Sunday, December 30, 2012

luminous you

Darling darkling,
with light I shall unveil you.
Upon the pedestal of poetry
I shall disembody your beauty.

As light touches the tip of your nose,
ascends to your temple,
traces the arcs of your brows,
and trickle into your eyelashes,
sharding into tiny rainbows
that reflect in your gaze
         — You kiss me with your eyes
              and swallow me whole.

Light may unshadow your countenance

but not that of your luminous soul.
The terrain of your mind
remains exclusively mine.


I forced this. I don't know what to do anymore.

Friday, December 28, 2012

O' muse

The truth is, I have been seeking solace in painting. The bold pigments of acrylics, the broad reassuring strokes of crayons, the abundance of cheap drawing block paper. I do not play at fancying myself becoming an artist, no. I have seen true talent in a friend of mine to know that I am just a hobbyist haha. (no inferiority complex there, nope. heh). 

I paint for the sake of painting. To me, there is just as much beauty in the concentration & effort needed to produce a reasonable piece of art compared to the final artwork itself. When one musters all powers of observation one has to study a subject, and then to find the courage needed to let the hand roam across the paper to trace the lines, curves & angles in the mind's eyes, it is liberating.

I return to the real subject matter at hand now: Painting is my refuge. Refuge from the silence that has crept up on me yet again. The same silence that has visited me ever so often. I want to pen poetry, not lament on it's absence. Alas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


This painting is inspired by Rimbaud's poem 'Ophélie', which tells of Shakespeare's Ophelia from Hamlet. Probably the only poem by Rimbaud I actually love in its entirety.

Medium: Water-colour, acrylics, water-colour pencils.
Paper: crappy drawing block paper.

Intially intended this for some snazzy metallic crayons I bought the other day alas, when I did the line art for this I got carried away & there's just no way I'm skilled enough to pull it off with crayons. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dear Star IV

Dear Star,
         (before I pass out)
I met him today,
The one you Love.
         You were bashful,
It's sweet.
This is no poem,
just a confession.


Snapshot of a page from Love - National Geographic 2008 @ Big Bad Wolf 2012

I am so very tired. Have been venturing out into the world daily since Thursday but here I am. I think it's important to write while soaked with fatigue. It unearthes something deep inside of you.

The letter L. yet again. How should I proceed with this? This has nothing to do with the world at large, nor the people that reside in it. Although, I still believe that something internalized is always birthed from an external influence be it conscious or subconscious. The letter L.The word Love. It's shades of meanings, it's connotations, it's significance, it's exclusive experience. What else?

I love goodness in people. It brings out the goodness in me. I want to be surrounded with eternal goodness. Such clarity. I never feel more alive then when I feel like I've made someone happy or when I see the people I love happy. Ah, but we've been over this many times. I'm no saint. I am simply, romanticizing the self-sustaining nature of altruism. It is an impenetrable circle, the circle of paying a good deed forward. It goes on & on for ever. A circuit of purity.

At this point, I do not care to make myself clear anymore. The soul can only be complete when it is reunited with its creator. That nameless perfection of the self you can sort of grasp through wordless music. Like some shit from Sigur Ros or a piece by Chopin say. That feeling when you are collected and perfectly at ease with your existence. 

Inner peace. 

Is it possible to burn and yearn and be perfectly at peace with the suffering it conjures? I think it is the pinnacle of faith. All beauty in this world is a benevolence of The One. Out of the 99 parts of Mercy, only 1 is bestowed in this world as we know it. What of the other 99? One can't even begin to hope to imagine.

Paradise, heaven, jannah, is more than rivers of honey & wine, flower gardens and beautiful lovers. It is the feeling of completion that is ungraspable in this world. It is all that passionate fire and mute calmness molded into one. A Oneness that is not in this lifetime. Eternity.

Eternity my flying soul across the dark Sky who pines as it falls and burns and cries for a sentient peace.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cheetah at full-sprint

Cheetahs on the Edge--Director's Cut from Gregory Wilson on Vimeo.

Bones, muscles & sinews working together in a symphony of perfection.
I shed a few tears watching this I kid not.

Subhanallah. Praise be to Allah the Most High.

p.s. To anybody who watches, when the vid fades to black, don't stop! there's more!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Colours of Gaza

White –
      Protruding out of burnt flesh,
the broken bones of their young & old.
      Spirals in their Skies,
the trails of predator drones.
      Innocence of the children,
murdered in a symphony of sirens.

Red –
      Blood on the pavement,
the fruits of violence.
      Blood on Israel’s hands,
the reaper of vengeance.
      Blood on our history,
for allowing inhumanity.

Green –
      Soldiers in uniform,
clutching guns, in-waiting.
      Military tanks,
tracing the borders, in-waiting.
      American dollar bills,
funding the Israeli army.

Black –
      Future of Gaza
teetering at oblivion’s door.
      Apathy of the world
silently spectating.
      Gaping holes
in Palestinian souls.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


A piece of this world left-out
like a morsel of flesh diseased, cut out
when really what is poisoned
is the entirety of the carcass.


Note: The 'flesh', the land, the Gaza strip, perceived as the 'disease', the people (Palestinians) by the Israelis, who set to banish these people from their homes, to 'cut' them 'out'. The rest of the world, the 'entirety', just watching, 'poisoned' as we are by trivialities. Indulgent and ignorant, as the 'carcass' of Humanity rottens.

If it were our country's plight won't we want help?


Sunday, November 11, 2012


The hour is nigh
the silence after your leaving
has seeped into my bones
           and now, I am fading.
None is waiting in the vestibule,
the silence has now aged
so much so that it has perfumed.
This is not godless penury,
I am past that.
Nothing but a drawn out valediction
fashioned with masochistic zeal
by my anima to whom,
you shall remain, stand-alone.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dear Star III

How do I begin my November?
With kisses for the young leaves
and curtsies for the flowers.

