My Little Heart Mender

To a little man I love, my little nephew, the very first.

I don’t like those t-shirts

The way that they look

They say that you’re a little heart-breaker

My dear boy,

I want to tell you something

I hope you’ll remember

When you’re older

When you meet that girl


Who ain’t got a big brother

Like you are

To protect her

To remind her she’s beautiful

And to your little sister

I hope you do

So you’ll be the best big brother

This world has ever seen


The little boy that you are now

Is the kind I hope you’ll grow up to be


Because my dear boy

You’re not a little heart-breaker

You’re a little heart mender

Your sweet toothy smile

Makes my world light up for miles

Like I don’t see anywhere else

But the sun


You’re a little heart mender

You bandage my cuts

And you kiss my invisible bruises

With your sweet tiny arms

Around my neck


Oh my dear boy

I hope you’re never a heart-breaker

With your tiny scraped knees

And funny, good dreams

I hope you become

The little heart mender that you are

Oh you’re a little heart mender


You’re the little boy

The one little man

In my entire fam

Full of boys and men

You’re the one that can

Heal me

With your childish love

It’s like nothing else

I hope when you lose your innocence

You’ll replace it with wisdom

And kindness

And love



My dear boy

Life will tell you something

About hurt

And who gets there first

But I don’t care

About the race

I care that you’ll stay with the

Kid who fell running.


The world will say that

You have to be tough

To be strong

But I don’t think that enough

Is said about love

Knowing you’re wanted

Making others feel safe

And loved

That is a strength

Of which I will try to give you.


My dear boy,

The kind little boy you are now,

Is the kind I hope you’ll grow up to be.

Reward for Incapacitation

If you are too incapacitated to improve a situation, make dua. Pray to your Lord, reaching out to Him with your need. 

You will not only be rewarded for your sincere patience with the incapacitation, but you will receive hasanat for the prayer and an answer to the prayer, even if you do not see it immediately. If you are patient with the prayer, in that you trust that Allah will give whatever is better for you whether you like it or not, whether it is or it is not hard, you will be rewarded for having that insight and patience with His decree.


Late, phone off the hook
Wait, too close to call
New to turning to You
Admit, submit — commit
Surrender to serenity

23 years to the day
No world before
starting my stay,
But this love feels old
Known it another life

Who will descend,
From your heaven
Who will You send?

My open, embracing heart
craving heaven’s scents
Uplift, lift for ascent to heavens,

Help He sends
My Lord descends
rainy night!
rayless light!
Belonging to daybreak
To the lowest heaven
For lowly servants
In a form befitting

To call His name
Closer than veins
Light pulsing through the strain

Nowhere to fall
Late, phone off the hook
Wait, too close to call
They won’t decide
So I won’t dial
So close by, my Lord’s mercy awaits

Tears to be dried
By the winds of Qadar
Sending tissue petals on the wind
Destiny delivers a better day
But only by His okay
When He will say

She’s breaking in
Her boots,
Truly growing
I’ve been watching
This load, lighten
To carry on light

حسبي الله لا اله الا هو عليه توكلت وهو رب العرش العظيم ولا حول ولا قوت الا بالله


When the rain falls
And I can’t catch it in my palms
When my gifts will fade
And I can’t let them go
Cause they’re embedded in my heart
When I realize the ones I love
I don’t really know
I’ll think of You

When spring begins
And I don’t get to see the flowers blossom
When I can’t go out
Can’t catch the sunrise
Inside a photograph
When of those children’s smiles
All I have are photographs
I’ll remember You

When the birds sing
And I can’t see them skip
From branch to branch
When the leaves return
And I can’t catch leaves
Flutterin’ in the breeze
Nor watch the squirrels
Scramble up the trees
The seed the little one nibbles
And ruffling, rustling leaves
But I’m too far to hear
I’ll thank You

When suddenly
The screens I live within
Are all my life seems to have been
And the friends I love, struggling
And with nothing we can do
With no one who knows what’s true
I’ll tcry to You
Reminded of you reminding me

I’ll say Subhanallah
At the beauty I’m beholding
Memory of brightening photographs
I’ll say alhamdulillah
For trees, the sky, the camera
I’ll Allahu Akbar
No one greater
Than the one who stops the world
While it continues to spin
Him? Yes, Him, He is whom I love
Beyond every bend
I cannot see the end
But this misty cloud of entropy
This silence I can’t break for serenity
I know the diamond gleaming at the end of the line
Of this cloud, while we’re in lockdown.

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً ۖ لَّكُم مِّنْهُ شَرَابٌ وَمِنْهُ شَجَرٌ فِيهِ تُسِيمُونَ – 16:10
It is He who sends down rain from the sky; from it is drink and from it is foliage in which you pasture [animals].
يُنبِتُ لَكُم بِهِ الزَّرْعَ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالنَّخِيلَ وَالْأَعْنَابَ وَمِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ – 16:11
He causes to grow for you thereby the crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, and from all the fruits. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.
أَفَمَن يَخْلُقُ كَمَن لَّا يَخْلُقُ ۗ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ – 16:17
Then is He who creates like one who does not create? So will you not be reminded?
وَإِن تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ – 16:18
And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Surah An-Nahl – Ayah 10-11, 17-18

Why Did You Do it?

