R O J A V A

I close my eyes and remember warm summer nights 

Spent on rooftops, mattresses spread out, spray bottles filled with water

Waving at neighbours, enjoying the rare breeze of a summer’s night.

My three sisters and I would laugh endlessly as our parents slept

Underneath the blanket of stars and an overzealous moon 

Watching over us, and we danced, we danced around with our hopes and our dreams while Singing to Jupiter and the trees.

On cold winter nights, it was the clanking of the pots and pans that 

Awoke us in the morning, underneath our covers, we etched a lifetime of 

Memories, now all a faded distant dream.

It was the chestnuts by the fire, and the sherbet for our guests, 

It was the long conversations over the hedge with a friendly neighbour, 

It was the young boy who brought us our warm bread in the mornings 

And the little geckos hiding by the air conditioner that frightened us, 

It was this and all of this, 

That I built my magical kingdom on. 

And now, a crumbling dynasty of hope.

First came the whispers and murmurs of a revolution, a spring, 

Then came the protests, followed by a siege, and all of a sudden, 

Our hometown was destroyed by madness and our streets were overflowing with 

Black flags with white writings and perverted tendencies, 

A betrayal of the innocent, an angry cry, tears of blood from the sky, it wasn’t a bomb,

it was three and more, followed by the creation of streams of light blood,

dark blood, all blood Blends, of friends and foes, the city was exposed.  

From cradle to grave we were born into a war, 

Our fairytale life was nothing but a dissolved rumour. 

Scenes of family and friends fleeing, images of fallen faces, feeling afraid and famished, 

We were now uninvited from our homes, unwanted by our people, unwelcome by all. 

Our misfortune was a means to an end. 

They didn’t care about the chestnuts or the rooftops,

they had no intention of listening to our hopes and dreams,

they were monsters from my unimaginable childhood nightmares, 

And they were here to stay. 

We fought and fought, we buried the dead, 

We buried Sheereen, Berivan, Ruhan and too many to count. 

I look to the sky to see a glimmer of hope, 

But all I see is an untrusted enemy, a betrayal. 

You were supposed to protect me. I wished upon all the stars, I wished for protection. 

And now the cycle repeats, it’s different faces and a different flag, 

But the decree is the same by all intents. 

Our mother, a lover of the mountains, of the sun, of the earth, 

Now a body of regret, “Why?” She would ask herself every day as she visits my grave, and waters my flowers, “Why did I stay?” She would ask as she prayed, 

And “why” she would utter at the world? 

“Why?”

untitled

My Mother Tongue shakes the balance of your state,

My Women scare your men into slate,

My Mountains have helplessly observed our fates

As seasons pass and winters press, and foundations shake.

A people whom you’ve never seen

Are born with wings to fly over the scene

Of blood and bodies of the badly betrayed

My children are the cradle of death, here watch them laid.

And as the canons growl and howl

You’re left with an odourless foul,

This is your attempt for an angry fix to enrich your soul

With the abolishment of a Kurdish whole.

Our heroes, wounded will not bow

Their souls fixed on one vow.

Our poets and soldiers fight hand in hand

Creating vibrations over your so called land.

Blindly the world watches, only they don’t see

They don’t see that the Kurds are already free

Free from ignorance, greed and hate

Filled with Azadi we recreate.

We will not weep over those we mourn,

Those very roses that cut us with their thorn

Leaving us abandoned, stateless, and rights-less,

Will regret the day they chose to repress

A nation so grand, no matter how much they try,

Kurds will fight back and defy,

Pry all you want, we will not die,

And if guns and barrels are your only conviction

We will fight your attempt at extinction

We are Kurds and we have one reply

You’ve betrayed us enough, this is goodbye.

loss; and all her friends

your absence is a silent thunderstorm

that suffocates me back to life,

an all-encompassing feeling of

nothing. 

a body piercing shriek

in an empty walkway of thoughts,

your death is 

tears to my soul,

shreds in my heart,

beatings to my chest.

it’s everything and nothing but 

an empty letter addressed to a

fleeting moment.

Mardin
21/05/2019


 

16

unrehearsed words unclenched

slowly,

onto untainted hearts

welcomed

holly, unwisely he loves her,

Nothing left but a desolate heart. 

