Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Taqlid

Enlarge poem

You who have followed hegemony to bed,
and negotiated my freedom for Taqlid.
You who yield to the call of the Athan
and trace it back to the streets that
locates a place of sanctity,
have inflicted a misconstrued malevolence on me.

Yet plum-enmeshed scars on your wife’s cheek,
concealed by Hijab,
and her screams,
silenced by the Athan.

On approaching the threshold of the mosque,
I cast my eyes down in shame,
and try to obliterate the pain
of my feign identity,
yet through speech and preach the Imam assassinates my pride.

On exit,
my faith interrogated,
ransacked.
To my eyes,
the last sight of Musalla.

Notes: Arabic words
*Taqlid – to follow something blindly, particularly religion
*Athan – call to prayer
*Hijab – a veil that covers a female’s head and parts of her face
*Musalla – a place where prayer is performed

Ashraf Booley

Featured Poem:

Albeit the end

Enlarge poem

Once more, I want to wake

to your body huddled wholly in mine

and the lustre of your face

bathing in unwelcomed morning sun

that wrestles you into a new day.

Once more,

I want to trace my fingers across your bold bushy brows

that meet at the inner ends,

converging like star-crossed lovers

and subject myself to the mundanity of another simple day

– clean, eat, converse, make love, sleep. Repeat.

In sullen silence,

you took from me my life:

you.

And robbed my mind of the present moment,

and took with you my sanity.

And now I but exist

and still, I swim

on my island of hope, though slowly its sinking into the abyss,

for I know that though life’s woes have shaken our faith,

our souls are anchored in fate’s everlasting bosom.

ash 22

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (3)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (2)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (7)
  • Sadness (5)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (1)

Comments

  1. To Ashraf Booley, your poem makes me feel reflection at thinking about our lives, all of them similar, in spite of this we all live withou thinking, like him that “our souls are anchored in fate’s everlasting bossom.” Nélida
    Caracciolo, from Argentina.

    Nélida Caracciolo

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Ashraf Booley is a young poet from Cape Town whose love for writing birthed at the age of sixteen. He works as a digital content producer by day, where he keeps his other passion alive – food. His poetry has featured in a handful of anthologies and his tenacity has seen him recite poetry alongside two of his favourite poets – Rustum Kozain and Gabeba Baderoon. Ashraf writes to challenge oppressive institutions, as a form of catharsis, expression and firmly believes in poetry as a medium to voice the voices of those who have been silenced.

Ashraf Booley

ash 22
ash 22

Biography

Ashraf Booley is a young poet from Cape Town whose love for writing birthed at the age of sixteen. He works as a digital content producer by day, where he keeps his other passion alive – food. His poetry has featured in a handful of anthologies and his tenacity has seen him recite poetry alongside two of his favourite poets – Rustum Kozain and Gabeba Baderoon. Ashraf writes to challenge oppressive institutions, as a form of catharsis, expression and firmly believes in poetry as a medium to voice the voices of those who have been silenced.

Taqlid

Enlarge poem

You who have followed hegemony to bed,
and negotiated my freedom for Taqlid.
You who yield to the call of the Athan
and trace it back to the streets that
locates a place of sanctity,
have inflicted a misconstrued malevolence on me.

Yet plum-enmeshed scars on your wife’s cheek,
concealed by Hijab,
and her screams,
silenced by the Athan.

On approaching the threshold of the mosque,
I cast my eyes down in shame,
and try to obliterate the pain
of my feign identity,
yet through speech and preach the Imam assassinates my pride.

On exit,
my faith interrogated,
ransacked.
To my eyes,
the last sight of Musalla.

Notes: Arabic words
*Taqlid – to follow something blindly, particularly religion
*Athan – call to prayer
*Hijab – a veil that covers a female’s head and parts of her face
*Musalla – a place where prayer is performed

Featured Poem:

Albeit the end

Enlarge poem

Once more, I want to wake

to your body huddled wholly in mine

and the lustre of your face

bathing in unwelcomed morning sun

that wrestles you into a new day.

Once more,

I want to trace my fingers across your bold bushy brows

that meet at the inner ends,

converging like star-crossed lovers

and subject myself to the mundanity of another simple day

– clean, eat, converse, make love, sleep. Repeat.

In sullen silence,

you took from me my life:

you.

And robbed my mind of the present moment,

and took with you my sanity.

And now I but exist

and still, I swim

on my island of hope, though slowly its sinking into the abyss,

for I know that though life’s woes have shaken our faith,

our souls are anchored in fate’s everlasting bosom.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (3)
  • Inspiration (1)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (2)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (7)
  • Sadness (5)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (1)

Taqlid

Enlarge poem

You who have followed hegemony to bed,
and negotiated my freedom for Taqlid.
You who yield to the call of the Athan
and trace it back to the streets that
locates a place of sanctity,
have inflicted a misconstrued malevolence on me.

Yet plum-enmeshed scars on your wife’s cheek,
concealed by Hijab,
and her screams,
silenced by the Athan.

On approaching the threshold of the mosque,
I cast my eyes down in shame,
and try to obliterate the pain
of my feign identity,
yet through speech and preach the Imam assassinates my pride.

On exit,
my faith interrogated,
ransacked.
To my eyes,
the last sight of Musalla.

Notes: Arabic words
*Taqlid – to follow something blindly, particularly religion
*Athan – call to prayer
*Hijab – a veil that covers a female’s head and parts of her face
*Musalla – a place where prayer is performed

Comments

  1. To Ashraf Booley, your poem makes me feel reflection at thinking about our lives, all of them similar, in spite of this we all live withou thinking, like him that “our souls are anchored in fate’s everlasting bossom.” Nélida
    Caracciolo, from Argentina.

    Nélida Caracciolo

Your email address will not be published.