Sunday, July 30, 2006


Last night once again I found myself rummaging through the attic trying to find something I had lost maybe a century ago? Filled with blind hope that indeed I would regain it, as I swam through heaps of junk from the past and piles and piles of papers. Until I reached the point at which the reason to why I had initially gone up there was completely forgotten, and this new adventure of discovery was much more interesting. Amongst the clutter I found a row of neatly positioned A4 folders, which my father had carefully placed in alphabetical order. Memories came flooding back as I came across report cards and certificates from my primary school. In the midst of these, I found an old poem I had written at a young age, one I still remember writing, and thought I had lost forever. At the time I entitled the poem “poem 4” only because it was the fourth ever poem I had ever written. The memories attached to this poem remind me of “happy days” or should that be “happier days”? I’m not quiet sure, anyway, so I thought I would leave it unchanged and share it, as it is.

Poem 4

Long ago one dreadful night,
My eyes caught hold of what a site,
I was walking through the streets alone,
And a lot of courage I had shown.

Rain was falling gently not making a sound,
Yet I could not feel it, as it touched the ground,
And as I walk more, my footsteps you hear,
Only mine, no one else’s, are you feeling my fear?

It was late at night so dark and cold,
I should have stayed in as I was told,
The streets were empty I saw not a breath,
The weather was cold and as bitter as death.

My pace became faster as I walked more and more,
It was like walking in circles, I’ve been here before?
I was in trouble now, so I began to run,
Until I was blinded with light like the sun.

Oceans of feelings were set out free,
As I couldn’t believe what I did see,
I didn’t know whether to smile or scream,
It all happened so fast, was I in a dream?

A gift so pure so full of love,
A present from God sent from high above,
I stood there speechless not saying a word,
Yet all my emotions and feelings were heard.

His light filled me with warmth and pleasure,
His presence to me was like immeasurable treasure,
And as he turned and walked away,
I prayed my angel would return some day.

This poem made me take a step back and realise how quickly we grow? How quickly one is made to take responsibility for their life and actions? It made me think of childhood, with its innocence and how it flies by without giving a warning. I also thought how funny it was that most people would associate inexperience, gullibility, simplicity, truth, purity, virtue and basically pure magic with the word childhood? I realised how unfair it was that some children around the world are stripped of theirs with such force that it leaves them naked of their freedom as a child to face the harsh world as it is, but what hurt more was that its allowed to continue as if the problem would disappear if we all turned our backs. So I searched the following statistics:

Of Americas 5 fastest growing health concerns (including depression, diabetes, impotence and age related problems) obesity is ranked number one with 61%. Sometimes it is diet choices that are the problem. Too often, fast food or frozen meals substitute for a quality meal. Not only fast food, but sugary treats are nowadays way too common. What used to be a rare treat has now become a daily if not hourly intake. However I acknowledge that Diet is not the only culprit, Lack of exercise, is another cause of child obesity. Video games have replaced much physical activity that is needed to burn off excess calories children consume. It was hard for me to believe that studies show, increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems and trouble sleeping are all related to obesity in young children!

Then my mind bought me back here to the UK, to when Jamie Oliver sparked off his “feed me better” campaign, with the delightful television programme, I’m sure most of us watched…he took his campaign further when He launched a petition with the aim of getting 10,000 signatures to improve the standard of school dinners in the UK. Four days after the final episode aired, in March 2005, he delivered it to Downing Street. It held 271,677 signatures. Tony Blair promised to take action and, within weeks, the new education secretary, Ruth Kelly, announced that an extra £235m would be invested in improving meals over the next three years.

Fifteen million pounds of that money went on setting up the School Food Trust which, announced a new set of regulatory standards which come into force in September: an end to processed items, crisps, fizzy drinks and confectionery; a minimum of two portions of fruit and vegetables with every meal; no more than two fried items a week. They also said that schools would have to meet even more stringent nutritional standards by 2008.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find it so hard to accept that one of the highest concerns on America’s agenda is to stop children eating so much of what it is so readily available, whereas else where in the world children are dying due to the lack of it. To encourage exercise because too much time is spent in front of the TV or playing Playstation while other children are the sole providers for what’s left of their families after their parents are killed due to war, disease or famine. It irritates me how Jamie Oliver goes through all that trouble to include lobsters and hand picks green apples imported from Portugal to Sainsbury’s, in children’s school meals so they can have it laid out on a silver plate, something the government is all too ready to aid, while other children, maybe on the other side of the same earth sleep hungry. Or if it ever comes across his mind that some children in south Africa have to wake up from dawn to do their chores so that they can travel yes travel to school which is located on the other side of their village, because it’s the only one, does anyone worry about their school meals?

