9 Stop the Terror Now

The compound , splattered with blood,

Smoke still in the air, smell of gun powder,

Her ears aching from the thunderous blast,

A mother wails uncontrollably

 

Stop the atrocity now, Stop it!

 

Children writhing in pain, amputated limbs,

Orphans crying with hunger, no medicine,

Crimes as bad as the sins 

Of rapists, murderers, paedophiles,

 

Stop the carnage now, Stop it!

 

Hunger for power and earthly riches,

Race for arms, oil and land,

When will destruction end,

When will peace prevail?

 

Stop the terror now, Stop it!

 

Don't you feel the pain of others,

Have you no compassion, no empathy,

Why are you immune to others' suffering

Probe your heart, awaken your conscience

 

Stop the war now, Stop it!

 

1 Nchi Yangu

O my Kenya, my country, my pride

My sustainer, my glory, my life

Flourish for ever, Have peace for ever.

    Crimson sunsets, breath-taking, starry skies

    Golden beaches, shells, waves and tides 

    Lofty mountains!

    Lofty mountains, green valleys, swaying orchids

    Cherish the beauty, treasure the natural riches

    Flourish for ever, Have peace for ever.

Amidst the glamour, dazzle, glittering light

Lurk the shadows of pain and plight

Why the misery!

Why the misery, Where is the loyalty?

Revive the passion, defend, protect your dignity!

Flourish for ever, Have peace for ever.

     Despite colour, caste and creed

     Struggle together in hard times of need.

     With our unity!

     With our unity, focus, determination,

     Aspire to be part of a great nation!

     Flourish for ever, Have peace for ever.

 

 Copyright Shama Butt  

2 Tuff Time

A teenager, evolving from a boy to a man,

Pulled back by pranks of childhood,

Stressed by impeding responsibility,

Disorganised, angry all the time,

Trying to prove how wrong the world is,

He has to say 'No' to everything first,

Then ponders it might be good after all

To listen, obey and succumb to reason.

 

With tricks in his heart and walk-man on his head,

He tries to read for a test,

Looking for his book in all that mess,

'I'll clean it myself', he says but where's the time,

Another message has beeped on his mobile,

The 'Game Boy' is waiting to begin

The soccer match has to be watched

Where is the 'Arsenal' shirt?

 

The smell of baby talc still lingers on

But the scent of 'after shave' is strong

Moustache and beard struggling to appear

Over the still soft, smooth skin

'Can you buy me red hair dye?'

'Can I pierce my ear, brow, lip?'

He expects me to be shocked but 

I keep my calm

My baby is growing up and 

He will see the light!

3 What is God

The rhythm of my heart beat, the essence of my being,

The solace in my  loneliness, the smile in my tears,

The vibrance of my energy, the sparkling of my thoughts,

The beauty of my form, the gait of my walk,

The arousal from my slumber, the kindling of my feeling,

The  repentance of my deeds, the pricking of my conscience,

The blooming of a closed bud, the fragrance of your love,

The hope during my desperatio, the healing of my gashes,

The nearness of divinity, the awakening of my soul,

The joys and pain of life, the comfort of death

The unrelenting forgiveness, the ultimate power,

The truth that was, is, and will forever remain,

That is God, my dear, that is God

 

 

 copyright shama butt

4 Desperation!

Woe to you woman and your desperation,

                 why are you so helpless,

Inspite of your education, career, independance,  

                 why are you so hopeless,

You know the laws, your rights and the words,

                  why are you so speechless,

Your house, a palace, full of luxury, comfort,

                  why are you still homeless

He was a rare gem, your love, your destiny,

                  why were you so careless,

He slipped through your fingers to others' arms,

                  why cry, now when it is useless,

Can't you gather the remains, be grateful, make amends

                   why have you, too, become so heartless!

5 In love all over again

Like the parched earth, that yearns for a drizzle,

Like the buds bowing to the sun to bloom,

So do I seek your love to sustain, keep me alive.

You over look my flaws, forgive my follies,

You say I'm perfect as a mother, an ideal wife,

Your words are reward, for my loyalty, faithfulness.

Like a candle with no light, a cloud with no moisture,

Without you I'd be nothing, you make me feel complete,

It seems I'm falling in love all  over again.

6 If you want to be happy

When you are alone, and every body's gone;

You wonder what you lost, and what you have gained.

Life seems short, but long when you are alive;

Be a good human, rise above the scum.

