Tag Archives: writing

Notes To Self

Dear Ruqaiyah, this moment you’re in right now, this is the moment to do something. To start something. Stop waiting for tomorrow, next week, or next month. Start now.

Dear Ruqaiyah, happiness is here. Right here, where you are now. It’s not a destination you need to reach ‘someday’. It’s not some place you need to travel to, or arrive at. You simply have to be here, now; you simply need to breathe in, breathe out, and remember your Lord. Here, now. Be happy.

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Writing by the ocean. I call this happiness.

Dear Ruqaiyah, it’s been done before, it’s been said before, all the stories have already been written before. But don’t let that stop you. Do it, say it, write it. Find new ways, or do it the good ol’ fashion way. Just do something. Because if we stop, what is the point anymore?

Dear Ruqaiyah, we are all good and bad and beautiful and ugly and everything in between. Each one of us. At any given moment, we can be our best selves or our worst selves. See it all, and embrace it. Don’t judge it. But always try to be your best self.

Dear Ruqaiyah, keep on trying. Keep on fighting, loving, searching, hurting. Keep on feeling, keep on laughing. Keep on messing up. But be sure you keep on learning from it and growing. Keep on.

Dear Ruqaiyah, find your people. Find the people who will take the time to know you, those who will pay attention. Remember to pay attention to them too. Find the people who will pray for you even when you don’t ask them to or when you don’t see them for a while. Pray for them too (and for everyone else, but more for them — because, well, they’re your people). Find the people who will understand your laughter, those who will join in. Find the people who will listen closely. Be that person too.

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It Feels So Write!

Aaah, it feels so good to be sitting here again. So good to be surrounded by words, thoughts, ideas and to actually have time to pen (or the modern-day version of ‘penning’: type) those words down, think the thoughts out, entertain the ideas that flitter in and out. I also have this strange habit of making up stories in my head at random times during a day when I’m tired or stressed and choose to escape inside my head. It’s nice to be able enjoy these mental stories now, and to add more to those stories than just character descriptions for a change–there is still a long way to go before they end up on paper, though, or my laptop screen. For now they will just stay in my head. But I enjoy them up there.

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...
I often prefer living inside my head. It’s more fun up there. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, yes, here I sit. In my bedroom. On my bed. The same place I’ve sat for most of this year. (And I do not exaggerate when I say that. I SAT here for so much of this year, planning lessons, marking tests and assignments, doing research, NOT going out with friends and family because I had so much work to do, NOT updating my blog because I had so much work to do, NOT sleeping, even though I was on my bed… my butt eventually hurt from the sitting. No jokes. None.) But this place is different now. The French doors leading from my bedroom to our very cluttered and un-scenic back yard are open; air and sunlight is streaming in; there are no papers, notes and books sprawled on all surfaces in my bedroom–save for the fictional ones that happily whisk me away to another time, another land, for which I had longed all year, but been deprived of. And my laptop has once again transformed into a dear, old friend; she is no longer the menace that burned my eyes in the wee hours of the night, draining me of all coherent thought. She is again my friend whom I write to about funny, old things that I think about, I tell her the poems of my heart, and she once again allows me to guiltlessly ramble on about random things on my blog. She is back. I am back. And it feels so darn good.

Line art representation of a Quill
Writers write. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not sure how wide the readership of my blog is–or was–but to those who do read it, those who had taken time to visit in the hope of reading something that will make the minutes pass by less glumly, but found nothing new to read here for days, and weeks, and months… I apologise. I sincerely do. This blog was never meant to be a by-the-way thing for me. From the start, it meant something, and I wanted to continue in that way. I wanted it to always be a place of truth for me, a place where I would write and I wouldn’t hide. Because I often do that. I write when it is convenient for me, and then I shove it to the back when it’s not. And for most of this year, it wasn’t. But a mentor recently told me: ‘You will be a writer by writing–not by planning to do it in the distant future.‘ And she is right, painfully right. So I’m getting back on the proverbial horse, and I’m trying again. I am going to write. Because I want to be a writer. I am a writer. But thinking about writing, planning to write, wishing I had the time to write doesn’t make me a writer. So I am going back to my roots and I’m using words like I’ve always loved to use them. I’m using them to live my life, because they are part of my life. And here they will stay.

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Cleri-who?

Clerihew. [Pronounced kle-ri-yoo].

Definition: A witty, satiric verse containing two rhymed couplets and mentioning a famous person. Yeah, first time I’ve ever heard of it, too.

