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.

#stigma

I can blue with the best of them,
or I can be blue with the worst of them,
the former, armour to cover the later.

But what of the man that can’t string his pain together in anything more poetic than a bottle or a fist?
What of the man that tries to get it out but tongue always ends up in a twist?
Does he beat his heart more furiously, hoping the world hears his silence or illiteracy, muteness or simplicity or is he denied the right to exist?
Because of social stigmas, ignorance of manhood, and checking him off all our conditioned lists?

W.E.

When envy is not a sin

You’d want my loneliness too,
if you knew in the midst of it all,
you could always carve up poetry.
if you could write a zephyr onto your breath.

They can’t taste the bile and metal,
or is it a liver punch and ketosis,
is it the fog and swell beneath your eyes,
come, come reach you some more,
what have you got for me,
that I can envy you in return for,
what have you got,
that will arch my back for more?

My solitude is plenty enough for you and I.

Wesam El dahabi

metaphor of a man


It’s a good thing,
that most men can’t articulate their feelings,
but evolving from hands that dig and bury,
that sew and reap,
so too do they plough the fields of their emotions,
turn them over in secret,
and patiently wait for another harvest.

Sometimes, it never comes,
others, the land remains arid,
or seasons come and seasons go,
and not a fruit drops to the floor,
and yet, they toil on,
much to the merit of their character,
and to the detriment of an ingrate of a woman,
who demands his attention after he has bled his knuckles dry.

Unsatisfied with his sacrifice,
she belittles him, demands more,
and he,
secretly blossoms poetry in his soul.

Had she waited, she could have had him whole,
But in haste, she waves her feminist flag,
as if to say she raised herself independent of him all this time,
now she waits for another man, struggling to find his words,
mute, much the same,
toiling with his body to show love,
choking on his verse.

W.E.

forging men


If we have any hope of survival into the generations that come,
a man’s body must be hardened through physical culture,
ironclad and reinforced through gruelling bellows,
he must commit to forging it.

Through the physical,
he taps into his mental and spiritual energies.

The body is the gateway for a man,
there is no other way into the portal of being,
except through these rigours.

Once admitted into the realm of himself,
he can make peace with his mind and soul,
his spirit can be calmed and nurtured.

It is incumbent on him to gain mastery over his mind,
which is in essence attached to his ego.
Knowledge if gained with arrogance is destructive,
and will deny him the fruits of completion.
Knowledge if not fortified with spiritual works,
will only lead to one’s detriment.

Spiritual works are the marks of sincerity and comprehension in a man.
They allow him to know their role,
know their place, know themselves,
and how they relate to the rest of humanity,
most importantly how they stand in front of God.

Spiritual works done with pride in the sense of self respect is admirable.
Spiritual works done with pride in the sense of arrogance or looking down on others is less fruitful than doing no spiritual works at all.

Humility and understanding that even though it is your choice to perform a work sincerely,
the source of your choice is still God given,
and had He willed, you would have chosen something else or nothing at all.

This brings the man to his knees and to the station of gratitude and contentment.

Ultimate gratitude is being grateful for being grateful perpetually,
as if spinning in the same concentric manner over and over,
a moth to a flame,
a dancer lost in the arms of her lover,
a man circumambulating around the holiest building,
Rumi spinning and lost in his love for Shams.

It continues to gather momentum and grow larger,
like gyrations out of our control.

That is what gratitude does to a man,
and to think it all started with forging yourself,
by being a blacksmith of your soul,
by dedicating your energies to the refinement of your body,
your mind,
your soul.

W.E.