I write for my sister


She kept him in her heart
He was her best part.

He was the sun
in her morning sky.

She was the connecting thread
in the web
of his dignified life.

Then one day
Fate stepped in
Wanted to stay
She tried to undo
what was done
But the thread gave in
The sun was gone
Her torment
had begun.

In her blinding disbelief
Her deafening heave
Her inconsolable grief
Her pain-stricken face
The colour grey
In her voice of fear
‘No! No!’
All I could hear
‘Baba! Baba!’
Ringing in my ear
That was my sister’s way
Keeping death at bay
Needing him to stay.

Days passed
So fast
Weeks came
All the same
Months fled
She hardly slept
by a confusing pain
by a depressing defect
stabbing away at her heart
wrenching her insides apart
She wept
while she lay in bed
feeling empty and dead
In the darkness of her room
In her wakefulness and gloom
Yet the burning tears that came
were tame
They never cussed
nor fussed
They silently bled
Flooding the valley
of his old city
with water
that is salty.

(She said to me)
He never leaves my mind
Day and night
he is on my mind
I feel so much pain
How can I explain?
I am the lonely sky
crying inconsolable rain.
(She said to me)
How can I ever forget
His mark on me
Who he was for me
What he meant to me
What he instilled in me
What he represented for me
What he changed within me
What he sought in me
What he gave to me
What he took from me
What he brought out in me
What he taught me
What he selflessly gifted me
Love, love, and more love
What I was never deprived of
To make me see
The potential in me
How great I can be
And because of he
I am secure and free.

(She said to me)
How can I but surrender
to nostalgia and remember
His serenity
His humility
His completeness
His uniqueness
His infectious sweetness
His discreet importance
His strong presence
His grandness and essence
His intense life lessons
His strong impact
A known fact
on little me
on growing me
on older me
on mother me
He was my soul’s key
My soothing sea.

(She said to me)
Please write
and describe
the extent of my pride
How he was my most brilliant light
How he made darkness bright
How he was everything clear and white
How his laughter was my cure
How his heart was kind and pure
How he was my bravest knight
How he had so much fight
How he made everything right
Record and remember
How he was my center
My faithful encourager
A man without blunders
A man with beautiful gestures
Write and tell
Repeat and retell
Don’t let them wonder
Keep alive
His relentless strives
His innocent smiles
His effect on so many lives
So that the world can read
Every great deed
So that everyone can see
pages of his glory
of inspiring he
what he used to be
what he will always be
what he was to me
The man of my world
My mountain of love
My magnitude above
My triumph.

(She said to me)
With urgency
Or with something
resembling fright
Please write
What he signified to me
Leave not a shred
of doubt
How I wish I could talk to him
How much I miss him
Fussing over him
Caring for me
Sitting with him
Hugging him
Our special connection
My affection
My attention
His fatherly protection
Don’t forget to mention
My complete devotion
As wide as the ocean
to my remarkable father.

(She said to me)
Please write
and highlight
The depth we shared
How much I cared
Let them be aware
How I cannot bear
That he is not there
With great care
what I cannot dare
on paper
You are much braver
with words.

(I write for my sister)

She was his fair middle-child
The mother of his first grandchild
With light eyes like his eyes
Smiles like his smiles
She was his heaven’s river
His happiest giver
His sweetest letter
His personal defender
His most loyal lawyer
And I clearly remember
How generous
How gentle
How selfless
How tender
She was
with my father
No one could be her.

I write
Memories of the past
Destined to last
That touched me greatly
Made me smile fondly
How countless times
in their lives
in her unwavering eyes
in her somewhat subjective belief system
Despite my sister’s bountiful wisdom
His wrongs were always rights
His faults were never faults
His fights her fights
She couldn’t find
She stubbornly denied
The way a child
is utterly blind
To the weakness
of humankind
In her mind
He was the best
And the rest
were just the rest
Anything he said
was great and wise
Everything he did
she idealized
He was the answer
to every why
To everyone she told
He was her Captain
He was gold.

Did I write
How sometimes
she tries to hide
Unaware of her self-comprise
In the name of motherly sacrifice
To find inside
Some secret place
or space
to deal with her grief
to contain her pain
Less frequently, selectively
she timidly confides
in those few
she considers kind
Perhaps to carry on
to walk on
to march on.

