Dec 28, 2012

Should have said.


I drink bitter coffee, I don't mind - no sugar
and my tasteless black coffee doesn't seem to mind.
Not all things are meant to be sweet;
hunger,
thirst,
things we said;

.I should have said: I want to make this work
I should have said: let's try (again).
I should have said: you make me happy.

I drink bitter coffee and I remember what you said:
  
I don't ever want to re-marry.

I'm busy.

You're  judgmental.

I don't know what you want.


I hope that you too never  said  what you should have  said




Dec 22, 2012

a quiet





A quiet fills her

A quiet like the eeriness that fills the fair the morning after a festive night

Everything grim and silent

Everything still

The stern chipped faces of old Merry-Go-Round horses

The grass soiled with spilled cold drinks

The frustrating repeated sound of sweeping empty cans and

candy wrappers where childish laughter once was

The thrill of the ups and downs of their roller coaster passion brought to a halt

The magic suddenly vacuumed from everything, her days are a starless infinite sky

After he's gone.








Dec 16, 2012

Mending




Whilst gardening, strong winds break a young flower's stem; its blossom hangs down in resignation
She supports it with its own leaf. From a distance the flower looks alive.








Easy



I know what is easy



Solitude it easy

Anger is easy

Bitterness is easy

Losing faith is easy

Letting go is easy

Hate is easy

Hurt is easy

Despise is easy

Despair is easy

Loathing is easy

Resentment is easy

Vanity is easy



I know what is hard

Fulfillment.

Nov 10, 2012

The Way You Did


Take it the way you did when you lost your way home; the first time you drove in the dark.
Take it the way you did when you lost your grandmother's wedding ring.
Take it the way you did when you lost your dearest friend.
Take it the way you did the night you lost your faith…

But Oh! don't take it like this!

This loss surpasses all
Defeats attempts of language
Shuts all windows of solace
The point zero of all her senses
With every breath, she prays it would stop
But still! Don't take it like this…

Under the ogre foot of this loss; she imagined she would die or worse

live.














Oct 20, 2012

Lonesome


She takes her child to the play ground

leans on the rusty broken gate

the lonesome mother

watches happy families – complete

she is different, she is cheated, she is

counting the years;  the incessant footsteps leading

to struggle in a long and winding road - drowning

she forces a smile and waves back at her little one.

She feels her youth seeping through her fingers

falling with every dead strand of hair.  















Oct 13, 2012

Glove



She's had so many in the past, but she loves this one.
The one she found by coincidence
The one she found when she was looking for something entirely different
The unassuming one that fits
The one she almost lost; the one that always finds its way back
Resilient strong leather; genuine caring skin
She loves how it retains the shape of her hand when she's had enough
Faithfully etching an impression of her every skin crease; waiting for her to come back





























Oct 12, 2012

In the dark


He comes to see her late at night
In the dark, his finger intense
His eyes carefully touch her everywhere
He sniffs her like a hungry dog
tells her beautiful words;
how delicious she smells

She feels
 his breath         
                   consuming her       
                                after every cigarette

Oct 7, 2012

When he




When he tells her he is going away
Her tangled old fears unravel, her sneering old doubts growl
This is when he goes - the voice whispers - this is when it all grows cold
She never did learn how to grab hold of her tether or rein her seething promiscuous self
She wants the words but her weaknesses are strong
No articulation, no eloquence, no fluency
just her crooked forced smile when she tells him she'll drive him to the air-port. 

That




That love often wore its haunting masks

That the voices were deceiving

That her hungers grew weary and her passions destructive

That when she thought she finally climbed out of her sadness; she found she was 
always at the very bottom of its empty glass

That her mending of a broken jug, her replacing of a button, her sweeping under the fridge; is but her desperate compensation for all which she cannot mend, all which she 
cannot sew together, all which she cannot clean.

Sep 6, 2012

Dead Sea




After recently visiting the Dead Sea in Jordan.


