Friday, December 25, 2009

Valentine by John Fuller

The things about you I appreciate may seem indelicate:
I’d like to find you in the shower
And chase the soap for half an hour.
I’d like to have you in my power and see your eyes dilate.
I’d like to have your back to scour
And other parts to lubricate.
Sometimes I feel it is my fate
To chase you screaming up a tower
or make you cower

By asking you to differentiate Nietzsche from Schopenhauer.
I’d like to successfully guess your weight and win you at a féte.
I’d like to offer you a flower.

I like the hair upon your shoulders,
Falling like water over boulders.
I like the shoulders, too: they are essential.
Your collar-bones have great potential
(I’d like to see your particulars in folders marked Confidential).

I like your cheeks, I like your nose,
I like the way your lips disclose
The neat arrangement of your teeth
(Half above and half beneath) in rows.

I like your eyes, I like their fringes.
The way they focus on me gives me twinges.
Your upper arms drive me berserk.
I like the way your elbows work, on hinges.

I like your wrists, I like your glands,
I like the fingers on your hands.
I’d like to teach them how to count,
And certain things we might exchange,
Something familiar for something strange.
I’d like to give you just the right amount and get some change.

I like it when you tilt your neck up.
I like the way you nod and hold a teacup.

I like your legs when you unwind them.
Even in trousers I don’t mind them.
I like each softly-moulded kneecap.
I like the little crease behind them.
I’d always know, without a recap, where to find them.

I like the sculpture of your ears.
I like the way your profile disappears
Whenever you decide to turn and face me.
I’d like to cross two hemispheres and have you chase me.
I’d like to smuggle you across frontiers
Or sail with you at night into Tangiers.
I’d like you to embrace me.

I’d like to see you ironing your skirt and cancelling other dates.
I’d like to button up your shirt.
I like the way your chest inflates.
I’d like to soothe you when you’re hurt
Or frightened senseless by invertebrates.

I’d like you even if you were malign
And had a yen for sudden homicide.
I’d let you put insecticide into my wine.
I’d even like you if you were the Bride of Frankenstein
Or something ghoulish out of Mamoulian’s Jekyll and Hyde.
I’d even like you as my Julian of Norwich or Cathleen in Houlihan.
How melodramatic
If you were something muttering in attics
Like Mrs Rochester or a student of boolean mathematics.

You are the end of self-abuse.
You are the eternal feminine.
I’d like to find a good excuse
To call on you and find you in.
I’d like to put my hand beneath your chin. And see you grin.
I’d like to taste your Charlotte Russe,
I’d like to feel my lips upon your skin,
I’d like to make you reproduce.

I’d like you in my confidence.
I’d like to be your second look.
I’d like to let you try the French Defence and mate you with my rook.
I’d like to be your preference and hence
I’d like to be around when you unhook.
I’d like to be your only audience,
The final name in your appointment book, your future tense.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

3rd of December

Zainab stared at her reflection in the mirror as she adjusted her graduation cap on top of her hijab. There was a knock on the door and her little sister peeked in smiling. "We are waiting for you hurry!" she exclaimed. Zainab turned back to the mirror with a lazy wave to her sister. She wanted to look good for today was an important day. She pursued her lips together and watched as her dimples formed at the corners of her mouth. One last thing and she would be ready. She reached for her top drawer and pulled a tiny jewelery box. Her fingers trembled as she opened the box to pull out a simple gold chain with an inscription on the clasp.

Zainab turned the chain to read the inscription even though it was permanently engraved in her heart when there was another urgent knock on her door. "Zainab," came a gruff voice. Her father's body was framed by the door as he smiled beguilingly at her. His eyes seemed to be dancing today and Zainab hadn't seen that look for years. Actually the last time she had seen that look was 20 years ago when she was 9. Then the color drained from his face as his eyes saw what was clasped in Zainab's hand. Ali Dheer, Zainab's dad, stomped into the room and made to grab the necklace from Zainab but she was too fast for him and she stowed it in her clothing. "Give it to me!". "No! Abo please I am begging you please not today." Zainab started sobbing as her father glared at her and beckoned with his hand for her to hand over the necklace. Zainab slowly opened her hand and let the necklace slip through her fingers into her father's waiting palm. Ali turned on his heels and walked out of his daughter's room.

15 mins later Zainab emerged from the house and joined her family as they set out for The Shamo Hotel. Every couple of feet Zainab heard her name being called out as neighbours and well wishers congratulated her. You see today Zainab was graduating as a doctor of medicine. She was 29 years old and against all odds was graduating with a degree in Somalia, of all places. A land that had been written off by many of its inhabitants as well as the world. A land that her family had called home for the last 10 years. A land that she once was ashamed to call her own but now held a special place in her heart. Her heart was slowly filling with happiness as she forgot what happened earlier. She held on to her sister's hands as she cast her eyes around to look for her fellow graduates making their way to the ceremony.

"Zainab!"............"Cadde!" It was her best friend. She walked faster to catch up with him and his family. He looked dapper today with his cap and gown. He even seemed to have shaved off his wadaad beard. Zainab smiled playfully at him as she raised her eyebrows in appreciation. As they neared the venue their group expanded as more of Zainab's class mates joined them. Pretty soon they were a mass of noisy conversations, chuckles, giggles, hugs and kisses making its way into the hallways of The Shamo Hotel. The place looked transformed as Zainab noticed the stage and the podium. She also noted the placement of their chairs, those red velvet lined chairs that would usher in a new era for all of them. They were the second class graduating from Benadir University. "Okay everyone take your places!" came one of their professor's voice.

