I Strip Myself Away

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Image captured in Machu Picchu, me sitting in a corner on what is considered an Inca throne – Peru, January 2018

I strip myself away
From all obligations
From meaningless occasions.

I strip myself away
From everything I forced myself to be
From what I used to do or say
to please in every way.

I am free
Like a stream
I rise up
I go down
I stop trespassers when I can
I allow crossing when I want
or don’t
I just am.

I am me
I know my heart
I start
when I want
I stop
when I can’t.

I am night and day
I am anything I choose to be
Wrong or right
My eyes are the ones that see.

I don’t hide
I am brave
I ride
every wave
That’s who I am.

I am raw
I show
What I can do without
I throw.

I strip myself away
No more delays.

I strip myself away
Before I decay.

I strip myself away
I sail away.

I strip myself away
I found my way.

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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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