Mental Health is a Bitch Sometimes

The Mental Institution

I’ve been trying to collect myself.
I’ve been told to take it easy.
But self care turns into isolation.
I feel like
I’m not worth it.
I looked at myself in the mirror and wonder if the pain will ever leave my face.
I make wudu and ask god to forgive the mistakes I’ve made.
I hold my hands up high and make dua and cry to allah to help me find happiness again.
I’m broken and still need fixing.
My new canvases are there unused and still in plastic.
The love I had for creating is gone.
This keyboard laughs at me with dust and a full battery.
It feels like the more push myself towards dreams, the faster I want to run away from it.
I’m stuck.
I’ve been in the same spot for hours and I can’t move.
The only thing moving is my thoughts.
And I’m here, creating, erasing, creating, rereading.
Without art I would have lost access to my most honest thoughts.
Thoughts that my mouth can’t say.
So I’m silent.
But, here I am creating, existing, and telling myself:
“You are worth it, you are beautiful, your work matters, and above all, you’re still alive. And that’s a beautiful thing.”


Marinna Shareef (Artist) is a 20 year old Trinidadian multidisciplinary artist who specialises in manipulating both digital and physical media to portray her everyday feelings. She is inspired by the magnitude and mystery of her emotions that she experiences as someone who deals with bipolar disorder, using visual imagery to organize her thoughts into a way that she can better understand.

The Mental Institution
Acrylic Fluid and Resin on Stretched Canvas.
The above piece was inspired by the collective chaotic thoughts that occur within a mental institution.

Instagram: @mahrinnart
YouTube: MarinnaS

Ladan Abdi (Author) is a Somali-American painter and writer born in Salem, OR, raised in Corvallis, and currently living in Portland. Her artwork represents her love for her culture, religion, nature, and warm colors. Ladan’s hope is that others can relate to her experiences and hardships through her writing. She has performed poetry for events, fundraisers, and art shows in the Portland metro area. In 2018, her artwork will be featured in the new Virginia Garcia Hospital in Beaverton, OR. On social media, Ladan posts art related on topics related to identity, self-love, mental health, and healing.

Instagram: @flowers4ladan
Twitter: @afrocan_dream
Tumblr: afrocandream

Poem, Untitled (2)

Gadgadoonka waayaha
Xiliyada is garab yaal
Haddii uu garaadkaa
Maankaagu gaabshoo
Gaadhi waayo meeshii
Naftu kuu galbineysoo
Hakad uu kusoo galo
Ha giriifin noloshee

19 Sumaya Mohamed

Gadgadoonka waayaha
Xiliyada is garab yaal
Haddii uu garaadkaa
Maankaagu gaabshoo
Gaadhi waayo meeshii
Naftu kuu galbineysoo
Hakad uu kusoo galo
Ha giriifin noloshee

Geenyada jareysoo
Godkii hore ka digo rogo
Gobolkuba haduu dumo
Galbis weeye maantaas
Iyo waxaan lasoo gocan
Waagii soo guduutana
Yi’ didiilo gaariyo
Waa nasiib kusoo galee
Haka gaabsan hanashada
Gunta dhiisha uga tolo
Shalay galab wixii tagay
Weligaa hasoo gocan


Sumaya Mohamed (Photographer) is an aspiring visual artist currently based in Bosaso, and roaming around Somalia. Her images portray everyday life in the motherland.

Instagram: @svmaya

Naaima Abdi (Author): “Waxaan ku barbaaray dalka Jarmalka, waxaan kusoo noolaa isagana dalka UK, imikana waxaan si rasmi ah u dagnahay Hargeisa, hal-abuurka ama qorida maqaalo iyo maansooyin u badan hogol tusaalayn, waa ii hobby ama maararow, waxaan inta badn ku cabiraa aragtidayda ku waajahan duruufaha kala duwan ee bulshada soo waajaha, sida baahi, xanuun, i.w.m.”

