By Malak Kalmoni Chehab
What have you seen? How have you been? Has time, in its transience, kept you keen? Have you asked it its reason for being? Have you asked destiny why it's fleeing? Have you asked faith why it’s redeeming? Life, I wish you could respond, My questions are many and correspond To all that happens that only seems morbid. News and social media, all expound on All that is negative: violence, death, con, Racism, segregation, depravity, and poison. All that pessimism holds no importance To our health and emotional stability, whose impotence Vis a Vis a world that's dominated by impudence. Alter, change, deviate from all that's the same, Be 'you', unique, strong, and don't play their game, Play yours, turn it into a burning flame.
Bombing! Shelling! Rat a tat of gun shooting! Exploding! Screaming! Sirens wailing! Who's listening? How many must die to get a hearing? Run, jump, scream your fear As detonations and mushroom clouds bare A cover for the death and violence that tear At your humanity that's unfair! Broken homes, shards and shrapnel, Ruination of social order, only enthrall The onlooker with devastation of the hovel, That ensconced elderly, adults, and kids who spell Their fear in tears from hell!
Look, look into the eyes of a dirty child, The window to hell peaks out instead. Look, look into the kid's shy demeanor That shows he's older than his seventh year. He walks, cautiously, looking around, guardedly For another back hand to the face, that's lovely. Look, as he flees swiftly from aggression As a repeat is all he knows in his vision. Look, look at his shredded clothing, Ratty and spotty just like his living. Look, the shimmer of tears that are hovering, Always expecting another blow that's coming! Look, no one's the wiser, Look, the guardian is the destroyer. Look not at the cover, But at the heart that needs a helper.
I swing around My gazes abound And stall. Frozen on the ground By the footsteps that are never found. Each step was an adventure, gone And never seen, but remembered as one Whose stature is alone in memory and stone. Adoration of all that's futile and long gone, For your recall is colored by a grapevine Of emotions that are supple And unmanageable. Let it go! Move on, throw Caution to the wind, and blow Away boundaries that limit your flow!
Ode to Indigenous Victims
Who are our greatest victims? Our native women’s rapes? Over half a century ago, Their children were of age to Be abused and killed Then buried and abandoned. Abandoned but unforgetting As parents went unknowing Of their fates and kept hoping … Their faith in governments That oppressed them and forsakes Their loved one’s destinies That are only excavated on pleas … And demands for knowledge Of their kismet to be able to judge, Whether to move on, or … Stay in Limbo’s nescience for Their needs are trivialized, While others’ are optimized… What’s needed to achieve equality In attaining justice for all humanity And not only a minority?
Malak Kalmoni Chehab’s poetry is a reflection of himself and the society he has lived in in the past (Ghana, Lebanon), and where he lives now, Canada. Chebab’s aim is to present his unique perspective and empower others to believe in ‘who’ they are.
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