Monday, June 22, 2015


Dear Readers.

I've loved having all of you interacting with me and telling me your thoughts and stories. Its been a great couple of years with #EKLS blog stories.

 Thank you for taking Mansour and Amna into your hearts.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram and Twitter on @Rambling_Sha.

Love always,


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Too feeble a word

Fill my heart to the brim
With your frothy syrupy sweetness
You pour into me as effortlessly as milk
Into bitter black coffee
You swirl around my soul
Plundering the dregs of resentment and hurt
Bringing your light to my darkness
As I wonder why do people change?
And why can't everything stay the same?
But then I remember you
Ever constant, ever faithful
Ever there…
And Love is too feeble a word
For all the surges, plunders, and tumults
Within me for you.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Untitled Chapters: The Reading: Thru a Rambler's eyes

Mariam al Qubaisi sat next to me at the Untitled Chapter's Reading. I was flipping my cue cards nervously and praying for courage. I had gone over the order of speakers a million times, but I still worried. Mariam had her story in her hands and kept reading words out loud. She spoke to me softly and, for a moment, she reminded me of a younger me. "I love writing. I'll never stop, but of course I need to get a proper job" She was exuberant, passionate, and I remembered being a bit like that at her age. It struck me that, at eighteen, I never thought farther than just being a novelist. I have never even thought of myself as a poet, although the writings I share the most are poetry. That burst of realism made my heart clench. I know eighteen is on the verge of adulthood, but I remember it being full of impossible dreams.
"We need you to inform the audience that we're going to start late because there's a lot of traffic"

"We need you to tell them we have a best tweet competition"

My world was spinning. I didn't know why I was so mute. I spoke but it felt like my voice never reached that volume. I cringed at my own shyness and it felt obvious. I thought everyone could hear my heart thundering. I was so out of my element and I was exhilarated. Afra pulled us aside for pep talks with all the efficiency of a foot ball coach before a big game. Because she was Afra, there were also hugs that would infuse us with confidence. Where was mine?
The video played. Fatima al Bannai got up and talked about the event. I wondered at her fearlessness, though I could see that she was as tense as a lot of us were. Our founder in so many ways reminds me of an arrow that's poised to be shot into a bull's eye. It's that Mashallah energy that keeps us all driven. Her willowy arms were expressive and her clipped words were melodic in her excitement.
I introduced the girls. I struggled to sound natural and at ease. There were moments where it felt forced and like I was trying too hard. That sense of duality struck me as I tried to imagine what I looked and sounded like. There were moments where the tone was just right. I paused where I was supposed to. There were other moments where I felt like a record that squeaked in all best parts of a song.
Afra Ateeq is such a talent. When she gets up to do Spoken Word, the audience holds their breath. The words tumble out of her faster and faster and though I've heard it likened to rap. It's not a way to describe it. She's like Beethoven when he dances his fingers across the keys and creates complicated crescendos. Her spoken word pieces are like rhapsodies of realism, motivation, and humor. When she introduced me to get up and read my poem, it felt like my legs had turned to jelly. I didn't know what carried me forward. I read my poem and though I wasn't as loud as I would have liked. I read my words and for a moment even the trembling stilled. I couldn't hear my heart anymore, only the words. I don't know if my fellow writers feel this surreal disconnect from words and the feeling of déjà vu. There's a moment where you forget you wrote the piece you hold, but it's so familiar the words are like a pulse, always beating.
Lately I'm convinced that adulthood is like being into two different cars headed towards separate directions passing each other by on the street. I believe that the change isn't merely growing up, but evolving and regressing at the exact same time. It's been two years since I graduated from University of Sharjah. I was ready to fly out of the nest. I was ready to conquer the world. There was so much I expected but I didn't know graduating would take me out of myself, out of that woman I used to be. I didn't know it would rend me in half. I didn't expect my 'realistic' expectations to be so far from the truth. Sometimes I hear that essence of who I used to be in my mind, but it's like the rest of me has forgotten how to bring her into being. It feels a little like being a puppet with strings cut. I'm the same and I'm not. There is this cautiousness where I hide my words, choosing only to share them with my friends, instead of shouting them out loud. I'm not even shy by nature, but it possesses me more often than not. I used to love being center stage and having teachers and students lean in closer when I read poetry out loud. This cautiousness came over me on stage and I almost wanted to take my words and hide them.
When Afra and Fatima turned to me and asked me to MC Untitled Chapter's Reading, inwardly I cowered and quaked. That more than anything convinced me that I needed to say yes. I needed to conquer that twinge of doubt, beat it on the head, and quench it forever. I need to conquer fears and find a way to that person I used to be. When I find her, then I can point her towards the future and go to sleep content that she's still here.
Standing on stage, my glance wandered to Shamma's mom and somehow I announced her as the cue cards betrayed me. "Just go with it" Ordered Afra and I babbled the rest incoherently and tried to sound at ease.
When Shamma reads her words, it feels like they are alive. We all lean in because her voice is like a whisper, but brimming with mystery, fantasy, and an insight beyond her years. She can be a narrator in a movie, quiet and reflective. Everyone stops breathing for fear that even a sigh would make you miss a word.
Maryam Al Mansouri came and she read a patriotic poem about the UAE in Arabic followed by an English one. It's a gift to have a range. I know so few people who are able to say I write in both English and Arabic Mashallah.
Hessa's poetry is vibrant, beautiful, and the kind of Arabic I see myself translating. She's the female version of Nizar Qabbani. Forget the man worshipping women in his poetry and think instead of the woman not even demanding to be worshipped, but coolly expecting it. Her vibrant voice thrums as she delivers the words and those enthusiasts of Arabic prose lean in closer.
Amna wrapped up the reading with her piece "Living your life limitlessly." Amna is the kind of person who makes you believe that dreams come true, even though her advice is usually practical and simple. I've never met anyone more down to earth and although I've read her piece over and over, it still manages to resonate within me.
The Reading wrapped up with questions from the audience. My favorite moment of the whole night was when Shamma's mom spoke and she said girlishly "I'm Shamma's mom!" Shamma standing up to recite her marshmallow poem was another of my favorite moments.
It's the kind of night that inspires you for days, weeks, and months to come. It was the kind of night that makes you want to be the person you want to be. You want to be brave. You want to be fearless. You want to believe, and with Untitled Chapter you do just a little. I know adulthood isn't all I thought it was going to be. I know I'm not all that I want to be. I haven't even reached my potential yet. For one night though, words shimmered in the air and all the speakers from 15 to 18 and above were my sisters, my family. They knew my fears, my weaknesses, and all that I adored and was passionate about because they were enslaved and empowered by the pen just as much as I was. Did I conquer all my fears? It may be a long time before I decide to MC again. I'll just build up the courage a little at a time. My small acts of bravery right now are putting my poetry back in the world and updating my blog.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Red Balloon

