Revolution

I don’t remember in which grade
I learned the word “revolution”
But I remember
That once it entered my lungs
It never left my veins.

I read about Joan of Arc
In my Children’s Illustrated History book
And for nights I dreamed of horses
And enemy lines
And burning stakes.

I read that Alexander was 19
When he looked at the Macedonian throne
With determination blazing in his eyes.
I was the same age when I realized
That the biggest territory to conquer
And the hardest state to revolutionize
Is a human heart.

And I knew I would become the army
You never saw coming.

Perhaps I won’t be the Renaissance
That takes 3 centuries and
Thousands of pages
To slowly alter your mind.
Perhaps I’m the 3-day raid that burns
Your Senate houses and villages
And sets fire to all the corners
Of your soul.

I’ll be the Arab Spring
That breaks decades of dictatorship
Your tyrant mind has over your heart.

I’ll be the October Revolution
Letting my Bolshevik army tramp over your capitalistic desires
Until I paint all of your skin red with my utopian social justice.

I’ll be the violent mob of peasants
Burning the houses of British impostors
Who told me to plant blue seeds in my soil meant for green.

I’ll be the French Revolution
That promises you liberty and rights and social reform
But only after drowning you in a bloodbath.

I’ll be every book
That you burned in the name of your self-made gods
And yet couldn’t purge from memories.

I’ll be the city of Jerusalem
Being ravished by Crusaders night after night
Only to be reborn the next morning.

I’ll be Khalid ibn Walid’s army
Wreaking havoc among the mightiest forces you can gather
Till every corner of you thrives under my new civilization.

I’ll be Socrates with Hemlock in my hands
Waiting for the death of my body
And the birth of your mind.

I’ll be the children of Israel
Running through the middle of the Red Sea
And watching the waves crash down on the psychopathic autocrat in you.

If you want me to
I will keep going down the timeline
And unravel every piece of history you have in you
Till every bit of your existence
Is scarred by me.

But forget all of history
And civilization

I’ll be the very first spark of fire
You lighted by mistake
While shivering in a cold, dark world.

I’ll be the first spear you threw
The first word you spoke
The first rule you broke.

What I mean to say is
Once you crash into me
I’ll revolutionalize
Every inch of you.
Once you find me
I’ll ruin you
Forever.
I’ll be
What warms you
And I’ll be
What burns you
To ashes.

What I mean to say is
I’ll be the Big Bang
That God caused for breaking
The silence
Of your universe.

Advertisements

Empty Glass

Some nights you can feel
all the oceans
and mountains
and hot burning stars
inside your head
surging and
quaking and
pulsing to
break free and explode
and fall onto the pages
of an unwritten book
or into the nearly empty glass
of life
by your bedside
that’s tired of holding
a void for so long.

Some nights
you wake up.

Accidental Art

The abstract art
formed by fallen hair
on white shining tiles.

The dragons and castles
made of white clouds
in afternoon skies.

The dancing figures
made of water blobs
on a green bathroom floor.

All the accidental art
in every corner of the universe
waiting in ambush
to take my breath away.

And yet all I can think about
are a pair of black, black eyes
devoid of color
yet full of all the shades
that ever existed.

Sketching A Soul

Have you ever noticed
That the biggest adventure in life
Is gradually getting to know a person?

It’s like doing an elaborate sketch
Like those tutorials, or your kindergarten drawing books.
First you draw a bunch of shapes –
A circle here and a rectangle there,
A few lines on the sides.
Then inside those you draw more complex shapes
Polygons
Soft edges
Rounded corners.
Now you have an outline
You start building on it.
Now you add details
You add and add
And just when you thought it was enough
You add some more.
.
.
.
You know their name
Age, height, color
Their bachelors major
Their second language.
There you have the shapes:
A circle for the head
A trapezium for the body
Rectangles for the limbs.
Isolated, disproportioned.

You read their 3 am thoughts in vague facebook statuses.
The edges start softening.

A short conversation about where they bought that book from.
The arms are taking shape.

A philosophical comment on something seemingly deep that you said.
Jawlines appear.

You see some art they created.
Shoulder blades and pectorals and fingertips emerge.

