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

Shar iyo Kheyr

Adduunyadu waa shuraako
Taariikhduna shey ma dhaafo
Shar iyo kheyr kuu ahaado
Abwaankuna sheykar weeyo
Xumaanta la shaacinaayo
U sheegaha shacabka weeyo.

Fuleynimo shuush xun weeyo
Garaadkoon sheenna weeyo
Khiyaanada shacabka weeyo
Shaqsiyad doqon liita weeyo
Shirqoolka dalkeenna weeyo
Sheydaanka u hiili weeyo.

Sheybaarradi caafimaadka
Kuwii Shaamoow ku laayey
Aqoonyahankiyo shuyuukhda
Waxgaradkiyo shaawilkeenna
Kuwaa hilibkooda shiila
Inaan sheegaa gar weeyo.

Shuucinnimo jaahil weeyo
Shareecada dhaawac weeyo
Shikraha nabaddiidka weeyo
Shisheeye miciinsa weeyo
Dulliga sharafteenna weeyo
Shuraakada cadowga weeyo.

Maantiyo aayaha shabaabka
Hooyada shaaha iibineysa
Si ay ubadka u shafeecda
Shaqaalaha dawladdeenna
Rasaasta kuwaa ku shiisha
Inaan sheegaa gar weeyo.

Tagfiirkani soo shareertay
Shareecada iyo xaddiista
Axkaamtiyo shaagaggeeda
Shihiidnimo been ka sheega
Dhallaan iyo sheybe dooxda
Inaan sheegaa gar weeyo.

Sharciga iyo kala-dambeynta
Is-maqalkiyo wadashaqeynta
Dablaha shacabka u adeega
Maddaalaha sheedda taagan
Inuu qaranka u shihiido
Inaan sheegaa gar weeyo.

Soomaalaay sharafdhaceenna
Shabaab taageeriddooda
Shisheeye addoonsigiisa
Shibtiyo wada aamuskeenna
Abwaaniinteennan shiiqay
Inaan shammiyaa gar weeyo.

Dhib baa shalaliyey dadkeenna
Shiddaa dagalkeenna taalla
Midnimadeennaa shakaalan
Siyaasaa shoobbareysan
Shabaab baa dila haldoorka
Inaan sheegaa gar weeyo.

Waxaa dagan shaariskeenna
Shiish baa kaga furan dhafoorka
Shabaab baa baacsanaaya
Naftiisaa shoolad saaran
Shafkaa laga toogan leylki
Hadduu faaqida sharkooda.

Haddey gabi shucaradeenna
Sharooteeyeen dibnaha
Fuleyguna uu shib yidhi
Shabaabku u gooddiyeen
Anigu waan sheegayaa
Sharkey nala maagan yihiin.

Xil baan shaadeersanahay
Shil-qaran baan diiddanahay
Shishaan ka arkaa dhib culus
Halaag shacabka uu mudneyn
Shaacuunkaa nagu dhax-jira
Inaan sheegaa gar weeyo.

Shalay nimankii na gubay
Hablihi laga sheexi jiray
Suldaan sharaf lagu ogaa
Kuwaa dhuxulaha ku shida
Ninkaan fikirkooda shumin
U qaba sheydaan murtada'a.

Shahaadada ubaxi siday
Cilmiga sey uga shabcaan
Shidaalka kuwii ku dubay
Shukriyo waa mahad Ilaah
Ka sheegay idaacadaha
Miyaan sheekh oran karraa?

Gafkani lala soo shirtagay
Dalkani xaabada ku shidan
Siduu yahay shaawirmaa
Shammuurey sideed u solan
Shukada niman baa u xiran
Iney shaag dawlad rogin.

Waheey shacabkeygiyoow!
Waheey sharaf dawladeey!
Waheey sheekhdeydiyoow!
Waheey shucaradi dalkoow!
Waheey nabad shaabuqdaay!
Shallaayto maxaa na baday?

Sha'nigan gobonnimo ma aha
Shifiyo nabad baa carfoon
Shir-gacaltooyaa gudboon
Ka-shawrka dantaa habboon
Shabaaboow qoriga dhiga
Badbaadiya shibilka dilan.

Si uu calankeenna sharaf
U yeeshoo ugu shalcada
Shurdada iyo ciidankeenna
Sharciga ay ugu dhaqmaan
Shiqaaqada looga baxa
Amniga guud kala shaqeeya.

Shucbadu dhagar bey wadaan
Shirqool-qaran bey dummaan
Shanshadey geesiga jabshaan
Baley la shabbaaxtamaan
Nin aan shacabkaba u nixin
Asagaa shuuciga ka daran!

