Categories
Poems

My Homes

There
There I exit a home
Onto a street
A perpetual noise
Warmth radiates from every surface
The wind is constant
The sea beautiful and vast
A mere distance away
Nothing too far
To be drowned at whim

I like it there
For many reasons
Mirth is passed from hand to hand
Not portioned and accounted
Smiles come as easily
As pain

Here
Here I exit a home
Onto a street
Quiet
The silence always a foreshadow
Overwhelms the scenery
Blank stares
Generalized coldness
I can make this work
This is my here
The water is tame
And far enough

I like it here
For many reasons
Peaceful and safer
So much space
Enough space to keep out
And be kept out
Effortlessly

Written Spring 2020

Categories
Poems

Gatekeepers

With its perpetual gatekeepers
Self-championing
Panicked by sights
Of difference
Their flat affect
Flummoxed breathing
Pens clawing at writing pads
Frantic, mad inspectors

“Cannot be allowed”
Are you looking?
Gasp
Writing pads jerked
Closer to their hollowed out chests
Exposed internal organs
Glossy and dripping
With no beat
Their notes top secret
They presume

The results are in
Your irregular corners
Were not assembly-lined
The blemishes are here
Here and there and there
Foundation built on strange earth
Alien
This just cannot be allowed

And yet my results are also in
Strike normativity
Push this sick monoculture
Reshape its edges
Until it is unsightly
Enough to allow all shapes
And hold it open
Until the gatekeepers
Rigid antiquated beasts
Melt
Like wicked witches

Categories
Poems

Beauty

Abundant
It fills our streets
Blown around by the wind
Or splashed by fast cars

Don’t blink
It’s in the brief moments
Before and during
The familiar and the strange
Greet each other
You might miss it

It’s in the gleam of knowing eyes
In the air that fills lungs
Inhaled for life
And then expelled
Back into the ether

It weaves its way
In and around
Filling spaces of
Intentions and actions
Of the moving and the still
Of the enduring
And the eroding

As equally sought after
As it is misclassified
Misattributed
And overlooked
Eternally demanded
And damned

Noticing beauty
Takes a keen mind
Sharing it
Takes love
And creating it…
That takes courage

Categories
Poems

Notes

Quarter tonic
Sugar with sugar
Sweet tongue
Semolina Lena

Noncognizant strikes
Dodge brother, dodge
Relentless moving
Those dark eyes always worth it

What I would give
To make this right
To step out of character
Or am I in one now?

Tired of this
Fearing its endlessness
The closer I am to one
The farther I am from both

When the notes I hear
Or the words, dear
My world flips
But I’m quarter built

Flipping like it’s
Practice makes perfect
Play the notes, play
As close as I can get

Limits limit
But memories punish
Flabbergasted and expectant
What are you doing? Incredulous

I am flipping and practicing
Playing notes and replaying nostalgia
Giving love like watering the parched
Learning to strike the balance

Leave me be, demons
You turn sustenance into air
After I’ve fed my soul
I shall have my peace

Categories
Poems

“To my friends…”

I know you, friend,
I recognize my self in you,
Your countenance a canvas of your heart,
Or a parchment with ink bright red,
I’ve never met you,
But I see the part of you,
That would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me,
Respect, dignity, and solidarity our shared language,
You have my gratitude.

It is so difficult to find you,
A necessity,
If it was so easy,
Then they would find us,
With their language of conformity and violence,
Copy-cats of blind majority,
Bent on propagating and steering,
We recognize the steps of their dance,
From a mile away,
We try to steer clear,
But sometimes our shared language,
Calls on us to act.

To the scoundrels,
I know you,
I recognize my self in you,
But that was an old self,
I left it behind long ago,
A fossil,
I’ve never met you,
But I see the part of you,
That would hurt me,
For entertainment,
Or derived righteousness,
Humanity’s parroting scoundrel.

================

Author’s note: I dedicate this poem to Sarah Hegazi (Rest in Power), a queer feminist activist from Egypt who recently passed away while seeking asylum here, in Canada, and to all who are navigating and surviving cruelness and systemic injustice.

Categories
Poems

Kindness and the Fool

The Fool is eternal,
Always there to greet you,
Under any circumstance,
With a cold grin,
That spreads from ear to ear.

The Fool comes to You,
Without a finger lifted,
The way you wish Kindness did,
But Kindness is no one’s weakness,
The exact opposite,
Of what the Fool consoles you:

“You’ve been hurt,”
The Fool cups your heart,
With a comforting hand,
Wicked with long sharp talons,
“Sharpen your words with my whetstone,
Brandish your daggers,
Red-hot your brand,
So as to leave them with a mark,
They shall soon not forget!
Ready your fiery whip,
If they show you kindness,
A sign of weakness,
An opportune instant,
To lash them across the cheek,
Leave them with a kiss,
A reminder of what is to come,
When they move against you.”

You look at Kindness,
Their back turned to you,
And so you lash your whip,
No obstacle to distract your aim,
A smile plays on your lips.

You’re winning,
Protected,
Dignity restored,
You were hurt,
Doesn’t Kindness understand?
That complete and utter fool.

You are legion,
Kindness has their back turned,
Not on You,
But on the Fool’s army.
What else would you call an army,
Of recruits who whip,
Lash and stab each other?
Unaware of any common cause,
Or of the mission?

Every now and then,
When there comes,
A synchronous lull,
Within their ranks,
Kindness sends some words,
For those who might know,
How to listen:

“I am Kindness,
I am a difficult choice,
As eternal as your Fool.

In my care,
A legion,
Moving in unison,
They do not gain dignity,
By taking it from another,
Their worth immeasurable.

Your whips, brands, daggers, and words,
Leave only marks quickly healed,
My followers are survivors,
Humanity’s caretakers and builders,
Veterans of Fools’ armies.

In spite of and despite,
They choose to be kind,
The deepest of gashes in their hearts,
Scarified,
But yours continue to bleed,
Comforting talons digging ever deeper,
Every time you look to the Fool.”

Categories
Poems

Working Peace

Breathe,
slow and deep,
It is this that soothes.
Compose,
your self,
It is this that readies.
Endure and accommodate,
You must,
It is this that allows its existence.
Focus,
a warning if you don’t;
if you dare an act of self-relevance
it may disturb your focus,
Focus
Indeed and well,
but you will be weary
if not wary,
It is this that takes away what can’t be returned.