Nothing but black and white
To paint my stripes

I was born a zebra

In a world of stallions

With no point of return
I can’t change, can’t unlearn

How does this happen
All these roads I get on
Just fall back off
You said to do my best
What if I’m not up to it?

Why does this happen?
All these battles I’m fighting
I wasn’t meant to win
You said to be good but
What if I’m not?

Where do I go now?
My friend is so sick now
Why does this happen?
When does this end, will it be soon?

I promise I’m trying
Won’t I say I don’t believe in You
But some days
Some days when I say
“It’s okay,”
They’re symbols strung together

Labelling pain with no gain

Why does this happen?
I held up my end of the bargain
Was I never worth it?
This little girl’s fighting
For a life she can’t fix
But will You?
And she is so little
The sky that You painted, so big
I just want to understand

The whole world around me
Is just so loud
When I walk these halls
They say my name
Whispers, I can’t
Seem to escape
I feel like an alien

I’m always so different
But You put me on Earth

There must be a reason

When I look in the mirror

They see something I don’t

I was a young ‘un
I tried to know
The difference between
Sunsets and rainbows
Why do colors spread
Or stay in one place?

Why are all nights the same, yet never quite so
Some so much longer, some way too cold
Some I can’t sleep through
Some I don’t wake up from
Some where the sun wouldn’t rise
Some where the love
Ain’t enough for them,
To make up their mind

I cannot sleep now
And everybody else eats
I cannot breathe now
And the others are laughing
But I am still gasping
for air.

I don’t miss a beat
I see every color
I feel every moment
I know before it has happened
I know because I hear it all even
When I’m not even trying
Not even thinking
But I’m taking this in

And so the world has to be
So I can breathe
And now finally
I find this puzzle piece
I don’t need to know
I don’t need to understand
I just need my paintbrush back
And give me colors that
I can mix away

The animals out there, they like our silence

Our quiet lull, the hum of Quran

Words under my breath

Open the window
Birds singing louder
Squirrels, scurry slower, lower
Because the world has stopped
And they are unafraid
That we will come home
Because we already are

And maybe we lose
And maybe we are weak
And maybe we’re not as good
As we had assumed
But why do we have to
Be perfect to believe

I believe it begins now
Without the control
With not needing to know
Because you’re already sure
You just have a shred of hope,

Or a whole lot of reserves

From bad days that are better days

With believing in being safe

Letting it go now
For good to come on its own

We pray, but we won’t stay in place
And hope we’ll arrive
We pray, but we won’t forget love
And hope we’ll still be together
We pray, but we don’t gather round
And hope that we won’t fall down
With COVID going round

We reflect, but we won’t halt humility
And expect we’ll know what we truly need
We reflect, but we won’t believe in miracles
And say they’re not from Allah, our Lord
We thank our heroes,
Remember they are given.

We mourn, but we won’t all lose something or other
And then ever grieve alone

I am a Tree

Trees are true

Of them there are few

Principles rooted deep within

Visible on the surface,

Lived with authentic justice


Don’t wait for a summer solstice

I’m staying alive

Just watch me fight

I will survive

A found person

A misplaced map


Ride the seas

A book unread

A cover, a door unopened

Open the flap, turn the knob


A gift, a provision

See it through my vision:

Do I wear rose-coloured glasses?

No, but a lens so clear you never see it,

Unless yours is too.

Taming the Inner Lion

“You can’t tame a lion while it’s still in its cage.”

When I applied to my dream workplace, it was really only to remind myself that no matter what my blood work says, no matter what they see on the MRI, or whether they tell me I’ll never be without doctors and scans and pills and constant f, I’m still qualified, disciplined and capable. I’m not sure I even believed I’d get a call back at the time (I did). Even if I can’t do it, or contribute to the extent that I’d like, I still own the gifts I’ve been given. I still have what it takes to use them to some benefit.

It’s been 8 long years of saying “eventually, I will”, and right when the world is stopping for a while, here I am. I’m still sick. That’s true. But it’s no longer holding me hostage.

I can’t transcend my limits until I live as if that’s what God created me for, as if I already have.

I have to live as though I constantly am on the cusp of something absolutely wonderful. The world is round, so we mostly don’t know beyond instinct and sheer faith when or how things will get better.

It’s going to be an exceptional Ramadan, sisters, even if there’s a certain someone trying to steal this moment from you because he wasted his at the beginning of time.

It’s going to be a wonderful life because you’re about to start living like it’s already here.

Ultimately, Allah holds the reins.
You can either fight the direction He steers you in, or gallop into the sunset no matter the weather.

You are a lioness.
But you can’t discipline yourself from inside a cage. You need to step out into the real world and discover new territory.