Recipe for men

Solitude,
has been a recipe for manhood in my family for as long as I remember. Floors groaned at three am when my father would walk across wooden tiles that I always thought someone had meticulously jigsawed across the whole apartment.
His belt buckle, I can still hear, then came the jingle of coins in his pockets as he set off quietly to his work day, alone.

I still drive by that apartment and assume that it belongs to us, my childhood will haunt whoever lives there until I can buy it, just for fucks sake and keep it as a memory.

My grandfather was a loner too, son of many sons of mountain people wedged in a village and on the other side a sea.

He’d walk, in the early hours of the morning to his work too. He’d toil the mountains, his father a shepherd and farmer.

My uncles, all land people. Quiet men, but robustly strong men.

There’s manhood in solitude yet!

Someone tells us that we’re of prophetic lineage, Hashimi to be exact and this seems to be on the lips of other families in surrounding villages.

I hear it more than once as if it’s a get out of jail free card, but I’ve wrestled with myself in just as much quietude as my ancestors for me to believe that it’s true.

Still on the offchance it is, I think of my noble grandfather – I hope he’s my grandfather – The Prophet who received revelation in……. Solitude but was believed in multitude.

The man who was responsible for transforming the otherwise then despicable Arab peninsula – perhaps now just as despicable – into the centre of the world.

Maybe it’s solitude missing from my people, stopping them from rising to that place again.

I’ve turned too many pages to not know that great men, men who’ve had the biggest impact, real impact were always introverted and preferred the humble sifting grounds of solitude over the cacophany of noise amongst people.

And so distraction feels like an enemy sucking my marrow and I feel bad for even thinking of people as distractions.

They don’t even get a chance to develop a relationship with me before I have ignored them based on their incessantly noisy approach to being heard.

Tap me gently,
wake me softly,
brush up against me with prose,
waft past me with a perfume so enchanting you pull me out of my shell,
but don’t vie for my attention with claptrap and hyde.

I’ll find you, I’ll hear you, I’ll notice all your nuances like I noticed my home, my father, like I think of my ancestors walking alone at night.

Quiet men,
noble men,
men of fortitude,
sunken in solitude,
bathing in introversion,
aching in longing for answers to all their ponders,
too proud to ask,
stoic in acceptance of their fate.

Men that thought so much, that their hearts beat double as fast, silently away from the masses,
men who all died early.

Maybe they all die when their need for solitude is no longer met, when they can’t keep enough of themselves away from people.

Maybe they die when their secrets are exposed.

Power hungry ignorants

 

To beg to be understood,
to pant and pander for the approval of people,
is akin to sleeping with dogs.

The world and all that is in has no value,
so what then of the opinion of its inhabitants?

Only the feeble wait for recognition.

I have no patience for those who prostitute their character in favour of status.
Nor those who like children wait for every praise,
I don’t care an iota for myself,
what then makes you think I would care for you?

Leave this wayfarer alone,
leave him abandoned and in search,
lost in the wonder of discovery,
alone in solitude,
drowning in reform.

-Wesam El dahabi

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.  – Abraham Lincoln

How to marry, son.

 

Marry a woman with vision my son,
if she can’t see,
if she is so self absorbed,
and afflicted with infatuation,
how will she bear you a son,
gift you a daughter,
that holds humanity in their heart?
What future is there in all that intoxication with the self?

None, I promise you, none.

Do not fall victim to your eyes,
fancy words,
nor the pitter-patter of your heart.

All of that will be nonsense to you,
when in thirty years,
your heart breaks,
because your child bears the same fruit,
of short sightedness.

Wesam El dahabi

The men and women in my family

 

The men in my family are rugged men,
with hands callused from the poetry they write for the softer women they love.
With hearts that pound like door knocks of the police,
they dance to the beat of their own drums.
We care not for the fragile women who pose with square jaws,
with toxic feminist rhetoric,
ad-nauseum, unoriginal dogma,
that looks down on the tradition of their ancestors.
I’d love to see them with their bright red lipstick,
walk mountain plains,
to fetch a pale of water,
to wring clothes by hand,
knurled knuckles to pomegranate blood red,
in rivers where streams would take you and never surface you again.
I’d like to see how they’d hold the fort as their husbands left with no guarantee of return,
to fight invaders for months on end,
and not make a single complaint.
I can’t wait to see the army of perfectly functional children they raise into men and women of integrity and honour,
and do it with grace after losing just as many in still births or death.
I know one woman, well into her late eighties,
a matriarch of sorts, who’s buried more children than she’s raised and never has an ode belonging to feminists passed her lips, but raise your brow to her if you dare and wait for her palm to remind you of who you really are as it jolts your jaw into place.
If our men are anything, it’s because the women were just as much.
The men in my family are rugged men, real men,
men with unbreakable spirits who bow only to God,
but with hearts of lambs,
they settle easily into their wives caress, because they  are soft like that.
The men in my family all die young,
because their hearts beat  beyond the capacity of normal hearts,
but they leave real women behind.
Women who don’t need false ideologies to show them how to stand up on their own two feet because their men have already embraced them with tenderness of olive branches.
The men in my family, rugged and harsh as they may be,
write poetry with their actions and their women never give them an excuse not to.
W.E.