You hear their voice reciting words of God
Or humming a nostalgic tune.
Biceps get shaded, knuckles are highlighted.

A few months in, you know their taste in books
What videos they watch on youtube
What philosophies they hate
What they say when they’re excited
How they look when they’re nervous
How often they smile
Why they smile
How they smile.

The details are rushing in
Like rain.
A dam has broken and you’re drowning.
Your pencils get shorter and your eraser is wearing out
From drawing and erasing
Sharpening and softening
Shading and highlighting
Too much.

Every conversation
Adds dimensions you didn’t know existed.
From 1D lines to a 2D sketch it’s suddenly a 3D sculpture
And before you know it
It has popped out of your sketchbook and started walking through air
But no it doesn’t stop there
You see layers after layers of
A Homo sapien
Turning into a human
Turning into a person
Turning into a soul.
Physicists might be talking about a 4th or a 5th or even a 10th dimension
But you know there are over a hundred dimensions
Because you’ve seen them all
In this sketch.
.
.
.
If you’ve never noticed this journey
Despite going on it so many times in your life
If you haven’t felt the poetic beauty of
A human becoming a person
I hate to say this but
You’ve missed out on the biggest surprise
That God has left for you.

Because every new person is a mountain to climb
And by the time you climb a mountain
You are not the same person anymore.

So please don’t tell me about how much you want to travel the world
If you have never traveled through
A person.

My Favorite Sounds

“What’s your favorite sound in the world?” you ask.

On Fridays, it’s the sound inside the masjid
When everyone’s clothes rustle in sync
As their faces touch the ground
In awe of their Creator.
It’s less of a sound and more of a feeling
That slowly fades into the euphoria
Of finding the purpose of life again.

On most other days
It’s the crunching of dead leaves
Or the rattling of keyboard keys
The roar of a fresh breeze
A very very loud sneeze
The ‘ting’ of a text message
The rustling when I turn a page
The splash of a waterfall
The clamor in a shopping mall
Thunder right before the rain
The rhythmic chugging of a train
The revving of sport cars
The silence of a million stars.

But at nights
It’s the imaginary laughter
Of an imaginary person
Drowning the rest of the world away
Turning into a blanket
To wrap me in its cocoon
So that all the cold I’m afraid of never finds its way.

 

Switch

There’s a light switch
Constantly being turned on
And off
And on
Inside me.

Flick.
Too much noise in my head
Flick.
A void in my soul.
Flick.
What a colorful universe!
Flick.
Full of black holes.
Flick.
I’m laughing like a maniac
Flick.
Talk to me and you’re dead.
Flick.
Let’s go for a run
Flick.
I’ll just lie in my bed.
Flick.
Pretty shop windows!
Flick.
Grey metal gates.
Flick.
I want to go home.
Flick.
I want to escape.
Flick.
I make garlands from words.
Flick.
I tear them off.
Flick.
Butterflies in my stomach
Flick.
I don’t believe in love.

 

Bittersweet

Some days
You’ll have a bitter taste in your mouth
From something someone said
Something someone didn’t say
A memory coming out of nowhere
The thought of a missed chance
The guilt of living too less
The guilt of living too much
The guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt
For anything and everything
And something and nothing
And more.

Some days, you’ll feel every atom in your soul
Weighing you down
From the guilt of existing.

And you’ll know how it really tastes
To be alive.

Campfire

You
are like
sitting by a campfire
in the darkest of nights
and the softest of breezes.
As warm as I could get
yet not warm enough.
And as I slowly drown in this cosiness
i know i can never get too close
without burning myself.

Horses and Dreams

There are so many things I have to tell you.
Like how I rode a horse this morning
How it almost jumped off the bridge we were crossing
How good it felt to hold on to its smooth mane
And to recover from the anticipation of falling.
How disappointed I was when I woke up
How shaken I was at the realness of the dream
How I can still feel it’s smooth neck
Brushing against my tensed skin.

There are so many dreams I have to tell you about
Dreams that no one cares about
Dreams only you would hear about
Dreams that help me go on
Even on sunless mornings.