Forgive and smile, peace will come to your heart;

So trust in God and do the right.

Truth will prevail, let not lies complicate;

Issues complex, hard to distangle.

Be your own judge, answer to the pricks;

Of your conscience, don't let yourself down.

Fret not you gave so much, got back nothing;

Nature will compensate , one way or another.

Don't look down at ones who have nothing;

Standards become high with lined pockets.

You belittle others, expecting them to bow;

At your feet and meet your every whim.

Forget not that one day, you too will lie in line;

With all big and small, no riches to accompany.

Palaces, cars, luxuries, you will leave behind;

With earthly deeds only, will you face Him.

You will pay for the cruelty, abuse cast on others;

 Answer for your sins, alone yes all alone.

But still there is time, if you want to be happy;

Repent, start afresh, bring hope and light to your life!

 

7 My Murtaza

Will you ever forgive me, my Murtaza!

Decades passed, eyes brimmed with tears,

My heart wailed with pain, how can I forget!

When cruel destiny snatched you away,

'It's malaria' they diagnosed,

As I vomited and burned with fever.

Loads of pills, syrups, even drips,

The weakness, dizzy spells didn't cease,

More tests done with urine and blood,

'Two months pregnant' and I never knew!

Your little sister was still suckling,

Dreaming of you, my baby, I cuddled you,

Swayed you in my arms, played with you,

Lying on the hospital bed, I could feel you,

I could see you, I loved you, my Murtaza!

But fate was not on my side,

More complications, more weakness,

'Abortion is the only alternative!'

Your Dad agreed, I was too weary to object,

Sedated I lay on the operation table,

Lights glaring in my face,

Turmoil in my mind, white figures all around,

I clutched you, hugged you, kissed your face,

But your tiny fingers slipped from my hand,

I saw you fall into the revolving well,

Drowning in the swirling clear water,

I tried to call you, but couldn't scream

I tried to hold you but couldn't move.

My world became numb, silent, at peace

You had left me, my Murtaza,

You had gone for ever! 

 

copy right Shama Butt

8 Mon Ecole

Je t'aime, je t'aime mon ecole,

You are my mentor, you are my guide,

You are my elixir, you are my desire.

 

Nakupenda, nakupenda, shule yangu,

Wi' courage an' diligence, I'll always be a winner,

Wi' respect and discipline, I'll never be a quitter.

 

Ana hubaak, ana hubaak, madrassa ili,

To move miles ahead, an' leave behind the rest,

To aim for the stars and strive for the best.

 

Ich liebe dich, ich liebe dich, meine schule,

You made me aware of depths of individuality,

You made me discover heights of spirituality.

 

I love you, I love you, my school,

I love you, I love you, my school!

10 The Betrayer

Regarded you as their own, respected you, trusted you,

Gave you what they could, supported you, cherished you.

 

You seemed to be so perfect, in education, sincerity, looks,

Soft spoken, calm, quiet; but still waters ran deep.

 

Streaks of evil emerged, cunningly, unsuspectingly,

Shattering the trust, betraying the innocent love. 

 

Were you drunk or high, they will never know,

How could you crush buds, ruin young lives?

 

You'll never know repercussions of your heinous act,

The amount of tears shed, the ranting, hysteria, the pain.

 

Moving on, they forgave; but forget - they never will,

Thorns in their hearts, still awaiting divine justice to prevail!

11 Sukaina

Widowed at nineteen, imagine! with a year old son;

The beautiful Sukaina, at the peak of her youth;

Raven tresses cascading to her waist;

Eyes that could mesmerise;

Lips that said everything without moving;

A perfect high nose, giving an inkling of pride;

So fair, so virtuous, so patient.

 

Scores of suitors at her feet; 'No' she said to all;

Dedicated her life to the only man she loved;

The one who became a 'martyr' at the border;

In the independence fight; washing away his follies;

Rising to eternal fame, leaving her alone to endure;

She chose to live for her son, her desire, her hope;

Her only wealth.

 

Her courage was marvelled, she broke all traditions;

Refused to be 'inherited', managed to rescue her son;

From cruel clutches who wanted to hurt her more;

And one day stealthily, escaped to a new land.

 Far, far away, she started life afresh;

With her blood and sweat, she tended her child;

Her sewing machine whirring away late into the night.

 

She never let go of her principles;

So steadfast, so strong, so pious;

The light of righteousness shining on her face;

Earning respect and regard, doing just the right;

Never tempted to go astray!