To the gallant wind I throw my woes
To my heavy sighs I bid goodbyes
To the Star whom I loved from afar,
I greet you too
               — as I always do.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dear Star II

Are you listening?
When the day dies
I turn away from the window
yet I know it is now darker
where you used to shine
never lovelier
when you used to shine,
        The sky grieves your leaving.


At the tip of the tongue
an utterance that the heart desires
yet the mind suppress
so it sojourns in your red throat
poised, in waiting,
growing toxic by the minute
until finally the ego swallowed.
                     This is war.

Monday, October 8, 2012

anti-social III

Is it wrong that I am not compelled to feel governed by others? People at large do not concern me. I concern myself with things that interest me and the few people that inhabit my world. I am governed by the select few. I am inconsequential at best. Rest assured though that the depth of feeling I harbour for each and every one of my people is something I always feel is incomprehensible to even them. 

I am Rimbaud in my heart. Trying to take-off but of course my lack of talent / fortitude that accompanies the rage of a genius hampers me. 'The 'true' poet is a seer.' - wrote 16 year old Rimbaud in one of his letters. I am the roots of a chopped down tree. I need time.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Witness then,
the fleshing out of this pain
the coming of my black rain
witness my undoing.

Come madness, come sadness
let the howling symphony begin
let the nightmares come
and swallow me entire.

I stage my unmooring
  upon the night Sky.

"Love you as ever" - D.M.

Got to run but this is as good a time as any to jot down a few lines. Sometimes I feel it in my bones that someday, God-willing, I'll become a decent poet or a writer of some sort. Right now though it feels as if I'm at the edge of something. Perhaps because now, I'm sober (artistically speaking I mean) I feel like I can put anything into prose. Anything at all.

Because finally, the last vestiges of that silken black veil has been carried off with the winds. I can be objective about my artistic endeavours and not feel shackled (as amateur poet-wannabes like me often do) by their subjects. 

So, to write once more. Hello, hello, October.

Friday, September 28, 2012

To just write straight. Not entrenched in false emotions brought on by external influences, I want to ink myself into paper and just lay there until the time comes I feel like feeling again.

I blame that new On the Road film I saw yesterday. Darned film. Damned Kerouac. Dastard Cassady. Oh, folly.

The film reminded me that although I strain myself to be in harmony with everybody, I am sad inside. I am sad but it is alright. It is not an empty sadness. It is the kind borne out of a keen awareness of the state of being. I believe it is a good thing to be reminded of sadness even when feeling joy because c'est la vie. One's presence ought not be the source of consternation to others. What is acted out and uttered affects people. I am not one to be ruled by my emotions (not in public), I try to always strive to respond in kind. What is a person if not good character.

A friend confided to me about her suddenly very ill brother, the expectations imposed upon her as a medic student studying in Australia, the exams she is currently sitting etc. When a person pours their soul to you, you listen, you emphatize and no matter how hard, you find the words that you hope would ease their burden even if just a little.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), as the messenger, is the exemplar. He was honest, kind & modest. Noble. I just feel like reflecting on this at the moment. His entire life was a life of service.

I am keenly aware that the sweetness of imparting kindness & receiving kindness is unlike any other. Those who put the needs of others above them, what a mercy they are to this world. I've met many of them over here in Melbourne. Their ideals are One and true. They exude an air of purity, of lightness and they always smile. With modesty they walk, with modesty they talk. Fact is, modesty is not a celebrated virtue. Too many regard it as too plain, dull. Vying to be unique, to what end? There are too many forms of vanity in this world. 

The reliable soul is a rarity.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I went to the beach last Sunday. The sand, sea & sky spread before my eyes was like a balm. The joy, the soothing effect of simply looking at space is almost uncontainable. Man has been conditioned to live within the confines of four adjacent walls that we stop noticing the suffering of the sight. Beaches have personalities. No two are the same.The one I went to had  surprising orange sand. The sky overcast with low-hanging clouds, there was fog in the distance towards the sea (it was pretty early in the morning), and the water a steely greyish blue hue. 

As usual, when I stare at the sea a loftiness wells inside me & I feel whole. As if I am witnessing reality as it is. A concrete metaphor of this world & its people. That particular brand of solitude steps into you, the peaceful kind. The sort when you feel utterly alone but content. Content as in that melancholy tinged silently joyful feeling. Like a glass of cool water at noontime of the first day of Spring when it's chilly still but the Sun is shining.
I examine myself in a subdued manner, reconciling what sentiments I have about my state in relation to the world around me, to time & to the ideals I hold in my heart. Childishness is a refusal of truth, idiocy the ignorance of it. 

 كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّكَ غَرِيبٌ، أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ
Be in the world as if you are a stranger or a wayfarer.
[Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 425]
This hadith is an excellent reminder of the briefness of life.
The wayfarer is lonely, he is the perpetual stranger. His treasures are immaterial, his pleasures beyond the superficial. He enjoys what he has, when he has them but does not cling. The stranger is forgiving because he knows the people that populate his world are but brief encounters.