Some children are forced to grow up and face responsibility before their time, are made to deal with war, deaths in family, and destruction without even knowing the reason why? But I guess life is unfair and that isn’t about to change. I know that these aren’t the only problems children all over the world face everyday (including Europe and America) and I probably couldn’t even begin to imagine, actually I’m probably the last person who can begin to talk as I’ve lived most of my life in the comfort of the UK. I just believe that children have the right to live equally because they’re so venerable, pure and innocent, they shouldn’t have to pay the price of their fathers. I know that I’m not going to change the world but I could at least talk about it.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Where is home?

Alive with no shadow, I feel so lost,
The penalty of our fathers, us will cost,
Where do I belong? What can I call home?
With emptiness inside, alone this earth I roam.

What do I fall back on, what’s my iron wall?
Crumbling and disaster as Baghdad did fall,
Hit after hit we fell, till now we are unable to stand,
And what we hear at night, are cries of a broken land,

Bodies of the innocent line the street,
And even the living wither in anger and heat,
As the sun rises it casts a black shadow below,
Killing the fruits of tomorrow, and their chance to grow.

Our rights were crimpled when we were promised democracy,
Yet only the dark, black hooded riper is set free,
Is this my origin, is this what I call home?
The land I spent all my life away from?

I know at the moment all is bad, it seems,
The future is far, but I have many dreams,
I have faith Baghdad will stand again on its feet,
And neighbours will return to live street by street,

You are my home; here I live as a stranger,
Although I’ve been welcomed, I’m seen as a danger,
For now, know in my heart you will remain,
Until one day to you I will return again.
What is poetry?

The oxford dictionary states that poetry is "Art or work of a poet; elevated expression of elevated thought or feeling in metrical or rhythmical form."

But what must also not be forgotten, it the techniques used in creating poems, poetry is language working at its most suggestive and allusive, in that it uses mainly the non-literal qualities of language; the quality and feel of different types of diction, sound, rythm, and the images and connotations that cluster around words. Above all it combines them in such a way as to bring out all those qualities at thier most intense.

Below i have included some of my favourite definitions of "poetry" found in literature:

  • "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility" William Wordsworth
  • "Poetry is the sound of human speech in those times when it comes closest to the speech of angels and the speach of animals" John Wain
  • "Poetry: the best words in the best order" Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "Poetry strips the veil of familiarity from the world, and lays bare the naked and sleeping beauty, which is the spirit of its forms"
I dont know who the above quote is from, but they must have felt very passionatly about poetry and its effects!

Friday, July 28, 2006


Fresh blood, new existence is made by the hour,
A new being, potential to be, but without power,
Venerable, weak, not knowing what’s begun,
But it’s too late from now the hands of time will run.

What were precious moments of those early days?
Are now memories of what’s past, a phase,
Then suddenly you may loose control,
A closed eye is all you need, a sudden fall.

You’ll find yourself ahead of what seemed forever,
A place you thought you would reach, never,
Into life’s harsh grasp you will enter,
In a black whole you’ll find yourself, at the centre
Time will clinch on your flesh so tender,
Your body into its claws you must surrender.

Until one day all will stop, all will end,
Congratulations you’ve gone past the bend,
But now worse than this nightmare you must await,
In the oneness of the grave, the unveiling of your fate.

Initially I had intended to browse around blog by blog, to maybe find something of interest or something I could relate to, to fill in my spare time as they say. But the more I would read the more I realised that there was a stronger message in between words and sentences, the need to express thoughts, beliefs and opinions, I was truly inspired and decided to do the same, but my way.

"Writing a poem is discovering"
Robert frost

I feel the best way i can express myself is through poems, maybe its because i can hide behind the words and meaning, a poem is not always what it seems and it can be seen differently through different eyes. What i love are poems that are not direct, but require an effort to discover their true internal meaning. Not only is a poem discovering, its a journey of discovery, a path that is truly universal and that teaches you things along the way.

"Poetry is about the grief, politics is about the grievance "
Robert Frost

I don’t intend to include any politics though, theres enough in this world already. However, my roots lie firmly in the soils of Iraq, a heritage that is important to me, but why discuss politics when you can express it? You will see i include some opinions about iraq and its current situation in some of my poems because again i feel this is who i am, im not apart of it, iraq is a part of me.

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen
Leonardo da Vinci

I believe poetry is a means of communication without confrontation; you can sway it in any way you like and achieve different meanings. Some of the world’s most profound thoughts, feelings and emotions can be captured and expressed in poetry, so that when you come to read it, the sensation is one of experience and not of comprehension.

Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air
Carl Sandburg

Finally I wanted to include the above quote by the American poet Carl Sandburg in this short introduction, only because it really made me laugh! He goes beyond describing poetry as a transcendent feeling, and gives it a form that is wild and determined a sort of “the skies the limit” feeling you get when writing poetry. If you write poetry then you will probably understand what I mean, the feeling when you have so many emotions or thoughts you want to express, it just charges you up and it becomes more difficult to get it all down. I don’t know, but that’s what I got from it…still funny though.