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.

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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.

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Categories
thoughts

Writing poetry

Creating art, for me, is almost always an act of catharsis. Poetry is an interesting form of expression: when I am writing it, I am usually in a heightened state of lucidity.

A first step feels like all of my mental faculties are working simultaneously on extracting a lived experience.

A second step is more challenging: translation. Taking the language of memories, emotions, thoughts, sensations, et cetera, and finding words and phrases that validate them.

In that way, art (in this case, poetry), is like a vessel that contains more than just its author’s creativity, time, and literacy. It is like a vessel that contains a microcosmic view of the author’s particular experience of their world.

Unfortunately, poetry is not as readily accessible to an audience as, for example, a song, especially in the way that the author intended it to be received.

Insomuch as that may be the case, is it not a beauty of poetry that it elicits different interpretations from different people? All of whom are reading the same work, but each of whom connects with the poem as per their own lived experiences?