Archive | December 2015


We need to educate our girl children, or do we?

Let’s punish them if they don’t
Cover their hair properly

We need to build schools
Since we’ve destroyed the ones we had

In the meantime losing a few months of school
Can’t be that bad

Going to school with boys is out of the question
Unspeakable things will happen if they do that

We want people to be happy
But music will only bring on the wrath of God

We want to please Allah
But first we have to get rid of everyone
Who doesn’t think like us

All this destruction, condemnation,
The reign of terror and such
Is all meant to bring peace and prosperity to us all


December 28th, 2015
Inspired by the story of Malala


She is the queen
But he’s the queen maker
She is in the lime light
But he’s why she’s there
She is strong
But he taught her to be strong
She is who she is
Because of her Aba

A man, in tune with today’s reality
In a country, stuck in the past
A man of principle, courage and calm
A man whose persistence paid off

Education his ladder and hers
Helping others their way of life
He says they are one soul in two bodies
What a beautiful thought

They are co-workers
Valiant and bright
With hearts that want to do what’s right
They don’t think of themselves first
They want to help other boys and girls
Such an inspired team will go far
I can’t wait to see the result

He treated her the same way
He would treat his son
And thought girls should be free
To achieve what they want

In a society that girls were not seen and heard
He raised a daughter that questioned these ways
He is beside her each step of the way
She is who she is because she was encouraged

She was named after a woman leader of the past
As if her father knew what would come to pass
Leaders are born and leaders are taught
Leaders educate their head and their heart
Their hearts set goals high and mighty
Their heads help them achieve victory

Two souls in one body, or two souls in two
Watch out for what this duo will do

December 22nd, 2015

Inspired by Malala and her father

No need for school

Dear sister, you can not go to school!
Knowledge is of no use to you!

After all you’ll have such a limited life
You’ll be married off young to someone you didn’t choose
And your life will consist of bearing children
And preparing food

You won’t have a public life in any case
You can talk to men who are relatives, not the rest

You see, you have no reason to read and write
We’ll take care of everything in the best way

Also, since the world is such a dangerous place
You can’t appear in public while showing your face
Your eyes you can leave uncovered since you need to see
But for the rest, please cover up properly!

If you get hot
Think of it as a free spa
If you feel restricted…
Well, you’re used to that by now

We honor you and value you
But for certain things
You need not worry about complicated things
Leave those to us and the other men
We’ve figured out a great system!

And if you feel all these things are
Unbalanced and unjust
It’s probably because you went to school, and thus
You see that we’re doing you a favour by destroying schools
Education will only make you distraught

And if you wonder how we came up
With this way of doing things
Which has your best interest at heart
Well, that’s another thing you need not think about

Trust us and do as we say and all will be well
If anyone tells you anything different, don’t believe them
They are surely just looking out for themselves
We are the ones looking out for you, dear sister

December 22nd, 2015
Inspired by Malala’s story

The third act

The third act

I am in the third act of my life
I don’t view it as going downhill
I continue to climb up

My body sometimes will not cooperate
It will need more care sometimes
But my mind is sharp
My spirit’s bright, and
I carry all the lessons I’ve learned
In my back pocket

This third act can be the most productive of all
I’ve done a lot of growing up
Falling down, and getting up
I’ve learned what counts and what does not
I’ve learned to value friends most of all

I’ve been through some rough patches
But I’ve survived
I’ve learned to make peace
With the challenges of life

With this accumulated wisdom so far
I feel ready to run
Ready to fly…

My heart can still break
But it heals faster
Bumps and bruises
Don’t scare me as much

I’m happy to keep learning
And experiencing life
But I hope to give back
To share what I’ve learned so far

The third act may turn out to be
The most fulfilling of all
But I’m grateful for act one and two
And where I am now

December 21sth, 2015


Lupita, you are a unique snowflake Unique as can be
But unlike a snowflake
You have a warm heart
That is filled with glee

Your smile and laughter are infectious
I love it when we laugh simultaneously
I wonder what those sitting close to us think
Can they handle the thunderous laughter that that erupts suddenly