Instagram: @na_poetry

Where shall we hide?

be careful now…
for the trees are no longer safe.
You fled
seeking a sense of belonging

24 Sumaya Mohamed

Dear Hooyo,
I remember your sad tale of escape
where those cruel eyes hid in the darkness
awaiting your slumber,
be careful now…
for the trees are no longer safe.
You fled
seeking a sense of belonging
with only your identity as your prized possession.

Teaching us our mother tongue
you gave each of us the gift of Dhaqan (Somali culture).

But mama,
“look over there.”
the familiar torment has made a wicked return.
Those sworn to protect us are no longer a safe
alliance,
our existence is now an absent thought for many .

As we flee from our shelters,
where we got a taste of your childhood.

I ask you
Where shall we hide Hooyo?


Sumaya Mohamed (Photographer) is an aspiring photographer and visual artist currently residing in Bosaso, but roaming around Somalia. Her images portray everyday life in the motherland.

Instagram: @svmaya

Aftha Ayan (Author) writes poetry daily. She is an English teacher of adults, and in her spare time writes and reads books. Aftha has completed a BA in English Literature and PGCE in English/ESOL. She lives in Manchester, UK where she was born and bred.

Instagram: @alyanur._

Breathe In and Out

I refuse to sit with it, to make small talk
I am done writing about it,
giving it my undivided attention, to bathe in it
sometimes I look at the moment
when I coughed up small parts of my soul

thumbnail_IMG_1291

I did not find a forever home in my past
the trauma however sometimes comes back
for an acknowledgement, eye contact

I refuse to sit with it, to make small talk
I am done writing about it,
giving it my undivided attention, to bathe in it
sometimes I look at the moment
when I coughed up small parts of my soul and I think to myself

even in that moment I kept on breathing


Nuura Axmed (Author & Artist) posts poetry and personal essays about identity, mental health, and travel at her blog Thoughts of a Big Head. Nuura is also a visual artist who focuses on the attire (hijab) of her subjects, and the overall mood of the piece, in lieu of emphasizing facial features. She enjoys taking photographs of her grandmother, and making digital edits on her phone. She resides in London.

The above artwork is titled: Self Portrait

Instagram: @wordsbynourz

 

What is Love

love is a funny thing,
how it anchors itself into your heart,
and leaves you helpless,
like a fish on a hook just waiting to be reeled in.

30 Sumaya Mohamed

love is a funny thing,

how it anchors itself into your heart,

and leaves you helpless,

like a fish on a hook just waiting to be reeled in.

it rips your heart out of your chest,

and places it into the waiting hands of another,

so that they may tug at your heart strings as they please,

while you are powerless,

hoping that they are gentle with you.

as we go on through life,

love places our hearts into the hands of many.

some leave our hearts with gaping wounds

that will never heal.

some nurture and protect our hearts

while we break theirs.

somewhere along the way,

we find someone whose soul speaks the same language as our own.

someone whose palms leave our hearts with a warm feeling

as they hold it in their hands,

their fingers massage away the pain and heal the cuts and bruises.

that is the love that we are all looking for.

 


Sumaya Mohamed (Photographer) is an aspiring visual artist currently residing in Bosaso, and further roaming around Somalia. Her images portray everyday life in the motherland.

Instagram: @svmaya

Hanan Nur (Author), 17 years old, was born and raised in Toronto. Her passions include writing poems and stories, as well as acting. She has written poetry since middle school and has also taken part in multiple drama productions.

Twitter: @nacnacx
Instagram: @hanannvr

Aamusnidu waa hadal

You can listen to Yahye Yeebaash read this poem here:

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Maalmuhu isniin iyo
Axad iyo salaasiyo
Arbiciyo mid weeyaan,
Iyagay isku uruuro
Hadba wiiga ugubiyo
Bilo aadmi sheegtiyo
Cimrigiyo awaashiyo
Qarniyada amaamuda.
Ayaamaha laftooduna
Afarqaadka mirirkiyo
Saacadaha idlaadiyo
Sikin kaa ordaayay
Abtirsiinta sheegtaan

