Poetry from Laura Kaminski and Siraj A. Sabuke

1.    A Lost Poet
.
I stood on my hills
To watch the flow of others.
I see for the blind
But lost vision
To my inner sight.
.
Like soap,
In order to make clean
The dirt of others,
I dwindle in the act.
.
I have lost my voice
In the sacrificial
Struggle
To make theirs sound louder.
.
My identity has been compromised.
My being… theirs.
My fears
Strength, hope
And dreams
Became entangled in theirs.
.
Who’ll sing for me?
Who’ll cry mine tears
While I’m busy crying for others?
Who’ll travel my journeys
And befriend my lone hours?
.
Who’ll cater for my sorrow,
Keep my sadness
And fears company?
Who’ll fight for me
And stand for me
While standing with me?
.
-Siraj A Sabuke
.
.
2.    Why Else?
.
(for Siraj Azeez Sabuke, after “A Lost Poet”)
.
Keep quiet one small moment, little brother, listen
to the moon: what does she whisper, this one
.
who spends the night hours reflecting, passing
on the illumination of the sun? Each month, we
.
watch her dwindle until she can no more do this,
she must rest in darkness before she can resume.
.
Indeed, do we not call her mother because
of this way of hers? Do we not call all mothers
.
by the names of their children, not their own?
But we do not fail to respect these mothers, we
.
do not fail to respect the moon. Listen to her.
Then you will know better if this practice of
.
supporting and reflecting others, showing off
their brightness, has honourable purpose.
.
Keep still one small moment, little brother, close
your eyes, look through your eyelids to your heart,
.
read the words you have inside. All around we
see beings with two eyes who have no vision,
.
all around we see sighted persons who cannot
see. If you are in the presence of a blind man,
.
even if his eyes seem open, is it not a duty to
do your best to guide him? Why else have you
.
been given eyes, my brother? Why else have
you been given words that flow like rain?
.
-Laura M Kaminski (Halima Ayuba)
.
.
3.    A New Dawn.
.
(After “Why Else”, a response to “A Lost Poet”)
.
In the darkness of a sleepless night
I resolved to face my life
With courage, bravery and might
To defy all forms of looming strife.
.
This damp space I journey on,
Dark, with stones and thorns
And I can’t stop but to move on
Despite the pain in my bones.
.
I vow allegiance to the call
I’ll face hunger with faith
And be dauntless to all
Menacing weakness with strength.
.
Gone were the doubt-full days
I’ll stand before a threshold
With fear brimmed and glowing on my face;
Indecisive, horrified and cold.
.
A new dawn has awaken
And it has jogged my sight
That fear, idleness and laziness have overtaken
Bravery, courage and my daring spirit.
.
I’ll journey the untrodden paths,
Walk through walls and across rivers
I’ll speak the unspoken words
And write the unwritten letters.
.
I will speak for my friend
And not forget the troubles of my foe
I’ll endure standing firmly, even alone, to the end;
Being proud of what I stood for.
.
-Siraj A Sabuke
.
.
4.    Old Woman’s Secret
.
(after Siraj A Sabuke’s poem “A New Dawn”)
.
Little brother, you have found and stated your
determination to endure, and stand your ground
.
even if you find you stand alone. You are young
strong and proud, slowly turning from the lazy
.
waiting for others to affirm your value, slowly
lifting yourself out of the bog of loneliness
.
and pity, squaring your shoulders off to carry
out your duty, bear any burden and discomforts
.
you are given. But before you finish packing
for the rest of your life’s journey and turn
.
to set your feet more firmly on your road, take
just one more moment here to bend your head, lift
.
both hands to your ears that you might listen
to the words of this old woman, listen beyond
.
the hoarseness of her whisper to the secret that
is hidden there, veiled like flower hidden in
.
the bramble. This secret: little brother, we
are human, we are fragile, no matter how great
.
our strength, we sometimes stumble, no matter
how brilliant the determination we shine upon
.
the path before us, there are nights when even
that is insufficient, and we misplace the road.
.
If you find your courage is enough to travel
toward a destination you may never reach, if
.
you are willing to surrender all the sustenance
you gather, offer it as nourishment whenever
.
you encounter another with a greater need than
yours, if you can swallow this secret: nothing
.
beyond the road is promised us, there may be
no companionship, no nourishment, no respite –
.
if you begin your journey anyway, despite this,
then I have faith your life will not be wasted,
.
I will say: Siraj, my brother, he is like me, he
is not afraid to try, he is not afraid to fail.
.
-Laura M Kaminski (Halima Ayuba)
.
.
5.    Ink Of Time
.
(A response to an “Old Woman’s Secret”)
.
Fear gripped and boarded me
On the wandering train of wonders
As I looked deep-in to see
Light in an old woman’s slate of letters.
.
She painted her Secret with the ink of time,
And with deep colours of faith
The rhythm of her lines gashed my soul
And I see myself bleeding, bleeding light.
.
I explored the veins of her words
Traced them to draw a map for my journey
On a deserted trail of self sacrifice
A lone walk on a path needing wear.
.
On this task, I must be like the sun
Out to bless the day for the living
But has to surrender its strength to dusk
To be nourishment for the moon to light.
.
An old woman’s sacred secret is my arsenal
I’m armed with it. A hunter not for wild games
For food, but for wisdom and virtue, strength
Wild enough for my wild journey.
.
-Siraj A Sabuke

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