Like that one time I was looking for a key
Hidden under layers of reality
On some cold night covered with vivid constellations.
And under the stars I felt like I saw you.
And although I couldn’t remember how you looked
You’d never looked more perfect or true.

Someday I will tell you all about these
All about every thing I ever dreamed
While your eyes get​ heavy with sleep
Your voice gets blurry and weak
And we’ll dream together
Of all the horses
We never rode.

Arabic poetry #2

العالم هو غريب
و كل الناس عجيب
ولكن انت
كنت وراء الجميع

The world is strange
And all people are marvelous
But you,
You are beyond all.

Dark Matter

You’re a pixelated reality
A handful of insanity
A trigger to some vanity
The unuttered profanity
That threatens inhumanity
An uncalled for calamity
That drills through my sanity
Falls before no immunity
And pulls stronger than gravity
Drenched in its naïvity
And merciless audacity
A rebel ‘gainst felicity
A display of monstrosity.
A people-less community.
The darkest part of this dark city.

Like dark matter
You shatter
My gravity.

The Shift

And one day,
Something changed.
Something in the universe shifted.
As if a long forgotten veil had been lifted.
The winds seemed to shiver in awe
Of the new life she had been gifted.
No one else noticed.
No one had to know.
Perhaps it was the soft, ultrasonic laughter of the angels
At the mighty way their Lord answered a shabbily constructed dua
Of a slave drowning in sins.

The Perfect Piece Of Memory

My eleven year old hand frantically swishes the mouse around
As the pixelated face of Harry Potter bobs around the computer screen
Both of us trying to remember the next spell
Both of us stuck in the surrealness of our perfect worlds.
10 points for Gryffindor, announces my stereo soundboxes.
I pause the game to tell my sister that I’ve made it through the “tough level”
And save the moment in my head as a perfect memory.

A dark skinny boy dressed in a superman costume
Stands at the edge of my bed
As his red cape defies gravity
I explain to him what to say whenever anyone enters the room.
This is going to be the best party in my life, I think to myself
Not knowing that would get accepted as a prayer.
All these years down, superman never visits anymore.
I hear he’s doing quite well
Coping with studies and incurable disorders that make him weak to the bones.
I wish I had kept his cape when he left
But all I have is a perfect memory.

I stand in front of my front row bench
Waiting for the next teacher to come.
At the other side of the classroom a guy sharpens a pencil
And just when it is sharp enough
He decides that it never was a pencil
But a rocket that deserves to tour the length of the classroom
And before I know
I have a pencil sized rocket Slashing my right cheek
Just missing the eye.
Just a little cut, the teacher says.
And now every time I look into the mirror and notice the tiny scar that not even my mother knows about
I smile at the irony
Of how perfect the memory is.

I stand on the concrete floor of the school field
My large eyed and perfectly ponytailed friend calls me over
A ritual is about to take place.
On the count of three, five fists bump against each other
And the field echoes back our unflinching oath
“Best friends forever.”
Forever.
And now every time I tell someone that forever is the most delusional word
I crunch my forehead skin
In a failed attempt at blocking the perfect memory.

Stardust

But you,
You are the storm on a calm sunny day
The scarcely traversed bend in the way
All the constellations at the end of a starless day
The wave that touches every sand grain as it crashes at the bay
The bright ring of light around a full moon that pushes the rest of the sky away
The smell of hay
And burning clay
A wordless day
A rainless May
A black-less gray
The word ‘okay’
A bottled up ray
A wild display
Of every thing I fear and every thing I crave.

And you,
Are the brightest speck of stardust in the entire Milky Way.

Can I Buy You Some Happiness?

I want to buy some happiness
Wrap it in paper and tape
Put it at your doorstep
And then ring your door bell.

And then I want to run away
With clumsy footsteps on the stairs
Some muddy boot marks here and there
So you can follow along and yell.

But I’ll be gone before you see
The smirk across my sunburnt face
The cape flying behind my dress
The explosion inside my heart.

But it won’t matter anymore
‘Cause you’ll be holding happiness
Wrapped inside my shiny mess
And never again be torn apart.

%d bloggers like this: