Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Garissa Attack

Intense with emotions I feel the pain,
Tearful inside for the 147 students slain,
Mainstream media say they struck again,
Al-shabaab, what do I to my people explain,
That I am innocent, that I am just a Kenyan.
You struck while people were asleep,
How cowardly of you, how weak,
Now unfortunate, now I can't speak,
For people brand me names, all day I weep.
Garissa University, called for its closure,
No developments, no more Northern Frontier,
Sanctions, to other provinces no exposure,
Oh Lord! You alone knows what's best for us.
My tears will flow but will one day dry,
My heart will love but will one day die,
On A day my body will be lowered,
Into the grave, peacefully dead.
Spread the message, spread what I say,
Along the passage, tell what I see,
A land of blessings, no more deaths,
No more terrorists and no more Shabaabs.

By Hudhaifah Siyad

Friday, May 1, 2015


Dear Hadrawi,
If poetry should remain our propagule,
what is the language of Diaspora?
Teach us a poem of infinite translation.
Help us reach beyond our confines
like the wind that ripped us from the maple
and scattered us on winged samara
from Amsterdam to Oklahoma,
in the shadow of our Babel.
Written by: Samatar Elmi

Friday, April 10, 2015


Dearest Grandma,
Did you weave this with your aged hands,
Hoping to see me wed a man,
Before you left behind your land?
Did you wonder who I'd grow to be,
When you held the childhood picture of me,
As you sipped your frothy, sweetened tea?
Did you weep when you fell ill and knew,
That you would never make it to,
The day when I could visit you?
Last summer, my first in Africa,
At your grave, I stood by dear mama,
And marveled at her stamina.
Separated for countless days and years,
But still she held back all those tears,
To soothe my sorrow and quell my fears.
I'm grateful for such strong women,
Who inspire me to lift my pen,
To write the things I learned from them.
Fatima Andad
Copyright © 2014

"He Who Knew Me"

I have always thought that no one understands me
With all the good intention in the world at times my actions do not match
I still smile I still…smile even though my heart aches
I’m clothed in grief and I wear shame with pride
Although I appear human size I’m small like the floating atom
Neither here nor there, neither loved or loathed
I’m waiting I suppose for the one who knew me to return once more
His departure was most sudden and worse of all
With one word his voice would cover me in security and affection
I need to be told I’m uniquely rare
That I’m seen for what I really am
A light seer in the darkest of times
A hope believer even when the odds are against us up so high
I invite the one who will explore what’s behind the mask
The one who sees behind the shiny sculpted exterior
A saviour who will reveal my wounds not to mock them but to heal them
I still smile I still…hide
Words reach me like the rays of the sun beam into lifeless plants
Straight to the core of me without a gatekeeper of any kind
A weakness of mine, that’s has meant a shattered emotion many times
Alas I’ve come to the conclusion I am to be my one true friend
The one who whispers words of encouragement and does not pretend
I will seek solace from within and leave others to throw their lexical pins
Free I am of the shackles of societal ‘norms
I need I and others no more
I still smile I will always…poeticize
Written by: Nimo Yusuf

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Taste of blood
sound of an explosion
smell of a gun powder
a heritage that i carry on my shoulder

Mogadishu .... Mogadishu ... Mogadishu
that's my name
that's my heritage
two decades of pain
and life going in vain!

Today !
I stand in-front of you my ocean
do you still see the old me?
do you recognize my playful voice ?
my long dark hair and white dress
i bet you remember those eyes that hold you tight
in the gloomy nights !
i am the pearl of the ocean
the chanted African song !
begging him to recognize things i don't recognize in myself anymore

he left in silence 
wondering !
what infected your heart my child ?
when killing became a religion ?
when love became a crime ?
when death became a norm ?
when those holes in ur soul will heal ?!

Mogadishu .... Mogadishu ... Mogadishu
thats my name
thats my heritage
since the smile left my doorsteps
my face , my wall
since the misery left it stain
on my heart , on my soul
since the rain left my sky lonely
the thirst is a killer
and the sand has the tears of the helpless only !

