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Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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Syria

i try to bury the pain and blink

i try to bury the pain and blink.
with eyes moving from tab after tab, ears focused on the mechanical tapping of keyboards, i try to forget their names.

The first tab led me to 9gag. A GIF of a “normal night” in an english pub flashed before my eyes. Drunken men fighting each other, brawling for fun. It was supposed to make me laugh— but it didn’t. The images of bodies thrown on burning houses played at the back of my mind. Blood flows to the river banks as the women of Rohingya shout in pain.

blink.

I clicked the second tab that led me to Bored Panda. A list of surprisingly simultaneous historical events that will change the way you think of history caught my eye. I couldn’t get past after the odds of Prisoners Arriving At Auschwitz Just Days After Mcdonald’s Was Founded were mentioned. I felt my stomach flipped at the thought of death camp. My mind traveled back to Syria. What are the odds of living for the displaced refugees? Then to indonesia, will they be handed their rights?

blink.

On a desparate attempt to shun the looming gloom in my head, I tried the last tab. The literature page, my second virtual haven next to my blog. The poetry section listed Edgar Allan Poe’s A Dream Within a Dream on the top. His words pierced me with added force and I plunged into the depths of helplessness head first. Is this life just one big false awakening? Are the endless murders and tortures just part of a nightmare?

i try to bury the pain and blink.
closing the tabs, unplugging the chords, i stared at the black screen
hoping to forget their names.


I wrote this a month ago, on one afternoon I immersed myself in the world news. I did not publish it because I was disheartend with what was happening. Still is. But back then the pain was too raw for me to share it in this blog. The cynic and existentialist in me has taken over my head, asking questions that could not be answered. Or perhaps I just do not accept.

Justice, basic rights, peace.

Will the refugees ever get a chance to live with these? Or are we only good at sulking back to our chairs?

Their blanket is the sky

alone, alternative, bird, children, fly, game, grunge, hands, imagination, kids, light, mistery, photo, photograpy, pigeon, play, shadow, shot, silhouette, soft, strange, window

Their blanket is the sky.

He listens to their  voices, whispering and laughing as they play with the shadows beneath the waxing moon. A girl, about four, stretches her hands. Her thumbs interlock to form a butterfly’s body, her fingers extend to form its wings. Arms high in the thin air, the shadow begins to flap. She is Haya and her brother, Alan, joins the fun.

“Yanam,” he shouts from a distance and the two dancing butterflies stopped. Colored mats cover the pavement. Linen bed sheets create a makeshift room in the dim space that is now a home. The children race towards their father, laugh as if they haven’t jumped over dead bodies during the day. As if they weren’t chased away and reduced to sleeping in the streets.

Their blanket is the sky.

In a parallel universe the night is undoubtedly romantic. In another world the moon and the stars are poetic. But this is reality. The asphalt still smell of blood. Life is still a ticking bomb. And his wife is still dead.

His lips curved into a weak smile at the thought of his wife. For the first time he was glad she picked their children’s names. Haya means “life” and Alan means “rock.” The woman must have seen it coming.

“Yanam,” he repeats and they all went to sleep.


For the months that I haven’t been blogging, I find myself immersed in the world news. Most specifically with the pains and pathos of Africa and the Middle East. What these people are going through is painful in its reality. It is disheartening in its truth.

I wrote this piece few weeks ago, inspired by an article about Syrian civilians fleeing Deraa. I was half-hearted then but decided now that I should go ahead and post it. Just as Banksy tries to make a voice with his art, this is my attempt with words.

Image source: Favim

e=mc2

no-future-girl-balloon-by-banksy

e=mc2

what do the children say
about special relativity?
when they neither had
a space to live and
a time to be free?

when past, present and future
were never in their grasp
when limbs, tears and blood
were all that they have

ask them an equation
they only have one:
the end is equivalent to the
mass of people multiplied by
the square of the speed of bomb

© 2017 Maria. All Rights Reserved.


In response to dVerse’s Open Link Night hosted by Grace.

This piece is also inspired Bjorn’s prompt at Toads.  The photo above is from Banksy. In 2010, Banksy did another version of his Balloon Girl with a monochrome child, spray-painted on the wall of a private house in Bevois Valley, Southampton, England.

 My heart bleeds for the people of Syria, especially the children. The alleged gas attack from Assad regime in a rebel-held town in Idlib has killed many innocent souls. Who really did this? We’ll never really know. One thing is for sure, mankind has become most dangerous animal in this world. And, sadly, the leader could only respond with a missile airstrike. Sigh. Poets around the globe are unleashing their swords through their pens. Here are some of them that you might want to read:

Instagram: #withsyria
Bjorn’s Another Name for Terror
Jade’s An Elegy for Them

Head over here to join the fun:

dverse

Home

a-syrian-refugee-holding-009-640x384

Home
By Warsan Shire

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 travelled
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.
i 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

Main photograph by Daniet Etter/New York Times/Redux /eyevine. Laith Majid cries tears of joy and relief that he and his children have made it to Europe.


Sharing this stunning piece because it deserves to be read, heard and felt. So much love for her words. ❤

Warsan Shire is a Kenyan-born Somali poet, writer and educator based in London. Born in 1988, Warsan has read her work extensively all over Britain and internationally – including recent readings in South Africa, Italy, Germany, Canada, North America and Kenya

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