When the War Came

September 3, 2017: Priceless

He could not sell his watch for any price. It belonged to his father’s father, and his father’s father before that. It meant too much to him.

She could not sell her bracelet for any price. It belonged to her mother’s mother, and her mother’s mother before that. It meant too much to her.

When their son came, he knew he would wear that watch as his own, one day.

When their daughter came, she knew she would wear that bracelet as her own, one day.

When the war came, they knew they would do whatever it takes to keep their son and daughter alive and well. They sold everything they had left.

In the end, some things are more priceless than others.

 

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Until the End

September 2, 2017: Continue

When he realized he would never see, hear, touch or smell him again, he felt as if his heart stopped forever, but it continued to beat.

When he received notice that his job was no longer his, a mountain of debt struck panic in every corner of his body, but his heart continued to beat.

When lightening struck, thunder roared and the earth quaked, his home crumbled into pieces and he watched his past and future die before his eyes, but his heart continued to beat.

When his refuge was raided and destroyed by bandits and evil, he knew he had been betrayed by humanity, but his heart continued to beat.

When he was attacked by the law with stones and pellets because of his long beard and white kufi, he felt the tides of injustice crush his faith, but his heart continued to beat.

The only thing keeping his spirit within him is his heart, continuing to beat until something, something unbeknownst to him, has its final say.

 

Ditma

August 31, 2017: Memorize

She had all the answers. Everyone came to Ditma for advice. Close friends, classmates, family members, friends of friends, neighbors, girls, boys, women, men, even parents. They came to Ditma for guidance on all their problems: career advice, study lessons, overcoming self-doubt, relationship troubles, high anxiety, financial woes, fitness and nutrition, the whole gammut. Many had not slept for days, but after they met with Ditma, their frantic minds would slow down and they sleep without a hiss.

Ditma would patiently listen to the troubled souls vent their fears and troubles. She would give them their full attention, and her ear. Once her desperate clients would finish talking, they would look at Ditma with longing eyes. Ditma would then close her own eyes – though this part of it was really for show, and her own amusement – then open them back up again, and simply repeat an approach she memorized from the internet on how to tackle the challenge of her particular client. It was quite simple, really, but what made Ditma different was not her uncanny memory and stock of recipes. Rather, it was her ear. She listened. People felt respected. All along, they had the answers they were looking for. They just needed a boost, from Ditma.

 

 

A Word a Day

August 30, 2017: Enamored

A word a day keeps the doctor away. Pen to pad or finger to key, he became enamored with writing. Stories that shake up corners of his imagination. Tales of experiences. Human experiences. Expressions of emotion and thought, fleeting or not. A whole word can fit on a small page, and travel anywhere with the instant click of a mouse. Suddenly the page gets smaller but the stories get deeper. What a wonder!

 

 

Rap is Poetry

August 29, 2017: Rhyme

Rap is poetry
A way of telling a story through rhyme and imagery
Figuratively or literally, expressing ideas to get out the inner-me.

It has a flow
Gets in your know so you can take it with you
Out the do’, full rhymin’ in your head gets your swagger fed.

It goes beyond what’s written,
Adds emotion and motion to the tone that it’s given.
Connects your mind with your movements, gets you in some groove then.

It could have a beat,
Get your feet bangin’ or slidin’ up the street.
Your body repeats and gets those legs to tweak.

***

It could send a message
of justice and society, of fear and courage.
Of focus and sobriety, of hope and encouragement.

Of a tale one would read in a poem,
He hears it in a rap song,
He feels it in a euphoric sing-a-long.
He connects to the poetry,
All knowingly and sometimes uncontrollably,
Letting each rhyme stop time line after line.
Time after time again.

//
by Karim Foda

Up vs. Down

August 28, 2017: Magnetic

A cool breeze passed through the window and over her face. Head rested back on a pillow and legs stretched out over the end of her short bed, she looked up at the ceiling. She wasn’t looking at anything in particular. Her ambition lived in her imagination, which was hard at work. She remained fixed on the ceiling, as if her thoughts were traveling high, drawn up by a magnetic firmament. Yet she remained fixed on her bed, unable to move, victim to apathy. Her body was stuck, drawn down by a magnetic inertia. She thought hard to fight it.

 

A Higher Truth

August 27, 2017: Homage

Antawn entered the world on January 27, 1970 in the Southeastern United States. He wasn’t Antawn then – the full grown, handsome civil rights attorney we know today. He was a blank slate, perhaps with some hereditary tendencies. Antawn could have been Abejide, Ngoyo, Kareem, Michael, Alex, Pablo, Dhruv, Chi, or Gale. He spent his early years wide-eyed and impressionable, much like any child. Born into modest means, he had not seen much of the world beyond the American South. He struggled to understand the history of the land he was born into. Antawn couldn’t go far without seeing homage to the old Confederacy, when his family would have been beaten, tortured and robbed of humanity for no reason at all but the pitfalls of humanity. Flags, statues and plaques commemorating this era loomed over Antawn for years as he grew into Antawn. He then took it upon himself to pay homage to a higher truth. He dedicated his life to civil rights, spreading the truth that we are all Antawns, Pablos, Michaels and Dhruv’s.

 

Diplomatic Dignity

August 26, 2017: Dignify

On each side of the long, mahogany wood table sits two separate delegations from two opposite nations. They gathered on this day to discuss a breach of trust. One nation had violated their Shared National Resources Agreement in response to the other nation popularizing a film that demonized the character of the other nation’s integrity. The faces of the prominent delegates along the long table were steaming with rage and smoke was bursting out of their ears in fury. The newspapers dignified the spat as a dispute. The bodyguards in the room new better.