Poetry · Satay

That moment between being awake and being actually awake

 

“It was like being plunged headfirst into a pool of ice water without a chance to catch the slightest breath beforehand.

Disorientated.

I hadn’t the slightest idea where I was or who I was or why I was here or why I was suddenly awake having not even remembered falling asleep or why I was in a room that was so terribly familiar yet I couldn’t recognise or why I had no memory of any previous existence of mine despite knowing I’ve been here for long although I knew all the information was somewhere but unreachable because it was so

far

 

far

 

far

 

away.

 

I was still blind though.

My eyes hadn’t opened yet.

 

And it only got better when they did.

A sudden flood of sharp white light that filled every crevice of my cornea and stripped what was beginning to surface of my conscious completely bare, now leaving me with no idea of what I hadn’t an idea about, as if I was newborn baby that somehow got stuck between the womb and the world without the slightest clue to what was going on and without the means to know what and why.

Or perhaps worse than that, for not knowing on its own would have been fine but in that split second that I was in that felt that like an eternity stretching upon another eternity I did not only know nothing but had the means to know something but could not know whether or not I knew the means to knowing could be trusted.

It was like trying to pluck out something useful from a cloud of dust that spanned the entirety of my conscious, which proved to be impossible. My mind was struggling between the life I knew I was living in reality and the life I knew I was living in a dream just moments before and the life I knew I was living in my dreams and would not settle on one for more than a flicker.

I must’ve lived and ended about a million odd lives without knowing whether any of them were truly mine and my eyes weren’t even halfway open.

That’s when I began to get nervous. 

I’d realised that all the millions of lives that I’d just lived a thousandth of a second ago all came packaged their own problems and any of them could have applied to my own real life and in fact all of them were my lives and all the problems that had to be solved had to be solved by me but I didn’t know how.

Thus I set about to think of a solution, the entire world (or the half that I could see of it) spinning round and roubd endlessly before my eyes, my heart in pain, my mind intoxicated, almost as if my brain had been saturated with a concentrated alcohol that was seeping it’s way through layer upon layer of my subconscious and getting to the very core.

And then

it just

 

 

 

 

 

vanished

 

 

 

 

 

as soon as it came.

 

For my conscious conscious had managed to surface before then,

successfully traversing

 

miles

upon

 

miles

 

of fluffy subconscious grey matter, 

the cloud of dust that spanned the entirety of my mind,

in half the time it took to open an eye.

 

Then the immediate clarity that followed,

the sweet feeling of knowing, 

knowing where I was,

knowing who I was,

knowing what I was living.

 

A rare moment of lucidity that enveloped my brain like a warm honey with a cinnamon tinge,

rendering the alcohol that was previously there,

even in the deepest cracks of my being,

gone.

 

How sweet could opening one’s eyes be?

 

For I could only help but smile,

at the clarity,

 

at the familiarity,

at the comfort,

at the ease,

and at the new day.”

 

~Azzam

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

Cold Showers on Winter Mornings

“Stumbling

Eyes half open

Not unlike my soul at that moment.

Half of which is standing at the bathroom door and the other half clinging staunchly still at the sheets

Not wanting to do it as much as acknowledging that it needs to be done

And it is the step onto the cold, stinging tiles that renders turning back a no-longer.

I knew full well that the choice between right and easy would inevitably come one day,

but that did not make reaching out for the tap any easier,

 

As the cold air began to creep through the gaps and envelop my entire being,

eagerly waiting to embrace its liquid counterpart,

knowing full well that it would despite how much I didn’t want it to,

because I had no choice.

 

For the world does not take lightly to body odour,

in particular those emanating from unwashed bodies.

 

Perhaps if I knew such an ordeal had to be repeated at this time of the morn each day,

I would have chosen to stay in the womb.

Where it was warm and so was the water,

and I was clean without having to make myself so.

Such is the bliss of the unborn who are safe from the calls of the showerheads.

 

And with that thought comes the impulse,

the turning of the hand.

Counterclockwise.

For it dawned upon me,

that it was nobody’s fault but mine that I chose this path, when I had the chance to stay and be warm as before.

And thus comes the subsequent sound.

The rustling of non-solid ice through the ice cold pipes hugged by ice cold air in an ice cold world.

I knew it was mere moments before the fall.

And before I had a chance to take a step back, it had happened.

Bursting out of the holes above me like a platoon of angry blizzards,

screaming through the air,

Impact.

their cold, evil touch numbing my head,

followed by my face,

then everything else.

 

And I could do nothing more than stand,

and scrub,

or force myself to

despite my muscles finding it hard to move.

Holding in the screams that were scratching at my throat,

begging to come out.

As if it would ease the pain

or render the world warmer.

 

And thus I shoved them back to the bottom of my stomach,

where screams belong,

perhaps hoping that they would be of some defense against the ravenous, devouring cold,

that was working it’s way outside in to my very core.

It wasn’t of course.

 

And  I could only hope that the event of me not smelling bad would come before my potential freezing to death,

Hoping and fighting,

Punching the air,

clenching the jaw,

gritting the teeth,

whatever would put off the monster of the cold from devouring me completely even for a fraction.

