مكتوب (Maktub)

Nothing of our circumstance is convenient.
But if a river didn’t flow steady, I wouldn’t drink from it.
& if the ocean always drew closer to the sun in her waves,
the people on boats would grieve.

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Do you see this green stem?
How can they reason that the water from the soil travels up,
If they can’t believe that we, too, will one day ascend?

& do they not know that the rain that comes down
brings with it, the whisperings of our dead?
drops of acid rain to hiss at our ancestral mistakes. 

Do you see that the sheep does not fear the pious farmer,
Even as he brings forth his sharpened tool?
The sheep knows well what is to come,
& even when the flock runs, it stays.

For the prayers recited before it’s slain will stretch themselves
into a cloak of protection on judgment day.
An atom’s weight of good can go a long way,
& this sheep knows what route is best to follow.
What is a death ordained by the pious farmer,
but a life simply tracing its destiny with the ink of honor?

***

Look at me. No, not with your eyes.
Don’t you recognize me from a past life?
Nothing of our circumstance is convenient.
But if a river didn’t flow steady, I wouldn’t drink from it.
& if the ocean always drew closer to the sun in her waves,
the people on boats would grieve.

We are born of different garments but of the same cloth,
the colors of your wisdom harmonize with the patterns of my complexity,
we pass on these garments to clothe our children and their children.
What greater thing to have in common,
than the thread that weaves through our carpet?
Like the one in my mother’s living room,
It possesses a beauty that invokes the might of sand and bottles of perfume,
for the soldier who touches it in Burma,
& the maid who sweeps over it in Khartoum. 

When tea with sugar is offered to you, remember me.
You are bound to no one, so live freely, but you’re a person of their word,
and it is you who proclaimed that
the sun doesn’t shift from its axis.
So, until you recite otherwise, I will trust it–
awaiting the day when sun meets ocean in a sunset decreed.

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Suleman Hersi (Photographer) is a 27 year old civil engineering student, who holds a BS in engineering. He has always enjoyed being creative, and has tried his hand at various art forms including poetry, short stories, rapping, and beat-boxing. Photography is a medium he returns to regularly. From 2013 to 2016, Suleman simply used his smartphone to capture images; by 2017 he found freelance photography work. His dream is to work as a concert photographer, as he enjoys the show energy and atmosphere. Suleman will travel to Somalia next year for photojournalism. He resides in Asker, Norway.

Instagram: @ihersi
Website: www.ihersi.com

Karima Osman (Author) studies public health and medicine, and enjoys the art of poetry in her free time as a way to reconnect with her motherland, the nation of poets. She runs a blog, Nomadic Intuition, where she features her writing and has self-published a poetry chapbook in 2016.

Instagram: @arim.ka 
Find Karima’s book, Bishara, at this link.