An Encounter

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I could never forget
That summer night
When we met
A chance meeting
With intellect
Sentiments
I couldn’t detect.

There we were
Him and me
Resembling
Jordan River, me
And the Dead Sea, he
Connecting
To some degree
Indifference sitting
In between
Ready to intervene.

He was the calmest wave
I’ve ever seen
Of all the seas
In the Middle East
An influential figure
Witty and clever
Handling it well
Holding it together.

Inside his soul
Stood marred walls
And avalanched falls
Bolted doors
And deserted shores
Washed-up cities
And blocked borders
Complicated countries
And denied entries.

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Shine

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My Father. The best human being I have ever known and will ever know.

I am Palestine
I wait in line
I yearn and pine
I seek a sign
I count on time
I leave behind
All that is mine
Except my dignity
Despite captivity
Except my pride
Despite your tyranny
Except my wealth
Which is my mind
I have my Self
A saviour in itself.

I am Palestine
I am fine
In time
I shall shine.

I am Palestine
I am stranded
A desolate island
Melancholic and silent
Stranger here
Stranger there
Everywhere
A burden
I am almost certain.

I am Palestine
I long for connection
Some human affection
No attention
Only detention
Sanction after sanction
No remorse
Only chores
And bolted doors
No harmony
Only fatality
No tranquility
Only hostility
No equality
Nor eligibility
Only agony
Where is sanity?
I am alchemy
The begetter of unity
I shall breed humanity.

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My Life is Real

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A Taste of Gaucho Culture, Estancia Los Patos, Argentina

My life is real.
Its essence I feel
I travel a great deal.

I seek and heal
Experience and reveal
All that is surreal
I have nothing to conceal
Not my curiosity
Nor my zeal
No apology
For my independence
For my candidness
Only to God, I kneel.

In every foreign place
I find novelty and grace
In every little street
Despite my tired feet
I walk and greet
Locals I meet.

During such encounters
And racing hours
I receive
An introduction
To tradition
I merge with culture
Demand disclosure
And embrace exposure.

In far away lands
Under moonlit skies
Despite my sleepy eyes
I see shimmering stars
Written memoirs
Of beautiful spirits.

When mornings come
And birds hum
I walk in nature
No longer a stranger
Acre after acre
Of exquisiteness
I thank my Creator
I bow to my Maker
For this magnificence.

My life is real
Its essence I feel
I travel a great deal.

What vileness he thinks
And ill she speaks
Of my travels and bills
Of my passions and thrills
Brush the top of these hideous hills
In whose valleys everyone sleeps
Where no one wills
And stillness kills.

I’m onto something
In my wandering and writing
Despite the foulness
That sometimes reeks
And the belittling
That oftentimes squeaks
Envy that peaks
And judgment that leaks
Your vulgar style
So bile and juvenile.

I’m onto something
Despite lonely elves
Stuck at the bottom of wells
Living in hell
Hiding it well
And foolish freaks
With spiteful tongues
And ugly beaks.

Despite this ordeal
I reiterate
My life is real.

By Razan Abdul Majeed

The Hug

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Inspired by my stay at the Sha Wellness Clinic, Spain. A new page was turned that year. Alicante,  2014

I repeat, it was not lust,

nor a tragic futility of love

it was not an aftermath of despair

nor a fleeting love affair

it was what it was.

 

It was shyness of the unknown

of silently screaming feelings

of trembling hands and vulnerabilities shown

of language barriers, paralysis and fences

of echoing caves and sacred hidings

I repeat, it was not lust,

nor a drunken state of momentarily love

it was not a frivolous consequence of ecstasy

nor uncalculated courage and misguided trust

it was nothing resembling the above

it was what it was.

 

Confined inside of me

he marked his territory

a stranger even to himself

in this darkness and absurdity

fragmented awakenings I foresaw

of roses, redness and flamenco

and all that belonged to yesterday

was on death row

I repeat, it was not lust,

nor my soul’s solitude if you must

it was not a prize to take pride in

nor loneliness in me festering like dust

nor profound nights in high mountains

it was what it was.

 

Perhaps I cannot dwell

on the complexity that drew him to me

an enchantress casting her spell?

no one can tell

it was what it was.

 

Stranger I said:

procrastinate here with me

envelop me

burden all my senses

and if I may

let my cheek rest on your shoulder

let me let go

of all my defenses

I repeat, it was not lust,

it was what it was.

 

By Razan Abdul Majeed, 2017      

On Loving

 

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I captured this beautiful image of two gentle Icelandic horses at a horse field / stable in Iceland, 2017

There is nothing in the world that I want

but you and your love,

all other things seem small in comparison.

 

I want to keep your heart my own,

so much that I would rather love you first

and live incidentally.

 

My happiness is now in your hands,

because loving you means you can carry me.

 

Wherever and whenever you please,

in whatever shape or form you choose.

 

I have never felt my mind breathe with undistracted enjoyment,

as it does when I am with you.

 

You occupy all my senses.

 

What if you love me less one day?

It is done now and I have to admit this dependence,

I admit it willingly, wholeheartedly,

since I love you so much.

 

Since there’s no other way.

 

By Razan Abdul Majeed

Gone

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I captured this great image of Palestinian children just being children and having fun. It was the exact spot where I took my first (uneasy) steps towards my father’s lost city. Nablus, Palestine, 2012

Gone is the memory of the stories we heard as children

Gone are the people who loved us without egos and conditions

Gone is the longing for impossible things and adventurous missions

Gone are our dreams of kings, kingdoms and royal decisions

Gone are the nights we slept without waking

Gone is the time we loved, and shunned hating

Gone is the sensation of all sensations!

Of childhood innocence and liberations

We weep over the corpse of our childhood life

With a choking realization (we shout) ‘Gone! Gone! Gone!’

 By Razan Abdul Majeed      

 

 

 

Earth

 

This is planet earth
a circle
with an interwoven shade
that never fades
a nation within a nation
edgeless
a secret birth
an art’s creation.

This right here
the size of a penny
this is where
somewhere high
maybe low
you and I
one or many
far or near
coexist
why sigh?
I know you know.

This right here
on this minute object
(with your copyright eyes
and clever interpretations)
or if you prefer –
on the reverse side
this is where
him and her
were born
this is where
if you can bear
you and I
cannot hide
even if we tried.

This is where
for the first time
we scraped our knees
we took our first breath
we shed some tears
had our first kiss
chokes and giggles
this is where
we felt butterflies
and tickles
and fell in love
or if you prefer –
this is where
we fell out of love.

This is where
we grew up
we learn, burn and turn
this is where
we still taste
where we still devour
salt and sour
sometimes bitterness
sometimes sweetness
disappointment’s flavour
everything we savour
even blandness.

This is where
we witnessed sunset after sunset
this is where
we felt
we melt
we knelt
under the sun’s spell
under its saintly face
holding earth
like a little bird
in its nest.

This is where
we see and touch
the wetness of rain
or if you prefer –
the ugly dampness of humanity
hush hush
I mean humidity
this is where
we dream all our dreams
we hear thunder
and jolt in wonder
from the sound of nature’s screams.

This is where
we play, we laugh
we cry, we fall
and disappear
or if you prefer –
this is where
we die a thousand deaths
only to be reborn again
a blessing to some
or if you prefer –
the opposite of blessing?

This is where
you and I
are now looking
this is where
we stare
at this image
of earth
a heaven to some
or if you prefer –
a hell?
Why do we act so surprised?
Why?
Let us confess
this is precisely where
we are indeed
no more and no less
than a twinkle
in God’s eye.

by Razan Abdul Majeed