Friday, September 14, 2012

to M

(Read yours. That was great. I scribbled shite in my iPod notes to you several days ago. I thought I'd reciprocate heh. But just this once. Not here anyway. Would've posted this but no more blue paper. Tak biru tak best. Don't think I have to explain myself anymore. The stuff I write to you, the line blurs between the two yous I address, hence the line between absolute truth & embellished sleep-deprivation induced rants [which is what ALL of this really is] you know that by now. Bear with me. )

11th - 13th September

Where do I fit in relation to all of this? Pouring yourself away into the other. Declarations of love. And all that. What do I feel exactly? I am reluctant to be spiteful just as I am reluctant to accept being entirely happy about this situation. I ought deflate my ego, fall to the ground and bury my bruised pride alive. I ought to distance myself from you & your intimacies with him. Thing is isn't that a betrayal on my part? Although I feel thwarted, somewhat, by all this. I swore an oath in my heart to always be loyal to you. But what of me? Inconsequential really but I can't help myself. I am choking on the fumes of your love. What burns give off smoke. And I, having been tethered by you in such proximity to the roman candles of your love has left me slowly dying, alone. But you hold me with your artless gazes and laughter so I remain delighted & let my lungs constrict in my chest.

I stand by you still. Haven't I always?

What servant's loyalty to their sovereign do not waver? Loyalty can only be known through trials of its sincerity. What I am saying is, sometimes I waver. It matters to me all this. I regard all this with utmost importance.

I'm not sure if I'm up for it after all. I regard my feelings back then with a kind of sanctity. But. I do want to do this. 'Invade their waters'. But. Buts. I won't be sincere. My writings won't be pure. I don't know about you but my reluctance to unearth the past in this manner is not out of laziness. Never. It is out of something greater. With more forbearance.

I don't expect you to understand this. Not ever. After all, you're my Wall & I never yours. Not anybody. Which is why you're mine & I'll never be yours nor shall I ever resent you fully for it. This is the way things are. I orbit you always & you the star burn away, blinded by your own light.

This is it. I now have the root of my secret that is my perception of you. The you in my mind that may or may not ever exist at all. It doesn't matter. I do not need to be backed up by something that is unnatural. It is unnatural for you to be concerned with my affairs. I address you but never you me. Whatever you've written on those disparate pieces of paper you waved before me I expect nothing of them. Why? For you will never regard me as I regard you. I am incapable of such significance. I do not possess the wings of Icarus. Not even a pair of waxen wings. No. I cannot fly towards you & destroy myself in the process. I can only pine over my loneliness & grapple at your throne in the sky within the folds of darkness. At night, in my dreams, when you visit me & unleash a web of tangled, inexplicable sentiments & warp me beyond recognition.

I have attempted, in those letters to unveil myself to you. I have. But I feel like I've failed. You seem to be able to gauge me but I do not believe it entirely. Perhaps what I want is for you to admit that you will never comprehend me. Neither will I ever you.

I want to witness another as they truly are. I want their essence. Not their masks. I understand though that the level of communion I seek is in all probability is non-existent in this dunia. It is divine. God only knows the unquenchable thirst of the soul. This, can only be remedied at the end of Time itself. The promised day during which our final abodes will be determined. To descend into the fire and be alienated for eternity or to ascend into the garden & finally, heal this fractured soul.

Perhaps Rumi arrived to his divine love in a way sort of like this. Maybe you're my shams of Tabriz. As you said, it's implausible that anybody could arrive to divine love effectively immediately out of the blue. He must first love his fellow human, because 'Mortal love is comprehendable' you said. I believe there is truth in that.

But to be in mortal love alone is just fanaa. Not achieving divine love through mortal love is to fail. "This dunia is the means, not the ends." I don't know who's words those are. Heard it somewhere in a Halaqah.

Love, the unspeakable. Love, the inflammable. I can string a myriad of adjectives to it & hope blindly. You, yes I am addressing you now, you, have been blessed with a gift. Contain your love in the furnace that is your heart. So you feel the warmth but not be consumed. I am in no position to be instructing you in these matters.

I smile when you smile.

Ton ami,


Ugh Imma take this off in a bit. This is too much.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

11th June

I know exactly how many news of suicide has reached me since I arrived in Australia last year. 3. The first one was the one who jumped onto the train tracks. Delayed all the trains. We had finals then. Got to take the train to get to the venue. People complained on facebook. Said stuff like 'Why'd the schmuck had to do it today?!' The second was a Malaysian student. A friend of a friend. Jumped off a cliff at coogee beach, Sydney. Body found in the ocean after he went missing for 3 days. Some cracked jokes like, 'Oooh, I won't be swimming in Cooge anytime soon.' Was a cheerful sort of guy the friend said. Unexpected. The third, a caucasian man. Jumped off the building opposite a friend's apartment. Said friend snapped a picture of the man standing on the rooftop. Sent it via whatsapp to roomie. Roomie showed it to me. Then the message 'He jumped!'. Said the noise was unbelievable when he hit the ground. Blood all over the pavement. The man wore a light blue sweater.

I've developed a sort of gag reflex to news like these. Just, shut down. But whatever. This is not something that keeps me awake. Not anymore.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Rife with unwavering declarations
of loyalty to an invisible, dying, muse
I weave these damask feelings
into a tapestry of poetry.

I can only be sanguine for so long
before sibilants of melancholy succumb me
to these hallowed hollow grounds
where I unearth my conquered heart.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


The swanning of her mind, I used to admire longingly
from my favourite metaphorical balcony
where I stood and wondered of how things came to be.

Her black banner streaming in the wind, bestirred me
and I knowingly allowed what was to come, unhinge me.
Unimpeded by the world, she was a law unto herself.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hello, September

I have a neighbour who sings a lot. Wordless songs. Or none that I could comprehend at least. Lengthy vibratos filled with emotion. Sometimes hauntingly sad, sometimes burning with bravado. You see, he sings the way a soprano does. That sort of music. Occasionally, a female voice accompanies him. The sky is impossibly clear & blue today. Finally, spring is officially here. He's greeting the birds and flowers I think. I've just went to throw open my window. The air is sweet. I am content right now.