Broken men, trying men – two minutes of observation.

The door bell never rings when everyone is home.
So when it interrupted the insistence of percussive rain on colour bond awnings, and grass that was aching, and fruit trees that were singing, the humans in this house, cocooned off from the world raised their antennas.

I walked to the door to be met by the army of curious children that make my progeny. ‘Who is it dad?’ they asked as I reached for the keys to unlock the security screen.

There, was a man in a rain jacket, holding a folder.
My defences went up, my defences are always up but they went up another notch. I braced into fighting stance subtly, I reached into my pocket and clicked the top of a pen so the tip was out, clutched it firmly in one hand so it could be like a shank if needs be. I unlocked the door and opened it. You can’t be too sure in this day and age of scammers and thieves and I was already eyeing the targets I would strike before he could flinch, making sure I was in an advantageous position.

He greeted me and introduced himself. Andrew was his name and he was trying to sell me something. Usually, I am blunt and straight to the point with door to door knockers. But Andrew was different. He reminded me of another Andy I knew, in facial features, complexion, voice and as mentioned, even the name.

I was overcome with a sense of familiarity and my guard came down slightly as my heart softened to his circumstance.

Here was a broken man, a father, a man at his wits ends trying to make a buck and support his family. Was he the owner of the business he was trying to introduce, nah, it didn’t fit, he spoke with too much detachment from it for it to be his. He was definitely a man trying hard. A man busting his balls to provide. He seemed intelligent, just a stroke of bad luck perhaps. Perhaps laid off a job he knew for too long for him to know anything else and had answered a local paper advertisement promising superior commissions and hopes of making thousands of dollars – with full training provided.

He was selling solar power panels, which piqued my interest somewhat whilst at the same time the cautious side of me reminding me to not give too much away and to research before giving my personal information out.

Still, the transaction only interested me from the standpoint of poetic interaction.

I was psychoanalysing him in his every gesture, tone, body language, and sentences, but his heavy shoulders and tired voice were the most appealing to me.

I could smell a days work on him. He was exhausted and it showed in the folder he had opened with notes scribbled on there on scattered pieces of paper, with pamphlets stacked underneath. As he reached for one, I noticed he had a tally sheet in the traditional four straight lines with a stroke across them to mark the fifth. He had about 20 or more of those scribbled down. Was that all today’s work, or was it for the week?

I asked him to give me a contact number. I didn’t want to break him more with rejection, but perhaps leave a little hope that he was achieving some kind of milestone. I’ve tasted the bitterness of rejection, I’ve wallowed in the brokenness of wondering where the next dollar was going to come from to feed my children, to keep the electricity on, to put fuel in my car.

All I hope now is I can look up this company he supposedly represents and they are legitimate, and I can help Andrew make a dollar, or two and not have to worry for at least one week about food, electricity or fuel. To be able to go home and hold his children with conviction.

Woman

Woman,
you’re pungent with jealousy,
yet perfumed in compassion,
how wonderful a reconciliation.

I’m utterly attracted to the impossibly absent woman,
who doesn’t for a moment flinch from her hearts dissuasion,
who is captured and enamoured when the time is right,
insatiably present,
who can make you long for the womb you were born from,
or bathe you in pangs of separation from it.
I measure men,
by their vulnerabilities,
I measure them by their willingness to mention them.

W.E.

kinaesthetic

Sometimes I feel like holding all the women of the world
and asking,

how long will it take to make friends with your body?

It’s never enough,
and when it is,
then you’ll migrate to your face,
when that’s mutilated,
you’ll blame the man you conditioned to accept your new appearance,
the man who made you to do it by his fleeting eyes,
his carnal soul,
fetishly fleshen,
and I wonder,
who’s the victim,
you or him?

-Wesam El dahabi
Feminism is failing you. Take back your womanhood,

feminism is for little girls,

a ploy to keep you as childish as possible for as long as possible.
You can’t claim to own yourself when you paint and fashion yourself just as society has shaped every product for you.
I’m longing to look at my sisters in humanity with their unmasked faces,

in their real skin,

in the shape that God fashioned them in,

without hardened cheeks, and soulless eyes,

with poetry between their teeth and perfumed souls.

But who am I and what do I know,

don’t let a man tell you what to do.