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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.

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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

Only Will

I gave up, friend
It’s a long story
But I gave up
The worst part of it is
Losing the spring in my step
Losing the fun in my heart.
Sparking joy out of nothingness,
I don’t have that anymore

I wish it were a spell
It’s a long story
The story is irrelevant

Now all I have left is will
I can will myself to live
To run with the rats!

I can will myself to forget
The story, reason
More at ease with the inevitable
Everyday complicity

But will alone leaves one hollow
Like an empty husk
I know what it is I lost
I cannot will it
Will is all I have

Originally written in early 2014