Storyteller keep mesmerized with the old me
and if it gets tough
fabulation is the key
to keep the affection
keep the ocean
as i promise one day
i will be back with the smile of my children
with the love of every mother
with courage of every worrier

Mogadishu .... Mogadishu ... Mogadishu
is my name
that's how i stay alive !

Written by: Ismail A. Ali

Monday, February 9, 2015

I seek

The sun rose this morning and gave birth to another day
And with it, I arose again

Today I choose courage,
Or at least a courageous pretense
My eyes blink away all of yesterday's evil
I get out of bed and put on today's face
I lather a faux blush onto my cheeks
And wipe a fabricated smile onto my lips -
I am ready

The hate of last night will not defeat the love of this morning
I am a brave woman seeking joy between the cracks of society's despair
I seek reality, despite the mix of reality and falsehood I face as I look in the mirror
I seek love, true love, where a heartfelt smile warms the heart of a broken man
I seek acceptance, which when displayed, makes the loneliest of us feel belonging again
I seek the truth, amongst all the bitterness, envy and vengeance
I seek a smile, a true smile, found on the faces of those who know real hurt
I seek a higher place of resting, and a comforting hand not found on earth
I seek good friends, who love and laugh and question and cry
I seek a life full of tales to last a life time, and lessons to learn from after passing
I seek an understanding of fear and intolerance of hate

I seek a happy ending.
Even a caged bird never forgets to sing

Picture how the heavens teach the most beautiful of lessons, celestial movements have compromise and union in their every essence. The sun doesn’t hold on to the skies when it’s time for the moon to dazzle your eyes. Man’s ignorance is his only prison, when every word is laced with poison and thoughts of treason. Understanding oneself is long forgotten, replaced by addiction to the false illusions that they call freedom.

Insatiable hunger to feed the obsession with the dollar, thoughts contaminated, and basic human emotions intoxicated so we stagger to oblivion. Night and daydreaming, the scene keeps repeating, around me I see humanity frozen, in slumber deeper than animal hibernation. So every sunrise I am shovelling arctic snow, trying to ascertain the truth with me deep down and below. Equality and justice has no gender or skin tone, and those who truly desire it seek no throne.

I wonder if I could once again see this world through the eyes of a child, when everything was a wonderful reality and not memories retained in a mental file. Who knew all the while fear would become a tradition. Cowardice has us willing to accept lies, obey and listen, in school they precede me to worship a man made system. In university they asked me to take an oath and maintain the enslavement of the following generation. Capitalise on the warmth of your desires, let the lesser humans make up the coal for your fires.
We elect our tyrant masters by ticking a piece of paper, then turn around the next day bewildered by their behaviour. Only a fool would build a sand castle by the shore and ask the sea to respect its door. If all men are equal then why do I carry the weight of your wars and interest? Ask yourselves the fundamental questions; only death has no medicine, together we can withstand and push back the evils that they bring. Hope is eternal even a caged bird never forgets to sing.

Hamza M O Egal

Friday, January 16, 2015


I have heard the word “home” spoken around me 
more often than any other word in my lifetime;
heard it spoken thick with longing,
my mother’s tongue; slick with the accent of her ancestors,
her dialect still potent, fragrant; lingering. 

We are the sons and daughters of lands 
That will always be called “home,”
The children whose skin lays testament to a place
We may never have known,
Who in broken attempts at our mother tongues;
Still claim the lands that expelled us.

We are the in-betweeners -
Lost in a space between being and belonging;
The lingering roots of a tree pulled from its soil,
We are sired to ‘homes’ we have never been to,
Pained by memories we can never lay claim to;
More loyal to the ‘homes’ we have left
than the lands we have moved to;

We are here, but we are not.
We are here, but we are not.

