(Written in memory of the earthquake victims)
Sweet salty water roaring
Stroke sandy seashells,
Black lands stretch afar,
Sun rose, awoke one day,
Shimmering glasses displayed,
Life’s chores taken up,
Light chatter, horns blew:
People hustled-bustled up.
Toddler footprints led to bus stops,
Buses left traces of cheery voices:
‘Wassalam Ami Jan’.
In rushed streets,
Soul-filled bodies filled empty buses:
Once upon a merry time
Once, upon a merry day,
Sunshine enlightened souls to rise,
Eyelids fluttered open,
Hands moved to earn life.
Lives with a life to live, once,
Lived, living far away,
Hearts sang peace, were fine,
Once upon a while away.
‘Every worry led me to parks,
The sandbox was my heart…’
‘My life: my garden bliss,
Flowers grown in months, in years…’
‘The dusty earth in my hands lay,
I was to build a house of mud today…’
Tissue paper floats unused,
Cemented buildings uprooted,
PetAl-like giggles flitter,
Pages hover, unused,
Ink left to dry,
My time has come.
Seeds left ungrown,
Mothers’ dens shut down,
Who will care?
With the shutting down of minds,
Mouths widen open in horror,
With the made appointments broken,
Faces never seen once more,
What with future plans to live forgotten,
Some bones shattered, some broken.
Children of forgotten names,
Voices despair, die out, hearts falter,
There are hidden voices.
Shackled behind humbled walls,
Down by the mountainside,
Thoughts roam to curries past,
Cooked elsewhere under the sky walls,
When will you come?
Sliding feet over wet dirt,
Aftershocks killing last hopes,
What will I say when Allah asks:
‘Where were you when I had no place?’
This poem was written in light of the recent earthquake and is based on the following Hadeeth:
Abu Hurairah has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Verily, Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious will say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘O son of Adam, I was ill, but you did not visit Me.’ He would say: ‘O my Rubb, how could I visit You – You are the Rubb of the worlds?’ Thereupon, He would say: ‘Did you not know that such and such a slave of Mine was ill, but you did not visit him? Did you not realize that if you had visited him (you would have known that I was aware of your visit to him, for which I would reward you), you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked food from you, but you did not feed Me.’ He would submit: ‘My Rubb, how could I feed You – You are the Rubb of the worlds?’ He would say: ‘Did you not know that such and such a slave of Mine asked you for food, but you did not feed him? Did you not realize that if you had fed him, you would certainly have found (its reward) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked water from you, but you did not give it to Me.’ He would say: ‘My Rubb, how could I give You (water) – You are the Rabb of the worlds?’ Thereupon, He would say: ‘Such and such a slave of Mine asked you for water to drink, but you did not give it to him. Did you not realize that if you had given him to drink, you would have found (its reward) with Me?'” (Muslim)