“Home” – a Refugee Poem by Warsan Shire

December 12, 2015

Syrian-refugees-land-on-t-009

no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark

you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles traveled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

– Warsan Shire  was born in Kenya of Somali parents, and grew up in London, England. In 2013 she was named the city’s first Young Poet Laureate. Her debut book, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, was published in 2011.


Waystations on the road to God

December 2, 2015

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“O friend! If you would see what the Christians see in Jesus, you too would become a Christian! And if you would see what the Jews see in Moses, you too would become a Jew! Even more, if you saw what the idol-worshipers see in idol-worship, you too would become an idol-worshiper! The seventy-two paths (mazhab-ha) are all waystations on the road to God.”

– from the Tamhidat (Preludes) of Ayn al-Qudat al-Hamadani


The Real Work

November 17, 2015

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

One day Hasan of Basra (who took great pride in, and flaunted certain occult powers he had) saw Rabia al-ʻAdawiyya on the bank of the river. He threw his prayer rug on to the water and shouted to her, “Come Rabia! Let’s pray together!”
Rabia replied, “Is it really.necessary for you to sell yourself like this? If so, it’s because you’re weak!”
Then Rabia ascended into the air on her prayer rug and called down to Hasan, “Come up here! Everyone will see us!”
Hasan, who was not as advanced as she, remained silent.
Rabia then said to him, “A fish can do what you did…and a fly can do what I did. The real work goes beyond either of our tricks. The only necessary thing to do is the Real Work.”

Ya Haqq!


Darkling Beetles from Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel

November 1, 2015

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

At the first light of dawn over the middle desert, the black scarab-beetles come out of the sand and scurry up the face of the dunes to pray. Standing in line after endless line along ridge and crest they face the rising sun and bow, as if in the prostration of obeisance, lifting their hindquarters to the warmth, gathering the morning dew into droplets of water that roll down the hard shell into the waiting mouth.” – Prologue, Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel

They were not a figment of my imagination. Here is the water harvesting Darkling Beetle (family Tenebrionidae) of the Namib desert.

 


“God speaks to each of us as He makes us,”

October 20, 2015

God speaks to each of us as He makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

– Rainer Maria Rilke, from the Book of Hours

 


Patience

October 9, 2015

Salaam and Greeings of Peace:

” Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be shortsighted as to not able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never runs out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.”

–Rumi

Ya Haqq!

supermoon


Love All

September 28, 2015

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Love all.

Love all that has been created by God, both the whole and every grain of sand.
Love every leaf and every ray of light.

Love the beasts and the birds, love the plants,
love every separate fragment.

If you love each separate fragment,
you will understand the mystery
of the whole resting in God.

–Dostoevsky

Ya Haqq!


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