From Authors

Brave enough to break it open

In the past two months, I have lost my home, my possessions, my job, and my church. I’m not a natural disaster victim. I didn’t do anything wrong. My partner didn’t leave me or die. All of these losses were voluntary. I lost them in order to gain something far more precious: my health. Allow…

People are presents

It was a calm afternoon, when suddenly someone knocked on our door. My younger brother immediately got up and opened the door, thinking that some friends came to visit us. But instead, one unknown man stood there, wearing black jeans and a white T-shirt. We all were looking at him, wondering whether we have ever…

You’re braver than you believe

Piglet and I have something in common. More than our affinity for red scarves and the fact that I often turn his shade of pink this time of year. Piglet and I are often afraid. “Oh d-d-d-dear!” I believe I was almost 25 when I first realized that fear had far too much say in…

Poetry of the body (performed)

COURAGE AS A FRAGMENT and THE FRAGMENT AS COURAGE (Faith in the fracture – the bravery of ignoring a/the whole) A Performance* of Cowardice (those elusive fragments of bravery) in poetry and of running hard. *Poetry is already a performance of the labor of words and so to add the body to it we have,…

This week, I found my voice

The thing about catalysts is that they aren’t necessarily loud or obvious or explosive or expected. They can arise out of a variety of places and they can change your life without warning or care for your needs. A catalyst causes reaction. It is the mixture of two disparate objects or notions never likely on…

.This is my blood too.

After I broke the vaseAnd the candle in it too My sister said,“This isn’t like you.”   But isn’t it?Isn’t this me too?This unpleasant sideThat grabs for any object it can throw.   Isn’t this me too?Furious.Shattering my lungsWith high-pitched screams And shallow hums.   Isn’t this me too?The broken glass on the carpet that…

Your own brave life

You are the hero of your own BRAVE life. You  may think you have failed. But no. Your supposed failures are, in truth, the little horrors you subject yourself to in order to see more clearly, the heroic failures of others and of yourself, so that you may be able to accept them graciously for…

To the Bibi that I love

She looked after me when I could not look after myself. She was capable to understand the struggles that I was facing without me saying a word. She was never afraid to lend a hand to anyone in need. She was never afraid to stand up for what is right. She put others’ needs before…

Heart explosion

For as long as I can remember, I have deeply desired to become a mama. I was never fearful of those first few days with a baby, but I was afraid of how I would get there… When I was 15 years old, my cycle stopped, so my mom took me to the doctor. A…

For the rest of right now

You are so brave. You are so brave. You are so brave. You are so brave. I have whispered these words more times over the course of the past week than I have in my entire lifetime, and I am a birth doula, so that is saying a lot. In fact, I heard them so…

My mom, my hero

I am seventeen years old. I am a Pakistani Asylum Seeker. My personal hero is my mother! My mother’s name is Josephine William. She has been my hero since my childhood because she is an extraordinary woman. What makes her extraordinary is, how she smiles, talks, cares, inspires, helps, and positively reacts to her surroundings.…

The hero of my life

A hero is someone who helps people, saves their lives, and risks his life for others. A hero is a person who cares and loves others. Just like Superman, Spiderman, etc. My grandfather, Mushtaq Ahmad, is my inspiration, my hero. Although he died on 27 March 2016, I look at him as my hero, mentor, and my best friend.…

Ellipsis

The laughter filled the car so abruptly that it almost felt like a foreign language. They had been at each other since we got off of the ferry. Pokes turned into jabs and jabs escalated into full-blown verbal punches. Stolen toys, who got more jelly on their toast hours before, sideways glances, seat kicking, elbows…

The impossible possibility of leprechauns

A photo of me sits on the corner of my desk, a photo in which my five-year-old self looks smilingly into the sun of some 1960 summer morning, certain that anything was possible. I look at this photo and think that this younger me was right. It has taken decades to return to that truth,…

Possibilities

If you are a human being it is possible that:   you will make a mess of things, multiple times you will find yourself on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro someone you love will break your heart, crush your spirit, and make you forget who you are for awhile you will water ski on perfect, glassy…

Pittsburgh

At night I dream of Pittsburgh. I dream of a small studio apartment with a single jug of milk in the fridge, of a spring mattress and unmade sheets, and of a cat waiting by a half-full water dish. Of shades drawn and flickering shadows cast across the nighttime floor as I stumble through my…

Magnificat

The Opiate Mass is releasing an Easter album. This song is a piece based on the biblical text of Mary in the book of Luke. It’s a sacred piece, full of possibility. Enjoy listening to the song and reading the lyrics below. LYRICS Anima mea magnificat dominum     My soul proclaims your greatness, O…

Now for the LoVeWork

Remember what it was like before you became  Roommates with responsibilities Brother and sister  Bickering under your breath   We can hear you We can see you We hurt for you  And we always LoVe You   I think if you touch one another In more ways than one Physically, emotionally and spiritually (LoVe is…

Dazzling and cruel

In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard writes of a patient who was blind since birth but can now see after cataract surgery. There were significant anomalies in their perceptions of space and time. Someone who was trying to learn how to use his new skill would take off one of his boots and throw…

A depressed Sisyphus* watches The Sopranos in bed

*Sisyphus, from the Greek Myth, was a king charged with the eternal punishment of endlessly pushing a boulder uphill, a boulder which would only, once it got to the top, roll all the way back down again. A just keep swimming mantra of old times. Albert Camus, that philosopher of the absurd, imagines Sisyphus not…