Farah Gabdon

A Measured Life

Under the darkness of night I met the moon
Whose light dazzled upon my feet
Bringing to light the empty garden
With the shadows of a single tomato tree
Framed by the high walls like a precious painting
Long before the papaya tree
And the madness of the cotton plants in the garden
The birth and death of a tree
The absence or illumination of the moon
The screams under the cover of night
A woman, a man, a life, a death
A woman tonight
And I spewed my dinner on the cool concrete floor
As Hooyo ran to rescue the screaming stranger
And my father ran to rescue her
I was left watching the moonlight dance on my bare feet
Where my dinner now half lay
This is how I measure my life
Written by: Jamala Ali

Qolof diin diin

Diin dal qaladeed ku dayaamay
Dunida oo idil darbi ka dugsaday
Damacsan in uu ka duulo balse qolof ku daboolantahay
Dadkii difaaci lahaa oo diirka laga siibaayay
Dabbaal qowlkiisu uu doolar nogday
Qol yar maskaxdiisi ku soo qufulay
Qabyaalad qayaxani ay qalbiga ka qisaastay
Qawm dhan oo dawakhsan oo ay baddu qarqisay
Qabriga badda ayay ku qulqulayaane way ka qawmamayne
Qaadirka iyo qadarka ayaaney qiimayne oo way soo qalafanyihiine
Qolof dusha ma'ahee aan qiime kale lahayne
Maangaab magaalo iyo miskiin u miciyaystay
Maskax iyo maan toona aan lamaanayne
Musuq maasaq ayaan dunida meel koobaad ka galnaye.

By: Ahmed Suleiman

My night anthem

I hear voices in my head that says I am free 
I ask myself questions but I try to let it be 
Escaping is not an alternative so listen to me 
Why pressure my blood to the highest degree 
I mean, I studied science and got the best degree 
Why everything has to be complicated? 

In physics we studied about space as we calculated 
Teachers explained endless times until my ears got cursed 
Why explain about space when there is no where to breath
I live in an overpopulated city called Malmö, hard to get meth 
I live in a violent city where you get knocked by the police
The streets are crying for justice please allow me to sneezeAs a young I memorized a lot, From Coranic verses to fair tales from grandma and grandpaBut there is this one that poppes up in my mind every time I try to rhyme 

War goordir goodir dabahuwaa 
War laangaloole     dabahuwaa 
War mayla diiran    dabahuwaa 
Kula diiran maayo  dabahuwaa 
War bayla bayla     dabahuwaa 
War bayla Jaamac  dabahuwaa……
This could be my night anthem 

An inner voice taking me to Bethlehem 
I might be a fugitive but definitely not from Harlem 
The overwhelming dust making me invisible 
I come from culture where poetry is stable 
Children recite their own poems as a fable

See, endless poems is never liable 
What everybody recites is reliable 
Sure they deserve plenty of medals
It ain’t easy as collecting apples 
But hey:
Don’t you realize they are talented
I am not saying they title themselves but they are selected 
By people's choice they are elected
Somehow they are suspected without being reflected 
Talented is what they are,
You might wonder how they got protected 
Guess what, they are respected 
Anyways who said talk about them as an object
Objection: this leads to debate about how things can be sophisticated, confiscated 
Now, we are not talkin about land grabbing, 
We are talking about rapping, call it yawning, Jaaaw because I'm bouncing

Written by: Abdirisak Osman

Friday, December 19, 2014

My daughter

First and foremost you carry the legacy of women 
Who were battered and bruised 
So that you may know their triumph, come to hear their truth 
Years of being made to feel nothing less than a second class citizen.
Their to only bring up their seed 
But they stood up, came forth 
Like a well-controlled army and conquered 
So now every day I get to feel their triumph and
Know that when my daughter says to me 
Mother 'how shall I be?
I will say, you my love carry the legacy of women before you 
You will learn to carry joy in you smile 
And a light in your eyes 
For you, my dearest, are the descendants of Women of Antiquity  

Ikram Ahmed Awaale
Copyright © 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Tonight is a drunk man,
his dirty shirt.