When life is breathed into the inanimate
the surrounding air, once still, made to dance
in exhales and inhales, music is borne.

Touch becomes art, rhythm lifeline
and the ears, a stairway to euphoria
where each note vibrates perfection.

The mastery of restrain
within the confines of delirium
    — Playing music.


Love this.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Do flowers not sing?
As they wilt and kiss the earth
Their proud petals decomposing
Arched stalk broken
Sweet scent overwhelmed?
In death, they bleed the essence
Of stolen innocence.

I had a flower that sang
but she is silent now.
An immortal blossom
pressed between the yellow
folds of my soul.
— I miss the lilt of your music.

A dying image. How long can I linger and write of grief? Perhaps if I remain saddened forever.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


In a crowd,
your leonine eyes met mine
       — we spoke from a distance.
A foreign instant
when faceless strangers
sharpen into focus
and gaze brazenly at each other
as if to say;
                 "What have I to fear?
                  you're the same as I,
                  human and alone."
An intimate moment
strikes desperate unease
into the beholder
and they quickly glance away
as if to say;
                 "That appraisal was accidental
                   what verity gleamed
                   will remain, arcane."                  
Our modest hearts, conscious
of the soul's diffidence,
its ineffability translatable
into the space of a gaze.

This silence now stretches. I now resort to the unutterable nature of silent things.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sans amour

Of the river
of words flowing between
them, the depthlessness
of their vicious secrecy,
a liaison I am not part of.
             — I am jealous of an ocean.

Of the petals
of poetry blooming between
them, the sweetness
of their decadent intimacy,
a tenderness I am not part of.
              I am jealous of a flower.

Of the notes
of music floating between
them, the melodiousness
of their ordained affinity
a rhapsody I am not part of.
             — I am jealous of a starling.

These violent ravings
of a degenerate; it is I!
who claws for meaning;
it is I! who roars for loving;
it is I!

Between these lines, I line
my ever-darkening desire
to live the life of another,
meanwhile, I remain
           — a loveless creature.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Space Bound

Eminem's dope.

I'm a space bound rocket ship and your heart's the moon
And I'm aiming right at you
Right at you
Two hundred fifty thousand miles on a clear night in June
And I'm aiming right at you
Right at you
Right at you


Dari suara, kata-kata
jatuh ke hati, terselak jiwa
tertanam duri.

Jangan dibiar jelmaan
si kelana bertakhta semerta.

Monday, August 13, 2012


My star has long fallen
      into the lap of another
To the night sky
      I no longer gaze
In crowded constellations
      I no longer seek her.

Darling darkling,
I present to you
          — my final bow.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Aku gugur di medan matamu
Aku gugur di hujung jemarimu
Aku gugur di telapak hatimu
Aku gugur, aku gugur, aku gugur.

Tumpas di tanganmu yang bisu
      aku tahu kemanisan ini, semuanya palsu.
Nota: Bosan, itu aja.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Sometimes, quite suddenly (or not so suddenly) a cloak of bleakness falls from the Sky, settle about your shoulders and stoop your spirits so low you almost feel that with each concurrent footstep you sink into the earth little by little. Occasionally, the world simply drowns me alive. No amount of positive thinking seem to throw off this blanket of gloom but you whisper still under your breath that all this is will pass (in due time). Maybe it's the city, maybe it's that little inconsiderate comment that gnaws at you, maybe it's that annoyance of having to suffer through endless empty talk floating about your ears, maybe it's the damned loud ticking of the wall clock, whatever it is, your soul is cold. 

This segregation alienates you from the (sometimes) mindless flock. It estranges you from their bubble of warmth. Nothing they say penetrate your heart. So you listen listlessly and amble to invisible places in your mind. You leave and they do not notice. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dear M.

Maybe I should have started the letter with 'Dear', after all. I regret that a little. You see, it wasn't meant to be offensive in any way, rather it was meant to be affirmative. Maybe it was the frame of mind I was in, it being the first thing I did upon arriving in Melbourne all doe-eyed and pensive. I set my bags, didn't even change, snatched the letter from my table, read it twice, grabbed a pen, notepad and set about writing a reply. 

I was just lonely. And you're in love. And I'm not. And I suppose I'm a tad sad with my loveless-ness. Or maybe I've read too much of kero-jin correspondences and expected too much of you. But all this is normal between us isn't it? 

I misinterpret this world too often perhaps. Alas.

Ton sans amour ami,

The red ballad of a dislocated heart
echoes like a tuning fork, rings aloud
its invisible reverberation begets
a trajectory of revelations.

The scarlet throat opens
its arcane bouquet, of roses 
blooming in a flurry of petals 
swallowing all, fades away.


Written for M. in a letter today, in which I poured myself away.
(29th July 2012)

Saturday, July 28, 2012


This dunia is not without pain, one is reminded of this bittersweet fact every now and then. I, an average human being, experience my own share of tribulations and the desolation I've come to associate with it. Familiarity does not breed fondness. Intimacy yes, but not necessarily the loving kind. 

But now, I remind myself that: 'God is nearer to us than even our carotid artery' (one of my favourite quotes from Sh. Hamza Yusuf = which is actually an ayah in the Qur'an as a friend pointed out in the comments) and this phrase from a supplication I recently learned:

la maljak wala manja minka illa ilaik
(There is no safe haven and refuge from You except to You)

So I mull this over and pray to God to endow my heart with the strength that I need. He is afterall the Most Gracious, the Most MercifulOne knows this common fact but one can also be actively conscious of this. The remembrance of God alone is a light lit from the inside. It envelops, it warms, it shields.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Solitarily, I enumerate
the veins of light
in my shadowed heart
   to ease its suffering.

