change

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Boundaries

Published July 21, 2014 by sidmary

When I look up at the sky

I look for clouds

That will rain,

And blur the boundaries

of countries

fears

selfishness

hatred

comfort

and pride.

.

Because across them brethren,

We are one.

.

But for now-

As bombs rain down on you,

demolishing mosques,schools and homes,

tearing apart limbs and families,

Orphaning infants,

drawing excruciating screams from mothers,

And only raising your spirits further-

I writhe and scream in pain,

And shed tears from a ripped and tortured heart,

Handicapped

by boundaries.

.

Bombs rain down on me

Leaving no landscape unchanged.

I see my limbs tortured and spread about me,

Each aching and screaming.

.

Because beneath the fences,

The land is one.

.

We look up at the sky,

For clouds

That will rain,

And smudge the boundaries

Into one terrain…

–Sidra Maryamchild

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All Seasons -2

Published September 11, 2013 by sidmary

Your brothers, your sons,

Your sisters, your mothers,

And the very earth beneath your feet

Bears witness to your strife.

When avaricious people

embraced our land,

and sought to soak it…

You kept the strife!

Your courage, greatness, steadfastness!

Is like the peak of Himalayas, or more…

A pinnacle beyond our reach!

And yet to us seeming at a long trek!

You reached the top.

 So greatness,

And the ages to come

Will bear witness to your strife.

All seasons drenched in martyrs blood

Bear witness to your strife…

تمہارے بھائی،تمہارے بیٹے

تمہاری بہنیں ، تمہاری مائیں

تمہاری مٹی کا ذرہ ذرہ گواہی دے گا

کہ تم کھڑے تھے

ہماری دھرتی کے جسم سے جب ھوس کے مارے
سیاہ جونکوں کی طرح چمٹے
تو تم کھڑے تھے

تمہاری ہمت،تمہاری عظمت اور استقامت
تو وہ ہمالہ ہے جس کی چوٹی تلک پہنچنا
نہ ہم میں پہلے کسی کےبس میں
نہ آنے والے دنوں مں ہوگا
سو آنے والی تمام نسلیں گواہی دیں گی
کہ تم کھڑے تھے۔
…..
لہو میں بھیگے تمام موسم
گواہی دیں گے کہ تم کھڑے تھے
“We pray six times a day now. Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha, and Funeral prayers.” -(heard in Rabia al Adawiya)

— translated by: Sidra Maryam

lux ex tenebris

Published July 24, 2013 by sidmary

Heart;

and the tearing of Heart.

Mind;

and the tumult of Mind.

Knowing; 

and the regret of Knowing.

Ignorance;

and the unrest of Ignorance. 

Thought; 

and the failing of Thought. 

Chains; 

and the restraint of Chains. 

Soul;

and the shattering of Soul.

Pain;

and no immunity to pain…

.

Love;

and the warmth of Love.

Truth;

and the satisfaction of Truth.

Faith;

and the power of Faith.

Freedom;

and the healing from Freedom.

Imperfection;

and the perfection of Imperfection…

–Sidra Maryam

Abstract

Abstract (Photo credit: fireflythegreat)

Darkness begets Knowledge

Published March 6, 2013 by sidmary

“Darkness begets knowledge.”

The city’s shut down. The shutters dropped. The houses are locked with people safe inside. And the ones outside?? The ones who lost their homes?? The ones who have none…??

The schools are to remain close for an undetermined period. Same for business transactions. There are some who take this as another few days for home, yet others who depend on daily work for daily wages for daily food…What about them??

The business shutdown causes loss of fortunes everyday. The very soil screams out, yet the din above ground suppresses its cries. The country holds treasures, asks us to exploit them,…do we hear??

People die, people starve, people hallucinate, people violate, people resent, people despair…Thats’s not the onset of night, its the end.

“Darkness begets knowledge.”

Knowledge begets Light.

Light begets the Cure.

Keep positive. The world needs you. Its future is yours. Do your part…It’s waiting…

 

–Sidra Maryam

 

An Obituary

Published September 12, 2012 by sidmary

khoon-e-khak-nasheenan-tha,- sou-rizk-e-khak-hua..

[it was the blood of ashes, so it was reduced to ashes] –Faiz

Two factories caught fire yesterday. One in Lahore, the other in Karachi. Hundreds suffocated or burned to death. The brigadiers reached late and rescue processes were slow.

That’s not the point here. The point is that people DIED. They actually DIED and there was no one to ask for them, no one to take them out, no one to reassure them. Imagine yourself locked up in a room with all entrances closed, smoke slowly seeping in, the slow torturous suffocation, the masses of people trapped and panicky with you, and a death that is unavoidable. That’s how they passed away; almost three hundred people in the factory in Baldia Town as I know from the most recent statistics.