Ha-yeeshee Ifraaxeey
Nin intaa is dhawraa
Aakhiro badbaadoo
Sida aad adduunyada
Uga eed baxdaabaa
Rabbi kuu ilaashaa

Wakhtiguna ayaantaad
Farxad ubax barwaaqada
Ku il-doogsanaysuu
Orod iyo xawaaraha
Kabti kugu ag dhaafa
Marka aad se urugiyo
Murugiyo assay iyo
Aramida guraysuu
Kolba aadyar luudaa

Ifku waa sir iyo caad
Intan aad arkaysana
Inta aad ilduuftee
Ishu dhaadi waydaa
Afar laab ka badanoo,
Uurkuna dareenkuu
Afka sheeg idhaahdaaa
Inta uu ka oodmee
Ereyada u waayaa
Kollay aad u badanoo
Aamusniduba waa hadal
La adeegsi bido goor
Hadal kuu istaadhmayn!

Anna saaka beerkaan
Muddo seexo idhibaa
Igu laba kacleeyoo
Markuu aamu diidaan
Tixda arar la sheegiyo
Maansada abuuraa,
Marka uurku ooyaa
Gabayguna ilmeeyaa

Sababbuu ilaahay
Muslin qira arkaantiyo
Kaaga dhigay Islaamoo

Sababbuu ilaahay
Soomaali awr-liyo
Kaaga dhashay abkaaso

Sababbuu ilaahay
Ruux iskii u nool iyo
Iinsaan kas diririyo
Karaamada qof aadmiya
Kaaga duway aboor iyo
Abeesiyo dugaagee,

Dadka oo iimaankiyo
Ashahaadda qirayaa
Marka ay kun iiniyo
Kuman eexa dhaartaan
Ibna aadan sheekiyo
Anigiyo anaan odhan
Ku illaabo garashada
Xaqqu waa alliyo nebi
Ka adkoow odhaahdood.

Marka gaal itaashado
Inta nool jidhkaagee
Agabkuu sameeyaa
Adigoo kobtaadiyo
Arabsiyo kolkaa degay
Waxa jira Almaaniya
Kugu eegmo geeyaan
Indhow-garaad layaabiyo
Argagaxa la saro kaco
Sirtu waa aqoontiyo
Alif iyo wax maalaha

Asalkay lahayd iyo
Dunjigay ku ahabtee,
Marka qolo asqawdaa
Usha qabato diintee
Qolo kale ayaan iyo
U awoodo sheegtaan
Qolo kale iftiin iyo
U astaamo sheegtaan

Inkiraadda qolo kale
Ku awaajji faafshaan
Ninba gaar si araggii
Aayadaha u kala guro,
Duco waa allow sahal
istiqfaartu waa diin

Iglan waa maraykane
Kolka ay israa’iil
Labadaba afkood tahay
Carabtiyo imaaraad
Inta laysu daba maro
Midba agab kasoo gado
Iiraanna lagu diro
Falasdiin la iibsado
Afrikaanna sheekiyo
Ictiraafka lagu sabo
Waa been nin aakee (A-K)
Kugu yidhi itaashee,
Jihaad waa af xilashada
Akhriskiyo qoraalkiyo
Qalinkiyo adeegsiga

Ururada qabiilkee
Loogu eexdo beeluhu,
Kolka gelin axsaab iyo
Qaran loo abaabulo,
Duqaydiyo islaamaha,
Ubadkiyo caruuraha,
Inta loo tollaay dhaho,
Anbabaxa daraddii
Ammin loo dedaal falo,
Kolka loo ansixiyee
Xilka loo agaasimo,
Iskaddaa cid kale oo
Abtigiis dharaartuu
Inyar oo caddaalada
Idilkeed ka laayahay,
Hays odhan is-biimee

Duul wada asqoobaa
Kaa awtay dhegehee
Ashtakada hasii badin
Aadna haw calaaclin
arligiyo dhulkaagana
oday kaa tegaayiyo
haw nicin afmiinshaar
abidkaa ha niyad jabin
mabda’aaga ku adkow