Zainab felt someone tugging at her robe and she turned to see who it was. It was her little sister and she motioned for Zainab to lower her head. As Zainab lowered her head her sister's hands circled around her neck and Zainab felt the light weight of a necklace on her neck. Zainab turned her wide eyes to her sister as she twirled the necklace between her fingers. Her sister gave her a kiss and whispered "We all love you Zainab". As the place quieted down for the beginning of the ceremony Zainab counted how many ministers had turned up for the ceremony. She could recognize only three but she was pretty sure the other two guys sitting by them were also ministers for they all had an official looking face. All the journalists were jostling for position as one by one the dignitaries were introduced. Zainab's heart was pounding as she looked at the sea of people around her. As one of the dignitaries got up to talk Zainab tried to find her father in the crowd. She looked for his snow dusted, short, cropped hair and she found him three rows behind the journalists. She tried to catch his eye as a woman sitting by him got up from her seat and made her way to the front.

Zainab watched as the woman reached underneath her robes to adjust something. Something about the woman wasn't right. Zainab couldn't place her finger on it and turned to ask Cadde's opinion when she felt then heard an explosion rock the hall. She felt her body being propelled a few feet away as dust enveloped the hall. There was turmoil and confusion as people panicked to get out of the hall. Zainab tried to open her eyes wider to adjust to the sudden loss of light but she couldn't see anything except for blurred objects. Noise was reaching her intermittently as she gingerly tried to get up from her position. She didn't have any strength in her and there was blood on the ground. Zainab looked as the pool of blood got bigger and darker. It was deoxygenated blood thus must be coming from the pulmonary artery, she thought amusingly, as that piece of knowledge from her first anatomy class resurfaced.

Someone kneeled over her as she tried yet again to move. It was Cadde. He was speaking to her but she couldn't hear him nor could she say anything to him. Her body was getting cold and she was going in and out of consciousness. "Zainab! Zainab! stay with me, stay awake you have to stay awake!" Cadde urged her as he felt along her body trying to find the source of the blood. His fingers found a piece of iron wedged firmly underneath Zainab left breast. Cadde looked around trying to find one of the professors. He couldn't do this! He wasn't a doctor. Zainab was. He was just an engineer. All around him Cadde saw bodies crying for help or bleeding to death. The air itself felt heavy around him and he barely could draw in air. As he held Zainab's hand Cadde sent a prayer to God asking him to save this girl that was so brave. This girl that withstood all that was thrown to her. This girl who had been his friend and confidant for the past five years. Cadde leaned down to beg Zainab to hold on and as he did Zainab thrust something in his hand. Cadde watched as her hand fell away from him and knew Zainab was gone.

In his hand lay a simple gold necklace with an inscription "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams".

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Asiye funzwa na mamaye hufunzwa na ulimwengu

Translated this means whomsoever is not taught by the mother will be taught with the world. It is a swahili proverb that I have heard repeated over and over again during the course of my life. It is funny when you really think about it because a mother is the first thing a child encounters in this world. The mother becomes the focus of the child and will continue to be so for millenniums to come no matter how much our society changes.

What role does a mother play then? She is a nurturer. She will pad the nest to protect her young and attack anything that comes close to them. She feeds the young and in the case of the homo sapiens build a protective shield around the young. This shield protects the young from the world and until this morning I never understood that there was one, or that I was also casting my own shield of sorts to protect others from the world.

I am here to inform you that it is an exercise in futility. It is impossible and very detrimental to the 'protectee'. This person will grow up thinking that life is A-Ok. This person will grow up not having a care in the world because the nurturer has done all they can to ward off the world. So is it then in our best interest to protect our young? Do we then not disable them and leave them prone to shock when they first encounter the real world?

What if the first time your child was bullied, instead of acting like a mother hen and talking to the parents of the other child or advising your child to walk away, you instead let your child figure out a solution themselves? What if the first time your child comes homes to find your spouse gone, you don't make up some lie about them being away for business or family emergency, and you actually told them that you were getting divorced? Will your child break or shatter into pieces?

YES, I know I am nuts but hear me out. Our personality and character are shaped by events that occur throughout our lives. If I hadn't gone through X,Y,Z I wouldn't be ina hebel, but now I wonder were there things my parents protected me from? If I had experienced them would I be someone else?

In essence I am wondering if we shouldn't, from the get go, let our children experience life and just be there as parents for them;a support system in place whereby they can come for advice or a hug or unconditional love. Could we go against our inherent need to shelter our young and let them feel grief/pain/torture/love/sadness/exhilaration/exasperation/etc? Would I be able to? Would I be wrong if I did that?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

O, I miss you

Dear O,

Tomorrow is the day my mother gave birth to you 29 years ago. I wonder how you are? If you are well? If you are happy? As I write this post I cry because I think of how lonely it is not to have a family around you. It has been three years since I saw you and two years since I spoke to you. I know that you are estranged from the family but I can't deny the ache I feel everytime I think of you and what has become of you. Will you ever forgive us? us you? I love you no matter what and I am not sure you believe that but you must, since you call me whenever you need me. Its the times in between that I worry about you the most, for I have no inkling of where you lay your head. I pray that you are happy in your life. I pray that you find peace in life. I pray that you forgive your parents for their decisions and forgive me for keeping away from you. I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday in my own way. I wanted to tell you I miss you, a lot. May God smile graciously on you today and all days. Be safe my brother for my life wouldn't be the same if you weren't alive and for that I dedicate this to you on your birthday. I love you. Always.

