GC Writing: Noughts & Crosses, By Nayera Shoman.

But baby, we vowed that our stars will never meet in a thousand years.
We’re not right for each other; we know it deep in our bones.
How can I fall so hard for someone so wrong?
I’m amazed by you in each and every possible way; my soul, simply, loves yours.
You hold my happiness in the palm of your hands, and you can’t grant me it.
Our love is cursed in someway; I’ve tried to lift it, I really did.
Our differences are killing me, draining me out.
I knew the day would come, when you’d find the “right one”.
I kept telling you “I’m ready”, I thought I was.
I am not.
Now, I have to sit and watch you walk away.
I’m not like the rest.
I won’t accept that.
This rage inside me, I want it to stop.
You made a mess out of me.
Well, you’re the only one who can pick up my pieces .
My dearly disaster, you define in every way, “the perfect heartbreak”.
I wonder, do I ever cross your mind?
“Nothing will change”, you promised.
It all changed.
If I had the chance to turn back time to when we first met, I would take one glimpse and walk past you.
Suddenly, I remember, we both vowed on this chaos.

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GC Poetry: Circle Of Friends // Seif Salem.

Amusing it is to watch how people come and go,
Some help build you, others break you, almost like lego,
It is pleasurable to have an accomplice at hand,
Someone to depend on, who can understand,
However, just like we make new friends, we lose some,
At times we know why, other times we wonder how come?
It is substantial, crucial to choose the ones around,
Learn to know their reality however they may sound,
A wolf selects its pack, each individual for a virtue,
A traitor is undoubtedly left behind, regardless of their debut,
Look around you, you never know what can happen,
So differentiate and distinguish the precious from the rotten,
Cut loose the ones that bring negativity and bad influence,
Avoid surreptitiousness or malevolence, seek benevolence,
Learn to grasp the ones that bring you harmony, not harm,
Keep them in a proximate circle, for they are like a charm,
You will find it surprising how the less there are, the better,
Contrarily, only the quality and affinity are what matter,
Even if we have numbers of self-appointed friends, not necessarily a few,
We have reached a stage in life where we trust only one or two.

GC Poetry: Thorns // Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi.

I.

The story begins with worth

This body and its dark petals

What does it mean to love your neighbor as you love yourself?

When your beauty is stolen from your skin –and your hair and the name your mother gave you when she took you from the wet hands of the midwife– Pale as you were– Your eyes were still fifty shades darker than the color of sun-baked mud after the raining-season–And she knitted her Africa into your name– Tighter than the way God knitted it into your jungle hair and safari skin –and

Now you cannot look yourself in the eye.

You write yourself  love notes in Morse code.

Each indent is a question:

Why faces with skin the color of burnt caramel  

never grace the crystal ball

Why love is a word said only with your back to the mirror

and why there is so much sting

in the silent bleed at the end of each question.

 

II.

What does it mean to love your neighbor as you love yourself?

When images of tendrils in test tubes are thrown into your living room and they tell you– each cell must be stripped from its host for security purposes– There is much talk of contamination– But then you read somewhere else…somewhere… a smaller, more transparent screen that it was babies, not tendrils on your flat screen– In incubators and those bits of charred green flesh on glass-covered floors are bodies, are babies, are bloodied– Overexposed flesh peeling in Eastern heat– Not strong enough for the outside world– Not strong enough for the once crisp hospital air– not strong enough for even their mother’s touch but–

It’s been weeks and all,

there is only rot and dust now.

Tendrils (or not )

it is as good a reason to break

from The Ritual. Midnight-Media-Rounds.

The daily staring contest with the mobile abyss,

and mourn as best you can.

 

They were no family of yours.

 

So you will mourn not the loss

of shared memories but the injustice

(with no thought of politics or other man-made things).

Simply that they were not given the chance to grow

into an ally or enemy.

Nipped at the tender bud of terror.

They will never be old enough —

to feel like victims or victors

to feel ostracized or socially submerged

to feel like they can be both Arab and Muslim

Without being a threat to western security —

to feel the warmth of flesh not metal thorns,

To feel, without pain.

 

III.

What does it mean to love your neighbor as you love yourself?

If every sunrise doesn’t come singin’ you can get out of bed today! Because maybe you shouldn’t– Since each morning is a constant visceral assault of mortality– And you blend into the night– And lullabies ring out like elegies or sirens–  

Because maybe you won’t make it

through the night or past that check-point

If you’re caught

Out. Howling your fear and pride at the moon!

And there is death and danger in the face of everything

That moves at you

and breathes  

deep

And heavy  

so that there is

no air left

for your  

heaving lungs.

 

IV.

What does it mean

to love your neighbor as you love yourself?

Is it a slow blossoming like a delayed blessing?

Or is it to become an injury:

A hurt like the gaping ground of an expanding fault-line?

Settle into devastation  

Christian your soul Victim.

Or

try

To be

Whole again.