Cluttered Oasis

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My mind is a cluttered oasis.

I don’t know what I should ask –
maybe because my mind remembers nothing
but that I have suffered and the sour leftovers
of that suffering
do not let me sleep

Who caused this suffering,
in what form is it preserved
my mind has no clue

yet you tell me
there is so much I have to ask
there is so much I must share

I have to strip contrite tears and
remove filth from a lifeless veil of depravity
that has
made my heart
an uneven slab of ice

When I gaze at my empty hands
hands so lonely, they’re a large dungeon with just one convict
I’m compelled to raise them
towards the One who is perpetually listening
to the lament and appeal of
wrongdoers like me

Something inside me kicks me
a reassuring soft kick
as my heart beats
so I beg for one thing:
heal me, make me whole again

Healing is complicated
more than crossing a road is for toddlers
more than solving sums is for patients with dyscalculia
more than running a country is for devious politicians

You think you
have healed, and the very next day when someone
caresses the place where the wound once existed,
you flinch,
you clench your teeth and growl, insecurities
warbling again for a reason that
is not apparent at all

I know just too well
the havoc unhealed people
are capable of causing
when all they are striving for
is to survive on their own
without sinking in despair,
without a staff of vindictive bone to lean on

The wreckage they cause
on their own unaided souls before anyone else’s
is inevitable;
healing is vital
though it seems to be a goal
that is unachievable and tough

When I say “aameen”
followed by “all praise is for Allah, Lord of all the worlds”
my heart tells me: As-Sami has heard
As-Sami will
not let this battle last forever

even when I see no signs
of progress
I trust Him

A blind man
cannot distinguish between colours
he has not seen that red is the colour of blood,
sky is usually an expanse of blue,
leaves are verdant
though sometimes a tempting stew of myriad colours:
yellow, brown, green, black, orange

but he knows they exist;

I’m blind in trusting my Lord,
I trust the warm promises
concealed in His book.

Afra Ahmad is a writer, poet, artist and calligrapher. Based in Saudi Arabia, she holds a Bachelor's degree in English Literature. She writes about everything under the sun: from dark issues of society to problems faced by teenagers to imparting chunks of wisdom through her poems, spiritual stories and write-ups. Her works have appeared in various journals and magazines including Blue Minaret, Melbourne Culture Corner, Iman collective, Muslim Youth Musings, Rather Quiet, Broken Spine Magazine.


  1. “I know just too well
    the havoc unhealed people
    are capable of causing
    when all they are striving for
    is to survive on their own”
    I liked this the most. This is a very beautiful and moving poem. You did an awesome job!

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