Turning sea rocks - waiting to be surprised
but there are only 10.000 types of trees,
not a branch that hangs quite how we please.
No matter how fast we run, we can never out run ourselves -
our hideous over grown demons.
Between the life we led and one we'd rather lead; there are
,uncaring parents, unfaithful partners, disappointing friends
gazing longly and lovingly into the wrongs pair of eyes
letters never sent, trips never taken, emotions
that could have been spared

My spirit yearns to want less, to know more - to know well;
the knowing of money in a banker's hands,
the knowing of the Dead Sea's longing for life; with its
saturated cruelty - saturated salt

To want .. to want..
to always want.






Aug 30, 2012


Dear Friends,
So much has happened since I left the UK and came back to Kuwait. Became a lecturer in law at Kuwait University – school of law, I love my job, the students are pleasant and intelligent, I do get the odd careless one who comes to class half an hour late and without so much as a pencil and answers the exam with a pink inked pen, but other than that one, they are lively lovely and interesting, my colleagues are mostly men, interesting but a bit smug, as law lecturers and law professor usually are. I painted my office red! The only red office in the whole university, people pass the corridor and stop for a second to admire or be shocked, I enjoy the attention, sometimes I buy white Lilies and Sungazers and put them in a huge vase, against the shocking red wall they glow, and on a sunny day, which is often and all the time here in Kuwait, my office feels beautiful, warm and fragrant.  I always try to keep my lectures stimulating and I love to make my law students laugh, I once attended with a toy bushy mustache and massive wacky toy glasses, they laughed for the first 15 minutes, and laughed some more when the Dean suddenly decided to drop in and see how I was doing, it was fun!
I live in a lovely bright apartment overlooking the sea, which is always azure blue, calm and inspiring – I'm still trying to find the time to take photos to show you -  the place is filled with positive energy, and although I hardly have the time, I do try to write when I can and have recently gone back to painting, which is a great relief because I feel very agitated and unhappy when I don't write or paint. Jori is growing up beautifully and is so funny and clever and is happy in school and learning all kinds of interesting things and has endless questions about God and heaven which I often find impossible to answer!
Other than the positive stuff above, I have had some problems with the law! Yikes!!
Back when I was in the UK I tweeted on very controversial issues doing with the corrupt government and corrupt rule in Kuwait, my tweets were too honest and explicit to be ignored, I was called for questioning at the Kuwaiti embassy in London two months before leaving the UK, after the questioning I wasn't asked to come back again and I thought that was that. But I was prosecuted again last month, they came knocking on my door one night (11 pm) and told me I had to stand before a prosecutor the next morning, I wore my best red shoes –as you do- and stood tall and proud and answered all the questions, I was let out after paying a bail of 1000K.D (the equivalent of 2000 British pounds) They took my laptop and took my photo (mug shot) from profile and from front like a true criminal – not my best photo, but there you go!  I still don't know whether I will be sentenced to prison, for some reason I am not afraid! Obviously I would not want to be away from Jori, that would be terrible for me and her, but somehow and I sometimes think prison might actually be a good experience! Think of all the time I will have to read and write, I'm guessing they'll allow me to bring in some books, not a computer though, if they do put me in prison it will not be more than 3 months (Max), that’s the worst case scenario, but my law colleagues have been supportive and told me that I have a good strong case and that they would help me fight, if things take to a bad turn, I sometimes fancy I could write my best work in prison like e.e.cumming's  "The Enormous Room"! But I'll probably cry and cry and wish I could hold Jori and think of everyone I love… but to imagine, being shut out of everything, all eyes, all sounds, all mouths… to feel the absolute silence of everything and to be completely and wholly with oneself, skinned from all life's demands and continues engagements and meaningless courtesies, but I also understand how terribly lonely and frightening it can be, the social stigma I will have to face and live with afterwards, and will I be able to get back the job I love? Not to mention the food must be ghastly in prison and they most probably won't let me wear my red shoes!
My country's opinion of me – rendering me as criminal for simply speaking my views and my opinion is both sad and laughable, I am a criminal because I said the government is corrupt, I must be put behind bars, I am dangerous and my ideas are dangerous thus I must be stopped and imprisoned, and punished and scrutinized and analyzed! This hypocrisy makes me laugh, it makes me laugh at this fake society that I live in, at the fake people who run this fake society, it makes me gag with disgust that people would rather live a lie than to see or speak of the truth. It also makes me feel strong, if they do lock me up, my rebellious ideas will still be in my head, in my body, in my blood, they cannot take them out of me, they can only shut the container away temporarily, shut the mouth away, shut the door, but only for a short amount of time, then the doors will open again. I imagine this makes them feel very weak and crippled; how to skin the mind from its own ideas? They can't and this makes them feel helpless.

