I can’t begin to describe how much I loved this post. A must read. This writer has a gift.


This post is the product of a friend penning down his feelings for a love, upon my wish to know what love feels like to men. The author’s name remains undisclosed at his discretion.
There isn’t much else to say. How could I possibly put together the right words to do justice to my feelings? I wake up, and fall asleep, and everything I do in between is contaminated with the thoughts of what could have been. Love had always been indefinable for me. And I’m glad it had, because I wouldn’t have experienced it the same had it been defined already. Our time together, although brief, was the most precious and unwrinkled moment of my life. Having had the pleasure of falling asleep with you on my mind and waking up the same, no longer am I able to close my eyes voluntarily with my head…

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A fly stole a kiss from her lips,
As she lay in the sun,
No roof o’er her head,
No breath in her lungs.

The winds lifted their dusty hands,
Caressed her tiny coarse feet,
As she in her life’s finery lay,
A majestic starched white sheet.

The smiles in the house,
Like the words she never learned,
Seemed to never exist,
To the world unconcerned.

The ants marched ahead,
A guard unarmed,
While crows swooped above,
To see off their ward unharmed.

The clouds rumbled in, single file,
To offer condolence last of all,
Till they, like the few present there,
Slowly allowed their tears to fall.

In the damp earth, they laid her,
Warmer than she’d ever been,
The soils embrace to shield her,
From the life she’d never seen.


Ramadan - A Doodle

We are reaching the end of Ramadan 1434 (or 2013, if you prefer), which, among the routine customs and traditions, has made me reflect back on how I see it.

Maybe it’s the influence of having a childhood set against a largely Catholic backdrop, but there are aspects of Ramadan that forever remind me of the poem “Advent” by Patrick Kavanagh. Having studied it at school, it fast became one of my all time favourite poems. Advent signifies the period of time of in ‘preparation’ of the coming of baby Jesus, in most Christian traditions. I ask my reader to cast aside these notions and instead, focus on the poem itself, as I see it.

We have tested and tasted too much, lover- /Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.

In the fast paced world, we are forever rushing to keep up. The exposure we have to everything, the raw cogs and wheels that run our lives and lead to inevitable heartbreak.  The innocence of childhood is long gone

…the dry black bread and the sugarless tea/ Of penance will charm back the luxury/ Of a child’s soul…

Firstly, Ramadan for me is a time where routine is simplified. Obviously, by the removal of one of the meals I’d usually have in the day; but also simplification of thought. To clear my mind and so to purify the thoughts I allow into my mind, as well as touch my heart.

…the newness that was in every stale thing
When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking
Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill
Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking
Of an old fool…

With clearer minds, we are able to see the world around us anew. I can’t help but feel that, in doing this, Ramadan becomes a period of thankfulness. In the light of everyday wonders, we are filled with gratitude for everything, from the rise and fall of our chests as we breath, to the foods in our plate, to the precious company around us. Water, of which we waste gallons unknowingly, becomes as precious as the elixir of life; the changing of the colours in the sky becomes a mesmerizing enigma.

God we shall not ask for reason’s payment,
The why of heart-breaking strangeness in dreeping hedges
Nor analyse God’s breath in common statement.

For many, my self included, Ramadan is a month of increased worship, and inevitably, penitence. I reflect, I accept and in asking for forgiveness, I can learn to forgive myself.

I’m no expert, or religious scholar, so I can’t even begin to explain in detail the bounty of blessings that this holy month showers upon us. Most of all, I find Ramadan to be a month of trying, and perseverance. I try my best to do all the things I’ve mentioned above. Like everyone else, I’m looking for internal peace and a balance in my life. Ramadan is a good time as any to try. And God knows I’m trying.

You can read the full poem “Advent” by Patrick Kavanagh here.


A moonlight bathed courtyard
I felt it wash my skin
The silence rushed my ears
Like a tornado
Alone, as I drank it in.

Solitary, I danced as if to call it It’s mirthful draught gave zest
It caressed my face
Left my soul without rest.

And still I twirled and leapt
Till she was gone and far away
Left distrait and inebriate
Fearless to the crimson war cry
Of the coming day.



I’ve been thinking about this all day, from the moment I woke up. Internal reflection, as well as these endless hours of thinking have proved useless, as I am, for once, left without words to describe how I feel. I can’t seem to find words that fit, quotes that fit. Yet I feel the occasion should be marked.

Today marks the second anniversary since I last set foot on Irish soil, since I left the land of my birth and most of my childhood. Having spent most of my teenage summers in Pakistan beforehand, the packing and travelling seemed routine. But 2011 was different. Altogether more permanent. Dread, disdain, excitement and sadness manifested me that summer.

I only remember fragments of that day. The last glimpse we had of our house, as we drove away. Watching the clouds, the farms and the cows go by. The airport. I was numb most of that day. We boarded, buckled up and soon it was time for take off. My head was turned towards the window.  It wasn’t until the plane was at a 45 degree angle to the ground that it struck me. The plotted land, in it’s different squares of different shades of green was ever-receding, but I kept my eyes glued to the window as if to drink every last drop of the sight, as much as I could, for as long as I could. I was leaving. I was leaving, almost permanently and it wouldn’t be quite the same if I ever came back.  The tears were uncontrollable.

I don’t know how I feel, anymore, because maybe I feel too much.

That was a chapter of my life that has now closed, so surreal, it seemed like it was just a dream. Things have changed since. I have changed. I’m no longer that same person. But this was inevitable. Life goes on; only thing it knows to do, as do we with it.

Rinne sí dearmad orm, ach tá Éire fós i mo chroí, cé go bhfuil mé fada uaidh.

Working The Room

From the moment she entered, all I could think was: Baby, you know how to work a room. Well-dressed, maybe not by the norms of the current fashion, she was sported a closely cropped hairstyle, capri pants and a peplum style mint green top. All eyes were on her and that was the way she loved it.

She was loud, brash even, yet somehow still nonchalant. Her captivating attitude drew everyone towards her. She had a way of interacting with everyone in the room, making each feel special, individually. I’m almost envious of this gravitational force she seems to have around her. When she, tossing back her head carelessly, would laugh unreserved, those around her couldn’t help but smile too.

One moment, during the evening, she was sipping from a glass of water. Something must have irked her, for with a swift movement of her hand and a shriek, she knocked the glass off the table. We stared, shocked, and she, suddenly conscious of the attention, broke out into a nervous laugh. Order was restored. Everybody merely laughed it off. I honestly don’t think my social skills could match hers. Her smile was reserved for few, but her good humour impressed all.

When her uncle took a picture of her with his phone from across the room, she turned to see where the flash came from. Confused at first, her face soon brightened. She rushed over, chuckling, snatching the phone from his hand, to see the picture. After a mere glance at it, she traced an indecipherable pattern on the touch screen and put it to her ear. Whatever it was she heard she didn’t like, because she removed it from her ear and proceeded…

…to put it in her mouth.

I still couldn’t take my eyes off her; stream of drool dribbling down her face glistened. I thought: Damn, it must be amazing to be one year old. Everybody thinks you’re adorable. The main occupation of your time is playing, eating, sleeping and soiling your nappy. No worries about the future. Not yet, anyway. The good life.

Her mother carried her out, she wailing at the top of her lungs, as she had absent-mindedly smacked herself in the face with the phone. I was still in awe.