Other times she shies
from those stoic types
And pities the ones
who dehumanize
the old who die
The ones who know her
but continue to belittle
knowingly or unknowingly
the pain she feels
Or rudely ignore
her cheeks’ wet trickles
Or do not acknowledge
her unstable flowing tears
as they appear and disappear
In her quiet mind
they signify
with their mean features
Earth’s most egoistic creatures.

(I write to my sister)

My dearest sister
My heart’s listener
Despite the thread
that became undone
Despite the fact
that the light is gone
Despite the tears that
and the sadness that clung
Despite their drunken stupor
and insensitive tongues
despite what you have endured
and how vulnerable you have become
You won!

My sweet strong sister
Stay strong.

Baba was, is
your morning sun.

By Razan Abdul Majeed


My father and me

In the most unlikely places

In the most unimaginable  moments

Flashes of him appear like lightening

It is daunting

Almost frightening

How his face among all faces

is the only one in luminous sight

Surrounding him only light.


I hold back my tears

And chain down my fears

I try to remember a frivolous story

But no memory, no story

Can stop my tears

Can break my fear

So I squeeze my eyes shut

Ignore the agony in my gut

Wear a brave face

Leave no pitiful space

Or any vulnerable trace

Only grace

Pretend the wind is the culprit

For tears that refuse to quit

But there’s nowhere to hide

No one to confide

I need to get a grip.


In the most unlikely places

In the most unimaginable moments

I hear beeping

Heavy breathing

All forms of heaving

Witness intubating

and efforts in saving

Pounding hearts

Horror creeping

into my veins.

Pricks violating

Saline swimming


into his veins.

Ghosts sneaking in my head

Audaciously nearing his bed

Playing cruel games.


I see ugly zig-zags

of uneven charts

I see drug-filled bags

Oxygen increasing

Doctors strategising

Nurses racing

The helpless pacing

The indifferent sighing

The old wailing

The hopeful dreaming

Families pleading

Painful memories

Hardly worth keeping

I hear screaming

Someone weeping

Is death nearing?

The climax of grieving.


In the most unlikely places

In the most unimaginable moments

Unbearable haunting scenes

Invade me

They won’t let me be

I want to be free

I travel, and I walk

I talk, and I provoke

I write through the night

Ever so keen

To crush every scene

How absurd and how obscene

I refuse to cry

I block out goodbye

I refuse to become

weak, and to succumb

So I run, and I run

For a fraction

of distraction

No stop sign

Not even a finish line

So I run, and I run

Till I can no longer keep up

And my legs give in

Till all my emotions erupt

And I’m all washed up

And everything in me is no longer violent

Till everything in me is silent.


I see him falling

No time for crying

For cowardly hiding

For trials and errors

Doctors and nurses

Stop wondering, stop stalling

Can’t you see he is slipping?

I hear someone calling

The ‘death’ tray is moving

There’s trouble

He’s in trouble

And I’m in trouble

His soul is rising

Angels are flying

And my heart is dying

I shake

I ache

I pray

Please God

Let him stay

Please God

For my sake

Please wait

I know it’s fate

But please just wait

Too late

His soul is now soaring

And Angels keep gathering

God I accept

I swear I accept

I know I am inept

I shudder

I stumble

There’s no waiting

No preparing

And I, without realising



In the most unlikely places

In the most unimaginable moments

In my melancholic daze

In my weary phase

My heightened grieving days

I feel the warmth of his gaze

The depth of his gentle ways

The devotion that forever stays

His knowing eyes sweetly smiling

His loving ways slowly piling

Old tears already drying

New tears forming

Of momentarily relief

Ever so brief

‘I am fine’ I whisper

‘Just fine’

His fingers tighten around mine

Gentle and so kind

The best I’ll ever find

Hand in hand

So entwined.

No demands

Only love stands

And as I drift

And as I dream

As I wish away

And pray for an endless day

I hear my father say

In his usual reassuring way

‘I am fine,

Not just fine,

More than fine.’

by Razan Abdul Majeed