The Guest

“You’re late.”

“Woke up late, sorry.”


I sat down on my seat and looked up to see her leaning back into hers. I could tell from her expression that I was in for a yelling.


“Woke up late? You didn’t sleep at all, did you?”

“Sort of…”

“Seriously, I’m so tired of seeing you like this. Every day you grow thinner and thinner, your eyes are so deeply sunken into your head, they’re swollen from crying, red from rubbing… even your hair looks like a birds nest.”


There it was. Every time we met I would be bombarded with her negative observations of me. For a moment my mind drifted away…


“Are you even listening to me?”

“Oh, yes, I am.”


She sighed.


“Look, you and I both know that I know you better than anyone else, so I only say this out of concern. You’ve become pathetic.
Life knocked you down again and again and again, but it only happens because you fail to learn. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. You never listen.
You’re constantly left broken hearted because you trust too deeply, and everyone finds a way to walk all over you – how can you not get annoyed at that?”

“I do. I do get annoyed. I’m just too tired now to bother feeling anymore. I’m sick of the pain, so cut me some slack and leave me alone, will you.”


Her eyes opened wider for a moment as she noticed my rebellion. I had definitely struck a chord with her. Good.


“I don’t even feel sorry for you anymore, you know that? Sometimes I feel like I’m all you’ve got though, that’s why I stick around.”

“I don’t need you to stick around if all you do is hate on me.”

“I’m just trying to get you to see what you’ve become, that’s all. The whole event left you feeling like you’ll never be good enough… for anything!!!”


I squirmed in my seat at the mention of ‘the’ event, but tried to keep myself composed.
It had indeed left me broken. Shattered. It wasn’t the first time either. I had become used to the sound of my own soul breaking, so much so that I sometimes prayed to become deaf to it.


“What am I going to do with you? No matter what you try to do, how pretty you try to make yourself look, how hard you study, how kind you try to be, how stupidly trusting you are, you’re always going to end up in the same mess. Want to know how I know that? Because I know you better than anyone else.”


Here she goes again, with the whole ‘I know you better’ rubbish. No, she doesn’t… does she?

She straightened up, as though trying to calm herself down before addressing the ‘problem’ in front of her. It made me move in my seat to straighten out my spine too. Ok, I was ready for the next bout.


“I’m only saying this for your own good, but maybe you should just leave this place. Think about it. Nothing seems to be working out for you. You have no one to really understand you, your career is practically non-existent because of your degrading health, no one realllly cares about you, you’re not getting any younger either, I won’t even mention relationships… why are you still even here?”


I had become robotic and numb over the last few years, all thanks to a rollercoaster of events and problems, but those words did cut me deeply. The worst part? I almost agreed with a lot of it too, until, that is, I mentally slapped myself back into reality and glared back at her.


“I know I’m not perfect, I know I don’t have much, I know I’m horribly scarred and I know things keep getting worse, but I have no choice but to get on with the show.
I don’t expect to wake up to a vivacious life, but even if I’m numb, I’ll keep going… because I do have some things to live for.”


The door creaked open and we both looked over to see Mum poking her head around the door. “Come down and have some lunch, love, it’s getting cold. Also, who were you talking to?” She looked at me with her usual concerned gaze before disappearing once again behind my bedroom door.


I looked back into the mirror and to the uninvited guest who never seemed to have anything better to do than to remind me of my ever growing flaws.


“I guess we’ll have to pick this up later as usual then! Don’t forget, I know you better than anyone else!”


“Shut up.”


With that, I slammed my hand against the cold reflective surface of my dressing table mirror, and then lifted a lipstick to draw a smiling face upon my reflection.


Uninvited guests are always the worst kind, no?




When the World Falls to Silence


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)

Purge of politics


(Written as part of the Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Truth Serum: You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?)


Keeping this short but sweet – World Politicians.

Though I would never wish to force a truth from someone, as I’d hope that everyone would speak the truth themselves, there are some lies that have blinded nations worth of people all around the globe.

The emergence of truth from all of the world politicians would most likely shake the planet in ways that we couldn’t imagine; however, in time, I’d hope that we’d all learn to better ourselves and work by honesty.
If it just leads to extreme chaos, then we as humans would need to face that storm as a species due to the faults of some of our own. Hopefully, after the storm passes, we could learn to move on after having learned an important lesson.
There isn’t one governmental system on this planet that doesn’t have some form of corruption in it (no matter how small or big).

Pass out the serum, sit back and watch the unravelling of millennia worth of lies… then start again on a more ‘informed’ note.

Maybe I’m just having one of those “fed up” days when you get sick of the amount of false reporting, bias, misreporting and such on news channels, but this is what my mood would want right now.



(Image taken from )

Whispers of the Sunrise


Deepest slumbers, gently nudged, by the softest voices of my travelling conscience;
“Awaken, my sweet, come to prayer, come to salvation”
The words rolling through the skies, over the hills of atonement.

Fading moon, rising sun, light kisses on their mutual passage through time;
“Cleanse your soul, illuminate your being, I am waiting”
A gap in the dawn, veiled by the radiance of His Majesty and Grace.