Shareecada caawiyoow
Bukaannada shaafiyoow
Shukriga lagu caabudoow
Awoodaha sheywalboow
Alloow ciiddeydan shidan
Soomaalida sharaf u yeel
Alloow shacabkoo is-jecel.

Abwaan Maxamed Cabdiqaadir (Stanza)

Stand before you

I stand before you
As did my sister before me
I am not yesterday
I am not any day
I am a new beginning 
My pages are blank
And you are the master of this pen that I yield

Your action are my commands I write in stone
I offer you a chance
I offer you a beginning
I offer you hope
do not let me waste away
For Once I'm gone I am gone for good
And my sister is born
she will not be me
She will not be like any day
But Her pages will be blank
Like me
She will offer you a chance
A beginning
She will offer you hope.

Naima Khalif
Copyright © 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Story That Wrinkles Tell

My gray hair makes men listen.
And when people stare, I wonder
if they are reading the stories of my wrinkles.
While every step tells us heaven is at the feet
of the mother
the distance between the feet and the lips
becomes the longest to travel.
My feet traveled here
to a empty hut hemmed in by parched acacia
with skinny white goats and red sand.
In this hut, I once told my daughter
things would be easier for her if she didn’t step out of line.
I sat in this hut, hiding from the rumor that was real
when my husband married another wife.
She is the age of our daughter.
Our daughter’s daughter looks over the fence
and sees little boys playing. She wants to be a child
and play also.
That is the story of my wrinkles. - Nimo H. Farah

Cosmic Motion

I want to make love to you my African queen under the open African night, whilst embers from our fire wood lights the dark starry African sky,
The rhythmic African drum beat sensually plays in the distant background, the African beat throws us into a cosmic motion,
As our rhythmically dancing silhouettes become one in the pale moon light and we cause the earth to seismic under us,
Our thunderous wrestle and tussle beings to resemble that of the lion and the gazelle, as I bite into your neck and you hold on to my mane while feeling my weight,
Our eclipsing climax causes me to roar into the night and throws your body to shake and convulse,
Your embrace gets ever so tight, it leads to your nails digging into my flesh as your eyes get dazzled and bedazzled by the shooting stars above and I become one with them in unison as I too, shoot,
Like the still and calm waters of a lake our bodies become still, as the cool pleasant african breeze glides over us and lulls our conjoined bodies to serenity.

Aj Berbera
Copyright © 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Tell me, why do they want be to be softer

Do they not know that I surf storms in my sleep?

Do they not think that I dare to dream
Of a destiny
that you have set me?

Tell me, why do they find me intimidating

Do they not know that I run the race for my rights?

Do they not think that I long to lead
A legacy
that you have set me?

Tell me, why must they see me as blunt

Why can’t they see me as bold

Or am I not eligible for such attributes
Am I simply not privileged?

Oh how unfortunate that I was born a woman!
Unfortunately, I’m just a woman.

And the only other option I have is to be more than a woman
And that makes me not quite like a woman.

But I’m just a woman.
Unjustly, a woman.

Hamdi Khalif
Copyright © 2014

Cosmic Motion

I want to make love to you my African queen under the open African night, whilst embers from our fire wood lights the dark starry African sky,
The rhythmic African drum beat sensually plays in the distant background, the African beat throws us into a cosmic motion,
As our rhythmically dancing silhouettes become one in the pale moon light and we cause the earth to seismic under us,
Our thunderous wrestle and tussle beings to resemble that of the lion and the gazelle, as I bite into your neck and you hold on to my mane while feeling my weight,
Our eclipsing climax causes me to roar into the night and throws your body to shake and convulse,
Your embrace gets ever so tight, it leads to your nails digging into my flesh as your eyes get dazzled and bedazzled by the shooting stars above and I become one with them in unison as I too, shoot,
Like the still and calm waters of a lake our bodies become still, as the cool pleasant african breeze glides over us and lulls our conjoined bodies to serenity.

Aj Berbera
Copyright © 2014

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Poet of the Week: Sam Said

Would you please introduce yourself to the readers?

I am Samra and I live in London. I am charity aid worker for humanitarian causes. I am originally from Hargeisa.

When did you first start writing poetry and was there any particular incidents in your life that inspired you to write?

I wrote prose and poems from young age but never kept them in any journals, I think back in 2010 I first uploaded my poems on Facebook and in particular to Somali Writers and nation of poets page. I took part in the Ramadan competition and my "Troubled Soul" won the competition. It was later published on Scarf magazine. The inspiration to continue writing stemmed from that point onwards.