Your sister forever,

Monday, November 02, 2009

Lambeau Field welcomes Viking clad Favre

I wanted to write this post last night but I was too tired and emotionally drained to write it out. My God what a game. The most fantastic game I have watched for a while and that is saying a lot. When Favre hadn't called for the snap and Sullivan snapped the ball ,I saw the start of terrible things. GreenBay didn't fare well with the overturned ball and only got a field goal off that possession thanks to our DEFENSE. I mean Lambeau Field was filled with boos and hisses everytime Favre walked unto the field. They were getting to him psychologically, I thought. But, when he got the ball back due to Jolly's penalty and scored via AP I was assured Favre was back.

Second quarter found Favre dismantling GreenBay's defense. He went to TE Shiancoe for another touchdown. Third quarter Favre find WR Harvin who had good coverage on his route but for some odd reason GreenBay didn't go for the ball, matter fact the three guys toppled to the ground. 24 unanswered point later we finally get to see Aaron Rodgers get the protection he needs to find his game. Mind you he has already been sacked four times at this point. This is where the game starts. At the 12:58 mark of the third quarter GreenBay finally awoke from their slumber and made for a heart pounding second half. It all started with a weird kickoff from GreenBay. I think they got scared of Percy Harvin and the yards he gained on the returns. An overturned ball later GB gets a TD, another drive later TE Havner get another TD.

Fourth Quarter and we are neck and neck. A game that was considered a blowout in the first half had just turned into a nail biting, clock watching game. Favre finds Dugan for a TD and Rodgers gives us a perfect example of why he has the second most yards on GB rooster. Jennings gets the TD running an absolutely perfect route. I mean he had one on one coverage on the play and he scored. I was on pins and needles now. When AP went on that sideline I thought this is bananas, how can this game get any more exciting. We were not done yet. A couple plays later Favre finds Berrian and scores his 21st career 4th TD game and that ladies and gents was the best game I have seen in a long long time.

Let give credit where credit is due. Favre wasn't the X factor in this game and neither was AP. They both contributed a lot but my admiration goes to Mr Percy Harvin. WR Harvin had more yards than AP even though he had less carries than AP, not to mention his 77 yard return in the 1st quarter. That man can run! My admiration also goes to our defense. Mr Jared Allen, Williams x2, Edwards, Sapp and the rest of the crew. Vikings defense sacked Aaron Rodgers a total of 6 times and we are now leading with 7 wins under our belt. Lets not lose momentum! Come on Vikings!

Image source

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Imaginary Library

Mornings are never complete without perusing the NYTimes. I noticed there was a column about a competition by the experimental Parisian literary movement Oulipo – Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (“The Workshop of Potential Literature”). The rules of the competition are simple one only has to stack their imaginary library according to any category they desire. The library can be of movies, books or music.

An example could be: The Green Mile,The Color Purple, Purple Rain, Moulin Rouge. Lady in Red, The Hunt for Red October, Crimson Tide, A White Christmas, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, White Chicks, Pink Panther I & II, The Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Pitch Black, Black Hawk Down, Black Knight, The Golden Child.

Why don't you take a stab at it and see how skillful you are.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dream State

It was the first time my grandma was going to sit behind the wheels of a 400 horsepower engine equipped with a nitro tank. I questioned my decision but then I looked into her age lined face and I knew it was too late to back out now. The engine roared to life and off we went. She gripped the wheel tightly in her hands as she stared unblinkingly at the road ahead of her. We came to our first major intersection and I held on to my seat as I instructed her on merging techniques. I was starting to breath normally by the time we got to the fifth intersection. This one included a set of train tracks for the local tram. It was a six point intersection with traffic flowing in 12 different directions. I needed her to take the road leading into the tunnel. I explained that she needed to keep her eye on the road she needed and forget all the other roads. It was difficult for even an experienced driver to maneuver this intersection. The light turned green and off she went.

The car careened as she twisted the steering wheel to face the intersection she needed. My soul was left behind as her foot didn't ease off the accelerator. My hand grabbed the steering wheel as I yelled for her to slow down. I twisted it this way and that barely missing cars that were making their way unto the expressway ahead. I looked up in horror as I saw the red unblinking light of traffic jammed cars. I told my grandmother we are going to die. I held her head to my chest as my POV shifted from my body to my soul.

I watched from above my body as the car lost control and collided with the cement piers holding the flyover above the road. I watched as cracks begun to appear. I watched as the first pieces of cement begun to disintegrate and rain down on my car. I watched as I felt my body shutting down its function. My soul felt released and uninhibited.

I was emerging from a pool of water. There was a man standing by a set of clothes and he smiled as he looked at me. I felt more than saw my grandmother emerge from the water. I have been here before. Last time I was sent back. I looked at the broad shouldered man as he patiently waited for me. I opened my mouth to ask if I was dead. He smiled at me again. "Leyla! Leyla," came my mother's voice. She was on the other side of the pool. She looked confused as she beckoned me to the edge. " I am not of the living mama, " I told her. My eyes were swimming in tears as I knew this time I was not going to see her again. My mother shook her head at me. She looked past me to the man at the edge of the pool. Her face crumpled as its dawned on her that I wasn't coming towards her, I was making my way to the man. My heart was gripped in fear and I cried in agony knowing what awaits me. I never looked back to my mother but I heard her pitiful cries and invocations of the Lord's name. The man placed the garment around my body as he once again smiled at me.


I dreamt this last night and awoke with my eyes flush with tears. The image is so vivid that I had to write it down because it is rare that I dream and far more rare that I can remember the details.

A Motivational Dubya?

You ever heard of the series of seminars known as "Get Motivated"? It is geared to people who want to step up their game when it comes to selling themselves/their ideas/their products. Our former President, George W Bush Jr, and his wife are the newest addition to this year's circuit. They are supposedly going to earn over $100,000/hour long speech they give.