Statistics. That’s all that everything reduces to in this world. A number, a graph, that no one bothers to interpret. Yes, they probably are going to record the effects too. The number of families left totally unsupported; the increase in depression, in families going unfed each night; the number of houses mourning deaths of 2,3 up to 6-7 deaths in an instant. Yes they are going to record it, and yes we are going to read it and we will say ‘how sad’ and ‘how tragic’ and then we will tend to our meals.  And then at the end of the year, there will be a short paragraph as an event review for the year.

Our own lives are not statistics or numbers to us. Why, oh WHY do we fail to understand that each number in those statistics was a being of dreams and aspirations and an un-achieved future!!??

The workers were all poor, and no one asks the poor how they fare in this world. They ask the rich ‘Howdy-do’ because they are already faring well, and won’t plead to them for help, but the poor are not asked, nor truly sympathized with. So for we can do now, lets close our eyes for a minute and grieve for them, and pray for them and our country; for the dreams we all have and the futures we all want. They may be fickle things, but they make life. And next when we are position of action, let us do something for our country and for our lost dreams; and let us do something for the poor who need the justice that is all spent on the rich…

–Sidra Maryam

On Burma Again

Published August 27, 2012 by sidmary

Brandishing as with burning coal, the bare souls,

Unleashing Death, and

Resuscitating the Evil.

Muslims, keep faith,

An eternity will establish justice…

–Sidra Maryam

(This is another acrostic poem. The first letter of each line makes a word, that is the subject of the poem. )

White Noise -3

Published July 5, 2012 by sidmary

He was on foot. He had gone to the park two blocks away for his regular evening walk and had just met a long lost friend. They had forgotten the time as they talked. The friend finally departed with a promise to come for dinner the next week. He remembered that he still had one lap to do, and resumed it. Half way through it, he heard three distant, distinct gunshots. The park was almost empty. Then his wife’s messages began coming: one after another.

He glanced quickly around him, and keeping to the border of the park, moved out. The streets were empty and an eerie silence reined them. He took the shortest path home, keeping in shadows as much as he could.

As he passed near the shops, he saw a man lying on the middle of the road, looking up at him helplessly. He quickly averted his face, adrenaline rushing in his veins.

‘The gun-men must be somewhere near.’

As he closed into his street, he heard two more gunshots. He hurried his step. When he finally entered his threshold, he closed the door softly behind him. Anxiety was still coursing in his veins and his face was flushed. Aneeta was in the entrance hall, her face panicked.

As he entered his bedroom, more shots were heard in succession. Now there were other noises too. Aneeta entered after him:

“What is the noise, Baba?” He turned around.

“Shut the door, sweet.” She closed it.

“What is happening, Baba?” He turned his back to her again.

“Close the window, sweet.” She followed.

“But the noise is deafening, Baba!” He lowered on his bed.

“Pull the curtains, sweet.” She adhered.

“The noise is going to kill me, Baba!” He lay down.

“Cover your ears, sweet.” She looked up helplessly.

“What if they kill me, Baba?” He closed his eyes.

“Go to sleep, sweet.” She was sobbing quietly as she exited.

                        x——————————————————–x

Mama and Baba took me to a doctor today. There was a big big room where many people sat. I could see my face on the floor. No one spoke over there. They just sat and looked. I don’t know what they looked at.

It was so hushed: I wanted to run and touch all the blue tiles but was afraid of doing it. Mama just tapped her heels on the floor: tic tic tuc.

The clock hand came to three twice on my Mickey Mouse watch before the doctor called up. I didn’t want to go to him. I wanted to go home.

He asked me strange questions, and looked at me with big, empty eyes. Then a girl in white came and took me away. I waited outside. Mama and Baba came and no one spoke. In the car, I sang ‘The wheels of the bus.’ I asked Mama to sing with me; she did not. I was annoyed, so I sang at the top of my voice all the way.

Now Mama does not smile. No one smiles, no one laughs. It is sick! I sing. I sing all day; I sing the same rhyme over and over again and no one stops me. Not even Bhayi, who hates it. The vacations have started:

“The wheels of the bus go round and round;

The babies in the bus go ‘Uayn Uayn Uayn;’

             The mothers in the bus go ‘Hush Hush Hush;’

The people in the bus go up and down…”

It has started to get boring.

                        x——————————————————–x

The day she died was another silent day. The heat had been oppressive. She was playing in the garden with other children from the neighborhood. They had brought in their toys. Ali had brought a brand new toy gun; a very expensive one that his father had bought at a mall. It gave her the creeps, but she did not say anything.

Soon, it was the center of attention. They began “role-playing” with it. Ali pointed it on Shaheer’s forehead, and he pretended to fall.

She felt her body going numb. Then everything blacked out. She did not know when she was screaming, or when she was falling.

It was a hot afternoon; not even the birds chirped.

The doctors said she was normal. She probably had a shock and her nerves were too weak to support her.

The children were too afraid to speak. Their mothers kept them home.

Hamza chose the line for her tombstone. It said “When angels tread on Earth, they can’t bear it for long.”

                        x——————————————————–x

Ten years later, when even her parents and brother had forgotten to visit her, a young man came and brought roses for two tombstones: hers and his father’s.

THE END

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