Silent struggle, standing tall, ascending towards self purification;
“Spiritual cleansing, physical ablution, absolved from worldly bounds”
An incandescent aura, emanating from every limb and every motion.

Open soul, intimate words, a liberation through prostration;
“Free yourself, share your tears, I am here”
An elevated state, reached through the humbling gestures of adoration.

Rising up, heart content, facing the day with a reinforced hope;
“I am with you, I have always been with you, and always will be”
Sweet whispers of the sunrise that ready me for my lifelong journey.

“…I am here”

© Naziyah Mahmood, 2014
(Image taken from


(It’s a bit late, but this is written as part of the Daily Post: Daily Prompt – New Dawn: How often do you get to (or have to) be awake for sunrise? Tell us about what happened the last time you were up so early (or late…).)

The Rough Patch

light at end of tunnel

They say that if you wish to see the rainbow, then you must withstand the storm.

They say that if you wish to see the light of dawn, then you must endure the dark of night.

They say that if a rock wishes to become a diamond, it must brave the heat, stress and pressures.

They say that for the flower to bloom, it must first fight its way through the soil from a single seed.

What they don’t say is that it is ok to cry, for you have been strong for so long.

What they don’t say is that it is human to feel weakness, as it allows us to strive harder.

What they don’t say is that it is ok to turn to others for help sometimes, because a burden shared is a burden halved, and a joy shared is a joy doubled.

What they don’t say is that it is ok to stop and rest, as we all need to remind ourselves of who we truly are through contemplation.

As we run through that dark tunnel, reaching out our hand towards the singular light which we see at its end, the steps we take towards our destination are vital in shaping who we will be when we get there.

Cherish every step, learn from it, and grow. You will then see that the light existed inside of you all along.


© Naziyah Mahmood, 2014.
(Image taken from

Oliver Twisted

(Written for The Daily Post: Daily Prompt – Can’t Watch This: When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?)

child behind bars

“Please, sir, I want some more”

The short but winning line of a world renowned classic novel.
However, what is to follow will not be concentrating on the works of Dickens, but on the subject of oppression, including of that upon children.

Although I may not be the kind of person who tears up every five seconds, I have painfully wept and find my heart crying upon witnessing any forms of oppression, suffering, or pain on others – especially children, the elderly and the vulnerable.

Nobody wants to believe that pain, suffering and oppression exist within this world, and as such many also turn a blind eye to it. However, I personally feel that it is a duty upon each and every one of us to try to look out for our human brothers and sisters, even if that is simply through ‘recognizing them as human’, and praying for them.

More recently, the excruciatingly painful and horrific images and videos that have been coming out of the conflict in Gaza, and many other places in the world, have been tearing my heart to shreds.
As a British and proud Scottish citizen, I myself admit the presence of a strong media bias in our news channels, which is terribly unfortunate.
However, it’s not hard to find out the truth when we search for ourselves. The truth may be a matter of perspective, and I understand that the pendulum swings both ways, but some things are just inexcusable.

Babies and young children, targeted and being torn to shreds by ‘soldiers’; how were those innocent children a threat?
Disability centres and hospitals being blown to pieces; how are those vulnerable people any danger to you?
Innocent civilian homes being raided, destroyed and burned to the ground with the families still in them; that could have been your home and family.
Schools, places of worship, water systems and sewage systems being destroyed; leaving a horrible gash in life for the future generations.

I look around and see the many beautiful colours of the World, and its many faces and languages. Appreciation of diversity is so very important, but we must also look to see how, ultimately, we are all one and the same. One universal family called Humanity.

Unfortunately, we live in a world that is being consumed by demons who take human form.
To think that ‘any’ child deserves such torture is a crime upon the soul.
To attest that ‘any’ person shouldn’t be allowed basic human rights is a tear upon the spirit.
To believe that ‘any’ pregnant woman should have her belly torn apart is a wound upon the heart.
To say that ‘any’ form of oppression is allowed, or permitted, is a stain upon the mind.

I am not here to try to upset anyone, however, if we find ourselves spending all our time pondering over the latest ‘gadget’ trends and celebrity gossip, yet completely ignoring the reality that millions upon millions go through… we know that humanity is failing.

We do not require to sit and cry all day in order to truly connect with the bigger picture, however, recognizing the existence of the suffering (and as such, the existence and value of each and every person who faces oppression in this world) will be the difference between being a hollow human vessel and a truly connected soul.

I am known as a ‘foolish optimist’, but I truly do believe that even a prayer, a well wish or a simple hope for a better world can make a difference.

As Mother Teresa once said:

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

When all that many oppressed people have to protect themselves are sticks and stones, when faced by the world’s most powerful and advanced tanks and technology, then why haven’t we been feeling those many ripples?

It’s time to open our eyes.
We don’t need to be from any religion, colour, culture or race to condemn oppression; we just need to be ‘human’.
A child received a beating from a so called ‘war hero’, bleeding from head to toe, and begs “Please, sir, let me go”. However, just as in the case of Oliver, he doesn’t receive.

…Wake up….

© Naziyah Mahmood, 2014.

(Image taken from
A drawing made by a child for an art exhibition that was censored)