What does "being creative" mean to you?

I believe we are all creative human beings , we just need to reach deep within us and discover our abilities, be it in writing or sketching or knitting, or anything you set your mind to do.

What do you try to communicate with your poetry?

My poems translates my thoughts that are hidden somewhere on my mind to an online theatre production where there are no cast but an interactive audience that I seek their critical feedback before their applause. They mainly communicate healing process, grief and love on it's simplest terms. They are spiritual in nature and at time philosophical.

How do you find the motivation after a hiatus?

I write for me because I love what I do.

What is your writing process? Do you sit and think through every word of every stanza or do you just write freely and allow the words to flow?

I write most of my poems during my train journey, in Piccadilly line. I write free verses that stems from a thought or short lines.

Who are some of your favorite poets?

My writing are influenced by Arabic literature,my favourite poets are Mahmoud Darwish , Ahmed Mattar, and contemporary one are Tamim AlBargothi. Most recently been blessed to get access to the translated work of Hadraawi and Gaarriye, so their work bring my Somali voice to life.

What advice do you have for aspiring poets? Any word of advice for closet poets?

Accept affirmation and reach out to the creative soul within you

What does writing poetry do for you?

It enables me to use my free time wisely.

Anything else you would like to share?

I am still learning, drafting and reaching.


Artist: Ahmed Yoses

For ten years I have mourned your absence. 
 Since your soul have ascended into His Mercy, 
 Each second of each day rebirths the memory of my grief.
Yes, I deserve to see you in my dreams.
 My hands can kiss your chest,
 Pump life into your heart
I will exhale all of me in prayers, until 
 In rescuing you
 I rescue me

Sam Said
Copyright © 2014

Women Who Fly

My mother wants more for me
than she’s ever had.
She was pressured to say „yes‟;
to use her hips that were not yet developed
before her lips were formed enough to say „no‟.
My mother sends me to a school
she cannot afford.
My hand is raised, my arm stretched.
I want to say “Call on me.
I want to tell you about the courage of my mother.”
My mother has flat feet, forcing her heels
that know no shoes to walk to her parents home
in the village where she was born.
To find them before death finds them,
and say, “I forgive you.”
Her pain gives her wisdom
and her wisdom gives us both wings.

Nimo H. Farah 
Copyright © 2014

I am restless about you

What's my relation with you o stranger?
You've become one of my own
When I look into your eyes deeply
They tell me a story similar like mine.

Why do I've to stay awake late at night?
Having no idea who I'm thinking of.

Is this is how the heart falls for someone unknown?
Why do I smile in my dreams looking for you yet, seem lost during daylight?

My heart has no one to lean on besides you my love, it has become loyal for you and only you.

I gave up on my ego and don't feel angry, I'm lost in your thoughts indefinitely.

I have become restless, there's instant feeling of longing the more I try to hide thee more its visible in my eyes.

The reality is mesmerizing that we've became one now I only see us reaching greater heights together.

Ahmed Abdi
Copyright ©2013

Hadraawi in poem & painting

Painting by Ahmed Yoses
A man of principles who
the sun, the moon, the rivers that flow,
the magical nature, the heartbeat, and loyalty
all bare witness to his words. Even
beauty in his presence testify to
feeling beautiful, and adjectives
are numb as new words ought to be invented
for this Somali Shakespearian, this artist with an
imagination above all the imagination. But
I was sure when I meet him, that I will recite
a line of his most famous poem.
Baladweyn, or maybe sing
Has love been blood-written
or read him, his wonderful storytelling about
lions, jackals and hyena
Or dissolve myself into ink, so I am
wrapped up into his writing, or turn into tree in his
name, or become his hat
keeping his winter hair warm or let his echo voice
speak for me, can he read the language behind my eye lids?
If anything I would adhere to hand shake etiquette
I couldn’t decide how to shake, firm shake or a quick grasp
or what is the culture take on legend embrace?
I did nothing
I said nothing
I swallowed my memorised script and a friend
with her courageous tongue said,
She is a fan of your, you know!
Breaking the silence
He listened to her as if listening can obey,
and spoke in a way that gave humbleness a new value,
and with tenderness behind his jasmine age,
with all the emblematical metaphor a man of his status can master,
he recited a prayer – I will wake up in the middle of the night, and
pray for you in a way I have never prayed before
I stayed there in that line until we exchanged amen and for once
I was in love with everything again

Sam Said
Copyright © 2013