Monday, August 8, 2011

I Grieve

11/20/03  12:25 am

I Grieve
By: Yasmin Mogahed

I lifted my head
Once more
Only to see
The sun had set,
The trees had slept,
And they’d all gone home

I grieve.

The sky that was clear
is now covered with fog.
My path, I no longer see.
Why try…when it’s all so gray?

I grieve.

Today I grieve
For what’s been lost.
My forgotten people,
still on their knees
before a snow god in spring

I grieve.

They’ve forgotten that prayer
And to whom they should call.
The Essence replaced
by mundane ritual,
empty symbols.
Their hearts… so tired,
jaded and worn

I grieve.

We are a people
defeated…but not conquered.

And somehow
I feel my blood return.
I will stand.
I will try.
And from beyond my grief,
I will see…

There are a people you can’t enslave.
A loyalty…you can’t buy.
For a land may be occupied…
but never a soul.

From beyond my tears
I’ll understand…
Today my people weep.
But tomorrow…Death will die,
as their tears give birth to a land
where…“on them shall be no fear
nor shall they grieve” (2:262).

Friday, August 5, 2011

Castle or Cage

July, 2002
Castle Or Cage
By: Yasmin Mogahed

I saw you dancing in the snow.
I saw you walking late at night,
along paths of steep walkways
and thorny branches.
you spent your whole life searching,
but what you found
was it castle or cage?
where is your world?
Of it, are you prisoner or prince?
who are your parents?
did not the moon divorce the sun?

i saw it all in a dream
i thought.
the voices seem clearer now.
every poem is a path
every hardship a journey.
it ends with the crown
made of twisted pain,
withered petals.
are you writing a song with your life?
who do you think will listen?
who do you think is watching?

i think you got lost
in your own mind,
amid your own thoughts.
you lost your way
somewhere between
pleasure and pain.
it got fogged
somewhere between
here and there,
between snow and sun.
i wish the cold had waited.

i'm sorry.

there's a world
below the world,
beyond and deeper yet.
you and i can see
but not they.
there's a pain
beyond tears,
a speech
beyond thought.
there's a land of hope
untouched by words.
there's a heart
understood by none.

i left you alone
to search.
I'm sorry.
What you found
was it castle or cage?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Long After the Euphoria Has Passed

Something I wrote many years ago...I think I wrote all of it with my eyes closed (literally) :)...

Long After the Euphoria Has Passed

This time, sadness. not urgency. just sadness.

i know.

but what's the point of explaining? what's the point
in trying anymore? where's the reason for that
awareness?  where's the point? what can it change to
know why?  and to capture the reason, embody it, and
explain it beautifully?  what path will change?  what
reason will depart?

and yet, i waste my words. my effort to think. the
energy to lift my head, when i'm so tired. so tired
inside. so depleted, although unused. depleted without
being taken.  lost without ever having known my way.
broken before being whole.  how can something break
that never even was?

long after the euphoria has passed, what's left?  no
sentences, just fragments of broken thoughts. the fear
of being right. it's almost strong enough to make you
break the truth you know.  and after having broken it
with your own hands, believing the lies it tells.  we
all lie. we all lie. i'm lying now. i'm not okay. my
words are nothing but a transparent bravado.

i don't even have anything to say anymore, but i'm
still writing. why? who's listening anymore? who's
even listening? not even me. not even you. no one.
does nothingness exist? it does here.  in this quite
space in my mind, it exists. and i'd like to keep it
that way.  i don't want to be here anymore. i'm tired.

only sadness this time. not urgency. only sadness long
after  the euphoria has passed.  but i'll still be
standing here.  i'll still be here.   wondering if
it's all just a shadow of a dream i forgot to
remember. stop. please stop. i'm just a shadow of a
dream i forgot to forget. 

and i refuse, oh, i refuse, to be anything more.

if you don't like it, let me be.  let me be. long
after the euphoria has passed, that's all i'll be. the
thing i refuse to accept, the lies i refuse to
believe, the faces i refuse to hide. the words are
passing through holes in my mind. i built them for
you.  they're just holes in my mind. holes. it's
alright. it's not alright. it just is.

and i refuse, oh, i refuse, to be anything more...long
after the euphoria has passed.

i'll still be standing here. 
i promise.
i promise.
i promise.