Longing

Eds. Note: Wishing our readers a blessed Eid filled with peace, beauty, & joy! Ramadan may have ended, but our hearts are filled with longing for the month again.

authorphoto

 

holiest of dates

the last hunger before the breaking of the fast

the taste of you on my lips

sustenance for thirty days and thirty nights

from sun up to sun down

i watched for your arrival

like

the blessed coolness of the night air on my parched dryness

like

the holiest of dates to sweeten this bitter loneliness

you

fell upon me

like

the last hunger before the breaking of the fast

nineveh

in sweet nineveh

under that ancient pomegranate tree

we will meet

red kernels of desire

spilling their fragrance

around your hard ramadan beauty

 

 

 

seasons of denial

I.

many seasons of denial have passed

floating thickly past my hungry vision

ramadan moons have been sighted and fed

with the lonely wail of the muezzin’s cries

endless miles have been run between the hills of the pious

sweating devotion into white pilgrims’ robes

rich red grains have travelled many pathways

shifting and reshaping with each sandstorm

the eternal spring has bubbled its last sigh

but still

you

do not come

 

II.

was it the last hunger before the sinking of the sun,

that brought your taste to my lips?

was it the lonely wail of the muezzin,

that tore your name from my tongue?

was it that first taste of water,

that clenched my parched heart?

what summoned that old searing pain,

pulsing through me in this season of denial?

 

III.

my kohl lined eyes wept

sighting you

like the new ramadan moon

Read another poem by Amal on our site, here.

Amal Randa’s dreams are filled with rosewater rebellions and tongues engaging in uprisings even when mouths are silenced. She is a Jeddah born, Pakistani Muslim poet currently completing her first poetry collection while living in Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories. In a time when even exhaling while being Muslim seems to have become a crime, she sees poetry as an act of collective resistance. She feels most comfortable in the liminal spaces that challenge easy categorization. She’s been performing, writing and organizing for many years and hopes to help reclaim poetry’s tradition of being rooted first and foremost in community and in the struggle. She is a VONA Voices of Our Nations and Banff Spoken Word Program Alum. Her work has been published and is forthcoming in several literary journals, anthologies and closest to her heart: zines. Amongst other projects as an educator, she is currently facilitating a writing workshop series for queer and trans youth and recently organized a Ramadan themed performance showcase with other Muslim artists from a diversity of backgrounds. A sampling of her writing can be found at rosewaterpoet.com.