Her laugh was wild,  pretty like her smile, 16 her, and 17 I our age, the day we meet, facebook world web,  she was cuban she said,  Ecaudorain, native, a punk guy, a girl 25 miles north, New York, up in Monroe, I a Brooklyn kid, living here, down below, she was different, cute, good taste in music, she was like someone I never meet. and so our story started,  2012 our date.        

Ramadan 2017 in Sarajevo, Bosnia                      The first day and the secondWhat a blessing!!!Brothers and Sisters in the Old Town speaking the words Salamu AlaikumSisters wearing veils with colors like in the bright rainbow appearing before me and my two new friends from Bosnia in a sky above a bussling bazaar, there a smaller group of humans watching and a larger group of tourists capturing a rare moment in Sarajevo on photoMany brothers wearing kufis and many brothers with trendy hair styles paired with Western outfits gathering in the courtyard of Gazi Husrev-Bey Mosque, the largest in Bosnia and sixteen centuries old. Tourists from Africa, America, Europe, and other landscapes and many locals exchanging words and gestures in a month better than a thousandFamilies spending time together at the Grand Mosque and at smaller mosques and in other places surrounded by picturesque hills and green plush treesA father, a mother, their toddler son…he practicing walking on a masjid’s cobblestone, and their young daughter…she smiling at her father as he walks by. Each family member physically at a distance from each other. Each family member at a cell’s distance in communion with each other.In the mid afternoon on a Ramadan’s day, a sister from Munich and I having met for the first time at Bey Mosque ride together in a taxi up a steep hill to see a guest house she knowsA smell of lingering cigarette smoke permeating the air within the house so thick beckons me to leave politely and quickly. Unaware of the smell’s degree, the owner learns of its’ offensiveness as I disclose my sensitivity to & the dislike of the smell of cigarette smoke, both acutely heightened while fastingCareful steps back down the steep hill to the city center, me avoiding stumbling on a large rock or being runover by a speeding automobile, interestingly instead I stumble upon a beautiful grave yard of uniquely shaped white gravestones and a charming…

May 18th, 2010; the day it rained forever. I had no idea, just then, but it was our last day together. I had felt your need to leave, so many days before; although I had to grieve, I wished you to suffer no more.. I had long fought for you, and you, always, for me; this time there was nothing to do, It was simply meant to be. I felt the raindrops that day, as they fell hard on my skin; we’d seen our last chance to play, to live in happiness, as we’d been. It was a day of deepest pain, but also a day of mercy; I knew you couldn’t remain, suffering, and so very sickly. I wanted to keep you with me, to wrap you up in my arms, I wanted you to be healthy, I wanted to keep you from harm. But the hardest part of love is having to say goodbye. I told you to enjoy life above, and tried to hold back when I cried. I thanked you for your presence, for the way you brightened each day from a lonely and boring existence, to a chance to laugh and play. Those words were the hardest to speak, to say it was okay to go, but I could see that your body weak, it was important to let you know: you didn’t need to hold on for me, you could allow yourself to find peace. The time you’d spent making me happy, would comfort me in my grief. I held you in my arms that night, as the hours each passed by, You were there, still in my sight, but I knew you’d long said goodbye. I felt your warm bunny-fur until all trace of warmth faded; I never thought that day would occur, my feelings were complicated. Despite the torment I felt   you looked so peaceful and serene, though I hated what I had been dealt, there was no pain to be seen. I asked Jesus to take you asleep, to find gently his loving embrace; I knew He would always keep you warm, and happy, and safe. It was time to let you go; I…

On blankets of snow Carcasses of my siblings lay. I watch you now Walk away. Moments ago, Your greedy eyes, knives, Merciless shadow Had snatched their lives. As you merry about The cozy fur and trophy heads I prepare to ready the shroud Tears piling around in hundreds. Justice waits for you… Justice of nature… A world dry of animals, foliage, and hue– Nature’s punishment for our blunder. © Shenita Etwaroo