What I find interesting is this guy is actually going to promote the myth that you don't have to be competent to accomplish something. He went from being a C student in college, drinking and drug problems, failure at running a bunch of business to being a president for TWO terms of one of the most powerful nation in the world! Lets not forget he left office with a 22% approval rating.

So for all you people who live in the South, be sure to avail yourself to the talk he will give today in Ft Worth Texas. He will be joined on stage by Rudy Guiliani, Colin Powell and Terry Bradshaw. Make sure you carry a thick pad of paper and pen and write dammit. This man is a genius to have duped Americans into voting for him for two successive terms with all the baggage he carries. Either that or just get the name of his publicist.

Image source

Friday, October 23, 2009

Stabbed in the back II

Mahad stood stock still like a mannequin in a store front. His mind was stuck in a rut........What just happened? His gaze fell upon the pieces of the vase scattered on the carpet. It was a reflection of what was happening to his world. He silently walked to the edge of the bed and sat with his head cradled in hands. It couldn't be! She couldn't have found out, could she? Timiro's face kept materializing in front of him and he could almost touch the betrayal etched in her face. The laugh lines that he had learned to look for every time she broke out in a smile were obscured by the harsh and rigid form her face took on.

Suddenly something clicked and Mahad mobilized. He needed his phone, where was it? He looked at his bedside, her bedside, under the bed. Nope not there. He grabbed the home phone and dialed his mobile. He cocked his ear but still no sound. Mahad moved about the room peering this way and that and finally deduced that the phone must be somewhere else in the house. He called it again as he stepped out of the room. There! He could hear it. It was lying by the top of the staircase. As his eyes fell upon the screen, his worst fear was realized. Timiro must have read the text messages.

Next thing Mahad knew, he was flying down the stairs with his towel on. It was as he was yanking the front door open that he realized he had to at least get some clothes on. Bounding back up the stairs Mahad started strategizing. Ok all is not lost, Timiro suspects but she doesn't know everything. Right now she is thinking of the worst case scenario which was far from the truth.......yea yea.....I just need to get to her. Pulling open the drawers, Mahad slipped into his jeans and threw on his UMASS sweatshirt. He grabbed his phone and car keys as he hurried out the house. The car was still out front so she must have either gone with someone else or used public transport. There was only one place Timiro was going to go when she was distraught; her mother's.

Mahad called ahead to the airport and booked the first flight out of London. She couldn't get to her parent's before he talked to her. They have been waiting for this opportunity for months. He needed to hurry. Time was of the essence. It was do or die. This was for all the marbles and he knew this was one wrong he had to fix no matter what it took. Twenty minutes later and still alive, Mahad sprinted through the airport to get onboard the plane. He run through lines, explanations, justifications, excuses, conciliations, you name it Mahad analyzed the situation and the probability of its success. As the pilot announced the descent, Mahad said a silent prayer to God. His life depended on this moment. His actions in the next hour were going to determine the rest of his life. There were countless ways he could screw this up, a single word or phrase would send him to his doom.

Mahad, if you asked people who knew him, was a confident SOB. He was the type of guy who you sent to the negotiating table when you needed miracles to occur. His tongue was sweeter than honey and he understood his power, which made him a force to be reckoned with. But, today he felt like he was walking the last green mile. He mulled over his predicament as the taxi made its way to the train station. His eyes scrolled down the arrival timetable of the trains (on his Iphone) trying to figure out which one Timiro was on. He narrowed it down to two trains with the first one arriving in ten minutes. The taxi pulled up to the train station and Mahad handed the cabbie a note but didn't stick around for the change.

His feet felt heavy with lead as he criss-crossed the mass of people making their way to the exits. Mahad stood on the platform and scanned every head that alighted from the train. He was a foot taller than most people so this was an easy task, what wasn't easy was the staccato beat that pounded in his chest. He felt his body tense up and sweat poured out of his pores. Then his stomach dropped as he caught sight of Timiro's head bent in submission as she let herself be carried along by the masses. Mahad took a step forward and before he could make his move, her head rose and her eyes bore into his very soul. His breath caught in his throat as he fought the urge to turn tail and hide in shame. She stood forlorn as people pushed and shoved past her. He stood waiting as his willed his soul to carry his message to her. To tell her that nothing happened. To tell her that he was weak and had succumbed. To tell her that he hadn't betrayed her. He hadn't deserted her. Her sacrifices mattered. Her love mattered. She mattered!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stabbed in the back

Timiro lay her head against the glass and stared sightlessly as the landscape zoomed by her. She was on a train heading home to her mother in Manchester. She took a deep breath as she tried to suppress the anguish in her heart. She had been in her own house a few hours ago and now she was homeless and husbandless. Life can be so trifling at times. She closed her eyes as she retraced her morning.

She had awoken to a bright sunny day in London which was a blessing for that time of year. The sun streamed through the window lighting up the room and waking her up. She peered sleepily at her husband who was sick with the flu. He seemed to be slumbering peaceful so Alhamdullilah he must be on the mend. Slowly putting her foot on the ground Timiro run down the list of things she ought to do today. The kids needs to be dropped at school, she needed to pick up some grocery, she had a GP appointment and she also need to go pick up her husband's suits from the cleaners. He was going back to work tomorrow and she knew he would require his power suit.

Timiro bustled around the house for the next couple hours getting the kids ready and when she finally was ready to leave the house she went to check on her hubby. He was still sleeping bless his heart. Timiro moved closer to check his temperature and noticed his phone blinking. She reached down to move it out of the way and place it on the table so as not wake him when something on the screen flashed for attention. It was a text message, no a few text messages. Something told Timiro to open it but she didn't dare. She had moved past that now. She was at a better place when it came to her husband, but still something nagged at her. As she left the room Timiro realized that she still had the phone in her hand.

