Beneath the layers

You construct

Deep down where no one

Knows you, as you pretend

To know yourself,

In the fabric of

Your fabricated lies and

Your woven untruths—

There is a part of you

That you have long since

Buried, the forgotten remains

Of happier beginnings.

She crouches in a corner of

A fragmented mind, rocking

Back and forth, teetering

On the edge of something new.

She reaches for the outside world,

Where you have learned to hide

In plain sight. But you push

Her down, into the depths of a

Miserable non-existence.

She is the only one who will fight

You, but you have long since

Given up the fight


I Guess That Makes Me Honest, Then

“I think the difference between a lie and a story is that a story utilizes the trappings and appearance of truth for the interest of the listener as well as the teller. A story has in it neither gain nor loss. But a lie is a device for profit or escape. I suppose if that definition is strictly held to, then a writer of stories is a liar—if he is financially fortunate.”

From John Steinbeck’s East of Eden


These tears that fall from glassy eyes
This pain that she has kept inside
The way a heart can choose to bleed
Not out of want, but helpless need
This cold emotion seeping through
Has taught her well, has shown her truth
A fragile soul cannot endure
For that, she brands her soul as pure
This foreign lie, once held too true
This loss that brings her close to you
This hurt that cleaves her heart—in two

None but the truth of woven lies
Reveals your clever, sweet disguise
None but the hurt you choose to give
Assures her that her soul will live
This ship that sinks beneath her hands
As oceans drown out signs of land
Oceans of tears that she has cried
As you stand, hero, by her side
Not out of sadness! No, far from sad
For you would want the life she had
She cries these tears of smothered pain
Having slept so long in the rain
She shares the sorrows of the sky
Falls down no matter how hard she tries
She lives the truth encased in lies
And so she cries
She cries
She cries

“Re-conceiving Misconceptions”

I turn on the news
And bear the burden
Of listening to untruths
As they are defined
By lost souls
Who have bred terror
And choose to disguise it
Behind a curtain
Of false explanations
They are not Islam

Machine guns and suicide bombs
Lives taking lives taking lives
Smoke screens and the residue
Of violence
Blood lost and tears shed
Families torn apart as easily
As wounded flesh
Sunless skies and the picture
Of shallow horizons
This is not Islam

Politics and its petty negotiations
Experts on news reports
Showing off what they claim to know
Floating numbers while numbers of people
These are not Islam

Tear-stained tracks of children
In third-world countries
So young the faces blur together
And it’s the same child
Crying out for the same mother
Answered with the same
IEDs and RPGs
Cold abbreviations for destruction
That is not Islam

* * *

Prayer rug laid out five times a day
Kneeling in subjugation
Seeking God for his forgiveness
In this world where ignorance reigns
And lies are spread to defend
Actions taken against humanity
Only the strong never forget their Savior
Only the faithful survive
Ask me what is Islam

Knowing you owe your life
To a much higher being
Cherishing loved ones
For tomorrow they may be gone
Honoring time, knowing that it moves
With the will of One, and only One
Seeking redemption
For your mistakes
And guiding others to do the same
Ask me what is Islam

Knowing you are not alone
Even in solitude
That God is ever watchful
And will guide you when you falter
As you stand on beaten paths
Putting your trust in a power
That can never be seen
But is always felt
In the purest of intentions,
There will be Islam


Faith: This is Islam