Axda iyo xanuunkiyo
Alwadkiyo baroortaa
Dadka qaar u iidoo,
Markaad Aah tidhaahdeed
Igaddaa dhawaaqday
Usha kula dhacaanoo
Looma ooyo ruuxaan
Ilmadaada dhabankiyo
U qalmaynin urugada


GOULED AHMED (Artist) produces creative photography, both composed and candid, as featured on his Instagram account, @xawaashking

YAHYE YEEBAASH (Author) is a home-grown Somali poet who studies Medicine as a profession. He started writing his first spoken word poetry at the age of 16. Since then, his work has focused on youth issues as he conducts many events all over the country. He is the producer of a TV and web series called Sirta Nolosha and he is also leading a creative campaign (Hal-abuur) which nurtures the poetic talents of high school students.

Facebook: @yaxye.yeebaash
Instagram: @YaxyeYeebaash
Twitter: @YaxyeYeebaash

 

Call of Fate

Friend, it has been too long.
I can feel the strength of your winds this winter;
gradually I am regaining the power
to seek out my destiny.

Photo #1

Grieve we must,
for appreciating the ecstatic moments when ripped from our frail hands.
A season we soaked in the playful rays of the Arabian sun
dipping our feet, slowly but surely feeling the cool Red Sea rush between our toes.
Whilst our minds rode the vessels of an ancient Egypt, and
Our thoughts formed the delicate clouds above our heads.

Upon our births, the stars twinkled to their Lord
that two from opposite ends of the world
would one day unite
and soon after part.

Two of July,
abundant in the traits we share but each holds dear our originality,
uniqueness and sense of self.
Like the stars that brightened upon our arrival to this domain,
each of us sought to shine brightest.

My shine has started to fade over the years.
I grow unaware of who I am by the day.
I stare out into the English sky at night,
in wonder of what tomorrow may bring forth of life’s uncertainties.

Friend, it has been too long.
I can feel the strength of your winds this winter;
gradually I am regaining the power
to seek out my destiny.

Friend, grateful am I for fate’s decision
that I may sit here lone but warm—
hurt but loved—
pained but comforted—
knowing that as I overhear the Christmas bells from a nearby home,
I may eagerly write to you once again.

And in your home neighbouring the mosque
you write back to me,
as the call to prayer fills the sunset sky.


JAMA ABDIRAHMAN (Photographer) is an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Seattle, Washington. He’s the co-owner and producer of Arrinta Media, a Seattle multimedia company. He developed his love for visual communication when he first picked up a camera at age 16. In his free time, Jama travels or searches the web for the cheapest flights possible.

http://www.arrinta.com
Instagram@jamawakawala

SALMA IBRAHIM (Author) is pretty much from everywhere but currently residing in London. She’s finally figured out the TfL and seems to have picked up the accent with ease so she happily classifies herself a Londoner. Salma first started writing at the age of eleven. Hooyo gave her a journal to document her life as she tried to accustom herself to a completely new culture; Salma will forever be grateful for her. Salma is now twenty-two and, as her sister would put it, “still trying to figure it all out.” Amongst the many things Salma loves are: warm hugs, long and meaningful conversations, spontaneous coffee dates, lone walks (anywhere) and all the positive souls God brings into her life. 