I’m crying out but I shed no tears Notice me, Notice me   Nobody thinks of me Notice me, Notice me   Why do they blame me? Notice me, Notice me   I smile to hide the pain Notice me, Notice me   My laugh is loud but can’t be heard Notice me, Notice me   When it thunders, I sleep Notice me, Notice me   I eat but my stomach never fills Notice me, Notice me   The world around me screams “Wow!” and I ask “How?” Notice me, Notice me   Love for another…Love for another, does it really exist? Notice me, Notice me   Too busy running, too self-absorbed Notice me, Notice me  Everyone around me unable to see Notice me, Notice me   When everything breaks, I’m left to pick up the pieces Notice me, Notice me   Illusions are the prize and me a tear in their eyes Notice me, Notice me   I count 1, 2, 3…You see Notice me, Notice me  Last on the list, other things on it first Notice me, Notice me   I walk, I run it matters nonetheless Notice me, Notice me  My roar overflows with words without pages Notice me, Notice me  I wink at the bright yellow sun as the birds fly by Notice me, Notice me   Look how high my broken swing touches the sky Notice me, Notice me   Subdued by it all, my stillness keeps me afloat Notice me, Notice me   Why me, Why me Notice me, Notice me   Why not us, Why not us Notice me, Notice me   -Najwa Kareem   This poem is dedicated to the precious innocent children of Syria who have been victimized by wicked, stony-hearted, barbaric acts of murderers, hypocrites, oppressors, haters, evildoers, etc.   *originally published on 7/22/14 at poems4palestine.com

trust to me old poetry I shall cherish as the new, I will read like old by candlelight, savoring the smell of ages past, listening to their conversations, their cities sounds wrapped in the virtual reality of time, reliving days until now unknown to me, thankfully preserved nature, family, history, love, and not to be left out, Poe’s tales of gore, I love the new poetry for today, but trust to me old poetry I shall cherish unto death

Color is light. Color is grace. Color is a garden.    Since when was white not a color.   Since when was white the other.   Since when was white not your brother.   You are no better than us. We are no better than you. You are a color like us. We are a color like you.   Color is a gift. Color is magic. Color is our skin.   Color is divine. Color is no mistake.    Color is just a color.   Color is a window.   Color is bliss.    Color is the Lord’s stage.   Color is alive. Color is eternity.   Color is noteworthy. ​ Color is original. Color is a story.   Color is extending.   Color is our breath.   Color is sunshine. Color is our life line.   Color is captivating.    Color is our wings.   Color is love.   Color is beautiful.   Color is you. Color is I. Color is he. Color is she. Color is us.   by: Najwa Kareem     Feb 2017 ​ *originally published at Hello Poetry

Mirror     I keep dreaming about you, Of how your hand felt as you were letting go, As your gaze turned into distant stares, Then your smile slowly, Slowly fading away..   I keep closing my eyes then opening it up, Trying to make myself believe its all just a bad dream, It wasn’t you who never turned your back, It wasn’t you who kissed my head goodbye And it wasn’t you saying you don’t love me anymore. It wasn’t you whom I still falling for.   Please hold my hand.. Please don’t let it go, Please still be here when I wake up, I wanna tell you everything that happened today. I wanna tell you about that cat on the road, That red car I passed by And my heart dying by and by..   This is the lowest I could get, Pick me up. Please pick me up.. I’m drowning in your memories, I’m filled with your every hugs and kisses What were you tryin’ to do? You were leaving me out of the blue. Am I really that bad at loving you? Will I ever gonna be enough for you?   Now infront of you I’m laying all my cards, This all have to end, I know. But could you please just for a second, don’t let go? I might need you more now than you’d ever need me, Somebody please stop me.. I’m loving someone who doesn’t love me..

“The Day a Healer Did Weep,The day did start with desire in the power of prayer,Yond day would end in horrible, lingering, despair.The moniters sounded a wretched shrill of doom,In a blink, an instant, I wast whisked from the cubiculo,The time did do cometh with swift, and desperate, finality,While I did pray, and did beg God’s holp, did do cometh lethality.The leadeth leech would not giveth in until did pull away,With the hurlyburly’s end, We did weep together yond day,This healer with emotion withdrawn, did do break down as a tyke,The lady did has’t this loving effect on all, in the very same like.Ay, a life ended one warm, sunny, day in K.C,Nay one erned, but doctors, nurses, and me,Thither wast nay flowers, nay mourners, nay half staff,Mine heart ripped ope as with a warrior’s gaff.   I cherished, and did protect the lady all our time together,I did fix all, did maketh things right, cometh high water, or nether,I couldst nae fix this, nay matter how hard I would tryeth,Thou can not imagine such teen as I did watch that lady vade, and die,Nary one knave, nay matter whom they may ever beest,Can beest did replace, Each life is precious, I wouldst decree,I wilt declare this to thou, All those yond would listen,Taketh nothing for did grant, leaveth not a thing missing. Liveth each moment with thy love as t’would beest thy last,Leaveth nay regrets in thy future, or eyeless in thy past,Still cogitate thy love as thou did has’t from the first,Tf ‘t be true thou pause too long, thou can nea quench such a thirst.Thither is nary joy in living with regret, teen, and grief,Liveth each day did share as a gift, and treasure this life brief.   (Translation)    “The Day a Healer Wept,,The day started with hope in the power of prayer,,That day would end in horrible, lingering, despair,,The moniters sounded a wretched shrill of doom,,In…