 

And it was just enough.

 

For before I knew it, it was over.

 

The cold now nothing more than a weak lingering in the air,

The soles of my feet now only complementing the tiles,

the tap now in its original clockwise state.

 

It was over.

 

It was all over.

 

Everything was new.

 

Everything was breathable.

 

Everything was warm.

 

And I smelt absolutely amazing.

 

Perhaps,

 

this is what if feels like,

 

to be born again?”

 

~Azzam

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

Saturday Morning ~

I am gonna miss you loads like crazy bucketloads filled to the brim about to spill over and that and I know I won’t be strong enough to deal with it however much I pretend that I do cause I can only lie to myself for so long and I’m scared it’s gonna eat me up from the inside until I’m no more than a smile plastered onto a face with loud laughs that are actually hollow and I can only pray that I eventually do and perhaps I will someday somehow

 

Poetry

The Sweetest Bath

“She’d finally done it.

Racing down the salty steps,
calloused feet banging on mould-ridden wood,
as the wind filled her hair and made each strand flow
as much as the waves in front of her did,

The sun just beginning to kiss the horizon,
as much as it would like to do the same to her
good soul

It’s loving red rays spreading across her skin like
butter brought to a boil,
only to be cooled by her smile to a
lukewarm cinnamon latté
that enveloped her from head to toe
and was almost as fragrant as her
pure heart

The smell of the ocean would normally sting the insides of noses 
like a battalion of ruthless sea soldiers paving their way of escape from the dark depths
with sharp spears and sharper knives
but not with her
and not with her tiny nose

She held the wind with her bare hands
and let it lift her up
and up
and up
and up
and let her go from a great height
while the sun would dip it’s eyes beneath the horizon, anxious about seeing whether or not it was too great

But it was of no concern,
for the good waves would catch her and cradle her tiny frame
like a million hands made from warm honey
handling her like the beautiful
yet easily broken thing 
that she was,

and they’d cradle her back and forth,

back,

and forth,

and back again,

until she got dizzy with the movements of the endless hands,
and the sweet warmth of the sleeping sun,
and the gentle touch of the whistling wind,

and she’d be enveloped in the warm honey she’d come out of,
and became as sweet as it herself
if not sweeter,

and it would drip off her onto the velvet coast,

pitter patter by

pitter patter

to which the few fortunate grains of sand that were dripped onto would jump with joy,
filled with sheer awe,
euphorically bewildered at what they had done to deserve such a privilege

And that was her life after that
after the jump
after it all

And she’d continue dripping the honey everywhere she went,
smiling at herself as the sun waved goodbye,
and the waves sang farewell,

as she continued to pitter patter along the velvet forevermore,
her honey dripping and dripping endlessly,
enchanting those who were,

by some fortuitous turn of fate,

lucky enough to taste it.”

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

“The Quran”

“It overwhelms me.

The sheer simplicity of the words,
that I am not able to understand,
but the underlying complexity that I can just somehow feel,
as it comes apart,
strand by strand.

The rhythm that captures and entangles me,
that only intensifies with every line,
that the brain can only enjoy, lavishly,
like a fine dine for the mind.

The ink, as if capturing all rich darkness,
and the pages, all pure light,
I almost shiver at it’s touch,
and soften at it’s sight.

And the air that gains a distinct heaviness,
as the covers split apart,
like a divine humidity that settles on your shoulders,
and swims it’s way to the heart.

And then, gliding out the mouth,
back onto the pages once more.
Me having gained absolutely everything,
and it, losing nothing at all.”

Some books just really have that effect on you. Sometimes, even if I don’t feel like it (which is usually the case), I’ll just sit down for two minutes and read a tiny bit. The minutes stretch into hours and I don’t even have a clue. How do you feel when you read something precious to you? Maybe your own religious book, or a letter from a loved one? Let us know!

~Azzam

Poetry

“Sleep”

“The eyelids get heavy and the limbs go limp,
The mind’s elsewhere and the thoughts are hymns,
Echoing endlessly through the soft cloak of night,
The sleep’s deadly call-who has the power to fight?

All excitement is dead, all delights are a bore,
To keep the eyes open becomes the great chore,
A swarm of bumble-bees buzzing in the brain,
Lulling it to slumber like the pitter patter of rain,

Creeping up the windows of the subconscious, idle it lies,
Choking away the cognisance until it solemnly dies,
and by then, it’s too late to scuffle or cry,
as the body now lies dead, since the mind has long flied.”

~Azzam

How does it feel for you when you start to fall asleep? Let us know!

Poetry

“.”

“Right beside my shoulder,
But a million miles away,
Screaming right into my ear,
But I don’t hear a word you say.

The same great laugh, the same wide smile,
Yet something is in lack,
In your eyes I no longer see the shimmer of mine,
Like a mirror,
with a crack.

Tight against my very arms,
But I’ve forgotten how you feel,
Plastered onto my very eyes,
But I still wonder if you’re real. “

People change.

___________________________

Another piece of mine written a long time ago. I keep coming across more of them, and they seem to be getting more peculiar as I go along haha

~Azzam Anwar