There is no couple chatting by the recycling bins,
offering to help me unload my plastics.

There is not even the black and white cat
that balances elegantly on the lip of the dumpster.

There is only the smell of sour breath. Sweat on the collar of my shirt.
A water bottle rolling under a car.
Me in my too-small pajama pants stacking juice jugs on neighbors’ juice jugs.

I look to see if there is someone drinking on their balcony.

I tell myself I will wave.

Ladan Osman

[Credit: Poetryfoundation.com]


Talo waa tii shalay
Midina waa ta bariye
Tan maanta maanka dagtay
Ayaa maqal iga mudane

Tartanku baday
Tanaazulkuna yaraaye
Eebow talada toosi
Tubtana tabac

Taan dooni iyo taad tilmaanantayba
Tirtiirsanka maanku toobiyaye
Tijaabadu tix-raac mooyee
Tol ma tidicdee
Tabartuna yaraataye
Allow tiirkaad jeceshahay
noo dooroo
Teena danbe wanaaji

Written by: Muxyidin Sayid

Getting Back Up

When I got the worst news ever that shook my heart 
And threatened to steal everything from me 
How someone destroy my life so easily?
So carelessly
Then I remembered that only Allah can do that 
They were lying and trying to scare me 
If my life will be destroyed than let Allah do that me 
They could not do that 
So, I steadied my heart and dried my tears
Picked up my sword from the floor 
Ready to fight for what is most important to me
Test of strength of will 
My defense is my faith 
If they want to take my life than we can fight
To their shock and surprise 
That I stood up after that near death experience 
Quickly planned my war strategy 
Where are you going? 
Are you walking away? 
Just like that?
I thought that we were going to fight.
I had planned everything. 
I put everything on hold just to beat you
A burning wrath that was like a hurricane
Turn me in someone that has nothing to lose
Gathering all my resources and reinforcements
Oh well-I guess I can put away my sword. 
Send a prayer
The only one that destroy my destiny is Allah
So always get up even if it hurts 
Because thank Allah that you can still get up
In your worst tragedies, faith will get you to walk through the storm

*Best day Ever

- Sindiya Darman

Cycle of pain

Pain has numbed my senses
My poetry is filled with grief
Will a lover seek joy in me?
I take courage to face this
Past, its fire erupt my soul
Will God calm it with peace?
My fear hums in silence, as
Sorrow echoes my voice
Will I wake up from this?
Words and stories prompt me
To re-live cycle of sadness
Will I ever overcome this?
I gaze up to purify this nafs
With remorse from Him
Will His Mercy befall me?

Sam Said
Copyright © 2014

One day I will Rise

You now lock me in detention
and damage my hopes
but it’s like dust and one day I will rise.

You may avoid my sadness
and send me to Manus
but one day I will rise.

You may hide the reality
and break my heart
but one day I will rise.

You may send me somewhere else.
Why can’t you help me?
I may be a female of under age
who needs assistance from you.
You may send me to other countries a
nd shoot me with your words
but one day I will rise.

You may punish me
by saying lies
but one day I will rise.

You may kill me with your hateful action
but it’s like air
and one day I will rise.

You may never care about my awful past
and enjoy my tears
but one day I will rise.

I may have bad memories
rooted in pain
but one day I will rise.

I may have left a fearful life of horror
but one day I will rise.

Does my mind upset you
so full of thoughts?
I am an asylum seeker
who seeks for freedom and doesn’t have anywhere else to go.

Does it come as a surprise to you
that whatever you have done to me
I will forgive you?

Wherever you send me
as long as I see the sun rise and the moon come up
I will rise…

Written by: Hani Aden

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


When I feel the worst I hope for the best.
 When I am weak I pretend to be the strongest.
 When the entire world is against me I hide my cardiac arrest.
Yes I am a survivor!!