Written beneath each glimmer
is a chronology of savagery
etched into stony tissue.

Sincerely, I supplicate
the malignant whispers
of my plundered soul
     to cease its rebelling.

Hidden in each thought
is a history of hypocrisy
hewn into every sinew.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Risen within, a wall of fire
that incinerates the garden 
yet seeds survive
from dead earth do life still thrive

Till the lands with love
water them with piety
what fruits and flowers reaped
came from deeds sowed

Saplings do not grow overnight
into great wizened trees
the branches grow hard and crooked
yet light do green leaves seek

Mountains of dirt and stone
ancient as them are traditions
the frail of body are loftier of mind
the clouds about their heads do not blind

Humbled paths are beaten
paved with hard-earned virtue
sometimes the road not taken
are wisely left untrodden

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Being Me: Muslimah Empowered

30th June 2012 - MARTRADE
Went with mom yesterday. Am not in the mood to type-out detailed notes at the moment. The speakers were excellent. I was particularly fascinated by Raya Shokatfard's documentary screening. Her journey back to Islam. The poetry monologue staging by ADNI Islamic School was very interesting too. Since it's a women-only conference, the talks were centered on issues pertaining to women in our Islamic society. Too bad it's a one day conference. Hopefully in the future it could be a 3 day event like The Twins of Faith.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


You've instilled in me a manic secrecy
one, I am not made to bear.

I adorn you in mystery
I summon you in monikers
I embellish you in poetry
  and relish in their squandering.

You've instilled in me a dolorous fancy
one, I am now addicted to.

There is no proper word
no known rubric
no appropriate response 
    for this meandering.

Through my poetry, I am charting
the topography of my madness
        My incognito sentiments.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ke kelmarin

Dihembus nama-nama yang
sayup-sayup tertangkap dalam fikiran
kerikil bicara-bicara yang lampau
hinggap ke senja-senjaku

Loceng masa lalu berbunyi
menandakan laluan pintas ke kelmarin.

The Lives of Man

Part 1 (Part 2 click here )

      Another excellent talk by Sh. Hamza Yusuf titled The Lives of Man. I love his talks. I especially like that he relates particular words, their meanings and also the meanings of their respective root words. Semantics! It makes understanding concepts effortless, natural. It reminds me how my dad likes to go on and on about reverting the teaching of Maths and Science in English back to Bahasa Malaysia in schools. He said, in Science and Maths some words carry the concepts with them and sometimes when translated, the words are so different that the concept they carry are lost. 

Back to the topic at hand, Sh. Hamza begins by relating to his students that the word 'Man' is derived from the German word 'Mench which is inclusive of both men and women. That women are regarded simply as men with wombs. Much of what he's saying is based on the book of the same title by a yemeni scholar, Sh. Abdullah Al-Haddad (short summary of the book here / entire book in pdf format here). Sh. Hamza mentions it is said that every 100 years, God sends someone to revise this din and Al-Haddad is considered one of them.

In a nutshell, the talk revolves around the developmental stages of human beings (
Erickson's model, Kubler-Ross's stages etc.)with the extension of pre-wordly and post-death events as narrated in the Qur'an.  In part 2 of the talk, he focuses on the progression of age. In part 1, he focuses on the stages entailed in Al-Haddad's book, which is divided into 5:
1. Mithaaq (World of Spirits = Pre-worldly)
2. Dunya (Worldly life of choice & effort = Birth til Death)
3. Barzakh (State of life after Death)
4. Hashr / Nashr (Resurrection)
5. Final Abode (Ultimate divine intimacy = The Garden / Ultimate divine alienation = The Fire)

Each part of the talk lasts about 1 hour 30 mins. It's all very fascinating. I mean really. Sh. Hamza mentions a  lot of things. I'm just going to list some of it at random:
- Heidegger's death philosophy (our death acts being the only real thing we do that is purely out of our own volition)
- Ajbu Dhanab (The wondrous tail), it is proposed that the tip of the coccyx is the seed of the human being. As you know seeds are very hardy, they can survive HCl in our stomachs, fires, drought etc. So humans perhaps are brought back to life from this seed during resurrection.
- Spiritual Death being the goal of most religions. When one dies to the sensory world and enters into meaning, once occured, freed from the sensory world and will never view it the same again, quoting a poet:
"He freed himself from sensory (sensoria), that was his obstacle, and he embraced meaning, an embrace that he is not permitted to ever leave."  To embrace mortality.
- How God's Mercy preceeds Wrath. That the over-riding mode of God is Mercy when we are taken into reckoning. How God has 100 parts of Mercy, 99 He retains and 1 part is descended  to our world. How the hoof of a mare is prevented from stepping on its foal, why a mother nurses her baby, all these being that 1 part of Mercy. (Then he goes on describing the womb (rahim) at length which I find exceedingly interesting).
- The two reasons why in Islam when babies are born, the azan is recited into the right ear, the iqamah in the left ear  & someting sweet is placed unto the tongue: 1- Wa'd (The promise - that he/she will return to divine presence from whence we came) 2- Wa'id (The warning - if he/she do not maintain the promise made during divine unity = la ilaha illa 'llah they will be in trouble).
- How 40 years of life = an entire lifetime. >40 = Bounty. He relates this to the Prophet saying to the Quraisy people that he "had lived a lifetime" among them, before the first revelation. 

There's so much more of course. I made proper notes as I listened this time around *happy* So yes, a very interesting topic.

p.s. In case anybody watch the vids and is curious what was the Greek play Sh. Hamza mentions in part 1, it was Lysistrata. The student that answered Sh. Hamza's question wasn't very audible so yeah.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Two Stroke Engine by A.M.