 With her meagre earnings, she survived,

Toiling endlessly, without complain;

For me, she was a Saint.

 

Hard work never goes waste;

Time ticked on and her little boy grew,

Imbibing the good, straight ways of his mum,

The dark, gloomy nights were over,

The sun shone bright and clear,

He was a young man now, ready to marry,

Look after his mother and family.

 

Luck smiled as they migrated to yet another land;

She had been blessed and rewarded finally -

To a life of happiness and fulfilment;

Never will I forget the charm, the love and influence

Of my beloved Aunt Sukaina!

 

12 From Mum to Me 6th September,2013

Long gone, but I am still with you,  

Even now, I am your best friend, I am there when no-one is around

I know all your secrets, desires and wants, I am with you at every step.

 

The comfort in your loneliness, 

Sunshine when everything is dark, the star that guides your path

You can't see me - feel my presence, love and strength surround you.

 

Now that I am not there,

Look after yourself, be prettier, shine brighter than ever before

I wish to save you from impending catastrophes, avert any tragedies.

 

You can't change the ways of the world,

Make a difference to your nearest, help and care for your dearest

Brush the tears away, smile; I'll always be your Mum and you my lovely child! 

 

 copyright Shama Butt

13 Come and See .......

Come and see how it feels!

You can accomplish what-ever you want, when-ever you like,

Take a human form, experience how it is to be encaged,

To have plenty, yet have nothing, be so near and yet so far.

 

Come and see how it feels!

When your dreams, hopes and desires are still a mirage

How lonely you are, eyes blurred with tears, an aching heart,

Your whole being is worthless, this life seems useless 

 

Come and see how it feels!

When you love some-one dearly and then, lose him,

When strength is ebbing, your struggle and toil seem so futile,

Patience running out, you are nothing, there is no rescue.

 

Come and see how it feels!

When you take a step forward and are thrown back,

Frustration grips you, crazy and desperate with no hope,

You cry for justice, you are the victim but cannot take revenge!

 

Come and see how it feels! 

14 OMAR

A flower withered too soon........................

"It's a boy!" the words resonate in my mind, even today,

Today, when you'd have been twenty nine,

I'll never forget the first time I held you,

Cuddly, soft, so delicate, yet robust, so energetic,

Golden hair, chubby cheeks, a perfect baby,

First grand-son, my nephew, our Omar

 

We all doted  on you, loved our 'zungu',

Crawling, standing, running, you stole every heart,

 My children's  best friend, their play mate,

I adored you more than my own,

Innocent as an angel, you stood out,

Your wit and humour gripped my heart.

 

Never did you grudge sharing toys or clothes,

With your kid brothers and others,

So polite, respectful and cultured, you blossomed 

Like a gorgeous flower, asking to be plucked,

Lightening struck suddenly, for weeks you lay stunned,

Life halted for us all, ears yearning to hear your voice.

 

Miraculously you came back to us,

Prayers answered,  were granted more time with you,

We bonded, cared and cherished your being,

But alas the joy was numbered, fate intervened,

Like a tender bud nipped off its glory,

You left us all in a turmoil of pain and gloom.

 

No more tests, no school, you had finished all exams,

Wanting to relax, planning your vacation, that fatal afternoon

You fell asleep, never to wake up again, you were only sixteen,

Wailing in disbelief, dreams shattered, life grieved,

Why you? my heart cried, Why not me?

All logic seemed irrational, all reasoning was numb. 

 

Since you have gone, happiness is compromised,

Joy is eclipsed,  smiles are forced, laughter so artificial,

Things are not the same, satisfaction is an illusion,

Days pass, I continue living, but what is life without you,

Flowers have colour, not so bright, not so fragrant,

I feel empty, miserable, others are here but not you.

 

I see faces so lovely, growing, flourishing and enjoying,

But no one like you, unique, immortal in my memories,

I see your tiny hands beckoning to me in the distance,

Your curly locks falling on the sun kissed cheeks,

A naughty smile on your rosy lips,

I still long to hold you, feel your touch and hear your breath.

 

Feeling defeated, disillussioned, I have to carry out duties,

In this fake world and wait till my days,too, are numbered,

Life is just a fleeting episode where perfection is impossible,

But I know, one day, we'll meet again, never to be separated,

You smile in every tear of mine, as my heart waits

To join you in eternal bliss and joy.