Instagram: @celmaaibrahim

Vessels

vessels
A year might’ve been too short
To count one day’s blessings
It’s not the end my friend
Today is with you
Transport your existence
To a whole different adventure
I’ve sent you a telegram
Beneath the unawakened sun
In the middle of heartache and stardust
Picking blisters out of dead skin
No eyes have traced these swaps
Nor light can see darkness here
My body is like a vessel
With long butterfly arms, flexing around my globe
Hugging my heart happy
The love we seek in seasons
Flowers that grow out of vessels
Erupting seconds
Flourished for me
I’m a vessel
Flesh is like mud
But vulnerable like glassware
Formed beautifully
V is for vessel
Containing uniqueness
If the earth is our cargo
Then we must carry a bundle of identities safely back to our shores first
Like vessels
We push oceans out from our lungs
Cry a universe of sand
We gave the world our greatest hope and destruction
From shackled ribs to crippled proverbs
I feel it every so often
When we talk about our mental health it’s a conflict
With severe cultural complications, less patience; this would easily lead you to the edge of falling
No one noticed
You can smile bright while internally broken
I know pain should not be conserved in our vessels
Maybe it’s the dearest thing we love, we hide and hate
In the end, trust is what we take from ourselves
Have we made it there?
Go!
And sail your vessels to promised islands, far away to the West
Across the cold, across unimaginable waterfalls, and ravishing ravines that break the necks of spears
Soo bax!
We were fishermen before seamen
Seamen before we were stereotyped as pirates
Just say
Fathers of migrants
Holders of a generation of refugees
Dispersed, physically
Divided, tribally
United within the harness of vessels
Hymns of coal
Sing along and burn the storm away
“Wax on wax off”
Stand tall or back off!
For I will smother you with kicks and lightning-tales
We are moving vessels
Like the below decks golden-greasers from Tiger Bay
Have faith
You’re an unplayed old instrument
An unfinished instrumental
Untamed
melody,
melody,
melody
*Follow me*
*Follow me*
Whispering
I am but a song away
“Balinbaalis duusha”
“Caddaayo qurxoona”
“Ubaha dushiisay ku degaysa”
“Wey duusha”
I fly
I swim
I run
I am symbolic
I am sibraarand aagaan
I am xeedho
Milk and subag
I am a product of an over-shaken body, overthrown, overboard, my nest is the loss of ancient lullabies left on skeleton branches
I’m nearly there
You must positively prepare for the arrival of strangers
To come
I’m a vessel
A vessel, I say!
A Vessel
A Vessel
A treasure for my soul
A gift-wrapped entrusted lesson
The pleasure is from above
Created with measure
Flesh is like mud
Vulnerable like glassware
Only our dreams can steer us forward

AHMED MAGARE (Author & Artist) is a multidisciplinary artist, poet, and writer and is a member of Birmingham-based international writers group, Writers Without Borders. He is originally from Somalia. He migrated with his family to the Netherlands during the Somali civil war, aged three. He lived with his family in the Netherlands for most of his teenage life and eventually decided to move to England to pursue his further education in creative arts. In his writing, he explores the notion of hyper-dislocation and the experience of living in the West, through the poetic and static lenses of self-reflection and perseverance. He navigates mentally between Somalia and living in the West, questioning the state of longing, belonging, and comments on sociopolitical and cultural subjects inhabiting the space of global Somalis.

Find Ahmed’s books on Amazon: When Heroes Hide Behind Curtain Ropes, and Vessels.

Twitter@ahmedmagare

 

Hoyoo Ma Talo

Jilbabi

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

She went to buy some milk,

left the war and now her keys are by the kitchen sink.

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

She forgot to say bye,

walked away from the TV, tribal cries.

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

Abo waved me off again.

Eyes glued to Horn Cable; politics begins.

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

I lost my Hoyoo, Abo where is she?

She’s in her room. He’s pointing.

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

I refuse to pick up the phone,

all I see is flaming-orange handprints on the walls,

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

The floors littered with her dahaab,

all from her hustle and my lack of adab.

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

She tells me her stories-

Tahrib from Hargeisa, Djibouti, Syria and Turkey,

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

She lost them all young.

The war that took everyone,

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

Ayeeyo Ma Talo.

Haboo Ma Talo.


HIMILO DARWISH (Artist) is a 23 year old business student. She has been drawing since she can remember. Her artwork currently revolves around her identity as a Muslim, Somali, Black woman living in the UK. She resides in London.

Instagram: @dazmyart

FATHA HASSAN (Writer) is a Creative Writing and English Literature graduate, born and raised in London. She loved writing after discovering her talents while studying in university. She now hopes to finish and publish the novel she started as part of her dissertation.

Instagram: @fathaaaonline