When the World Falls to Silence

Alone

When all the clouds have dissipated,
and the rivers have dried;
When all the mountains have crumbled,
and all the tears have been cried;
When the thunder has quietened,
and all the storms have been raged;
When all the animals are gone,
and the wars have been waged;
When all the flowers have wilted,
and the hearts have turned hard;
When all the trees have been cut,
and the Earth is left scarred;
When all kin become enemies,
and all friendships are torn;
When all the nations have fallen,
and there’s none left to mourn.
When the skies become darkened,
and the Sun fails to light;
When the lands become barren,
and there’s no life in sight;
When the last child has smiled,
and there’s no one left free;
When the World falls to silence,
Only then we will see;

That this culture of hate,
from the moment of birth;
It’s the deadliest of plagues,
to this gift you call Earth.

In this moment of reflection,
and this silent reverie;
I ask that you listen;
O’ Child, listen to me.

I am your mother, your father,
your being;
I am the template of life
you’ve been seeing.

I am the land that has
kept you sustained;
In your existence
I am deeply ingrained.

I am the breath,
that has lifted your lungs;
I am the song,
that nature has sung.

I am the sands
of your hourglass of fate;
So listen to me, now,
before it’s too late.

I am the soul of the Earth
that you know;
I am left wounded,
from the hate that you show.

There is still time,
to turns things around;
If you wish to survive,
on this one united ground.

Hasten, O’ Children,
with love, peace – just try;
We don’t have much time,
please don’t let me die.

I am the World…

Poem ©Naziyah Mahmood, 2016.
(Image source unknown)

Advertisements

Waves

Peace

“Somewhere between the wavelengths of blissful joy and soul shattering pain, lies the infinite stillness of enlightened peace.

That is where you’ll find me.”
(Naziyah Mahmood)

Sometimes, we all need those precious moments of peace and quiet to breathe and heal.

© Naziyah Mahmood, 2015.

Strength in times of weakness

Fiona 5

We all know of pain. We all know of hurt. We’ve all been through a moment, no matter how infinitesimal it may have been in reality, which felt like it lasted for a short eternity.
We all experience sorrow – each one unique and different, no two people ever experiencing the exact same anguish, and yet, we all experience it.

It can be the sorrow of loss, or even the sorrow of heartache, alienation, desperation, helplessness and so much more – each hit takes its toll.

“You’ll be ok”, “Just give it time”, “things will get better”. These are all such wonderful sentiments, however, without empathy, the sympathy cannot drive through to hit the core of the targeted pain.

You have the right to be upset. You have the right to cry.
As ‘weak’ as it may seem to some, doing so does not make one weak. It just means that you’ve had to be too strong for too long.
If you keep it all bottled in, all the anguish accumulates to create a destructive force that can inevitably explode in the most harmful of ways.

Cry… you’re allowed.

After you’ve cried – till you can barely breath and your lungs sting – rise.
No matter how slowly you do so, my friends, rise.
Sometimes the bitter yet sharp taste of pain is what gives our will the push it needs to keep going when we feel like there’s no reason to do so.

I’ve had the honour of receiving such heartfelt messages from many of the beautiful visitors and guests to my blog and Facebook pages, and I’ve been touched by the level of trust that’s been placed in my hands in regard to their stories.

To each and every one, I truly wish I could click my fingers and make the pain go away, but… in a way… that would be my own selfish wish.
Your path requires for you to go through what you are so that you may rise stronger than before.

No, not everyone rises from pain quickly, or sometimes… even at all. However, each moment and experience that has left its mark in your path has been there to mould you in some way or another.

A warrior is not one who never feels afraid or never feels pain. A warrior is someone who, when struck by calamity, will absorb the shock, slowly turn that painful energy into something self-progressive, and then rebound in an evolved state of mind and will.

The happy moments are the ones that allow us to smile and enjoy life, but it’s the painful ones that usually make us stronger. They act as a reminder to what our main priorities are in life, especially when we stray from them.

We live in a society and world where there will always be something picked upon, no matter how hard everyone tries.
For example, I completely understand what it feels like to live in a place that is ‘home’ to me, and yet I still find myself having to defend my very identity because there will always be some who refuse to accept it.
My right to exist is actually a problem in the eyes of some, however, it’s my right… and I will fight for who I am and what I am (as long as it does no harm to others, of course!)

With the pain though, comes a renewed sense of self and will – my constant reminder of who I am wouldn’t be as prominent had it not been for those pains.
It’s a bittersweet reality of the rollercoaster that we call ‘emotions’.

For those going through pain, sorrow, injustice, hurt, loss, desperation, separation, oppression, helplessness, anguish, heartache and loss…It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to say you’ve had enough.

Really… it’s ok.

As much as I want to sit here and say “I know things will be fine! You’ll be ok! You’re strong! Hang in there…” as I optimistically always hope for a better tomorrow for all – instead, I sit with you.
In the deafening silence of cruel reality and anguish… I sit by your side.

It’s ok to cry… but I know we’ll rise again too.

We are queens. We are kings. We are warriors. However, we are also human.
The game of life isn’t up yet, so we can’t give in now.

… It’s ok to cry.

 

 

(Photography by the wonderful Fiona Brims.
More from this shoot can be found here: Bridge Photo Shoot – Facebook )

Phoenix Flames – The Healer

(Written as part of The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Can’t Stand Me: What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?)

phoenix1

(Photograph of Naziyah Mahmood for Caledonia. Photographer: Linda MacPherson)

(For those wondering why my face looks orange (as I’ve been asked a few times!) it’s supposed to be because of the flames! Haha! I’m not an oompa loompa!)