I saw your face
                                                                      Stupid and naive
                                                                      Cut up from the chase
                                                                      Still you think you're nice
                                                                      Typical two stroke laughter case
                                                                      We've been studying this
                                                                       Not an easy maze
                                                                       Here's the theory;

                     Silveretia the embarrassing two stroke laughter
                        She don't even have a carburetor 
                     Low oxygen is the main factor
                        Simply put I hate this two stroke laughter

                                                                        Hey two stroke laughter what's the need for
                                                                        Stop this now and I've got what I came for
                                                                        Two stroke engine, you
                                                                        There's an abundant of oxygen here
                                                                        So stop acting like there's none here
                                                                        Two stroke engine, you
                                                                         need more oxygen.

  I saw your face
                                                                       Stupid and naive
                                                                       Caught up from the chase
                                                                       Still you think you're naive
                                                                       Full of stupidity
                                                                       She likes to laugh
                                                                       Embarrassing two stroke laugh
                                                                       Please stop pretending

                     Silveretia the embarrassing two stroke laughter
                       Going to slap her the slap of a lifetime
                     Nothing's better than the slap of a lifetime
                       Simply put I hate this two stroke laughter

                     I heard your laughter
                       What a desperate one
                     Silveretia the desperate "
                       She didn't even have a carburetor        
                           Neither a fuel injector

NOTE: Written by my dearest brother.  Today, I was rummaging around for paper to write on and found your form 2 notebook. Lo and behold this was scribbled in it. I think it's pure genius. I am very much envious. I took the liberty of typing it out, I hope you don't mind.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Becerita tentang Tuhan
maksud Al-fatihah sudah faham?
Mengadu mahu menulis buku
buku-buku di bahu, isinya kamu tahu?

Memanggil-manggil kematian
tanpa mengerti apanya itu mati
         Mati itu interogasi
         bukannya buaian mimpi
         sekadar bahan puisi

Meratapi kekasih; Cinta kononnya
hari-hari berdosa; "Aku Manusia".
Menyangkakan diri ini punyai Ilmu
tentang 'Kesedihan kehidupan'.

Sambil menyingkap rahsia kesepian
lemas dalam diri sendiri.
        Aku mahu seperti Rumi
        Cintanya, sepinya, hausnya
        buat Tuhan
Kelak ditelan bumi, tanpa Cahaya dihati
Dua kegelapan akan perkenalkan diri.

Nota: Muhasabah diri. *sigh* Too often, too easily, I lose sight of things. This is the place to jot this down I suppose. I wish I brought my notes home with me, alas. Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury, at the Twins of Faith conference I attended in Melbourne back in April, he spoke of surah Al-Fatihah. How it being a conversation between us & God. 

It stuck in my mind. I think it was particularly significant because of course we recite the al fatihah in each rakaah of our salah. I like it when the sheikhs talk about the metaphysics of salah because this is it. Our salah is what innervates our Imaan. To perfect our salah is the siratal mustaqeem to Jannah.

There're videos on youtube of Sh. Hamza Yusuf talking about the metaphysics of salah. A couple of things he said:
- The takbir: when we raise our hands behind our ears, we're forsaking the Dunia, throwing the World behind our backs to enter into the presence of God. (Sh. Tawfique also talked about this at TOF).
- The sujud: when we prostrate ourselves, physically, our hearts will be elevated relative to our brains. In effect, we're elevating our spirits/souls over our intellect. To believe.

Ach, I'm doing no justice. I'll just hunt those vids down & link it here. In case somebody stumble upon this & feels inclined to watch them. (30 min vid)
- (2 min vid below)

I love that I now have the time & peace of mind to sit & ponder all of this more.

p.s. while I'm at it, this is one of Sh. Tawfique Chowdhury's talks at TOF, Melbourne 2012 that I attended, titled: Such was our Prophet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Sheikh Hamza Yusuf on Poetry.

I admire him immensely. It strikes me that this man, in this day & age is very much respected among us Muslims, just try to imagine how much more admired, how much more loved our prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. was by the Muslims in his day & age.

I'd write a summary of what he says but there's just so much. His talk gets better & better towards the end. Perhaps towards the end, especially.

The video starts with Sheikh Hamza Yusuf mentioning that his dad studied at UC with Mark Van Doren (Man whom Kerouac first sent his first published novel The Town and the City to, whom Ginsberg sent his The Denver Doldrums and Dakar Doldrums to) and his father actually named him after Van Doren. He speaks of Van Doren's genuine regard for others as his intellectual par. I just find this striking because I've been reading Kerouac & Ginsberg's letters this morning & watched this. Serendipitous. I've always taken serendipity as one of God's many ways of making Himself known, alhamdulillah.

This is what Kerouac said about Van Doren in his letter to Ginsberg, April 1948:
"The thing I like about Van Doren is this: he was the only professor I personally knew at Columbia who had the semblance of humility without pretensions   the semblance, but to me, deeply, the reality of humility too. A kind of sufferingly earnest humility like you imagine old Dickens or old Dostoevsky having later in their lives. Also he's a poet, a "dreamer" and a moral man. The moral man part is my favourite part. This is the kind of man whose approach to life has the element in it of a moral proposition. Either the proposition was made to him or he made it himself, to life. See? My kind of favourite man." 
(from the book Jack Kerouc Allen Ginsberg: The Letters, Edited by Bill Morgan and David Stanford)

In his talk about poetry, Sh. Hamza mentions Dostoevsky, the buffoonery of the father in Brothers Karamazov etc. He mentions Shakespeare, Hamlet -how Hamlet is a play about spiritual evolution, of Hamlet's soliloquy being about his fear of death. The poets in the day of prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h, Hassan ibn Thabit etc. He also mentions Rumi several times (naturally). Quoting both Shakespeare & Rumi. The genius of the talk lies in how Sh. Hamza laces everything with hadiths

