The “Winnowing Winds”.

The “Winnowing Winds” are blowing

A change of tide is coming

Spring is bursting…

Rotund buds adorn every tree and bush,

swollen with the desire to unleash what’s inside.

 

Newborn lambs, on wobbly legs.

Bucking at the teat of their patient mothers.

Curious, strong and frail, all at the same time.

So are we, dependent on Him, yet independent,

with free will, ego and stubbornness.

 

Wild leeks explode from the ground, through detritus layers of decomposition.

The first spring food granted to us.

Pungent, fresh and bright green.

A flavor reminiscent of Summer,

In the resurrection that is Spring.

“And Allah has sent down rain from the sky and given life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who listen.” 16:65

 

The Ramps are

Kindred to our own souls.

Stalwart

Thrusting through the earth.

Emancipated, and piquant,

Alluring and naive.

They arrive virtually just after the snow has melted away,

Before the tree leaves unfold to greet the sun.

 

There is something grounding

About a walk in the woods, with the mud at your feet

The sweet smell of musty leaves and wet earth.

 

When you find them you will know.

Two bright green leaves

With arms outstretched.

Facing the heavens, as if to greet their maker with gratefulness and awe.

 

There is something fulfilling

About finding these God given foods.

Wild foraging

When it’s still cold and damp.

When ones human mind cannot conceive that the earth might bring forth food at such an early point of spring.

 

That’s Al Razzaq.

The All Provider.

Providing for us where our human minds would not think to look.

At the time when we need it most.

 

As I nourish my body this spring, before the leaves and flowers in all their vibrant splendor arrive,

I cannot help but to notice how nature tells the story of the Quran right before my eyes…

                “By the (winds) that scatter broadcast;

                And those that lift and bear away heavy weights

                And those that flow with ease and gentleness;

                And those that distribute and apportion by

                Command

                Verily that which ye are promised is true;

                And verily Judgment and Justice must indeed

                come to pass.”       51:1-6

 

The spring wind gusts around me, carrying seeds and dust.

With my hands in the dirt

Foraging,

I cannot help but compare myself to the ramp

Using all of my energy to burst through the earth:

To claw my way through this Dunia.

 

Much like the life of a dandelion,

Bright yellow, vibrant and full of youth,

Our life here is fleeting.

One day our hair too will grow into a wispy white,

We must be mindful of the winds that blow.

We mustn’t wait for our old age to find piety.

You never know when the day will come.

The gust

That will set free the seeds.

“Scatter Broadcast”.

The day when you are risen alone.

With “no protection or helper”.

 

With arms outstretched,

I look up in awe

At the beauty of the sky.

I look down at the earth

The dirt we were fashioned from.

I revel in the sustenance granted by my maker:

The delicacy I cut from the ground.

 

There is something Humbling

About the nature of giving and receiving

About my hands in the dirt

About plucking my food from the earth

About the feeling of spring after a long cold winter

About the blessings we are surrounded with

That go unnoticed every day.

 

I kneel in the dirt

And turn my face to the splendor of the sky.

I close my eyes and smell the earth.

I silently Thank God for all of the beauty

All of the Blessings.

For the food I gather for my family.

For spring

For new beginnings

For being Al Razaaq.

Alhamdulillah I am forever grateful.

 

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Note****Ramps aka. wild leeks are a wild onion found in the forests of Vermont in the spring before the tree leaves come out.  They can be foraged and harvested for about a month.  Also thank you to Maria and Ward Ogden for the beautiful visit we had with they and their lambs this spring.

My Opa.

Opa, you will always be the man with the perfectly manicured lawn, the weeping willows that blow in the wind.  Waving a top your big John Deer tractor; in shorts and white socks, that covered your farmers tan, right below your knees, on your skinny little chicken legs. 

You will always be the man so jolly with that glimmer of mischief in your eyes.  The teaser, the walk-behind-you-neck-pincher.  The man who built our whole lives with his hands: my dolly’s bassinet, my mom’s toilet bowl cover, all of our musical piggy banks with our names on them that were impossible to open.  Even that weird woodpecker toy thing with one of your chickens feathers as its tail.  The swing in your back yard, the garden that I learned to pick, shuck and love peas in.  The multiple clocks that would keep me up at night…it was either that or your monstrous snore.

One could look at your life as a child of the Holocaust, an immigrant, and now a victim of Alzheimer’s as one of tragedy, but I prefer to think of your life as the beginning of your legacy.  We may not always have the house you built but we will always have the family that you built.  Your hard work ethic, your craftsmanship, your mischievous spirit and even your laugh will be echoed in our generations and those to come…forever.

For my Opa:  Henry Najman Newman I love you forever. 

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Written for his memorial in August of 2010.

My Hijab

Bismillah: In Honor of #WorldHijabDay and dedicated to my Muslim sisters all over the world being oppressed because of their choice to cover. I have wrote this poem for you, making my intention pure for Allah alone in sha Allah. Ameen.



My Hijab

Inspired by my favorite Monologue by Eve Ensler: “My Short Skirt”.

Some lines have been taken directly from her piece, I replaced the word “skirt” with “hijab”.


My Hijab.

My Hijab is my crown.

I am a queen, and like a queen I don’t shake hands with strange men.

My Hijab.

My Hijab is peace.

This piece of cloth that covers my aura.

Is serenity.

A sign of submission.

They say it’s a sign of submission to my husband.

I say: No.

Submission to Someone much more important.

Omnipotent.

Allah.

Lord of the Worlds.

My Hijab.

My Hijab is a reminder.

A reminder to myself to behave in the manner I am supposed to:

With integrity.

Peacefully.

Respectfully.

Honestly.

Auspiciously.

Humbly.

Modestly.

My Hijab.

My Hijab may serve as a reminder to other people of how to treat me:

I am not an ornament for your eyes.

My beauty will not be cheapened by using pieces of my body to sell your:

Body wash

Cars or

Power tools.

I will not be used in some misogynists’ music video.

No. You may not have my number.

All that man covets is hard to reach;

Gold and Jewels must be mined.

Oil must be drilled.

Pearls lie

Sealed

In shells

At the bottom of the sea.

Why is my body any different?

My Hijab, believe it or not, has nothing to do with you:

Your laws to ban it.

Your opinion that I’m oppressed.

Your view on my style of expression or belief system.

Your hateful heart and your hands that rip it from my head.

You’re not in charge of my fate

My destiny.

My. Maker. Is.

My Hijab is my Piety.

My non conformation to mainstream.

I will NOT let YOU make me AFRAID.

This is who

I AM.

Before you made it something for people to fear.

And attached words like “Terrorist” to it.

Before you attempt to

Try to make me

Take it off,

or Assimilate.

My Hijab:

Get used to it. It’s not going away.

My Hijab is happiness:

Tranquility.

Serenity.

I am here.

I am empowered.

My Hijab is a liberation.

The Flag in the Muslimah Liberation.

The first movement of ‘feminism’; started by the Prophet Muhammad.

May Peace and Blessings be Upon Him.

I declare these streets

Any streets

My Hijab’s country.

My Hijab’s Universe.

We are free and answer to God Alone.

But mainly

My Hijab and everything under it Is mine.

Mine

Mine

Mine.

My God Given Right.

My Freedom.

My Protection.

My Liberation.

My Dedication to My Maker and

No One Else.

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