Sunday, March 16, 2014

OUR GENERATION | Week 8 of 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry

I can’t sleep.
I can’t sleep as if insomnia has overtaken me
Taking me away from an approximate 8 hour escape
That allows me to free myself and
Flee from the harsh realities in my harsh reality
Of a life that never seems to ease.

Oh, what it is to dream.

Oh, what is to dream of days
Where societal change can actually be put into action.
False leaders taking on the roles of frauds and merely acting
Like they’ve devised a plan that they will act in
Speaking with fictitious tongues
Like this desired reformation will actually be active.

 You do the math.

Nothings adding up
Like inaccurate sums,
Subtraction can’t even take away
From the complications I see everyday
That seem to multiply in number
But only divide us even more.

You do the math.

1 Palestinian throws
2 stones at an Israeli home,
3 shots fired
4 trigger-happy troops tear through bones.
890 civilians in Pakistan killed by deadly drones.
154 detainees remain chained at Guantanamo.
Yet the only chains we devote our attention to is the one who claims he’s different,
The only struggle we seem to care about is whether we’re swag deficient.

I can’t sleep in a world whose youth is so prone to
Disowning the fact that we’re grown and condoning
Violence, open your eyelids!
The defiance is peaking and the silence is speaking,
Bazaars are blown to pieces,
Yet we stick to listening to rappers who spit feces,
To Pastors twisting the teachings of Jesus
Who preach Leviticus without Ephesians.
(Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Lev 18:22) 
(In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace. Eph 1:7) 

Hypocrisies galore!
Jesus walked a decade ago
Yet Yeezus claims the egregious.
Radio is the modern day plague, preaching alphabetical diseases
Children hearin’ F that B before they even learn ABCs...

Kids hearing the click of the gun
Before the clack of their tongue
Teen mothers with daughters and sons and fathers who run
We’re stuck wondering if society should control the glock
When our sons can’t even block their own cock

Scholars screaming rape culture
Poets writing culture rape
Politicians raping truth
Culture raping by our youth

A culture fixed on impressing the oppressors
Depressing the impressers
Tongue twister
But do we ever care to think about who twists our tongue?

I can’t sleep!
You do the math!

You do the math and tell me if this makes sense

Record companies presenting the opportunity for fake rappers to make cents

Dollar bills
 to kill, contaminate, and pollute the airways with messages
teaching the youth to fill their airways 

Their ways of campaign is too blunt 

And the youth abides by it like Constitution

What’s your contribution?
Glorifying rape and prostitution?
But even a prostitute could turn on the radio and get turned off...

Turn down for the teenage girls claiming to be unaware
that they’re half naked in their underwear as they flaunt on Instagram
Turn down for what?
Turn down for the same group of girls who grew up playing Follow the Leader
Now as future LEADERS of tomorrow
Use vulgarity as their only means of gaining FOLLOWERS or fans
Knowing the allure of a man lies behind a selfie cam

And I’ll be damned if my sister becomes a product
Of my generation’s conduct
The concept of viewing women as objects
When they dress provocative
We as men are applauding them
So we are not better nor worse
Its as if we are dying of thirst
Feeding into this
Further diminishing their worth

Turn down for what? Turn down for what?

Turn down for those who oppose settling differences with rationality
Becoming overnight 'WorldStars' for gore and brutality
But its not always the youth's fault
Blame the parents for failing to be teachers
Turn down for the leaders who don’t lead by example,
how you gonna tell me a leader raised Sharkeisha?!

I can’t sleep
I can’t hide under the covers until I uncover the corrupt state of our culture.
Yes, OUR culture.
Yes, OUR corrupt culture.

I can’t sleep.
And I’m tired of being awake.
I’m tired of making mistakes.
Every mistake matters.
Every matter makes mistakes.

Yes, every seed planted blooms a rose with many thorns,
But without us feeding that seed with water, that rose is never even born!

Oh what it is to dream
Where societal change can actually be put into action
Where we don’t ostracize those who challenge the stereotype
Where the words I speak are not detracted and redacted because
I happen to be black or Muslim, 16, and politically active.

We as a youth must grasp our future under our control
And not let our generation be confined to false roles,
But defined by true goals --
Stories of a yesterday that deserve to be told.

I can’t sleep
I can’t dream
You do the math
Divided we stand
United we fall

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"MOTHER" | Spoken Word | Week 6 of 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry


They told me I’d find heaven under your aching feet.
They told me that’s where heaven is.
So, I went searching your sole.

I started at your toes,
Those on which you’d so cautiously tiptoe your way from my crib—
Your silent consideration. Your loud love.

And I made my way to the crevices and wrinkles of your feet
Lines with more depth than the Pacific
Lines that told stories of infinite grace, infinite love.

And how those lines curved – Drawn by the ink of the divine.

Lines that left their prints in places I longed to know.
Places so foreign. Struggles so severe.

I longed to follow those lines wherever they led me.
I’d follow them to the day they stepped on that airplane set to fly to the United States
Leaving behind a homeland
Leaving behind memories
Leaving behind kin

I’d follow those brave lines
I’d follow them until they took me to the first time they touched this Earth.

I followed them to your heel.
And that’s when I saw it, mother.

I saw you standing firm
Bearing the weight of a child
Knowing well what it meant.
Knowing well there was no scale
Large enough
Heavy enough
True enough
Real enough
To measure the weight of motherhood.

I’d keep my door open at night
Mother, I still keep my door open at night
Just to hear your footsteps
Singing across the hall
To see if your son has slept.

To see how your son grew up from that child
Whose tears woke you up
Whose small body you cradled with love
Whose body you placed in that crib
Whose eyelids you’d stare at until the moment they met
Whose tears you’d wipe away.

Remember when those girls called me names, mother
They chased me as heroes do criminals
As predators do prey, mother
I ran with shoelaces untied on concrete thick
Those girls called me names
Names that escaped that kindergarten playground
Names that followed me all my life

Those girls chased me
Those girls called me names
And I had cuts and bruises on my slim arms and legs to prove it, mother.

Those girls called me names
And I prayed for them mother
I prayed that they’d grow to be women like you.

Carrying the weight of a child
Mother, you carried me home that day
Mother, you carried my bruised 40 pound body for that entire mile.
You carried me for nine months, mother.
You carried my twin who could not, did not survive.
You carried me through pain, despite the risk of that pregnancy.
You carried me and gave birth to me despite the risk of me not even being born alive.

You carried me day in and day out.
You carried me despite my weight,
Despite what weighed on your shoulders.

I know that arthritis is not just pain.
I know that cancer is not just a diagnosis.

I pray for the hour those feet find rest.

I see those stories in those thick lines
Those turned toes
That firm heel.

I see those stories, mother.

They told me I’d find heaven under your aching feet.
They told me that’s where heaven is.

And they were right.
I see heaven.

For heaven exists under the blessed feet on which you stood
To raise your children
Wipe our dripping tears
Forgive us for our shortcomings
And applaud us for our best.

Mother, Heaven is under your aching feet.
Heaven’s hills and plateaus
Seas and oceans
Beautiful bounties
Are in those lines, toes and heel.

And I am forever in your loving service
For heaven is where I long to be.