"Hey baby. I missed you. Call me when you get this message."

"Hey hope you feeling better. I was thinking about you. Call me."

"Hey wondering what you are doing. Can't wait to talk to you"

Her mind reeled with shock as her knees suddenly felt weak. Timiro grasped the banister for support as she reread the messages. Was he cheating on her? Disbelief was quickly followed by anger. How dare he? After all the effort she put forward? How could he do that? Timiro felt sick to her stomach and slowly let her body slide to the ground. Her mind stopped functioning as a wave of pain followed by righteous anger washed over her. It wasn't possible......It just wasn't. What did she do wrong? What was missing in their marriage? Why didn't he talk to her about it?

Questions upon questions flooded her mind but none had an answer. She wanted to wake him and shake the answers out of him when her little girl's voice called for her. Timiro's mind focused on her child's voice as she wiped the angry tears from her eyes. She got up slowly using the banister as support and made it downstairs. She bundled the kids in the car and drove them to school. She called her GP and cancelled her appointment. She came home and grabbed a bag from the closet. She marched upstairs not mindful of any noise she caused. Walking into their bedroom she saw that he was awake. There was no one on the bed. Timiro opened her bag and started throwing things in there. Shirt, skirts, abaya, bras, panties, hijabs, tights, perfumes. It all went in helter skelter. She didn't care if there was order or disorder. Her life was over! Her marriage was over!

She heard the bathroom door open and turned her malicious eyes to her husband. His smile froze on his lips as he took in the scene. Crash! Timiro threw the vase by her bedside across the room at him.

" How could you? This is the thanks I get for marrying you and sticking it out for all these years? Fuck you! I hope she is a disease ridden piece of trash! I hope you die! Don't you come close to me.......I can't stand looking at you!"

Timiro yanked her bag from the floor and proceeded to bulldoze her way out of the room. She grabbed her purse and keys on her way out the door and with tears streaming down her eyes she walked to the nearest train station. She figured she had an hours head start on him before the shock wore off and her husband came looking for her.

She got off at Euston station and proceeded to the ticketing area. She got the earliest train to Manchester. She didn't let her mind catch up with her body till she sat herself in her seat, but now an hour into the journey she couldn't help but recall everything vividly. She wondered if he will come looking or what the kids will say when they come home and found her gone? She slowly let her body heave the anguish out of her as her sobs racked her body. Her insides felt gutted and worse she knew that there was no turning back now. The story had been written and the ink had dried.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Are you a snitch?

If you saw a crime being committed would you tell the authority? Would you tell the authority even if you know the person is of your race/qabil/clan/family? Would you tell the authority even if you know that you are placing your life in danger?

I have heard of so many crimes that happen within our community and there are witnesses who can identify the perps but they keep their mouths shut. This is not a spectacle found only in Somalis but also in the African American, Latino, African, Pakistani, basically most immigrant communities.

I have always wondered why we bundle up the perps and send them somewhere else to evade the authorities. Don't we ever put ourselves in the victim's family shoes? How would you feel if you loved one was hurt and there were plenty of people who saw it but no one came forward. You are left wondering if there is any justice in this world.

We should stop this STOP SNITCHING campaign. Seriously, its our own people we are hurting by protecting these thugs and killers. Trust me you are doing them a disservice by protecting them from the consequences of their crimes. I am sure its really hard to see someone you love being incarcerated especially if you are the tool behind that but please think of the victim's family and SNITCH!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Snow on the ground

Its snowing in October. I am so looking into those school in the Caribbean now.

I have something I have to do but don't want to do. How does one resolve having two minds about something? Xuujo socooto!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I wish I could throw a fit!

As a child it is so much easier to get what you want. You throw a tantrum and if all goes well the adult will get tired of shushing you and giving you time outs and hand you your heart's desire. As an adult it is much difficult to get what you want especially if its something you cannot/aren't supposed to have. What do you do then to quench your heart's desire?

Oh lawd give me strength :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Eid Mubarak Ya Muslimin

This is probably the last day before Eid. Inshallah I hope we have all reaped the benefits of this blessed month. There are a couple reminders though. One, Inshallah is that whatever you were doing in Ramadhan that was good that you continue in the same fashion after Ramadhan. The other is that we remember to fast the first 6 days of Shawwal. This holds great rewards.

Here are a couple duas to say leading up to Eid-ul-Fitr:

Before last Iftar:

Oh Allah, please accept all of my prayers, fasting, and remembrance of You during this blessed month.Please forgive me for the shortcomings in my worship and help me improve by next Ramadan.Ya Allah, help me continue the good habits I have acquired during Ramadan.Oh Allah, please make me of the righteous, the guided, and those You love.Ya Allah, please guide me and my family to the Straight Path and help us become excellent Muslims for Your sake.I worship only You and only from You do I seek help. Please increase Your bounty for me.

For EID:

Ya Allah, open our hearts towards our neighbors.Ya Allah, open the hearts of our neighbors towards us.Ya Allah, unite the Muslims in the USA and the world to serve Allah's creation to please Him.Ya Allah, give Sabr (patience) and freedom to the innocent prisoners and guide those who are at fault.Ya Allah, You take care of the oppressed. Please help the oppressed in Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, India, Chechnya, Somalia and other parts of the world.Ya Allah, guide oppressors to the right path and move the hearts of extremists from the harmful path.Ya Allah, give wisdom to our leaders; accept their sacrifice; bless them with more courage.

I pray that we all have a wonderful Eid in an Islamic fashion.

