The merchant of forgiveness


He came like a passing vapour,
embodied with the gift of light and lightness,
the faintest hint of jasmine and sandalwood,
and a buried childhood.

Suppression makes for an interesting man,
a thorough masculinity,
that is more tender than dew on the petal of lemon trees,
and as firm as the roots of date palms.

He held himself inside until he imploded,
it wasn’t diabetes, cancer or kidney failure,
it was a heart that couldn’t contain any more.

He didn’t lose limb and tissue,
but reconciliation and forgiveness faded.

And that was his weapon against you,
he could forgive you,
because he knew by doing so,
he would leave you to your guilt,
to gnaw at you,
to cut you in half,
no one would punish you more than you.

When he could no longer forgive you,
he had to learn to forgive himself,
not for anything he had done,
but his guilt,
his gnaw,
the thing that tore him apart,
was he couldn’t reassure you any more,
that he would be a provider of forgiveness.

Even to his last breath,
he was selfless,
the gurgle of his lungs,
his open mouth,
closed eyes,
soft cold hands,
forgiving everyone in the room.

Everyone was caught up with the spectacle of death,
and all I could wonder,
was how his Lord was preparing his place amongst the elite.

A man once passed in front of the Prophet of God,
the Prophet exclaimed that the man was a man of paradise.
One of the companions, feverish and eager for the works of good,
encouraged by the words and wanton of the fruits of righteousness took it upon himself to follow the man home and pretend he needed a place to stay.
In utter custom and tradition, hospitality was granted.
For three days, the man watched the man of paradise and noted his every move and saw nothing out of the ordinary.
Finally on the third day, the companion came clean and admitted that he had heard the Prophet of God proclaim him a man of paradise and that he wanted to know what his secret to attain such a status was.
Perplexed, the man of paradise replied, “As you see, I do no extra activities than the layman, I pray, I fast, I pay the charitable tax, but every night when I sleep, before I lay my head on a pillow, I forgive everyone that I know.”

And that is where my father was,
his childhood whatever it was,
lived inside him until his last day,
and the act of a child,
the ability to forgive and forget so easily,
was his unsheathed sword slaying the hatred in the hearts of all.
He passed, and slayed us all with forgiveness,
there’s no recovering from that.


Dear world


Dear world,

Thank you for finding me unattractive,
what I couldn’t change on the outside,
was the catalyst for ensuring I’d toil my insides.

What dulled my need for your approval,
sharpened my self scrutiny.

What made me develop a shell so hard, so grotesque,
strong and impenetrable,
ready and willing to engage in the detestable,
also softened my heart to make me never use it all
against you.

I’m the monster you want to react,
I’m the quiet guy you want to attack,
the one who has a target on his back,
to empty your insecurities on, and all you lack.

I’m the meek guy who couldn’t speak up,
who had plenty to say but tongue was stuck,
caught between embarrassment and manners,
wedged between a wall and a truck.

A train wreck, a wrecked chain of thought,
conviction, confusion, in a web, caught,
loaded mind, tranquil heart, ready fists,
on the front line of battle, coming up short.

Perhaps the reason for introverts,
are created the way they are,
is that the world would not be able to handle,
all that was contained inside of them,
were it to be released outside of them.


Art: Risking Enchantment by Margarita Georgiadis’

how to sell your soul, the right way


Be stricken,

awe at the slightest of things,
marvel at the greatest,
stop breathing,
to remember breathing,
to appreciate breath,
when it’s meant to be taken away.

to savour a morsel,
as simple as dried bread,
or a cup of murky water,

to, remind your body,
it has to take you places,
beyond the confines of comfort.

Be broken, be mended,
be full, be apprehended,
be amazed,
that you can still be amazed,
whilst others are fogged up,
in a haze, in a maze.
in a craze, in a daze.

Oh these days, oh these days,
the neglecting of the way,
into the abyss of being,
engorged in normality,
triviality, superficiality, conformity,
and you miss,
the enormity,
of the fine and tender,

of being stricken.

Be taken,
to a grasshoppers song,
as you sit in summer afternoon traffic,
by severance from your environment,
unaware of the beauty of silence,
instead being attracted to the outward violence.

And the world is violent,
when you won’t allow yourself,
to be stricken,
blown away into the winds that want to  pollinate,
to allow seeds to germinate.

Don’t wait until it’s too late,
be stricken.

Find the beauty of complication in simplicity,
and the simplicity in complication,
so you can be both the artist,
and the scientist,
the poet and the physician,
the healer and the warrior,
be stricken by it all.




Before he passed,
grief was not something he left me in his will,
others mourned,
and I couldn’t muster a tear.

So what’s a man to do when his emotions remain idle?
Practicality becomes the default.
Take care of affairs,
make amends,
find a semblance of balance,
in comforting others,
albeit, still emotionless.

I don’t do well in social situations,
and only when I recluse to the comforts of solitude,
did I find the fortunes of his will,
flood my heart and clutch at me with volcanic vigour.

Alone in my car,
alone at work,
alone with a book,
alone in the sea,
I wish I didn’t inherit a single thing,
even a coffee cup becomes a thing of guilt.


no regrets

And what does all your fortune bring you?
emptiness, artless.
I rarely regret anything,
except if I’ve transgressed the divine laws of my maker.
Regret is a wingless sparrow,
a fleeting severance from gratitude,
short-sightedness of present opportunity,
men and women vying to wrestle destiny to its knees,
deplorable delusionals,
barred from beauty.
Regret is the punishment you ironically wallow in,
self harm, void-acuity-hollow.
You can’t plant anything there,
water it, nurture it or give it to the sun,
all you do is create a desert inside yourself.
Parched lips know how wonderful moist lips are,
you can’t say the same for the opposite.
*expansion on a line from a previous poem

Immortal comprehension

Some poems are written for the world,
some are just for the poets,
and others, your  neck would be smitten if you divulged.

Whilst we write,  at times to amuse you,
and others to confuse you,
know, the epitome of poetry,
or any art form,
is not to find human muses,
but to be so engrossed in the tapestry of the art itself,
that it becomes the muse.

No longer does a poet need anything but a word to marvel over,
a painter need anything but the coarse ridges of dried paint,
a musician drunk in a simple chord,
to be inspired into their work.

If you’re a poet,
or a writer,
and people are your muses,
you have an expiry date.


when I grow up

Some things,
you just don’t get.

I know,
somewhere along the lines,
you were never taught chivalry,
never shown nobility,
never practised withdrawing your ego,
until you punish yourself with silence,
content with being the doormat,
the shoe sorter,
the one in servitude,
peasant appearing,

You’re much too fragile to ever be spat at,
to be mocked and jeered at,
made to look like the scum of the earth,
and smile,
and say,
Ey Vallah!


Music: Pesrev, ilahi (hicaz-homayun) Karaca & Tanrikorou
Poetry: mine