God resides within the bird,
within the object,
within the reflection,
within the dancing tree
Yet you claim disinterest in the shimmer of this world,
The veil it proclaims,
Neither inconsistency nor thought unwraps what lies beyond
the acne surfaced, hijabbed world,
Of what, I presume?
He smiled, it is the joy of the unknown,
for our very unwholesomeness makes Him whole.
But father, I can not love, not a soul but wrenched
The stars fell upon my lap yesterday, but I’ve eclipsed them into a faint light.
The string located in my rib, knotted to Eve’s has become as thin as a spider’s web,
loosened, cut all together, almost
Idle, I pass through
I can not love as unyieldingly as I thought I could do
For a thousand days it has been, has it not?
A thousand days it has been and moved an inch, I have not.
Son of Eden, tell me, what do you know of love?
What do you know of the journey to God?
for love is not to find God,
but yearning to find Him,
you have loved as soon you have asked, “What is my God?”
It is to fear rubble for a heart, to fear
becoming drained, still like the cup you hold
to flee from the stale, the blind and the deaf
yet you are far from deaf! Far from blind!
A heart that of an azure apatite, cracked enough for warmth to seep,
a brow that overflows with passion, furiously raging, like true heathens!
A mouth, which takes no pleasure in wringing brine, but words that push and probe the mind
the eyes, too accustomed to darkness; quick to flutter open!
but that matters not,
for He is present in darkness, too.
And in between impregnated moments of sincere prayer,
when your palms entirely surface objects,
when your eyes drink up sunsets and your feet lightly tread upon the Earth,
only then do you feel.
You have yearned and longed and feared and sought.
worry not, Son of Eden, for you love the most.
You’ve done nothing worth gloating
unless you’ve paced distantly with the rusty fulcrum,
and walked close enough
To have peeked at what lies at the other end of its lever
You’ve done nothing worth gloating unless you’ve pinpointed the fulcrum’s deep crack
to have filtered its groggy ambuigities
Or watched for its slip
Spinning around the symphonies of entropy
Swaying, wide eyed, trying to obliterate corrosion
And hold its wit together
All with a rubber band
It made him laugh
the wrath of the industry,
bestowing all the blame upon the biased media and the cobwebbed thoughts of the unaccepting society,
whilst turning one blind shoulder to the mainland’s underdevelopment
Fleeting to rescue the pyramid of skeletons in Syria whilst turning the other shoulder to the flood of blood in Darfur, armed with foreign passports and tightly wrapped Hijabs. B
eards down to their loin
Loin to loin
Fighting! In the name of God, they said
To his tomb, he would stay laughing at their God
He had this kind of courage, like a timber wolf on a mountain. He went on his own way with unconcern and nonchalance for consequences, something that stunned others. But this courage never rose from self sacrifice, but intensity of his pursuit. It was nothing noble, nevertheless, it placed him on a different lever. Often running away from irrational ideals, he tried to rid himself of his own image. Always praying for normalcy, but when it was handed, he knew not what to do but stare awkwardly
You could preach natural goodness and authoritative practicality and values to him till you were hoarse and it wouldn’t make a dent, holding his ideals above his head; saying nothing with pity; value, to him, meant nothing.
His glossed projected prisms made trial in the court of his mind, a test for all the rest to attempt to connect
Often, he wondered to what extent and at who’s expense had he been given these sharp toothed thoughts and was confused to what affect he should use them and found himself trailing back to his predisposed mentality,
such, was the scramble of this morning, no more or less jovial than yesterday, or what has been the subjection of his consciousness
shrunk himself in size when needed, so he could address both the ant
dressed up in all kinds of lives but, still, he hasn’t found one that fits
at such days, especially as his morning waned over onward, for only in early mornings did he find serenity, a great feeling of unease would settle.
A great, great feeling of hopelessness
such a great feeling of melancholia, so great it looks pure, like poignant steel, coated in gold so you’d marvel at it’s cocoon
such mornings, when a film of the lowest of what life offered him enrolls in his mind, destiny would stand afar and would lift its finger, writing in the air a lurid note, “You like life?” “Like it if you can!” and he would say, out of stubbornness rather than drive,
“I dare. As long as there is breath in me, I will persist.”
such mornings, when he couldn’t get out of bed, he’d fill the room with a futile tune of fury to dance until motivation found him and he could encumber bereavement from the bills he is beckoned upon
You wouldnt entirely understand his motives and notions, neither did he, but he will be good for you,nevertheless
A rubik’s cube, some would describe him as, if you asked, (though if they waited as time stretches, it’ll reveal how arguably benign and mundane he is) placed in a closet, taken out on occasions of boredom and put back in disarray. Painted grimly by the intellect and asocial ends, partially blind in one eye,
constantly twisted and turned, just to be placed back only after increased damage,then after several blows of frustration, accommodated back to the lonely closet; until someone else who is either
given too much obvious time, to clasps their hands over and return him to his orderly state
or is colour blind
“What is the matter, Omar?” she asked, agreeing to stay on a first name basis
“I do not know,” he replied, reluctantly, in fear of having one of his truthful outbursts leading into either further confusing her or a series of relentless questions to satisfy her curiosity. Not that he minded, he could use someone to speak to at times like this.
“I want so much that is not here, and I do not know where to go,” he repeated, quoting one of his favourite Bukowski quotes, he didn’t particularly like the man, but found him less repulsive than Shakespeare
“I am tired. I tire of this suspended state I’m stuck in, where I understand what I feel yet unable to fully feel it, in essence.
Caught in a cobweb of consciousness, clinging to the mass mockery of a societal fabric, I tire of this facade of an existence and illusion of self only an azure sky in mornings can mend. I want to die. Not in a suicidal manner, I was never fully acquainted with self pity or unable to face my issues, but I want out of this being for a while: to go somewhere beyond the grave. I tire of everything, of those trying to extract the wise and political from the trivial. It’s all you have to do, you know, disagree with whatever ends with ‘ism’.
Continuing to snatch at the threads of time, I hang over the precipitous edges of a life, tirelessly trying to grab at the feet of humanity,” he looked up, expecting confusion, some form of pity or empathy even, but instead found a neutral expression
“Let us be rough, Fatima,” he proceeded, “and leave the humanitarians claiming affiliation. let us be silent and stop being involved in the spiral of being lost in misfortune. Let us stop cowering at our subconscious and throwing signals and pointy fingers and mocking looks at the hopelessly content, spiritually satisfied philanthropic seekers, eager to fill the patch hole in their brains with mish mash to be acquainted with the feel of having something valuable to contribute with.
Have you ever looked around and felt like; you had too much to add, Fatima? Like at the tip of your tongue, you held a series of valuable ..things?”
“I’d rather let people be,” she said, not unkindly . “There is no use in shoving realities down throats that haven’t swallowed the world’s bitterness yet. Besides, I wouldn’t be so vocal about my accomplished thoughts.”
“Of course you wouldn’t,” he smiled, “but there is no nobility in humility. Though I know times when hubris is essential.”
“Don’t forget that arrogance lead to Satan’s demise, lest you follow the same impending doom,” was her reply
“You’re confused. Humility allows those in the room to feel equal to myself and as significant, which they are not. Anyway,” he continued, brushing off whatever argument she was to produce and proceeded at their past topic,
“should people not know? Should they not be warned? Should we not leave the marks and hints necessary? They will reach it, eventually. Everyone does.”
“Insanity!” his voice rose, “the landslide of insanity and rationality is something that cannot be mended with a bandage, Fatima, you should know, for someone who bandages the mentally deranged. Listen to me ,when I say that pariahs will override those who gloat around with their sanity. Listen to me.”
“You can lead a horse to the water but you can’t force him to drink, Omar. Is this one of your dogmatic doctrines?”
“I’ve come to realize, how people never like to admit their doubt – seen as a defect rather than vital phase of believing,” he went on, disregarding her question and quick notes and scribbles
“Or biased opinions, that along with their shoes, they polish their thoughts through and through. Tell me now Fatima, why do you think people refuse to accept how we all take different flags but arrive in a common cage?” he was asking not to receive an answer from her – he never expected one – but just to.
“To accept how the basic things in mannerisms and conversations start feeling more like chores and duties through time,” he continued, pacing the room now
“People never like to admit that they, too, have been plagued with the fear of not wanting to be forgotten. Would you mind if you were to be forgotten, Fatima?”
“Yes. Would you?”
He smiled. He liked her honesty
“Yes. Though I won’t be – not soon anyway – I leave too many imprints. I’ve always known that we shall all become nothing but dust and vague memories. We try to decorate our facade of an existence with all sorts of values and gestures to deem ourselves on a pedestal higher than the one we’re placed on, and include ourselves in time-consuming events that are often transiently self-indulging, but you cannot cheat time and we shall all remain nothing but dust.
Often times, people like to eliminate the transient and hold on to the seemingly enduring, being nothing but deceitful mirages forged over time. Things that appear appeasing from afar but are distasteful,”
He grew quiet as he sensed her sitting apprehensively, her legs angled at an awkward position, fixating her eyes on the door, did she think he was going to be aggressive or perhaps make a pass at her? He laughed quietly to himself, noting his strained stance, he would never touch a woman unwillingly if it was a gateway to heaven. Besides, he despised doctors.
She, overwhelmed by his convincing presence and set profile, was unable to meet his eyes
What marvelous eyes, she thought.
Gathering her wits and in a surprisingly calm voice, she asked, “Have you ever sought help?”
A ghost of a quizzical look beheld his face.
“Meaning besides myself, not that it was a choice,”
“It was – theirs.”
“You mentioned something about ‘self’ being a mirage..an illusion, do you mean to say we cease to exist?” a smirk was plastered across her face now, like she was amused at what he implied, but to think that she was mocking him is to misunderstand the nature of her thought towards him, she believed in him and the things he said, entirely.
“Not exactly.” he began, he wasn’t one for explanations but Fatima was one to understand
“You, as a being, exist, but what exists to you is strictly what you perceive. Your being appears along with feelings and thoughts in this open space, this void: nothingness. And it’s your job to find distractions or allow yourself glances to this open space, being the world.”
Fatima, soaking in each word, slowly nodded her head, fascinated by thoughts
“It’s difficult to allow yourself to feel this emptiness because it’s always precariously filled with the most random of things. Work, love, children, romance, emotions, war, and so on.. Thereby, when one is deprived of some, or all of the above, he refers to his state as ’empty’, being the perpetual state we are all unconsciously – or consciously in this case – in. This also confirms the importance of religion. Confirming how there’s a certain deity extempt from all rules of nature, able to create and place things this monotonous life we’re living.”
Encouraged by her furrowed eyebrows, which signaled confusion, he stretched his legs and elaborated to a simpler form of explanation,
“It’s related to time, how we’re all always fighting the pressure to capture the present -”
“trying to force our beings within the moment, but instead, allowing it to escape as briefly as realizing it was there, as quickly as it remains,” she interrupted, catching up to his train of thought
He flashed his teeth again, predictably, she understood.
“What can I do to truly grasp it?” she asked, sincerely
“You can bathe in it, only in a metaphorical sense. You can witness droplets of time wriggling underneath your skin.”
“How will that help?”
“It wouldn’t. But carelessly leaving our your bones and allowing them to be renewed eases the process. Momentarily, you’ll be attached to the drain of the bathtub and panic, but this thought, too, will escape you and stream down the brown water, filthy because of the hard work you wear on your skin. Swirling down the pipe, it will carry the particles of your former self to an unknown grave..there, you will smell the soft fragrance of renewal.”
A long silence stretched between the two before it was interrupted with another question,
“Whose comfort have you sought?”
“God’s. Only His”
“What of your God?”
“The narrator of all of this,”
Clearly noting her dissatisfaction, he chose another alternative,
“You see, I don’t really need comfort from others as much, I never needed a psychiatrist trying to snap analyse and diagnose my every action just to be controlled by something as arguably feeble as a pill, the state I’m in is nothing to obliterate but something I shall adapt to, alone. I never needed comfort, It’s unrelated to the magnitude of my pride, most times, I just do what I think is right. Help is never what I’m seeking, but presence; company, a sense of belonging, a hint of freedom. Whilst another is facing their fears and finding their freedom, I try to escape mine and find my fears,whatever little proportion handed to me. I guess this fuels me to help those shackled, mentally and physically, find theirs. Freedom is lonely, Fatima”
“You fear loneliness?”
“I fear finding solace in loneliness. I seclude myself all too many times but I’m careful not to find sincerity in solitude. Don’t fall under the deceit of tranquility, it will weaken your soul and suck the passion dry,”
He laughed humourlessly,
“I remember once someone tried encouraging me to see a therapist,” he went on
“but I usually know ten times as much as the incompetent person in front of me displaying faux- concern. I’m too cynical to believe anyone wants the best for my well being anyway,”
“Even your mother?”
“Especially my mother.”
“I think you have a problem welcoming compassion,”
“What of friends?”
“I value friends, though I don’t go out of my way to make them,”
“Out of fear?”
Capturing a flicker of the confusion across her face, again, he resolved into a more detailed answer,
“I hold those I care for closely, but occasionally either they or I peace out. I’ve found a habit in being a fulcrum, in revealing layers of skin; I continue running from one end to the other, staying in between, trying to forget things and dodge the deception of proclaimed neutrality, but my neutral exterior isn’t surrender, it never was.
You see, Fatima, I’m a constructor of my own self destruction, because it is I who salts the earth of my own thoughts so the seed of good intentions never harvest for I’ve found a home in moral ambiguity, allowing me to value religion. Instead of falling in love when a facade of an angel appears,, it is I who rips the veil and reveals the dark, poisonous interior. People like myself were never meant to truly love and be loved: only value, reveal and repair. I am the constructor of my self destruction and when my ways take an unexpected turn into demise, know that music was a great time consumer and I believed in humanity, despite ways.”
“What is the matter, Mr. Hashim? Is everything alright?”
He snapped out of the internal dialogue with his significant other, being highly therapeutic, it set him into the right mood and back to the woman seated in front of him, grasping an empty clipboard
“Swell!” he smiled, jumping to his feet and exiting the room, leaving the bewildered, aging woman behind.
All this love I talk too much of is only a way, out of many, to distract myself and others from my in equilibrium and obsession to find reason and rationality in everything and a feeble attempt to stop this benign tumor growing inside me, by the name of cynicism
(maybe not so benign)
You see gentle reader; I spent a long time being afraid of the absence of love, right after fearing love
I spent a long time getting to know vulnerability
Get to know vulnerability
To be vulnerable is to bear with yourself; to be alive, to be vulnerable is to stand by your authenticity.