More trouble with the law!

Since I was studying in the UK, I was constantly following the very unjust and unfair and cruel problem of a minority of people living in Kuwait called "Stateless" or the Arabic word for them "Bedoon". The "Stateless" are a group of people who have been living in Kuwait for as long as anyone can remember, they look like us Kuwaitis, speak like us and carry the same believes and ideas and culture, they dress like us and have the same values, they know no home land other than Kuwait still they are denied the right to citizenship in Kuwait and due to this injustice they are deprived from other rights, political, social and economic. It is a very sad situation from which thousands suffer and is shameful for Kuwait, it shames me as a Kuwaiti. I have –since coming back to Kuwait- been protesting with them and for them, and in one of the protests I tried to stand between one stateless man and  the police man who was trying to oppress the protest, I stood between them and got hit on the stomach! The physical pain was not bad, but emotionally it was awful, I've submitted a complaint the next morning and the case of "Miss use of force" by the cop is now being investigated, but without me having any marks, bruses or scars on my stomach to prove the incident and the stateless man being too afraid to testify against a cop, I don't have a very strong case.
Through my continuous work with the "Stateless" I've gathered information from government officials and recorded videos of their poor lives, poor living conditions, poor schooling, poor health services and wrote reports and made a short film that shed much light on the issue, I was interviewed on television and my film was played on the show, the program yielded much interest and many people sympathized and rose to help by giving money and other kind of support. I've been approcahed by the Kuwaiti Society of Human Rights and they've asked me to prepare more reports on the issues of "Stateless" to present to the Human Right's Convention, at the United Nations' next meeting in December in Geneva, which I'm very excited about and working very hard for. My last resort was poetry, I wanted the "Stateless" to write in poetry and prose what they feel, all the injustice they experience, all the sadness they carry, and guess what? It was a success, I put out a creative writing competition and called it "Roots" with a tempting financial reward, poems, prose and short stories came flooding in my e-mail, it was extremely heart breaking to read in their words all the suffering they experience, however it was extremely rewarding too. For the first time, someone took interest in their feelings, in their views, in their art. After two months, the results were out (I judged the competition) three winners from the children's category (8 – 17 years old) and three winners from the adult category (18 and over), I organized a beautiful but simple ceremony at the "Kuwaiti society of literature" where the winners were honored and given their prizes, I also collected all the entries in a book (an anthology) and called it "Roots", printed 500 copies and sold 450 ! all the revenue from the anthology is going to poor and disadvantaged Stateless families in Kuwait. Everything was a huge success; the book, the celebration, the winners and me were in the papers the next day.. felt such an enormous peace and such beautiful satisfaction, but I want to translate "Roots" in English and send it to all of you in the UK, it will be so wonderful to hear views and feedback…
There is still so much I want to do before I die, so much poetry, so much art, so much love, so much passion.. I want to start performing my poetry again and have started looking for venues where I can start my own poetry performance night, will keep you posted...

Love
Fatima  



  

Aug 29, 2012

Flood

Here it comes..
Her lips part
His lips part
Hateful angry words flood, black and wet
Their hearts part
Loneliness comes flooding
She carries them with her wherever she goes; features of every man that put her here
How their darkening eyes marveled as they counted her flaws, gleaming with piteous self righteousness
Not quite how they lit in lustful vulnerability when they said "Beautiful"  
How she hates them now
How she loved them then 





Aug 20, 2012

Home



Sometimes I want to go home,
but I’m not sure where that is

isn’t home another man invented sentiment?
an illusion to legitimise his other illusions
of loyalty, nostalgia, love?

a woman who survives an abusive man
lives the rest of her life homeless
her unhappiness coiling around her waist,
slithering between her thighs
she knows how misery takes without asking.



