Category Archives: Poem

To inspire nothing is to not live

By Rafiq Raji

blue sky

What sort of individual inspires nothing?

Breaths are not held for the joy of your sight

Scoffs are not instigated by the sound of your voice

No one desires what you have

No one wishes you gone

No one to wish you’d stay

To inspire love, hate, jealousy is to live

To not evoke emotions is nothingness

Far worse than nothingness

For nothingness itself fills a void for the doubt its existence evokes

When you enter a room, do you get noticed or do people continue tinkering with their lives?

Is there a void for good or ill by your absence?

Are there cries of regret and joy at the sight of your back?

Does your laughter brighten and dull faces?

Do your cries soften and harden hearts?

You inspire none of these?

Best to not live

Because to live is to exist

To exist is to matter

To matter is to evoke emotions

They are reactions to your existence

They are evidence of gifts for good or ill

Look to the heavens and say:

Not for naught have You bestowed these

Not for naught have You evoked these emotions

Not for naught have You created me.

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Count your blessings

By Rafiq Raji

beach sunset

An ungrateful soul worries about an itch in his eye

Forgets to be grateful for his sight

An ungrateful soul worries about his slowing stride

Forgets to be grateful for the joy of walking

An ungrateful soul worries about the rumblings in his stomach

Forgets to be grateful for his appetite

An ungrateful soul worries about the fruit of his loins

Forgets to be grateful for the joy of birth

An ungrateful soul complains about the snoring by his side

Forgets to be grateful for the joy of love

An ungrateful soul worries about forgetfulness

Forgets to be grateful for burdens spared

An ungrateful soul worries overmuch

Forgets to be grateful for blessings abundant.

Be still.

By Rafiq Raji

She is fidgeting again.

Why can’t she just be still?

And what does she do when she dashes out like that?

She is back. How are you little one?

Were you sick?

A scratch there. She loosens her hair. Again.

Styles it into a single knot this time. No? Not enough.

A look at the dress. There is a tiny wrinkle there.

Where? There. Here? No, there.

Here? No, further up. Here? No, up!

This is my head! Yes, the wrinkle is there.

Another dash out.

Another hair play.

Another scratch.

Another sitting position.

Up again!

Be still, Sweetheart. Be still.

Separation (A poem by Rafiq Raji) #ALAconf2014

Humans desiring distinction
By race, class, education, lineage
Created free, he binds himself to the notion of betterness
Dare not impale my paleness
Separation!

Dishonouring origins for want of paleness
Is one free without roots’ pride?
Who then are your ancestors?
Debasing your ancestors on the plantations of life
Finding disciples in oppression of tribe, religion and ancestry
Separation!

Occupiers of lands without right
Awake in mind to the reality of your curse
Never to know peace while usurpers of noble dreams
Thought to kill the spirit of your hosts
Asking why He should endow them so
Separation!

Moving from land to land oppressed in spirit
Wanderings of a homeless spirit
Conscience long departed for fear of contagion
Separation!

What then when there are no more lands to conquer?
What then when there are no more peoples to separate?
Redemption fears invitation
Should forgiveness meet someone so?
Separation!