poems: some of my favourites

very sorry i’ve not posted in so long… in between zero connection and an abundance of family and friends visiting time, i haven’t been able to sit down and write.  but, that’s exactly what i did today.  i wanted to share a couple poems that i’ve written and edited.  these are very close to me, as i’ve written them to get through things, to understand things, and to let go of things.  here they are:

“forever”

his eyes were the shadowed blue of the sky before a storm

and his lips were the misleading calm before the rains.

his touch was the feeling of running for the sunrise

and his fire set mine.

but his kiss was like his heart

beautiful

and

broken.

i mended him

and he didn’t mind when my sharp, jagged edges

cut his fingers.

his smile was a promise

of something just out of reach

and his words were the sound of waves against the sand.

and we were beautiful

like flickering flames against the dark.

he whispered forever into the air

on a night in december

and i never

looked back.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“even the strongest ones”

isn’t it funny,

how quickly the tables turn,

and suddenly you find yourself,

picking up the pieces of the strongest person you know.

and what are you supposed to do,

when the person you’ve always depended on, crumbles?

isn’t it strange,

how a minute can change a life,

how a minute can crush a person,

as if it weighs a thousand pounds.

and how do you tell a crying heart that it isn’t their fault,

and that he knew, he knew,

you loved him.

and isn’t it cruel,

how he’s left us here to pick up the pieces,

and keep ourselves together.

and i’ve never seen him cry before,

but every human breaks,

even the strongest ones, even the ones we depend on,

to stay tall when we can’t even stand.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“dark black”

there aren’t any stars in the sky tonight.

why, why is everything so black,

as if a sheet is draped over the light?

maybe the moon wanted to love the sun harder than it could from afar so it left the night

and now it is dark.

can darkness be beautiful?

there aren’t any stars and I guess the blackness finally took over and our demons finally won

and maybe, maybe I’m dreaming but when i look outside i could swear that the light and the good have disappeared.

maybe those stars got tired of shining and giving hope to people who dreamed only of a tomorrow

or they left the night too because they wanted to know something brighter than themselves

but there aren’t any stars,

and I’m not sure how long we can stay fumbling in the dark.

| hope you liked them! see you all soon. x |

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note to self: always listen to motanani

she tells me that she’s “first class”, always, that she is one hundred percent. she says this with a smile, even though her she is getting old, feeling pain in all her joints, taking as many vitamins as you can imagine, and dealing with everyone’s pain on top of her own. she speaks gujarati and english, and goes between the two as she talks to me, apologizing when she can’t get a word right. “motanani” means ‘great aunt’, but she is more than a word or label could ever encompass. she goes through her routine with such certainty; as if she’s practiced and rehearsed everything a million times. we sit around the table with breakfast, and she tells us she just couldn’t wait any longer. breakfast for her is usually at eight, and we didn’t finish getting ready until eleven. she tells us about how during eid she barely ate because of all the cooking she was doing, making sure everyone else was happy before herself. “sorry doesn’t make dead man alive,” she says as she laughs at a story someone tells.

she tells me later that “bai is not fussy, chairs do not matter”, as i start to push in the chairs and straighten things out. maybe that’s my need for order and organization or just our routine at home. “namaaz is the only thing,” she starts, “i am only fussy for namaaz.” she has this connection with something bigger than all of us that no one quite understands but everyone believes in. if you need something— if something isn’t right; it’s common in our family to ask for bai’s prayers. because if she asks for it, it will happen.

“take one teaspoon hurder, one teaspoon honey, and mix for sore throat,” she told my mum one night a long time ago over the static of a landline telephone. she find joy in bringing others happiness, like that feeling of giving someone else a gift except a hundred times. she prepares things for the reunion of my mum’s family nonstop, gathering and cooking, and gathering and cooking. she makes things specially for every person, seeming to remember exactly what people like. “hah, nyla, rahil gameche (like) muffins and crocodile cookie,” she says late last night when we’d arrived at her home. she’d stayed up late, cooking roti fresh when we walked into the door and smiling proudly as she watched us eat them with margarine and sugar spread on top.

when her husband comes through the door, she greets him with a smile, a salaam alaikuum, kemcho (hello; peace be with you, how are you). she asks him about his day at the centre, what he ate; what he did. she fails to get irritated when she has to repeat the same question, growing in volume multiple times because his hearing’s gone bad. she speaks kindly to him, her love shining in the air that surrounds them. he sits quietly in his chair in the corner, like a child with his feet up and back hunched. their dynamic is so practiced, yet it seems to be different each time; rehearsed yet still repeated each time with thoughtfulness and care.