This NaPoWriMo thing has been really awesome–who knew there were so many weird and wonderful styles of poetry in the world? Certainly not me. I mean, I love poetry and all, and I’ve been writing poems since my very early days, but I’ve always just done my own thing, never really stuck to much structure. And I’ve certainly never learnt about clerihews, double dactyls or ekphrastic poetry in the classroom! But in this past month, I’ve learnt much about poetry and have tried interesting new styles of writing. Even though I haven’t been consistently active in participating in the poem-a-day aspect of National Poetry Writing Month, I’ve still been checking in on the website from time to time to see what the latest challenge is–and if I could meet it. So I’ve tried my hand at today’s challenge, which is to write a clerihew, and I want to share it with you…

Louis Tomlinson from One Direction

Had my students screaming from an infection.

Their mindless music is pathogenic,

It causes people to become schizophrenic.

I quite like this one. And the poem is based on true happenings, I might add–my students’ beahviour earlier this week was positively insane about this curly little guy (or maybe one of his other cronies, I can’t really be sure which one… I just grabbed any one of their names after googling them). It was utterly and ridiculously laughable. And sad. Very, very sad.

Anyway, this post is not about that. It is about poetry. And April. And April is just about coming to an end. But poetry shall never end! (Said in a voice filled with conviction). This month has felt really, really long, but wonderfully so. It has been a splendid month, I think. And not just because it was my birthday earlier this month (in fact, that plays a very small part in the greater scheme of things), but because of poetry, for one, and everything else in between, for another. Months are usually just months to me. Nothing special about them. It is days and moments that I usually cherish and reflect back on, but this past month has been something special to me. It has been a month of family and a month of friends. It has been a month of personal growth and of simple reminders leading to beautiful things. It has been a month of sad, harsh truths, and learning to accept them. All in all, it has been a month of people. I think I should write another poem, and title it An Ode to April… That is how passionate I feel about this month that has passed.

Farewell, dearest April. Do come again soon, even if by another name, for April, by any other name, would be as memorable.

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What did you love most about this month? Or what did you hate about it? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

April’s Cool

April ain’t for no fools. April’s cool! I think it is no coincedence that the month of April, the month of my entry into this world, coincides so beautifully with this most aweosme celebration, affectionately dubbed ‘NaPoWriMo‘, which stands for National Poetry Writing Month (And April is also National Poetry Month–minus the ‘writing’. It seems silly to have two titles for it, doesn’t it? Why couldn’t they just settle on one and let it encompass both?). So, in case you’re from South Africa (or any country that is not America or Canada) and are a bit confused because you’ve never before heard about this special celebration that I’ve taken the liberty to invite myself to, well, that would be because it is technically only a national celebration in a particular nation. Not this nation. This nation doesn’t celebrate such awesome and inspiring things, sadly for me. Rather, it is nationally celebrated in America, and I think Canada, too. But hey, poetry knows no bounds, poetry has no nationality! I will hold my head high and celebrate with the best of them. I honestly can think of little else that would be a better way to celebrate my birthday than doing it with poetry. [Things that could possibly top it, or rank alongside it: spending the day with my family. They are awesome. Alhamdulillah.]

So, in celebration of this month, poetry-lovers and -writers are challenged to write a poem a day for the duration of the month of April. The NaPoWriMo website offers different prompts for each day of the month, which are basically new ideas for a poem for each day. And, even though I haven’t been following the prompts up until now (being a hippy and free-spirited poet and all, I cannot be tamed–no, I joke, I’m just undedicated like that; my poetry follows my emotions, not prompts from a website), I have decided to do today’s one. Today’s prompt suggests that we do a parody of another poem. Now, I have never written a poem of this sort before; I have never parodied another poet’s work and I have never before written an intentionally silly poem such as this (though, the unintentional ones I cannot help), so forgive me if it sucks terribly. I had fun writing it, though–who doesn’t enjoy being silly every now and then? I hope you enjoy reading it.

The poem I’ve decided to do a parody on is Trees by Joyce Kilmer. Here it is:

I think that I shall never see

A thing as awful as a child’s glee.

A child whose dancing eyes and scrunched up face can attest

To the pleasure she gets from causing her parents unrest.

A child who takes her parents as prey,

And their peaceful sleep and peace of mind does slay;

A child who has a special flare

For causing her mother to pull out her hair;

She could drive you to use cocaine;

She causes people to go insane.

This poem is all just nonsense, you see,

Children are what causes my heart to be filled with glee.

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A silly little poem, isn’t it? Share your thoughts and laughter with me below. Or, better yet, give your hand a go at it and share a parody of your own–so that I may laugh at you, too.