You don’t have barriers between yourself and others
Some people live in a glass bubble of sorts
They don’t want to get too close
But you are as free as a bird
That can sit on any branch
And sing

Your energy seems limitless
You come in with flare
And when you leave
We all know
That Lupita’s been there

Lupita, my friend
For these reasons and many others
You are magnificently unique

December 21st, 2015

Out of the fire

I try to create a third space
Between my heart which is in tumult
And my cool head
This is where I need to go to take shelter

Sometimes we need to step out of the fire for a while
When emotions overwhelm
And reason does not help

This space exists in all of us
But it’s sometimes hard to find
Sometimes my writing takes me there
Sometimes prayer
Sometimes music
Sometimes visiting a friend

It’s a space for contemplation
Evaluation and respite
It’s where I need to go now
December 18th, 2015

Angel of hope

When we know someone is worrying about us
We feel less lonely…

When a friend worries about me
And takes the time to contact me
To see how I am
I know she is thinking of me
She’s aware of what I’m going through and
She is praying for me in her own way

She is the flicker of light in my dark night
She is the angel of hope
Her love sustains me and gives me energy
To hang in there a little longer
She is the music I long to hear

Something as simple as reaching out
To a loved one who is suffering
Is the most beautiful sign of friendship
The most valuable thing we can do for them
The best gift we can give them
December 20th, 2015
For my dear friend, Lupita

What counts

How do you know that someone really loves you?
Is it when you are happy in their company and
You can laugh together and have a good time?

That counts… but what really matters is
If he’ll be there to hold your hand when you cry
If he’ll call you beautiful with or without makeup
If he’ll be patient when things get rough
If he listens to you when you have something on your mind

We need to have happy experiences together to build bonds
But the bonds that are built during the dark days of life
Are stronger

You know someone really loves you when
They are prepared to experience hardship for this love

It’s nice to give gifts
It’s even better
To give your attention and time

It’s wonderful to hear I love you
It means even more when you see it in deeds

It’s lovely to receive flowers and chocolates on Valentines Day
But the gifts that make a bigger difference are compassion and respect

You know someone loves you
When they support you in reaching your goals
When after many years, good days and not so good days
They are still beside you
And are happy to have you in their life
That’s when you know that you have a
Partner and confidant for life
December 16th, 2015


Acceptance seems so easy
Yet, it’s so hard
Accepting joy, pleasure and ease
Not a problem
But what about when it comes to things
We don’t like

What about when things contrary to
Our wishes come to pass
What about when nothing goes
The way we planned

What about when it rains day and night
And there is not sign of the sun

What about when hardship comes to visit
And decides to stay
What about when nothing seems to change
Not matter how much we pray

What about when we don’t understand
Someone’s reaction or beliefs
What about when we don’t think
The same way

Perhaps the secret of acceptance
Is expecting different views and thoughts

Realizing that we may not see life
The same way someone else does

Perhaps the secret of acceptance
Is not thinking we know all the answers

Not thinking that what we wanted
Was best for us

Perhaps the secret of acceptance
Is trying to find the silver lining around the clouds

Perhaps acceptance means digging deeper
Becoming stronger, and
Discovering gems we didn’t think we had

Perhaps acceptance is the result of humility
And our willingness to learn the lessons of life
December 15th, 2015

Doesn’t matter who’s right

I want to help you make the right decision
Choose the right way
I’ve been around the block a couple of times more than you
You could benefit from what I know

I will gladly listen to you
But the final decision will be mine
I’m responsible for myself
And the things I decide

Yes, but what about experience?
I can assure you I know the best way
It’s so obvious to me
How could you choose another way?

In this case, we can agree to disagree
I’ve given this some thought and I’m the one
Who has to live with the consequences of my decision
And with that I’m fine

But, but… I can save you so much trouble
Why go down the wrong path
And then turn around?

Well, I think you are assuming you know the right way
And I can see that you’re concerned

But if I’m going down the wrong road
It’s for me to find out
I’m thankful for your concern
But this is something I will decide

December 10th, 2015