Image source

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thought of the day

I saw this and thought to myself how times have changed. I miss the days when my mom asked me where I came from when I strolled in, not that I came home at odd hours, its just that I had a guilty look. I remember once during winter, I walked in with chapped lips that I had been licking all day and my mom thought I had been snogging some poor fella. I had to give her a good 15 mins explaination as to why my lips looked red and irritated.

Now that I have proved myself to be a miskiin she doesn't check up on me as she used to. At times she even gives me a wide berth making me feel guilty when I arrive home anytime after midnight. Cherish those moments gals (I can't believe I am saying that) for when your momma stops asking you where you have been it means its time for you to get hitched to a band-wagon.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

My book of rhymes

I luv Nas. I am by no means anything as creative as he is or MOS DEF/TALIB/BLACK ICE/TAALAM etc but I can string a few sentences together. Here are a few of these so called sentences from my book of rhymes.

Forever in turmoil

pursuant of your affection

residing in eternal

limbo awaiting

anticipating your every need

Forever yours

never my own

searching faithfully

for my love

for our love

Forever looking

hoping to find

a mirror that will

reflect the truth

of you and I

Forever mine

yours no more

alas, I have

always known

it was all for



Hear me

and allow me to become your resounding board

allow me to strum the strings that used to be us

found between then and now

allow me then to relive the sweet sorrow

Listen to me

and allow my voice to reverb within your soul

as I beat out my agony on your drums

hoping you understand that

I am but a dancer without a soul

a writer without a scroll

an orchestra without a horn

Listen to me

as I beat out life's rhythms with my shackles

hear as the bass merges with the treble

as the blood adds to the sound

as the beats rise and fall.


as you finally hear that

all I want is to be free.

This was a piece written after reading another person's poem.

Do we ever cross paths in a different life
Do you recognize me then
or can I form a new identity
one which will mirror your desires
mingle with your flesh
dance with your soul
and sleep in your warmth.

Like a lotus in a swamp
a beautiful friend is a find
You dry my tears with your words
and set me on my way with your charm
I love your big graceful hands
thats guide me through rain or sun
I am forever glad to have found the one
who'll be there even when I am down.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Listening to Arias

I have spent all day listening to Arias because I can and its the only time that my mind finds peace. Most of my fam and friends think I am an odd ball whenever I go to catch my fav opera at the local house. I think if I lived in New York I would probably be broke from buying tickets all the time. I remember when I went to Sydney, my delight at being in THE FAMED OPERA HOUSE and sitting in my chair. It was like a dream come true. I can't wait for next season because there are a couple shows I want to catch, like Strauss' Salome and Puccini's La Boheme. For now here is a sample of one of those arias that people know but don't recognize as being part of Rossini's The Barber of Seville.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Taraweh Prayers

This will be short and sweet. I was ruminating on how some people act when they are at the mosque. To me, a mosque is a place of worship and not a daycare center. If you are a mother and your child is fussy or needs constant attention, I don't think it is fair for you to bring it to the mosque where your attention should be on worship. I like kids but I do think that it is intolerable to have six/seven children do nothing but fuss/walk around/play in front of you when you are praying and listening to Khutbah. I have the same problem during Juma prayers but it is significantly worse when its day in and out. I specifically cherish my Taraweh prayers and don't want to leave the masjid feeling like my attention was elsewhere the whole entire time.

Please leave your children at home or if you can't just stay home with them. It is after all Sunnah.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ramadhan Kareem

Its our version of new year. What is your resolution this year?

Mine is to find inner peace. My history is littered with people who have used and abused me and my nature. I have always said in my mind that they are forgiven and that I harbor no ill feelings towards it. I now realize that was all a facade. Deep down I loathe these people and wish them nothing but evil things. So this Ramadhan, I will attempt to really try to forgive these people.

There is a hadith about two brothers in Islam standing in front of God during the day of judgement. One is the oppressor and the other is the oppressee (not a word but you catch my drift). The oppressed brother asks God to take all the good deeds from the oppressor and give them to him. God did this. Then the oppressed brother asks God to take all his bad deeds and give them to the oppressor. God instead gives him a glimpse of Heaven. There is a big beautiful house in his line of vision and the brother asks God if the house belongs to a prophet? shahid? most righteous? sahaba? God says no that is your house if you forgive your brother for his deeds. The brother forgave his oppressor.

I have to attempt to forgive and it is difficult because I hold all the things that hurt me deep within. I don't let anyone know about it and the times when I do let it out via tears I hide in my room when the whole house is asleep. It is only in forgiving others that I can face Allah and ask for forgiveness.

When asking Allah for forgiveness it has to come from the bottom of your heart. You should liken the feeling to drowning. Imagine yourself lost in sea with only a plank of wood keeping you afloat. Then your plank breaks apart and you start drowning. As you head dips under you move your legs and come up gasping for air, then you go right back down. This is repeated several times till your energy is spent and you finally accept your fate. As the light on the surface of the water slowly dims you find that little reserve of energy to get back to the surface and take a gulp of air. You should ask God for forgiveness as if its that last bit of air before you drown. It should come from some primal level of survival, and it is in this moment that some people shed tears.

I wish you all a wonderful Ramadhan and good luck with your resolutions.