Written July 13/2010- Special thanks to Maha Al Dhaheri for the illustration


With your light fingers and careful black marker

You drew happy smiles on my face

Bandaged the holes in my soul

And filled me up with your breath

When I was empty and cold

And I floated in the wind

Higher and higher

More giddy than battered

Bobbing against the clouds

Carefree and you can barely

Even see the scars from where

You stand, looking up at me

Willing me to go even further

Even as you hold tight

Not willing to let go

And in your gaze, I'm magic

Everything you love about childhood

And oh so much more

I'm so afraid

That without you

I'll just be another balloon

Nothing special

Nothing sacred

Just a silly thing bobbing in the air

Not knowing where to go

and neither I willing to go

Maybe I'm not meant for the heavens

Maybe I'm not meant to be far from you

But nothing is ever the way we want

The string slipped through your fingers

And I roamed the vast sky brave and alone

But in the breeze, I heard the steady sound

Of your breathing…

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Remember me...

Remember me when my image starts to fade
When memories become hazy and half remembered

Remember the tears we soaked one another
But most of all remember the laughter

I would keep you if I could
I would hold you to me
For longer than even forever can begin
To comprehend

I wish I could bid you to forget me awhile
And only think upon me with a smile
But my love has always been the selfish kind
Possessive and all encompassing

I would inhale all of your breaths
Let you lose yourself upon my kisses
Suffocate you with sweetness
And dig my nails into you desperately

I would inhale all of your breaths
And cling to you with my last one.
Can you breathe without me?
Must you leave? Must you

Sadness and joy mingled into sorrowful goodbyes
A last bittersweet kiss tasting of tears and you

As the horizons too are kissed
By the setting sun
Light a candle for me
And I hope you remember me at my best

Remember how I loved new beginnings,
New years, Birthday wishes,
And you, always you

Because I will,
And I still
Can't quite

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Remember when..

Dedicated to Rorafication because a lot of this poem is inspired by Robert Francis's Eighteen.


Remember when you promised to hold me tight
Beneath the moonlight
While waves rolled lazily beneath us
I laughed at your clichés
Till you said I was purer than foam lacing the waves
And my breath caught in my throat at the sincerity

Do you remember how young we were?
Eighteen and pretending we knew love
When neither of us comprehended
Intoxicated and giddy at holding hands
Sobbing at the helpless tragedy of it all

Neither of us really knew life
And I broke your heart
With the carelessness of children
Not really meaning to
I've always been too restless
But sort of wanting to
Maybe I've always been a little cruel

I've always repented
Tainted and tarnished
I don't polish as well
My gleam's half gone
My regrets are endless
And my yesterdays are full of you
And tomorrow no one ever knows

But I broke your heart
And mine has never been all
that whole to begin with

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sky scrapers and Sadness

Star-Studded sky scraper
rising in the distance
flickering like a candle

In the darkness,
I keep you
and embrace the sadness