Caits Meissner, Life, Poetry

‘Your Village’, a poem by Elana Bell #palestine

In the light of recent events, I’d like to share a beautiful and heart-wrenching poem by Elana Bell. Please click here to listen to and read her poem, Your Village.

In these last ten days of Ramadan, I pray that Allah eases the suffering of the oppressed in Palestine, Burma, and elsewhere around the world. My heart also goes out to the families of the passengers on MH370 and MH17.

It’s been a heartbreaking Ramadan, and all the more reason to turn to the Healer of hearts:

And when My servants ask you, (O Muhammad), concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be (rightly) guided. [Qur’an 2:186]

 

 

Beauty, Caits Meissner, Health, Life, Love, photography, Poetry

Recipe For Grounding, a poem by Caits Meissner

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Please hop on over to The Elephant Journal for this beautiful, beautiful poem by my poetic mentor, Caits Meissner: Recipe For Grounding. Read it out loud, whisper it to yourself, feel the words resonate through your soul.

May this poem inspire you to stand tall, grow roots, and simply be.

(If you haven’t already, I encourage you to be a reading member of The Elephant Journal for only $13 per year. Support this gorgeous independent press and its writers!)

I took this picture at The University of Life, at Janda Baik. It’s truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever stepped into.

art, Beauty, Poetry

My upcoming spoken word performance on Saturday night

10406820_782761278421335_1546002526403073306_nI’m thrilled to be part of a “nasheed: light the night” event this Saturday night, 8:30 pm at Talent Lounge. The theme of the night has to do with preparing for Ramadan. Thank you, all the organisers, for including me in this awesome line-up.

I’ll be performing at least one spoken word poem during the event. Please come down for some spiritual rejuvenation, and bring your loved ones!

 

art, Beauty, Life, Love, Poetry

My first published poems are up!

Screen-Shot-2014-03-04-at-5.34.43-PM-165x200I’m thrilled to share that my first set of published poems are up!

Please scroll down Cait Meissner’s website and download the free course anthology titled “Armed Only With Our Souls”. Thank you Caits and the lovely ladies of the April Digging Deep, Facing Self group – I am honoured to have tread that path of creative expression and healing with you.

To any woman who is on the precipice of change but feels stuck…I urge you to sign up, do the hard growth work, and marvel at the outcome.

art, Poetry

My debut spoken word performance! @caitsmeissner @markgonzales @barakablue

spokenword1The universe has order.

Last night, through a series of unexpected events, I ended up performing during a gig with Baraka Blue and other local Malaysian artists.

When I first stood at the microphone, I had DRAGONS in my stomach (forget butterflies). By the time the local artists and Baraka Blue himself performed, I was alight with creative energy, and ended up closing the event with a poem I wrote only hours before hand, during my poetry workshop with Baraka Blue.

Overall, it was incredible. There is something so magical about performing in the same gig with one my writing mentors. Maktub: it is written.

I performed three of my poems (Bone Marrow, Elder and Nenek), and I’m thrilled to report that I’ve been asked – very vociferously – to join the local poetry slam scene. Last week, I didn’t even know where to look. I’m working on uploading my performances. Stay tuned!

I’d like to thank Jamal Raslan and the Crescent Collective team for making this all possible. Also, special thanks goes to the brilliant spoken word artists who continue to inspire me: Caits Meissner, Mark Gonzales, and of course, Baraka Blue!

art, Beauty, Family, Love, Poetry

My poem – Nenek (maternal grandmother)

Screen-Shot-2014-03-04-at-5.34.43-PM-165x200I’m on Week Three of a 30 day writing course – Digging Deep, Facing Self – and my poetry guru, Caits Meissner, has asked each of us to share our favourite piece of work as an exercise of vulnerability and bravery. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my poem. It’s still a very early draft, so be gentle, and please do comment!

Nenek (maternal grandmother)

I was thirteen and
an ill-fitting shoe
in my new country
of vegemite and Uncle Toby’s
I, child of chicken rice and noodles

when Nenek died

Mak flew back with Aisyah
I wish I had gone too
to say goodbye before the end
but only two decades later
when I awoke to the meaning of my ancestry

I lost your blue-stoned ring,
Nenek,
forgive me.
it haunts me
how careless I was

while I grieved for you,
refugees were shipwrecked
drowning
trying to enter the country
I waltzed into (via aeroplane)

“There are no children in detention centres.”
said the national lie
as more and more babies were born
into a cage

Nenek, you fled the communists
on a leaky boat with Datuk
not a cent to your name

your catalyst: being at gunpoint
Datuk told the soldier
“Shoot her first.”

you fled on a boat
like so many around the world
dark night, full moon swallowing the sky
risking death by drowning

you were a boat person
scorned
like the others left bloated
in the water
but you survived

you carved out a new life in Singapore
birthed countless children
showed them how to survive the ache of life
served tea to Datuk even when you could barely walk

Nenek, I am comfortable now
calm, grounded, married
you would have been so proud
I have returned to country you fled from
lifetimes ago

you paid for this, in the terror of your
night-time exodus
huddled next to your husband
towards an uncertain future

you have secured mine.

art, Beauty, Poetry

Lucille Clifton

vintage-fountain-pen-2-1148654-mI’ve been lucky enough to be introduced to the poetry of Lucille Clifton (thanks, Caits!) and want to share it with you, too. I love her compact, evocative and passionate style. Beautiful, bold, and concise.

Here are a few of my favourites by her:

Homage to My Hips

these hips are big hips.
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.
these hips have never been enslaved,
they go where they want to go
they do what they want to do.
these hips are mighty hips.
these hips are magic hips.
i have known them
to put a spell on a man and
spin him like a top

adam thinking

she
stolen from my bone
is it any wonder
i hunger to tunnel back
inside desperate
to reconnect the rib and clay
and to be whole again

some need is in me
struggling to roar through my
mouth into a name
this creation is so fierce
i would rather have been born

Listen Children

listen children
keep this in the place
you have for keeping
always
keep it all ways

we have never hated black

listen
we have been ashamed
hopeless tired mad
but always
all ways
we loved us

we have always loved each other
children all ways

pass it on

Lucille Clifton
Love, Marriage, Poetry, Short story

The Drum – a literary magazine for your ears

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I’ve recently stumbled across a wonderful literary magazine called The Drum. Check it out! Being an avid fan of all things literary, I’ve come to really enjoy my stopovers at The Drum. Each poem/essay is unique; some poignant, others hilarious.

I really enjoyed Jane Hamilton’s essay “Finding Forgiveness In a Ziploc”. Her heartwarming reflection on marriage revolves around an incident at the airport with her husband and a ziploc bag. While listening to her voice, I was a fly on the wall during the dramatic, stress-induced culmination of 26 years of her marriage. That being said, I’m all for happy endings, and her thoughtful, honest and funny essay left me with a wonderful sense of hope.