Recently, a lovely friend, Amy Hoff, has produced her wonderful novel, Caledonia, into a full out online series which revolves around a criminal investigation group – Caledonia Interpol (consisting of a variety of mythical creatures from all over the world) who solve crimes in the faerie and human realms. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it!?

Through it, she wanted to show the diversity of the Scottish city of Glasgow, and it’s many faces and races; so she decided she also wanted to cast a strong Muslim female character too, and apparently got in touch with me!
(Not that I consider myself strong!)
The first season of the series is already released, but my two short scenes would only be for the second season (due to my time restrictions).

Mythical creatures from all over the globe, and all sorts of folklore, are used in order to beautifully portray the cultural diversities in the World.

Most of the main type of creature roles were already taken when I was asked to help out; vampires, selkies, angels, mermen, werewolves, gumiho, Robert Burns (though he isn’t very mythical!), and so she asked me what creature I wanted to be.

Taking into consideration that she wanted creatures from all continents and cultures, and that I have an Arabic lineage, I told her one of my favourite mythical creatures – The Phoenix.
Long story short, let’s just say that the Phoenix has somewhat become my ‘totem’, and has been a prominent part of my life for many years.

The character, whose background story is still being developed by the director, during her initial reveal became more and more like me in some ways, and as such means a lot to me.

Her name is Nour (which is the same as my middle name – Noor) and she is a Phoenix and healer.

The role is a small one, but is important to the story.
Unfortunately, although offered a longer role, I couldn’t be in more than I have as I don’t have much free time to help out nowadays. However, I might appear again, in short scenes, in the future if I get enough time to help out again.

Now, in regards to what is asked in the prompt (don’t worry, it’ll tie in!)
Personally, I’m never very fond of seeing myself in video or hearing my voice through it! Do you ever feel that you sound and look like a completely different person too?

‘I don’t look like that, do I?!’

Well, during the filming of my two short scenes in this series, I was actually feeling quite ill and had been rushing back and forth a lot (also, my mum had just come out of hospital and needed me there to take care of her).
I just hope the illness or fatigue won’t show in the actual clips, but then again, when am I not ill or tired!? Haha!
I just don’t want to bring down the rest of the cast and story with a performance that isn’t up to scratch.
It hasn’t been released yet, but I’ll only know when it’s out – eek!

As opposed to the first season which was much simpler in its design and filming, this upcoming second season will apparently be using more professional filming techniques and special effects!

Well, at least I didn’t fall over, for once, on set! Looking on the positive side!

Luckily it’s only two short scenes, so I won’t need to cringe for too long at my clip or my voice!

Naziyah Phoenix Close
(I’m not really a ‘selfie’ kind of person, but this was the ‘human’ me as I rushed off to the set! I am part human too… on some days!)

Shifting Sands

sand dunes

 

We were two grains in a desert, so vast, of sand that never saw end;
Rolling dunes of countless grains painted the canvas of life, and yet my sweet,
We were carved from the same stone, and bound together by forces unseen,
Two separate entities, coming together as one in an amalgamation so pure.

Each gust of warm wind, our daily struggles, could not deter us in our fortitude;
You were my strength, as I was yours, to endure the lashings from the rising Sun.
Our comrades at arm’s length, constantly changed with the silent breeze, but no,
We were to remain strong in our struggle for continuation and devotion; our souls.

The hourglass cracked; that painful day fell upon me like an arrow to the throat,
You were torn from my side and left me without breath, in your quest for something new.
My eyes scanned the horizon, shifting through every grain in a land left desolate; barren,
You were gone, I was hollow, as you had taken the shell that had held me together, my pieces.

The storm subsided and so, my dear, I called to you in hope you’d hear my plea, my cry;
The horror, my grief – I had found you, and yet you it was not, a face so contorted in pride,
An entire being changed, your shape unrecognised, with a heart that had eroded in sin,
We were no longer bound, yet my mouth knew no words but your name and your prayer.

Confrontation; that moment of pressure, the heat of your anger, a true face emerged;
Once an opaque grain of sand, you had now become a transparent glass, crystal clear,
Which could no longer hide it’s true self, and yet your wrath you used to cut me, why?
My blood poured for you, still I forgave, in hope that you one day see the truth in yourself.

The cracked skin of my grain had lost its youth, but my heart would still skip at your voice,
My colour, once vibrant, had faded with time, yet my eyes would reflect only your image.
Your seat now empty, I look to my side, and reminisce on the history we’d carved, in stone,
It cannot be erased, nor do I wish, but I must now carve a new path – a new me.

A new me – with or without my once loved grain; He will be my shepherd in this desert life.
© Naziyah Mahmood, 2014.

(In dedication to a wonderful friend who has been a beacon of hope in my moments of darkness.
Thank you, G. May God bless you with happiness and relief from the images that continue to haunt, and hurt, you.
You are in my prayers.)

(Image taken from sallysjourney.typepad.com)

(Also shared on http://poetreecreations.org/2014/07/11/shifting-sands-promote-yourself/ )

Bubble Girl

Bubble Girl

A new quick story entitled “Bubble Girl” is up now! (true story!)
This really goes out to those who have felt the pain of having to leave behind a life/people who have broken, hurt and destroyed them, and have had to learn different methods of moving along with life.
The pain takes a long while to go, but along with it comes a new found appreciation of even the smallest gifts and blessing in life – including bubbles!
This especially goes out to some certain friends of mine who have also been facing painful times recently, you all know who you are. You’re in my prayers.

Bubble Girl can be found under the Short Stories tab.