Journey to the Other Side

Another poem by my daughter, Zafirah


Journey to the Other Side

the twenty-eighth time I fell
on the ground – face first
I think I broke my nose
and maybe a tooth – or two
sprained my ankle
and fractured my toes
but with all the energy I could muster
I lifted myself yet again
and limped forward in pain

the twenty-ninth time I tripped, I cursed
audibly, in frustration
looked back and reasoned
maybe I ought to make a U-turn
and try again tomorrow
when I’m more ready
and more… equipped, you know?
well, I said that yesterday too
and the day before

the path behind
seemingly undaunting
pulling me in- inviting
like the glowing neon sign
above 7-11
in the darkest of the night
screaming We Are Open

Welcome, O Restless Soul
to this familiar territory
where life is exactly what you want it to be
from rules and obligations – you are free
and if you stay here long enough
immerse yourself deep enough
you’ll be able to ignore that insistent thirst
strangling your throat like a noose so tight
dry and arid as a desert at night
but if you allow this life to swallow you in
you may just forget what water means

but that unknown road ahead?
long and winding, it appears to be
and I, I just cannot see
what is lying in front of me
this tiny torch I am holding
though its light far reaching-
I can’t help it, my hand is shaking

they tell me “you gotta have faith”
there is a garden- no, The Garden
of joy and wonderment
that no eyes have ever seen
and no hearts have ever perceived
and there’ll be rivers flowing beneath
of wine, milk and honey-
that you can drink from endlessly

therefore, bear the journey
it’s shorter than you think
yes, you will fall a thousand times
and doubt you’ll reach the finishing line
but tell yourself
that with each steps you take in reverse
you’re only adding kilometres
between the life of an oblivious prisoner-
caged in this town called Dunya
shackled by whims and desires
and an ending you’d certainly fear-
well, there’s that,
and there’s the heavenly bliss called Forever

so walk on
a step at a time
this journey is a difficult one, mate
but by God, it will be worth it
walk forward and embrace His mercy
for the Other Side
there ain’t nothing like it, baby 🙂

Oct 2014

Sunset from the 72nd Floor

My daughter, Zafirah’s latest poem..
Photo taken from her office at the Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur.

I stand in awe
and marvel at the sight
of the yellow-orange-crimson
ball of flame
painting Your majestic sky
in bluish-purplish-reddish hues
injecting the horizon
with colours I’m not ashamed to admit
I cannot name

I stand humbled
at my utter lack of eloquence
that no matter how hard I try
to recreate this imagery
with my limited vocabulary
yet words- they fail me
and I’m unable to describe Your phenomenon
in all of its essence,
nor illustrate the spectacular way
Your sun exits the day
gracefully descending
as if in slow motion
its intensity diminishing
into a thin fine thread till there is none
and darkness engulfs

how pallid and deficient is my language
and how feeble my attempt
that I could write lines after lines after lines
to capture the grandeur of Your design
Yet my prose
they fall short
they’re not even close
to the magnificence
of Your creation

not even by a fraction

Glory be to You
Lord of the East and the West
You command ‘Be’ and it is
and I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship
but You alone
Creator of the Universe
the Last and the First

Zafirah Zulkifli
October 2014