by the time we sit for dinner, she refuses to sit before every person has a full plate of food and has taken their first bite. she serves everyone, beso (sit), if they get up to get something; she’ll do it for them, she doesn’t mind. even then, when she finally settles and is happy, she rises to get the desert for her son to cut, asking for the first time that day a favour— leena, please get saucer plates and a knife. she doesn’t take cake herself though, and eats a small portion before starting to pick up dishes and clean. “i am slow,” she says, “i must be careful, i will fall,” she proclaims it almost apologetically, sad that she can’t do more, as if she’s responsible for life’s toll on her body.

if i could tell her anything, in words that we could both understand, i would tell her of all the lessons she’s taught silently, of all the smiles she’s brought with her words and actions, of all the virtues she’s lead us to acquire— patience, care, respect. i would tell her that through her love, we have learned to make mistakes and recover from them because we have someone to come home to. i would tell her that through her unwavering faith in allah and in something greater, she has taught me to let go of things i cannot control and leave them in the hands of someone who can. she has taught me to stop planning and controlling, and to start believing that things will work out, because someone cares and someone is there, looking over us. i suppose, though, that a language we both can understand perfectly, that contains more emotion and meaning that any set of letters formed together are actions. and i hope, hope, hope that i’ve conveyed all of what i want to say through my manner. i hope that somehow she understands the words i’m trying to form, just as she so perfectly does everything else.

sorry this post is a bit rambl-y and hard to follow.  after reading felicia’s post “note to self: always listen to maomao” on lovelifeeat.com (thanks for the inspiration), i knew i needed to do something similar and i had just the person in mind.  hope you liked this post, and sorry for the longer-ish break from the last one.  i’ll see you all soon… stay tuned for thoughts and pictures re: family reunions and everyday makeup.

okay, i’ll blog

it’s 7 pm on a sunday, and i’ve been trying to write this for the last hour.  i’m burning a candle i got for christmas, and it smells like flowers and beaches and summer.  one of my close friends gave it to me because, according to her, i just seem like a snuggly candle person.  my name is leena.  people constantly misspell it as lena, or lina– but it’s leena with two e’s and no i’s.  i like the sound of cars rushing on freeways, and water crashing into rocks.  the idea of change both frightens and excites me.  i constantly wonder why “temporary” is both terrifying and relieving.  i don’t like being tied down or feeling trapped.  i feel too much, and i seem to remember the smallest details; while forgetting bigger pictures.  i get frustrated quickly, because i’ve never one hundred percent comfortable in myself.  people give me hope, although i never, ever, though i could be a source of hope to anyone else.  i want to belong, but i don’t like staying in one place for too long.  i’m quiet when i’m sad, and i close up, like a locked box.  i don’t like using capital letters, they look to formal to me.  recently, i’ve stopped using them almost always– save for important, official things.  i always, always, always, sleep in socks– even in summer– because my hands and toes are always ice cold.  i like big words and the way words are just nothing but letters strung together until we put meaning and feeling behind them.  i say sorry too much, and i laugh just a little too loud.  i hate when people treat me like porcelain, but i realize that the smallest things, meant in the best way, can hurt me.  i like watching the sunrise and the way it streaks the sky with too many colours.  i love the feeling and sound of rain, and the way it makes you forget. music is one of the most important things, because it can make me feel when all i am is numb. i like walking in grass bare foot, and i like the sound of silence because it lets me think. i want to be a good person, by definition of what i’ve done, what i’ve said, and what i want to do. i think the way the city lights up blackness is beautiful, and my deepest fear is not being free. i’m learning to love myself, slowly. i’m learning that what you walk away with is what changes you, and that life is only a series of moments. but hey, that’s just me, who are you?

i started “a splatter of style” because of a summer impulse.  i thought it would be fun, and help fill up endless sunny days with something meaningful.  i’ve always wanted to be that cool girl that has a blog and an artsy instagram and can wear flower crowns, so maybe this is me capturing my dreams.  i’m not sure exactly what i’ll put on here, but it’ll be little pieces of me, and little pieces of things and people i love.

i simply cannot wait to get started.