Still Life With War Part 1: Nightrunners

Thinking of Yemen, as always, the home of my heart, where so much of who I am today was born, mash’Allaah. War cannot be imagined, it can only be lived, and remembered. And remembered… tonight I saw nightrunners again corner of my eye visions a hand splayed over tree bark head, shoulders crouched not to spring but to listen I pray as I approach knowing our paths have to cross sometime please let him let me by this once tomorrow forever remembering cold night behind mud walls hearing sandalled feet run by or worse creep stealthily up fabric against stone so close I can feel his heartbeat so cold huddled under layers of true dark no streetlights to give even a hint wondering is the window too small please let it be let him be too big try to...

We Walk

I dreamt of fire and snow, and woke up to wind. The wind has been blowing all day, mash’Allaah, whipping frenzied treetops into wild shapes, majestic and sometimes grotesque against a steel grey sky. Cold, but not the indifferent cold of sun and snow; rather, the cold of red-cheeked life that makes blood sing and course joyfully through limbs warmed by movement. A day, maybe, for some to stay inside, thankful for the warmth of fire and furnace. For me, a day to walk. I walk almost every day, no matter the color of the sky, the temperature of the air, or the precipitation or lack thereof. I walk in the morning to breathe in the welcoming rays of the new sun whenever possible, but most often I walk just before sunset, bathing in the pinks, purples, blues and...

Autumn Wild

tonight leaves blow down in wild abandon heedless no drift and glide just twirl and ride a cruel wind cuts to the bone and back heartsliced deafened with white noise trying to find center where none exists only this way or that dead crunch of leaves beneath booted feet eagle dips tips wings wide in flight crow calls endless caws searching for up I find only the thread of dreams dangling from tattered mitten top cold seeps in as I weave, madly, finding warmth I know is there if only I can find it hold it breathe new life into indifferent Autumn.    

Winds of Change

A few nights ago a storm front rolled across our little patch of the Ozarks, a sigh of relief after a hot spell that seemed to be lasting forever.  While most of the leaves are still green, I do notice a tree here, a patch there, bursting into the song of Autumn. The garden still boasts a few flowers and herbs, as well as some carrots and swiss chard, and garlic and onion planted for a Spring harvest, insh’Allaah. We’ve bred one of our four does to a magnificent Alpine, and are planning on breeding the others as soon as they go into standing heat. We tend to think of Fall as a season of putting away and settling down, but here the world is abuzz with an undercurrent of expectancy, change, and hope. Our Eid was beautiful, the prayer made under rain-freshened...

Glitch in the System

Just a quick post to let you know that, mash’Allaah, some glitch in the WordPress world sent out an old post today, concerning the Houthis and Damaaj. It was from last year, mash’Allaah, and I am not sure why it went out. Please, insh’Allaah, disregard that post!

First of Ramadhaan: We Choose Faith

This morning we awoke for the pre-dawn meal to a soft rain carried lightly on a blind-stirring breeze. We saw all together in a half darkened room talking quietly so as not to wake baby Asmaa. Our meal was simple- oatmeal, and zucchini bread made from some of the fruits of our first garden here on our rural Missouri homestead. Our stomachs, unused to consuming food at 3:30 a.m, refused to allow us to eat very much, yet we all left the mat to go to our prayers feeling contented and more than a little excited about the beginning of this blessed month of Ramadhaan. People are amazed that we as Muslims choose to fast these hot summer days of almost seventeen hours. I find myself at a loss as to how to convey to them the joy and and anticipation with which we look...

Days of Remembering

These days are days of remembering. As I work each night on my Yemeni Journey book, it seems impossible to write my past without living it again, at least a little. At least feel the sting of tears behind closed lids as I say goodbye to my father, sisters, and brother, some of them for the last time. At least feel the rapid beat of my heart like the wings of a caged bird against my ribcage as I crouch in the cold reception area of the Sana’a airport, wondering if we will be allowed in, or not. At least feel the exultation brought upon by a chorus of adhaans in the predawn darkness in a strange land, knowing that home lay with me, in me, now. At least taste the triumph of shared conversation in a language I was not born with, a connection, finally, made. At...