Poetry

The Ephemeral

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I used to be perfect:
Untouched, unblemished, undisturbed.
Yes, I was beautiful before you
Came and changed me.
You seem to forget that
I was made for you
But you were never made for me.

You broke me
The rain leaked
Down.
You started this.
You sent wire missiles, bullets of bricks,
Glass armies, cavalries of concrete .
And you say that I am yours.

The angels are healing me at dawn.
While you sleep, I lie awake
And remember what I was.
Perfect were the days before you,
Beautiful was the seed, the grass, the flower.

Soon enough, the sun sends me a ribbon
And you awake, as you always have,
Stretch, stand, sigh,
Spend another day thinking of anything
But always forgetting
What you are doing to me.

Treat me well, I am here for you
To live on, breathe on, die on, come back to
And leave for eternity.


My poem is about man’s relationship with the Earth and it is written in the voice of the Earth itself. People typically associate the voice of Earth and nature combined with the voice of a vulnerable female, so this is the type of voice that I naturally took, especially since my poem is about the negative effects that mankind can have on the environment. The fact that the narrator in the poem is a mixture of the Earth, nature and the environment may be a bit hard to notice, but the purpose of this is for the reader to pick up hints throughout the poem that allow them to deduce who the narrator truly is. (Don’t feel bad if you took a while to realize who the narrator is; it’s supposed to be a trick!). In a way, I have portrayed the relationship between man and the Earth as something more personal, which is why it is more riddle-like until perhaps the last two stanza. The main aim behind my poem is for people to learn that what we do in our everyday lives can have a long-term effect on the environment and that we ought to treat our ephemeral home with respect.

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Basiratulann Shahid was born in Manchester, Great Britain but her nationality is Pakistani. She has always wanted to be a writer since she can remember and would love to publish a few novels. Around four years ago, she realised that she also wanted to be a poet after a spontaneous experience in the art room, in which a poem suddenly came flowing from her pencil. Since then, she has maintained writing poetry as one of her main hobbies and usually incorporates the beauty of nature into her poetry. She joined MYM after her sister suggested the website to her and felt that this was the perfect environment for her to endorse herself in. She loves the fact that MYM is a place of increasing her knowledge about Islam and reading other brothers’ and sisters’ literature. Apart from writing, she enjoys reading and has a passion for photography and learning languages.