Aug 11, 2012

In my mind


In my mind, I find you
in my mind; we are not broken
not damaged, not tainted with our painful past
in my mind we are not trapped in the hurt
in my mind our hearts are not scarred
our happiness, not disfigured
in my mind our dreams are not foolish,
our expectations not naive
in my mind, I am not difficult, you are not distant

in my mind we forgive

in my mind we don't regret the choices we made,
the people we loved, the children we had
in my mind we talk about having a child together, then
we collide in a kiss..
in my mind we live in a small cottage where there are
no roads, and our walls are book cases
in my mind, I can rest my head on your shoulder
in my mind you make me feel safe..   
                                                 in my mind..
                                                           in my mind.. 



Weight


When they first handed her to me 6 years ago
she weighed no more than 2.5 Kilos and fit
perfectly in my forearm.
Struck by her beauty and her grace
I wrapped her in all my emotions and brooded over her;
in my mind, I can protect her from everything

Six years later

I tiredly carry her up the stairs
20 kilos of flesh, bone and blood
her heavy head hangs on my shoulder
her legs dangle all the way down to my knees;
in her mind, I can protect her from everything
up the wearisome steps I go
I carry the weight… I carry the years



Aug 4, 2012

Someone else's



On the lowest shelve of a closed mahogany bookcase; under a pile of old papers and forgotten books laid the dreaded wedding album.

She opens it wearily and falls into a tangled maze of suffocating memories, the narrow strange walls of the painful past, the expired happiness, the false bliss

photos from another life time
someone else's husband
someone else's family
the smile she wore -seven years ago - looks like someone else's smile
It must have been a dream.
She carefully puts it back where it belongs; under, beneath, hidden, unseen, barely existing in the back of all that is reality and present
walks quietly to where her child sleeps, her child, her proof that it all really happened,
she is growing up so quickly and is beginning to look like someone else's child.




Aug 1, 2012

I found our e-mails



For my dear and darling friend Fred Holland who died suffering a heart condition on May 30th 2011.




I found our e-mails; rich, sophisticated and intelligent, spilling marvelous philosophy on love, loss and life, It never occurred to me you would go gently in the long unbroken silence..
When I think of you, I don't remember your last days; frail, ill, crippled in a hospital bed, hardly conscious of me saying goodbye
I remember you on that fine spring day when we walked in the park, young green leaves, healthy, alive, sparkled like confetti above our heads, language grew enormous in our incessant ideas
How can a beautiful mind like yours be buried under the mud? Why would a strong heart like yours give up?
You said to me once "love is like air, if you try to hold it, it disappears"
I could not hold on to our love but I hold every moment spent with you,
I hold them close.



Jul 31, 2012

The Self




 
 
Self?
You blatantly ran after quenching your desires,
then skilfully framed the body with your indecent cravings.
 
Self?
You have time and time again
stood me in front of your ruthless mirrors
squeezed this waist, then whispered to the mind:
                                            
‘This is what I want’
 
You padded these breasts with silicon inserts,
and sponge fillets, then whispered to the mind:
                                                           
‘This is what I want’
 
You slowly twisted the plastic stick and enhanced these lips
with petrol smelling reds and pinks, pouted, then whispered to the mind:
 
‘This is what I want’
 
Then you dragged me to people and places I was never keen on,
measured me in their approving and disapproving stares.
 

Mind

Mind?
All you want is more.
You have taught these senses that whatever they already have
can never be enough,
and whatever is within their reach
is surely insipid and dull

Mind, I have enslaved this body for you.
tired beyond measure I have laboured it for your content.
You have turned these eyes into two strangers who look down on me.
You have turned these eyes into two spies that follow me with their vulture squints.
 

Body

Body, you only lay here beside him because you are weak.
You have let your ferocious passions run wild,
your predator like lust heighten with no a roof or restraint,
stigmatizing me and the self.
You held your lips in the arch of his neck
stifling your insatiable impulses,
silencing your shameful moans.
Every time I have pulled back your tether, you cried:
‘don’t listen to the guilt’
‘don’t listen to the guilt’ , you said
 
                 ‘for what does the mind know of love
                                   and what does the self know of pleasure’