So next time, don’t hide your grieve away in your bosom, don’t seek the sky to escape it, don’t try to foreshadow it with overpowered and limited emotions, don’t forsake it entirely from your heart. for when it leaves you, when it flies away, when everything becomes of little value to you, with dry pillows and drier hearts, the world will appear to you under a shabby light. it’ll soon start to feel like the final pulse of a soul’s dying embers. that is the moment where, panic stricken, you will begin to grasp at straws. hanging to anguishing memories, cupping your hands over whatever is left to keep it alive. Bitter and base associations will become your sole food. You’ll wander here and there, going downhill roads you thought you’d never take, brushing away trivialities. You’ll begin to find comfort in exile and seek happiness in sin or sensual, heartless pleasure.
never make the mistake of glorifying pain
people often write of pain and mistake it for poetry
Never make the mistake of glorifying pain for There are not always heroic life lessons found in bad experiences, Good isn’t always extracted from bad as much as commonly believed, instead found, are cyclic thoughts of remorse
Never make the mistake of glorifying pain Because when you’re used to constant heartache, when you’re habituated into emotional havoc and you’re engulfed in this chasm of misery, it soon stops bothering you.this kind of indifference that seeps through your soul. Emerging along with vague sadness that will shadow you,
become plastered across your eyelids,
breathing at the nape of your neck. there’s a certain kind of pleasure you’ll begins to relish in sadness, I wouldn’t call it being a masochist, it’s more of something you’ll grow attached to. pain will become a soft tune, a safe haven for you, you’ll become alienated to light and seek darkness in the happiest moments. Sometimes you’ll even seek it to muse your pen, to confirm your pulse. Rock bottom will become your only familiar home, you’ll furnish your things and set your utilities across the shelves and neatly stash your hopes and lie down until you’ve camouflaged into the rock itself, your only fuel will be to see the world’s and your inner turmoil.
Dear Khalto, I’ve lived away for years but I originate from this real penchant of tribalism named Sudan consisting of ex patriots and governmental coverts (or shall I say puppets?) who advocate nonsense, fining and stripping licenses off those who refuse to give a standing ovation for a puppet show or shit on religion and a heap of books they call the law
Dear Khalto, please keep in mind that these lines across my palms aren’t roads to lead your sons into better futures, neither is this passport I clutch in my hand
Dear Khalto, understand that I did not choose to be an expat of my own skin
Dear Khalto, I don’t bleed gold, neither does my father, I don’t plant seeds of treasure I struggle just like you. though I may not know the struggle of waking up at dawn each day to catch muwasalat and I sometimes need to ask for directions twice, though we were in different places, Khalto, I don’t bleed any less..my injuries are just as severe, I don’t feel any less
Dear Khalto, I apologize for this tongue that has tasted and spoken more than you have, for this tongue that recites poetry and quotes more than recipes, I apologize for the many times I had to pretend to be familiar with Sudanese modern slang words amongst my friends so as to not feel exiled, I apologize for oversleeping in the morning but please know it’s unrelated to how anyone was out of borders or overseas, I apologize for forgetting to make my own bed sometimes, that’s just one of my expat tendencies
Dear Khalto, the grass is not always greener on the other side
Dear Khalto, there are no need for the sidelong looks when I appear in front of guests unveiled I have my pride well covered
Dear Khalto, I’m so tired of waking up to pictures of Friday get-togethers and friends in Shar3 alneel or Ozone, knowing that’s another line of inside jokes I’ll never understand on my own
Dear Khalto, I’ve had different homes for years, I’ve taken residence in so many people before and adapted their manners and customs and learned their language by heart but my loin is tied to this land, this soil is my soil, this river, this Nile, is my Nile (including the river of blood in Darfur)
Dear Khalto, many times I’ve been told to embrace being estranged by my own people, to accept the “moghtarbeen life” but how do you get used to being asked over and over again, “Little girl, why is your hair cut so short? Why do you wear such pants? Why do you talk of politics too much, are you a man? Little girl, why is your skin so dark? Why is your heart so blue?”
Dear Khalto, I EAT MULA7
Dear Khalto, when you call me over to wash the dishes and I say I’m too tired, know that it’s unrelated to the hours I spend on my phone. me, little girl with bubbles of fanciful interests bound to be burst soon by the sharp looks receive, me, daughter of Eden, I’m a grouchy expat filled with resentment, worn down with the weight of my journeys and the load of eyes scrutinizing me passing through the airport, carrying a red passport