Not in the shape or form you’d prefer us to be, Pale skin, straight hair, and eyes as blue as the sea,
Too dark, too kinky, too uncontrollably free. Fear enraptures you when you realize our complexity.
Glistening in the sun, this melanin protects us, Not from UV rays, but the privilege shading you from the world’s reality.
A reality that is rooted in the beauty and torment of struggle. Struggles that make blessings that much sweeter and obstacles seemingly surmountable.
Not to uplift your sense of supremacy, but rather to remind you of our shared humanity. Indebted to our common Creator who made us all in the most perfect of forms. Yet, you use His Majesty to justify your scorn.
So restrain your ego and recognize your finite existence in this world.
For when the end comes and we are forgotten. When flesh is gone, and organs rotten. When bones remain six feet under. Our bodies may undoubtedly look the same, but our legacies, our legacies will not be.
I began a complex puzzle the day that I was born,
The macro image unraveling as the years went on.
Personal triumphs and successes revealing segments of the whole,
While challenges and obstacles waged a war on my soul.
Fragments emerged over time that ultimately did not fit,
Yet my heart clung to the possibility, the menacing “what if”.
Empty spaces cannot be filled with things that are innately hollow,
We must take a breath, soldier on, and bear the pain of letting go.
Like a nomad in the desert searching for an oasis,
I too sought refuge in unfamiliar places.
Pieces of my identity scattered across time and space,
A journey towards self-discovery that can never be replaced.
Life is an unpredictable sequence of highs and lows,
Our reaction to these phases determines how it goes.
Carry on I must, until my puzzle becomes clear,
Completed by those final pieces, I continue to hold dear.
I scribble words on pages.
Not like my mothers painting history with their tongues,
Lips smoldering like embers, spitting fire as they speak.
Listing lineage from memory up to the Prophet’s pulse,
Dictating tribal tales while stirring a melting pot.
Female phenoms drumming beats to release Somali hips,
From the ecstasy and pain of maternal bliss.
Learning legacies from ladies,
As they sing to their babies.
Entertaining the masses with beauty and grace,
Discrete masters of households, humble wives to save face.
I scribble words on pages,
For on the page is where my strength lies,
Unrestricted and uncensored like my mother’s eyes.
Telling tales of truth like my ancestors of old,
Ink dripping with urgency for our story to be told.
lights flicker in the distance intriguing the eyes,
illuminating the mind with wondrous thoughts.
fingers outline the ephemeral glow,
yearning to define the distant unknown.
soles tread the feeble ground inching toward oblivion,
sweaty palms indicative of an unwise decision.
hearts reject what is for what could be,
for dreaming in the daytime is ultimate ecstasy.
Eyes sting from ash filled particles infiltrating our oxygen,
Shrill cries echo from infants longing to be home again,
Chaotic scenes from fictitious films converging with reality,
We live in a changed world with a duality in humanity.
Us and them,
Here and there,
Familiar and foreign,
Native and immigrant.
Divisions descend like days of old,
When laden ships emerged and slaves were sold,
When camps constricted faith with brutal persecution,
When walls fractured families for political conclusions.
Will we not learn from the lessons of time?
Will we allow our children to die?
Will we let our hearts wither until nothing remains?
Or will they beat strong, catalyzing hope in our veins?
I struggle to be present.
To give all of me in every moment, completely exposed,
Bottled up emotions ready to implode,
Censored speech and actions, concerned with repercussions,
Lost in my life, a drop in an ocean.
Not sure who I am, and what is it that I love,
Often forgetting my soul, and my Lord up above,
Yearning to break free from the shackles of fear,
Always myself, not just with those I hold dear.
Like a child in a womb, embraced by its mother,
I long to find the me inside myself,
To live each moment as though it was my last,
To pray for my future, and learn from my past.
So I struggle.
Fighting the resistance controlling my head,
Searching for me amongst the chaos instead,
Finding solace in God, the One who knows me best,
To be present. That is my test.
Staring at the horizon where the waves touch the sky,
Where the infinite feels intimate as the sails drift on by.
In the silence ring the echoes of feelings finally fading,
Realizing that life is change, not stationary contemplating.
Locked eyes now able to observe the periphery,
Affixing the fleeting focus in the scheme of things.
Enthralled by the grandeur of the existence now made clear,
While wishfully waiting for a new centerpiece to appear.
A melancholy blue and gray mist of confusion,
Venturing each day to escape the illusion,
The symmetry and imagery of this world, a delusion,
A means to an end, not at all the conclusion,
Wander your psyche alone, in seclusion,
Unfolding, untangling, unraveling the solution,
The blue and gray clouds parting, escaping retribution,
Revealing the light, exposing internal evolution.
Rivers flow from sunken earth,
Cascading downstream to find their worth.
Flowing toward barren lands, lacking adequate care,
With close observation finding a sapling struggling there.
Soil nourish the bounty that was created within you,
Soak in the sun’s rays, and the replenishing morning dew.
No need to alter the contents inside,
For within you glory and life reside.