 When my ship sinks I hold my tear.
 When the pain slices me I disown my fear.
 When you think that I gave up, I reappear.
Yes I am a survivor!!

 When you crash my dreams I grow stronger.
 When you rip my heart that I will rise with anger.
 When you think you broke me that I hold my head higher.
Yes I am a survivor!!

Aisha Afrah
Copyright © 2014

October 2nd 2011

It is October and no chills just yet.
The Londoners have already packed up for winter;
boots, hats, ear muffs and coats.
The last week has ruined our plans,
with the suprising summers weather and humid of days.
We were not ready but made use of the fortunate turn of weather.
-Random like life.
This reminds us that everything is unpredictable
and our feeble souls have no power;
except to accept
and go with what is handed to us.
Rejoice in sun, good-times and happiness.
And rub warm for the approaching sinister cold.

It is October and no chills have come yet.
I am 22 and still in awe of time, destiny and the unfolding history everyday;
Like the turbulent weather in the tide of life I have clashed with another.
When avoidance of connecting with others electric impulses is what I strayed from.
-Running away from any form of deepth has been my safety net of falls.

It is October and it has been 365 days times 2;
since I truely looked at another human being and saw Life,
instead of the inner death of me.
The trees are sunlit and confused with their autumn maroon jem-coloured leaves.
They feel submerged with the warm comfort shinning on them.
I know too well of their multitude of thoughts.
The grass is cooling but not anymore refreshing then knowing;
not one singular hair of grass was here last year.

-As my pain peaks-Randomized;
of all the little words, the razor-cuts and the larger knife stabs
of the hurt, the tears and emptiness.
Every piece of grass are like these.
And my awe stretches as I comprehend;
that one day all the darkness inside
shall be replaced by new grass.
Grass infantry in its roots but more well nurtured,
than my flowers and weeds through my adolences.

It is the second day of October,
and the cold has not hit just yet.
This day will go.
This time will go.
And it will never be that warm wonderful day in October again.

Amina A Mohamed

Maanso: Adeer

Adeero Adeero aduunka
Dhibkiisa aloosan adeero
Allow uu ku seego adeero.
Wixii intifaac leh adeero
Ammaan iyo raaxo adeero
Agtaada ahaade adeero.
Markaad ilmo dhaafto adeero
Aqoontana dhawroo adeero
Aakhiro ha hilmaamin adeero.
Abkaa waalidkaana adeero
Inkaartood awood leh adeero
Xaqooda ilaali adeero.
Adduunka dushiisa adeeroInaad arli leeday adeero
Ogsoonow wadankaaga adeero.
Afrika dacalkeeda adeero
Inaad ku aroorto adeero
Adigu ha iloobin adeero.

Adan Dirie

Amaal Said

Mother says I will know what disappointment
is when I am the God-fearing mother of one
who does not pray.

Somehow I became the daughter who owned legs that had
not prostrated in months.

I carried a mouth dirty with no room left for praise
until the ones that loved me turned bad.

‘Look at that one there’ I heard my friends say.
‘Look how far she has fallen’ they would chant.
And all the while I held the breath as if releasing all
the air would unearth the rot.

‘Open me up’ I screamed in dreams and then awoke thanking God
for the way the shame can be brushed beneath the covers,
away from the eye.

I think somewhere back there I lost my way.
The cold set in and the numbness became my body.

I think I’ve forgotten the sweetness of the 99 names,
And the way they give themselves up to the beads my
mother brushes her fingers over when she wakes early in the morning.
I hear her as her voice breaks over a verse.

Somehow I became the disappointment that wakes at 3 in
the morning to write but sleeps past the call to prayer at 6.

I have become a ghost to the ones in the house who gather
together when they are called to drop to their knees.

When my father called the sheikhs we were taken from our
rooms and placed at their centre.

Soon I am thinking about opening the chest and letting it out.
Nobody is supposed to fall this far off, I say.

Sometimes I scratch at the knees, blaming the devil.
Sometimes the sins are warm and come in their best body.
They are light in the hands.