Image source

Friday, August 21, 2009

Apology to My Unborn-Bassey Ikpi

I fear that you will never sleep
that like these fingers long and too thin
to hold rings or commitments
you will inherit your mother’s insomnia
your father's restless spirit

Child, I wish I could quiet all your questions
tell you the exact number of stars in the sky
Wish I could show you where the moon goes at sunrise
I want to give you one morning worth rising for
I pray that you will close your eyes
see the world through the only thing
I have fit to pass down to you
this heart of a dreamer

But I want you stronger sooner
want you kind and brave
want you unafraid to fight
for what you believe and need
want you beautiful and free
want you nothing like your mother
this girl trembling before each new day
this girl frightened of herself

love this girl who finds the word ‘woman’
a cloak too heavy to don most days
you deserve someone who wears the moniker like banner
carries easy like sun in summer
but, child, what can I tell you of peace
when you were probably conceived in a cacophony of questions

Still, I think of you as possible
can feel the breath of God light against your skin
can hear you, softness, eyes closed laughing
real as the beating staccato against my chest

I wish that we are not too much like shadow and brick
voices thrown against walls
these hands are tired of building

I want you to like me
To know me
To know me now
In moments like this
your mother lays awake
watching, yet, another morning from the wrong side
practicing slow this breathing that will one day usher you into this world

I still fear that you will never know sleep
but I know that I need your laughter
need the gentle curve of your fingers
need your eyes locked on mine
need you here,
for balance

I still think you deserve more than
this threat of me as your mother
still attempting her own world of colored things
but child, just promise me that you will be, eventually
I need your possibility
like I need a night worth sleeping for

Image source

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The end

Muna drummed her fingers to Drake's new song as she skirted Shoreview. She was feeling good after watching a movie with a friend and spending some quality time. Her feet weren't as sore any more and neither was her back. She stretched her right foot tentatively to reach the brake pedals and a pain shot through her leg. Muna cursed loudly and adjusted her seat to prevent any more pain. Another shot of pain went through her body and this time it wasn't in her foot. Muna grabbed at her chest. It felt like needles piercing her veins. She removed her foot from the gas pedal and breathed deeply. One breath.....two breath......she slowly felt the band easing on her chest.

As she relaxed, she eased her foot back on the gas pedal. Her right eye suddenly went dark. Muna's instinct told her to pull over but she again breathed. One breath.........two breath............three breath.........four breath. Still her right eye remained sightless. Muna knew it would be another 5 minutes before she could pull into her garage. Her mind started sprinting ahead of her thoughts. Hospital......ER........pull faster..............pull to the ER.

Her breath was coming in gasps. She couldn't draw in any air no matter how wide she opened her mouth. The world was losing color and her partial vision narrowed. It was nearly over. "Did I pray today?" No. Did I read the Quran? No. God let me live and I will be the most devout believer there ever was. Muna was wheezing now as her bronchioles constricted. I love life. I have much to do. Not now. Muna grabbed at her shirt collar. She could feel her grip on the world loosening. The car was banking to the right and she barely had any strength left in her body.

Muna in her purple dress with a doll standing in front of a house. Beep! Muna crying on the phone with her sister before flying to USA. Screech! Muna kissing her grandma's forehead before the kafan covered her forever. Crash! Muna in a kafan in the earth.Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Muna in complete darkness awaiting.

There is a war going on outside,
no man is safe from,
you can run
but you can't hide forever
from me
-Mobb Deep

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jawaahir Dance

Last night I went with my friend to watch the Jawaahir dance group perform at the Southern theatre by Seven Corners in Minneapolis. There were some parts of the performance that I didn't quiet enjoy but for the most part it was very well done. There was a live band playing and I loved loved the oud player. I swear I was in tears when he was singing. The other song wasn't bad either and off course the tabla solo was excellent. One of the violin players looked familiar, till I realized he is a presenter on public access TV.

Cassandra has a very subtle dance style and unless you realize that, you are likely to discount her as not so good. I loved her performance especially the arm and finger movements. They were mesmerizing. The show is still going on till the end of this week and on Wednesday its pay as you are able. It is very informal because you can meet the dancers at the end of the perfomance and talk with the them.

Its been a while since I danced to arabic tunes and watching the show made me hunger for it. So, my friend and I are going to attend a belly dancing class just for kicks. I am pretty sure I can still learn a few things especially the figure eight shake. So for all you MPLS guys, check out the show and hope you like the music as much as I did.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mother Nature is the best teacher

There is a new science in town and its known as Biomimicry. It is the science of emulating nature to create human technology that is cost effective and in tune with leaving mutualistically with the rest of the living organisms on earth. Humans are the biggest consumers on earth and to add insult to injury we are wasteful. To minimize our impact on earth some scientist/technologist have taken it upon themselves to study nature and model solutions to human problems from these studies.

Nature is very resourceful and never wasteful. Take for example the lotus never gets dirty even though it grows in swampy areas. Why is that? Most people think its because it is smooth but in reality the lotus leaves have bumps on them that resemble a mountainscape. Therefore when dirt particle rests on the leaves they teether on these bumps, and when it rains the drops of water are able to cart them off the leaves as a rolling snow balls would pick up leaves. Thusly paints companies are trying to mimic this effect and some have accomplished them.

So next time you are outside, study nature. You might just find the solution to drought or famine in the microscopic/macroscopic world of mother nature.

Image source

Friday, August 14, 2009


For the first time in months I awoke without feeling lethargic. I hope this is the start of many days like this. I was actually contempleting going to an accupuncturist and having my Chi analyzed. I still might but for now I want to relish the feeling of energy coursing through my veins. Have a wonderful Friday folks. One more week to Ramadhan!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Ever think about crows?

They are those pesky birds that are forever cawing at someone. They leave their poop all over your car just after you have washed it. They are mostly disliked till Joshua Klein came up with this genius idea of building a vending machine that is mutually beneficial to both our species (crows and humans).

