The Golden Shovel

Hi there! Today’s poem is an interesting one. It’s called a “golden shovel” apparently, which is where you take an already existing poem and you use each word in that poem as a last word for each line in your own new poem. Sound confusing? Just wait, it’ll make sense in a minute.

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It’s April!

And you know what that means, right?

Time for me to come out of hiatus! Why? Because it’s National Poetry Writing Month!

Yes, I know it’s pretty despicable that I’ve last updated pretty much a year ago (I don’t really suppose that my one lone post last October counts for much). But… uhm… Okay, I have no acceptable excuses. I’m all out. I’m just really terrible at time management. Like, really terrible. And way too easily distracted. Like, while typing this post right now, do you have any idea how many times I’ve navigated away from this window? To Google something that has just popped into my head that I’ve meant to Google for a while now; to talk to my mom; to reply to an e-mail; to drink some water… I’m terrible.

But anyhoo, here’s a poem that will hopefully make you forget all about that! Yay.

Write it out!
Write it out!
The Kind of Lives We’re Living

by Ruqaiyah Davids

What kind of lives are we living?
Weren’t we meant for more?
Our innocence and youth has just gone through the door.
Nothing left for us to fight for anymore.

You had big dreams
Of simple things.
Not important any longer, it seems.

I had visions of happiness;
I saw days of what-seemed-like-bliss.
I never thought it would be like this.

We were meant for more,
We were meant to be better.
You were meant for greatness
And happiness.
We are meant to have goodness.

What kind of lives are we living?
Stuck in the past.

It was not meant to be like this.
It was not meant to be like this.

We’ve got to stop wishing.
And missing.
We’ve got to start living.
And giving
From the deepest parts of ourselves.
Stop grieving for a life lost,
One that was never meant for us.

The kind of life we should be living
Is still waiting.

To be honest, I’m not all too fond of this poem. I don’t hate it, I just feel that it needs (quite a bit of) tweaking. I suppose I’ll get back to that some time, but in the quest of writing a poem a day, I wanted to get this up for Day 1. Day 2 will be up shortly. Yes, yes, I know it’s the 2nd of April already! Hush!

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Signoff

NaPoWriMo Day 29: “I Love it When You Talk Foreign”

Yes, I know it’s very late. Very, very late. And it’s not even April anymore. But well, it’s here anyway. Read it or leave it.

(I know you’ll read it. :))

So NaPoWriMo originates in the U.S., and the ‘national’ part of the term refers to the nation of America. But even so, there are many, many poets and participants in the challenge who are not from America. Because it’s not only Americans who love poetry. And I am one of those ‘foreigners’ who gate-crashed the party. So the lovely people over at NaPoWriMo decided to honour us by asking everyone to write a poem which contains at least five words of a different language. I chose Arabic. It’s the closest I’ve come to speaking a foreign language — though, truly, it’s not foreign to me. It’s the language of my people, of my Book, of my land, and of my Lord.

I’ll be leaving for ‘umrah soon, in sha Allah. The minor pilgrimage to the holy land of Makkah. A journey my heart can hardly wait for anymore. And this poem is about that.

Sabah an-Nur

by Ruqaiyah Davids

It’s almost time to go
To a land my heart already knows.
Ahlan wa sahlan!
I will stand on the Mountain of Light
And see the rising of the sun.
Sabah al-khayr!
Wa sabah an-nur!
Joy upon joy!
Light upon light!
My heart will rejoice at the sight
Of the Ka’bah,
Standing tall and strong.
It’s been there all along.
And I will prostrate
With my head and my heart
And pray for a new start.

Translations:

Ahlan wa Sahlan: This is a common Arabic phrase used to welcome someone, however, its literal translation is not just ‘welcome’ or ‘hello’, as it is widely used. For a better understanding of the meaning of the term, go here. Or here, for a much more in-depth look at the term, its origin, and some very interesting and enlightening information on its implications.

Sabah al-khayr: Good morning.

Sabah an-nur: A reply to ‘sabah al-khayr‘, literally meaning ‘morning of light’.

Ka’bah: A sacred building in Islam; the direction to which all Muslims, all around the world, face while praying. For more reading on this, go here.

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Signoff

NaPoWriMo Day 28: The Black Heart

NaPoWriMo Day 28

The Black Heart

by Ruqaiyah Davids

Her black heart beats
Quietly.
The sound is almost indiscernible,
Strangled by all her black words.
Black words muffled by black verbs.
What is left for her in this black world
For which she lives?

Grey spots of dishonesty and hypocrisy
Cement her black heart.

The black hurts.
The more it hurts
The more she spurts
Forth black words,
Littered with traces of red pain,
Oozing from her veins.
And it is hard for her to refrain;
She paints the walls
In her hurricane
Of mistakes,
Breaks
And the masked face.

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Signoff

 

NaPoWriMo Day 24: The Suckiest One of Them All

The Sucky Poem

Day twenty-four
Is sucky, for sure.
It kept me blocked for four days—
No, more.
I couldn’t go any further,
Until I wrote with fervour,
About how I hate day twenty-four.

I mean, to write a poem with anagrams—
Of my own name—
Is not a fun game.

The end.

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NaPoWriMo Day 23: Who We Would Be

This poem is called a triolet. What that means:

“A triolet is an eight-line poem. All the lines are in iambic tetramenter (for a total of eight syllables per line), and the first, fourth, and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines. This means that the poem begins and ends with the same couplet. Beyond this, there is a tight rhyme scheme (helped along by the repetition of lines) — ABaAabAB.” [NaPoWriMo]

Well, I changed the rhyme scheme a little. Just a tad. You could say that I’ve re-invented the triolet. You can call it the Ruqaiyah Triolet. Okay, that name can be worked on a bit. So my triolet rhyme scheme goes like this: AAaAaaAA. Genius.

Who We Would Be

Still to become who we would be
Our paths would meet through destiny
Start the journey of you and me
Still to become who we would be
A rocky path we would soon see
You and me were not meant to be
Still to become who we would be
Our paths would meet through destiny

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NaPoWriMo Day 22: Earth Day

The Earth Poem

The One who created the earth
You are
The One who gave me birth
You are

You fashioned the trees
The bees
You sprout out beauty from seeds
You are
The One who paints the sky
Leaving notes of love for us, so high

A glorious ball of fire
Leaves me with an insatiable desire
To acquire
Knowledge of who
You are
The One who lights up the night sky
And lights up my life
I want to challenge the liars
Who say that this is all science
Do they ever stop to enquire
If there is something higher?
If this all happened with a bang, then why here?
On any other planet, I would not be a survivor

You tell stories of love
From the ground to above
It’s the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard of

You colour the oceans
Cause them to erupt with explosions
Your Beauty fills me with all sorts of emotions

You are
Splendour
And anyone who ponders
Will have no choice but to surrender

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