Most times they come in admiration at how brave you are
beneath a God that is all eyes in every direction.

The sins kiss your face gently before they set you alight.

Amaal Said

Copyright © 2014


In moments of profound nostalgia
And longing for my mother’s company
I recall the warm summer days of Mumbai
Where I woke up to the sounds of Adhan
And in close proximity to my mother’s fragrance

In America’s bitter cold winter
I wrap her shawl around my shoulders
And my heart explodes with warmth and joy
As I smell her scent in the air.

Halima Ahmed

Copyright © 2014


I do not dream of Jannah or of castles made of gold, or of gardens, fountains and all that we’re told.
I do not dream of crystal glass and wine, I prefer tea. You see, all this is simply not my cup of tea.

I do not dream of pearls and gems, I’m not sold, or of musk, silk gowns and to be dolled.
I do not dream of rivers of wine, milk and honey. You see, I would rather swim in the sea.

I do not dream of the Hereafter or of tales of old, Blasphemy! You might find this rather bold.
I do not dream of hoor al-ayn, they don’t tempt me. You see, to be loved by one is enough for me.

I do dream of Him and of His sight to behold!
And of Heaven and Earth, and for all to unfold.
I do dream of life, death and its mystery,
But you see, in that faith lies true beauty.

To be free, to be happy.

Hamdi Khalif
Copyright © 2014

Farah Gabdon

if they sit and converse
about you in judgement and error;
let them.
and if they sit and discuss you
in pleasant favour, 
also, let them.

there is enough space,
in this land of God,
enough air to house
and host the speech
of those who do not know you
well enough to form opinions.

you do not have to keep
any of it in your heart,
you do not have to take it
into your body,
nor let it sit and simmer
around your soul.

free yourself of it all,
let it blow with the winds of the West,
run with the rivers of the East.

you do not have to take
any of it in;
you do not have to take
any of it in.”

Farah Gabdon


Sweet humming from the predator bee
Circling around this cunning bee
Looking for a chance
Waiting for a glance
What a plan it had that little bee
There she stood alone in the wild forest
Striving for a tender touch of a unknown tourist
A red angel they called her swagger
Wet as spring night sweeter than sugar
There the rose was glamorous than ever
Dressed in a silky dreams for the one hers forever
Along came our night rider
Searching for the glorious kill
Someone to click on, some place to fill
And there was our day dreaming rose
So Introduction has been made time jut took a pause
He showed her the world and a word she believed
Well spoken words he said and the heart was deceived
She sow him in every corner of her past, present, and future dreams
A queen she thought not a joke in his schemes
At the night’s darkest hour a whisper has been heard
That said the unneeded details of the rose and devious lord
Morning came with a gloomy mist
Our story had a dreadful twist?
How could our angel look so dead
Or the loving words can be unsaid 
Left, hurt, broken under the painful ashes
Her dreams crumbled beneath her eye lashes
Behold here comes the knight of the night clashes
He took a glance to the remains he left behind
A soundless cry mumbling how could I be so blind
A smile she got from him saying I hope I have blown your mind
Don’t think too much he roared, time can never unwind
A hope he killed in a heart was nothing but too kind
He said you have been divinely used
While the lord of the night was being amused
"For her all she was and will ever be just “abused

Amal Shookari 
Copyright © 2014

Loving Salvation

 could only ever love a man
Who can sit beside my mother 
And make her smile;

Not with the reluctant unease
She learnt in England,
From the men and women 
Who regarded her with quiet suspicion;

But the hearty open mouthed grin of her homeland
That always said:
“welcome, welcome,
I recognize in you something of myself,
Your language falls at home in my ears
And your face could have belonged to a child I never had,
Welcome, welcome,
This space was always reserved for you.”

I will love him like it a religious duty,
A cultural duty,
An ethnic duty.

I will love him like it is salvation,
Like it means keeping my people alive.

Farah Gabdon