Mardin
15/05/2019

2019

a rebirth

You’ve felt a year’s worth of a cool shrug of a million blurry faces passing by as you lay lying down, standing stagnant. You’ve felt trapped in the eclipse of time between day and night until the midnight sun and the afternoon moon meet to conquer. You’ve been an extra in the movie of your life and someone pressed pause on you and play on everything else. You watched, paralyzed, as the gardenia seed you planted in the spring starts to fight the rubbles of her earth. Slowly, she peaks through the ground as if to glance around to test out the dangers of life, not quite understanding why she’s here and what she’s doing here. She says hello, but is shy and doesn’t completely come out. As the cool air turns into a warm blanket, her stalk starts to blossom, no longer shy, she tries to stand, slowly but surely. During the summer night, a hundred fleeting moments pass you and you watch as her stalk stands straight, unintentionally marking her place, her home, her birth, she starts to grow. You surround yourself in a sea of misery and then ask yourself why you feel diminished, and right then a thought occurs to you as her sepal starts to become more prominent, the sun comes and goes as the clouds hover over her nesting place, a scary thought occurs to you, what if, what if you disappeared right there and then. You’re already stuck, you’ve forgotten to move and as the rain falls down, drip, drip, drip, splash, creating a puddle in the crevice of the earth, you are masquerading your pain in a book of lies, life is happening as her stalk grows tall, gaining confidence, taking on life as her leaves start to erupt like a slow volcano. You hear school bells and children skipping, birds are chirping in the brisk autumn breeze and you see a squirrel digging a hole for his nuts, daylight turns into darkness, it is too good to be true, too good to be true to be under a blanket of stars. The sun comes out to play before you get a chance to make a wish and her petals fight their way into the light, and there she is. An honest beauty, but rays turn into rain, and rain turns into snow, you can’t let yourself be swept away in the beauty of her existence, and her pale yellow petals are now covered in a layer of snow, her stalk withered to nothing but a shell of a corpse. And there you are, as still as you once were, you let yourself be swept away and now you are broken, paralyzed, forever standing still as life happens. You reflect on the life that has passed and yet nothing has changed even though everything has changed. This is where you are, did you want this? Did you ask for this? Do you deserve this? What is left of you loosens, you start to walk towards your fairytale story of castles and prince charming, you take the long cut because you haven’t breathed fresh air in forever, you slowly start to pace yourself and then you run, you run faster than you’ve ever run, you’re running away and running towards something, an object, its vague and yet its clear, nothing but a mirror, nothing but a reflection, nothing but the truth, you are me, and I am you. And as the sun creeps in, I see the green sepal fight the same battle once again, as it rises from its corpse, this is her rebirth, her second chance. It’s our rebirth, my rebirth, my second chance. 

~

As 2018 comes to an end, I reflect on not only the past year, but the past few years of my life that I’ve meshed together and claimed as the worst two years of my life. And although I don’t feel changed in the physical definition of the word, there is a fire rekindled within, and that is a change I can’t describe even if I tried. This is what 2018 taught me, a year in review: 

  1. Fall in love with yourself before you fall in love with anyone else
  2. Mistakes can be a good thing, learn from them and then move on
  3. Everything is a phase, everything will pass, even the hard moments 
  4. Time will heal most wounds, but not all
  5. Things don’t always go according to plan, so learn to be adaptable
  6. Be spontaneous
  7. Family first, always
  8. Sometimes the walls you put up to keep out scary monsters also keep out good people 
  9. Be in tune with your body, your femininity, if you feel there is something wrong, listen to it
  10. A healthy body is a healthy soul, start taking care of yourself now 
  11. Idea’s come at night and in the showers, and execution comes in the morning
  12. Life is better with a playlist playing in the background (invest in AirPods)
  13. Bike more, it makes you happy 
  14. Friends come in all ages, from different backgrounds 
  15. There is so much to learn, but focus on one thing at a time, you can’t do it all, even if you think you can
  16. Not every day is going to be a great day, some days are just average
  17. Social media is not real life
  18. Budgeting is important 
  19. It only takes 21 days to change a habit
  20. Too much time alone can be a dangerous thing 
  21. Smile more, and laughter is the best remedy for anything 
  22. Don’t rush, enjoy the moment 
  23. It’s okay to let go of the people who keep you down
  24. Be yourself, be unapologetically yourself, even if that’s changing every day
  25. Starting something different is scary but worth it
  26. Clutter can be a bad thing, get organized
  27. Don’t give up, even if they laugh at you
  28. Friendships can grow apart, but they can grow back together
  29. Forgive yourself
  30. Be patient with yourself and with others, not everyone moves at the same pace as you do
  31. Follow your dreams, no matter how absurd, but remember that dreams require sacrifice 
  32. Women supporting women can be a wonderful thing
  33. It’s okay to ask for help
  34. It’s okay to put yourself first 
  35. Get out of your comfort zone
  36. Slow down and pay attention to the details, use that to write 
  37. Connect with your emotions 
  38. Don’t wait for an apology to forgive someone 
  39. Procrastination is your enemy
  40. You can create the life you want
  41. Just because you’re a good person, doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen to you 
  42. You are worth it
  43. Working hard doesn’t mean working smart
  44. Disconnect to reconnect, pick up the phone and call people, set up plans
  45. Never walk away from someone angry
  46. Don’t let the little things get to you
  47. Your gut is always right
  48. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else
  49. Surround yourself with people who dream big, and work with talented and brilliant people 
  50. Girl talk is important
  51. You’re going to feel lost and that’s okay 
  52. Invest in experiences, not things, so travel more

It’s funny how the first day of the year flirts with us and promises us a better life, a new beginning, “trust me” she says, and we do. We take time out of our day to look for the perfect outfit and then book appointments to style our perfect self so that when we finally meet, we are spontaneously different and forever changed. She flirts with us with her countdowns, and her fireworks and we fall for her every move. And even when we think we’re immune to her coy, we somehow manage to fall into the new year resolutions and new diet fabs while she dates other people in secret and tells them the exact same thing, “I believe in you” she says when we fail, and she gives us the promise of tomorrow, the promise of another day to restart. January 1st, the first day of the year represents different things to different people, but more often than not, it represents forgiveness and a second chance. We really don’t need a set date on the calendar to decide to reset and change something about ourselves, we can break a habit, or go to the gym, or read a book any time of the year. We don’t need a date to make that happen, but somehow we always fall for her charms, the first day of the year, after all, there are fireworks. And its so easy to want so many things for 2019, and I can create a list that will go on for days, but what I really want? What I really want is for me to hone who I really am, I’ve done the searching, I’ve done the experimenting, I know who I am, who I want to be, what I want to achieve, and this year is the year where I go after it, and believe it or not, I’m going to be ruthless. 

Mardin
1/1/2019