During his talk Joshua Klein mentions a University of Washington study on crows. So I proceeded to look this up even though I distinctly remember listening to a show on NPR about crows. Professor Marzluff asked his students to wear a caveman mask whenever they tagged the crows. Why would he do that you ask? Well, because once, when someone was trying to get rid of a crow near their home they were forever cawed by the crows in the neighborhood and pretty soon it caught on and even crows that weren't in the neighborhood recognized him. So Marzluff performed the experiment and proved that crows recognized the caveman mask even when it was upside down.

So next time you think about killing a crow think about this two distinct stories about crows.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

He gets sworn in today

Ahmedinejad gets sworn in today as president elect of Iran. Its a sad day and I hope that by some miracle or rather he doesn't fulfill his oath. By the by, seem like US is ok with working with him, after calling him the elected president of Iran when they can tell that he stole the election. I am disappointed in Obama from not taking a stance against Ahmedinejad's presidency.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Evo Morales

Gotta give it up for Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia. He has given the right to vote for self governance to Bolivia indigent population. Whether this will pass and be implemented is yet to be seen. The vote will take place in December amid the elections. The Bolivian elite is not happy to say the least but I think it is high time for the colonialist to restore some power equilibrium to natives of the land. These poor people have been under the thumb of Spanish settlers for years and I wonder if the vote for power of autonomy, what will they accomplish?

Sunday, August 02, 2009


Recently I have taken to tearing up whenever I hear any news of Iran. I am not sure why I feel such empathy for them. Puzzled at my excessive show of emotion, I have taken to avoiding any posts about them or any radio chatter. I am distraught at how no one is bothered with these courageous people. These people who have had a civilization since the era of King Darius (c. 500 BC). They are survivors and in my book stand up for their ideals. They have gone through much with the Shah's coup, Islamic revolution and now Ahmedinajad.

To see the pictures of the young people gathering together to show their contempt at the obvious tamperings of the election results. Hearing stories of brave youth who despite their parents pleas go out and face the Basij day in and out. I find myself asking what then of our youth? Why are we so quick to turn our backs to the horrors committed in Somalia? Do we not have the same blood coursing through our veins? Do we not empathize with the lost souls who are forever left in that desolate country?

I feel that if we want to have a viable country with a functioning government (of the people) then perhaps we should be willing to stand up for those ideals. Not via monetary means or by sitting together and having a hypothetical conversation about it but by taking the bull by the neck and wringing it. It took centuries for democracy to take root in the west. We can't expect it to occur immediately. It is a process albeit a long one but it is one that we should commit to and hopefully our children's children will live to see it. Just like the Iranians are committed to it and are not giving up on it even in the face of death/torture/life imprisonment.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

King of Pop

Its with astonishment that I realize the King of Pop will no longer be. I still remember the first night I sat with my siblings to watch the release of Thriller. I peeped in between my fingers whenever the dead came out of the grave but I couldn't help trying to learn to moves in the video. MJ's was the first CD I received from my boyfriend when we were dating and I still have it. I even have a nasheed that he purportedly sung. He will be missed by the masses but the MJ I fell in love with left a long time ago and I think I had already mourned him. May God place him in his good graces. Amin.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Perfect Private Parts

Thursday evening as I was catching up on my recorded shows, I noticed a program running on BBC America. The title intrigued me enough to postpone my DVR viewing. I snuggled into my blanket a little bit as I berated myself for cleaning up my dinner plate at BELLA. The show was a documentary about cosmetic surgery that women want performed on their private parts due to self esteem issues. The show was hosted by a middle aged lady with two children. She followed a young girl as she set out to have the surgery performed. Asked why the young girl felt a need to have the surgery performed she mentioned that her mates laughed at her and her sister telling her potential boyfriend that she was a little lippy down there. She felt that perhaps if she thinned out her labia she would be more confident. This young lady didn't even go to her doc to have pap smears due to her feelings of disgust for her private parts. The camera follows her into the one day surgery room whereby she is given a local numbing agent as she braces herself for the knife. The surgery takes a few minutes and the young lady leaves to tend to her wounds at home. The surgeon informs the host the he performs between 10-15 surgeries of the labia per month.

Next the lady goes to some sculptor who is casting women's private parts in order to show the variations. She is hoping that this helps dissuade young girls from going under the knife all to gain a 'designer p****' . The host gets her private parts cast.
The host sends one of interviewees to get her private part cast in hopes that she will not decide to have surgery. It works with the woman and she realizes she is not in any need of surgery and she actually is overcome emotionally. The host then heads off to interview an alternative therapy practitioner. In therapy apparently women are made to look at themselves and perhaps have a one on one confrontation with their private parts. Its a bizarre session and almost borders on new agey to me. Another interviewee ends up going with the host to the alternative therapy session. This young woman seems to have some issues with how she looks like down there and is presumably at peace with herself at the end of the session.

The coup de grace for me was when the whole issue of hymenoplasty. This issue brought up the subject of religious as well as cultural beliefs that are close to home. Women in our culture are judge on the purity during the wedding night. In the documentary a muslim girl is frantic to get the surgery so to hide the fact that she is not a virgin from her parents as well as her bethroed. The host ask a young indian/paki man if he expects to marry a virgin and he adamantly said that there was no way he would marry anything other than a virgin even though he might not be expected to be a virgin himself. Its a double standard that most women have to deal with. The host is overcome with tears as she notes that western women pride themselves for their sexual liberation and here they were chopping their bits all because they felt inferior to images that men have of them.

"Its all about presentation ain't it. When I have a meal I wouldn't like it to look like its being slapped together would I?" exclaimed a painter. All in all I knew about hymenoplasty for a while and used to think women were dumb even to undergo that since the hymen is cartilaginous tissue that can break by the simple act of riding a bike/camel/horse. Women are made differently Mashallah and some women can be married and still have their hymen intact. Its an odd world when a woman worth is judged by things beyond her control.