"The prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. said: The truest thing that a poet ever said was what Naveed said:  Isn't it everything other than God is falsehood. And that's in Sahih Bukhari. And that's all Rumi ever said. You can read all those lines. Words words words, that's all his message is, just a commentary on what was said by our prophet Muhammad." -Sheikh Hamza Yusuf

Okay, maybe I just wrote a summary of sorts after all.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Living dead

"Egoists. That's what we are." said she.
"I, you, her, we would've all been much happier."
The honesty by which we spoke last night rattled me. My soul unhinged, I painted my fears into spoken words. I spoke of my madness, mindlessness, insanity that plagued me for 8 hours, that plagues me even now. Like a dam broken, I confided, confessed, continually. Too afraid to stop talking, I emptied myself.

There is no consolation left but we forge on still. Expectations, lying on our shoulders like a straight jacket.

                                    Straight-jacketed into fulfilling their expectations for us, 
paying our debt of  Love they've shown us.
The long growing dissatisfaction we bear, we hide;
Out of love nonetheless.
Time awasted, our youthful dreams barely intact but it's alright.
We won't swim against the tide, ride what's not to be ridden,
write what's not to be written,
painting our minds onto the walls of alienation,
painting our own blood, brains & guts onto the canvas of life.

Of my generation there's only room for conformers and martyrs.
Surrendering to the world's greed for uniform progress, growth in wealth, as preached by the democrats.
For the people, by the people.
Individuality wiped from the face of history, we are smeared into a single hue of obedience. They tame our spirits & mold our ambitions. Sweet conformity, the bane of our existence. All paths long trodden, no longer are there 'The Road Not Taken.'s

Sleep is elusive, contentment illusory, happiness a myth.
As I lie in bed, bleeding words, dreams, soul, I realize we're but the living dead.

If I am to howl, I'll do it properly. I'll tear my throat out, I'll try harder, louder.

Note: Found this scribbled on scrap paper, tucked into the pages of  Jack Kerouc Allen Ginsberg: The Letters (Edited by Bill Morgan and David Stanford), which after abandoning it for almost a year, I'm re-reading. Hysterical is what I am. Written last year immediately after a couple of phone calls to my Da Vinci & Cassady. Ha ha ha. 

First year bitterness, ingratitude, willfulness, silliness, what have you. I'm telling you, studying overseas brings about a sea of changes that crash into you in multitudes, as the waves does upon a shore. Ach, I liken everything to the sea, waves & shores. Idiotic. Just one of the images that pervades me. Anyway, yes, studying overseas is pretty much being chucked into an alien land with some cash & have you integrate yourself a.s.a.p. because you have quizzes, tests, assignments & shizz to score literally just days after. What we do is we survive first year and then, we start living. It's different. The Sun shines differently, the stars are different, the air, even the song of the birds, the crows, insects, the culture, food, people everything is foreign.

And then you go home for holidays & it all feels like a dream. But after a year & a half, you feel yourself balancing out. It doesn't feel like a painful fracture anymore. Now that I'm home again, I can reflect on all of this peacefully. This year so far has been a blessing. I feel that I owe it all to those TOF tickets.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Butterfly Project

For Maya. I'd like it very much for you to keep this one alive.

p.s. I wish I drew this for you yesterday because I had a hunch but decided against it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


My sanity carved
one morceau at a time
by your mignon hands
into a likeness of yourself;
         Accidental pedagouge
fiendish friend, two-faced love

This world is never in repose
Pangs of consciousness
burn the sinews of my mind
Since being afflicted with this acuity
                         — I have been faceless.

Friday, June 8, 2012


This is the song of my silence:
        Soft curls of an apology
        upon the ewe neck of a promise,
        whose whiteness is made of lies.
                 — Innocence do not nestle
                    in the crook of a dimple.
Garrisoned to an abbreviated existence,
    the life-span of a fading memory
    will outlast me.


I want no part of anybody
this torrid hell in my mind
blackens me
my reflections are demons unleashed
my very eyes leer at me
        — I unearth my heart to nobody.


Bald trees over the horizon
the dawning of death
who greets me with flowers
like a lover, he whispers my name
into mirrors and wipes my tears
with skeletal breaths, ghosting my ear.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dear Star,

This silence no longer has conviction.
I am to let whatever impressions of you
fall into my orbit and burn as they are.

Time and again you ensnare me
with Sun-like gravity.
Here on Earth
I can only gaze and wonder.

Will there ever be a time
when I have risen high enough
to fall at your feet?

No need to answer now
        — I was just wondering.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


There is no change. It's like I've reached a plateau & fallen off the edge & vanished. What is a putsch without an outcome? A boring failure. Maybe all this silence is the outcome after all.

First, I must wait for the ash to settle.

p.s. I need a new tag.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

It has just occurred to me that I have not ventured outside my apartment for the past 8 days. No wonder I'm kinda losing it.

Monday, May 28, 2012

my muse no longer sings

i shoved her down a pit and revelled in the silence. but now this quietness is- ah, who gives a fuck eyh? all i know is that until i am sure i can be sincere i am not to jot down another word, not for that purpose at any rate. i do not despise this but yes i do resent it. this is not stagnation, this is an upheaval.

as long as it takes. i am to remain steadfast this time around. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

  •  It is selfish to burden someone with the weight of your love. They didn't ask for it.
  • There is one especial thing I ask for in particular in my duas, "Make me sincere."
  • This bullet point is for the metaphorical bullet in my head. Bam. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

and we return to this solitude, always, always. nothing in this world appeases our soul. we kneel upon the sajadah and pray fervently for light. light to wash away the dark shadows of the past, the poison in the present and the uncertainty of tomorrow. invoking Him. peace visits us upon the sajadah. peace visits us in the fatihah. peace visits us in the takbir. He hears those who praise Him. peace visits us in our prostration. peace visits us in our dzikirs. peace visits us in our dua. in our hands during a dua we know they are not empty. in the company of people, encounters with them, we speak when spoken to but we know they do not know our sadness. nobody knows. nobody cares. nobody matters. so we think of rivers, of crossing them, of drowning in whiteness.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Do not read too much into my words
not all of them are for you
sometimes only a shadow of your shadow
but I confess, I have exploited you often enough
just remember, not always
not anymore.

There was a time when a spectre of you
lived in my mind, haunting me
but all that is in the past
I am past those confused times
I haven't forgotten them but I have lived
without them.

Intermittently, I am visited by your wraith
for I have never been able to slaughter it
I have not the heart
I am weak and it is no secret
A connoisseur of sentiments
you were my nonpareil.

All my verses if they rob you of your peace
as they have robbed me of mine, I apologize
The subconscious is beyond my control
but I slay all ideas of you in me that are conscious
I am aware of the present irony
but this is where I part with you.

Monday, May 7, 2012


I crucify you in these lines
I am a charlatan as much as you are one
My heroism is a farce
I am empty
I open my mouth and all that comes out
is the wind blowing through me
                               — A ghoul
who apparates every now and then
looking for somebody to
make aperçus of my soul
Nothing more

You are my intermediate
        I dwell in your resonances

Enough of this. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Speaking in circles

In my mind
I have brewed your words
for years
They have come undone
from you
These apparitions now
are mine

I am a bystander
Of your bystander heart
My words do not fade
they wait
Of eternity I remain

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Though I may appear to be so
     what visions I harbour of you, are not.
     Make no mistake of this.

My professions to your ineffability
     are all very dear to me
     and believe me to be
                     — very sincerely yours.

Do I dare?

Do I dare come forth
and profess it all in a single breath
this secret yearning to be your Icarus?
Do I dare disturb
this armistice and risk it all
for the sake of my unrequited auspice?
Do I dare?
Will my illusion not shatter
and you disgusted with me
disapparate as you often do?

Between us
 is an unscale-able wall, gargantuan.
                 An absolute effrontery.
And this is why you're my poetry.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Singularly insane

Sentience, is a singularity
like an Agave it greets death
with a spectacle as if to say
           This world is not for me.

Am I not a singular?
Am I not a person?
I pass myself as one, but
             — I do not belong.

Darling, sanity
Sweet sweet, sanity
Pick your stones, arrest your hopes in them
             — I will not by by you.

Monday, April 23, 2012

In His Footsteps

I live in the shadow of my brother
I am the dusk, he is the glorious dawn
                         — golden and resplendent
I harbour a great sad love for him
much like a rock who yearns to fly
                      — a rock is not alive, I am not alive.

My failures hold trials against me in my heart
where they are judge, jury and persecutor
                      — I stand alone
Half of my being is against me
My witness is but my voiceless body
                     — caged, I am muffled in my chest

I look for his elusive footsteps
in the sands of time, they burn brighter still.


Note: Abang, if you're reading this (because you're known to occasionally lurk around these parts), don't think of anything and just walk away. *segan*

This came to me earlier this afternoon as I was reading Kundera's Life is Elswhere. Sometimes, while reading and pondering what is said in the book, in the dragnet of my musings a poem pops up and here's one of them. So yeah, that's all I'm saying about it.

Friday, April 20, 2012


I present to you a ring of ivory
inscribed on it is my fealty.
Nothing that walks this universe
may tarnish my loyalty.
If you, after many an eternity
decide to call upon me
and seek from me empathy
I will yield
I will yield to you as light to darkness.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The finitude of things

Shadows move, clouds move
blood flows as do air
leaves fall, so does hair.

Conversations end, roads end
seasons change as do friends
they move on, we move on.

Seconds tick by, today dies
you grow old as your coffee colds
the dead, their voices fade.

Life crumbles
all that remains is dust
what say you of its quietness?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Away With This World

Not even the will to care how this reads
My audience is myself, I cater to only me
And this evening, I loathe my spectator.

Away with your idle chatter, your pedestrian talk
I rule my solitariness, I own my speak
Not a word to me of your stale fancies
You can dispute my repute all you want
I refuse to house your half-baked head;
                   there's only room for my own.

Your banalities are not mine
My wonders are not yours, so be it.
I dictate this malevolence to myself
I will not entertain you, so be gone!
Away with this world;
                   I've endured enough.

Friday, April 13, 2012

To she who plays us;

A game of chess played not to win
but for the sake of the pawns.
To tempt us to master ourselves
but pawns we are, nonetheless.
Do not despair when we depart
in servitude to you, starveling.
Take out instead, the King.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Sea

I left the city to swallow the Sea
To watch light flee and dive over her edge
To rest my ears upon her melody
And haul my dead thoughts by a rusty kedge.

Knelt at her feet, caressed her foamy dress
The glee by which she received my cleaved chest
Crushed my breath with a wave of happiness.
Inhibitions sunk, all my woes confessed.

Night came swiftly as I silently brood
Of staying. Stolen cindered stones bearing
echoes of  the throes of my solitude.
By the Sea, in the Sea, lies my mooring.

She whistled my name, I choked a reply
Eye to eye, I bade a drunken goodbye.


Note: First attempt at a sonnet (14 lines, ten syllables per line, last two lines a rhyming couplet, abab cdcd efef gg)