whether a princess or a prince.

you are but a tiny thing

barely four inches of existence

with blood and body I carry

but have not yet seen.

For a decade now, I’ve prayed for you

to one day become a part of me.

You are part of two,

two that love and cherish each other

who love and cherish you.

Whether you are to be

a wild-haired princess;

free spirited, huge-hearted,

brimming over with adventures

or

a benevolent prince,

wide-eyed,

eager for knowledge,

with enough wisdom and love

for a hundred men

Whether a princess or a prince,

We wait for you with barely constrained

impatience, and so, so much hope.

 

Nesha Usmani

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Desperate Purple

I finished the day with yearning,

Wished the day stretched further,

The violent orange glow and

desperate purples of the sky screaming, reaching

for another breath as the night yawned awake

and smoored the fires of day.

I remember, my head against the pillow,

my hands reaching to clasp some far-off dream.

So content in sleep, so self-absorbed in wakefulness

So conscious somewhere in between.

I remember myself so vividly.

As vivid as the excuses I made for problems I should not have had,

As vivid as the pure emotion that drove my decisions from day to dark.

I loved my beauty, whatever of it I owned, I loved my mind, for it was vast and filled with

enchantment.

I loved the small blooms of wisdom that grew there, that I would pick and share with others.

And so I am unclear, uncertain as to why

this dark, thick fog has descended.

Settled neatly between my confidence and optimism,

Smothering with its full weight upon what defines me.

What I could have been.

Nesha Usmani

April 23, 2015

You tried.

rivers, forests, houses,

skies, mountains, horses,

Eyes that wept in laughter,

Hearts that beat fast with love.

Memories of before I really knew you,

Dreams I dreamt before I really met you,

And the whisper I heard in the thunder

of a heart about to break.

You stand by the door waiting

for some green light,

As if I’ve given you only pain.

Your hand is at the doorknob- wait!

Surely, this is a nightmare,

surely, I am being tortured.

But I know you are sick of hearing my pleas

And I know you care not for the ways I care.

I fall asleep as you turn the doorknob,

And when I awake,

I am alone.

A dried red rose sits patiently

in an empty glass.

I can almost hear you whisper,

“I tried.”

As I turn away, towards anywhere but there,

My hand is caught and I startle,

pushing and shoving, hoping

knowing

seeing

And I am wrapped in arms

I never

thought

possible

but remember you said

impossible.is.nothing.

?

You want so badly for me to let go

for me to be more like her

or be more like you

but i’m losing the words so I can only point

at an unlocked door. You can exit anytime.

turn the knob and either way

you can say

You tried.

 

Nesha Usmani

the way

She doesn’t sleep.

It evades her as a skittish moth

would evade a determined palm.

Instead she dozes in the shallows,

the ice-cold and transparent tide.

Pushed along the hours by dark thoughts

and dreams.

Affection is the worst of lures.

Blinds you in its presence and

leads you deep into the woods.

Holds your hand and caresses

your knuckles with warm thumbs.

You are reassured.

And then when it leaves,

the blindfold goes with it,

fluttering in the wind.

And you are alone

in the woods, in the dark.

In a clearing that looks the same

in every direction.

and consciousness

is worst than the nightmares.

But the only way home

is up.

 

Nesha Usmani

7/1/2013

 

 

Awrite, mate?

Bismilllahi Ar Rahmani Ar Rahim

Assalamu Alaikum!

I’ve been with my family here in Scotland for almost two weeks now, and so far it has been a beautiful experience, not without the normal twinges of homesickness and worry, of course.

We are approaching Ramadan with breakneck speed, subhanAllah. Just around a week to go, and the fasts here in the UK are very long. Fajr is at 3am and Maghrib isn’t until 10pm, subhanAllah. Many rewards to be received, inshAllah, with a well-mannered and lengthy fast.

In terms of a Muslim community, Scotland hasn’t offered what I’m used to. and I miss it very much. But what it lacks in that regard, it makes up for with convenience. I’ve never seen so many halal restaurants in one area in my life, mashAllah.

The scenery is another bonus. Today I prayed Dhuhr in a beautiful botanical garden, and yesterday, just an hour from my family’s home, we marvelled at beautiful lakes (lochs), mountains, and valleys. SubhanAllah. The dense forests and looming mountains make me feel at peace when the chaos of the city gets too much. I’ve also found out more things about myself. My fear of heights and climbing CAN be conquered, alhamdulillah. I climbed cliffs, and went to the top of Arthur’s Seat without feeling like hugging the ground. That might not seem like a lot but for someone who gets queasy jumping out of the back door of a school bus for a fire drill..it’s saying something.

The accents here range from pleasant to painful. The slang is amusing, and by far my favorite phrase is ‘Ah, mate, that’s mingin’!’

It just means, ‘Aw, dude, that’s disgusting.’

Also, not sure if I like UK television. And the best food I’ve had thus far here has been prepared by my wonderful aunt, mashAllah, who is not only a loving and gracious hostess, but also a fabulous cook, mashAllah.

Alhamdulillah. I just pray that Allah makes the rest of my trip easy, fun, and beneficial, and keep me away from heartaches, and make my worries disappear, Ameen.

This Thursday I’m off to London, inshAllah, and won’t be back in Scotland until the 10th, inshAllah. So, make du’a that everything goes well. 🙂

Assalamu Alaikum!

Sunce Moje

You have bled into me,

Like the day which bleeds into night,

The change is subtle at first,

But, indeed, I blink

And the world is brighter.

From black dusted with stars,

The corners begin to turn

A blue that only time can provide.

Time and the natural order of things.

A darker blue, like your eyes

Is shot through suddenly

With a plume of pink

Like sweet kisses before the sun’s arrival.

It bids the moon farewell,

With warm orange hands that pierce the blue.

And I still see the stars, twinkling, reminding me,

I give a last respectful nod before my eyes begin to water,

Everything has turned bright.

Gold, like your hair.

Warm, like your heart.

Slowly, surely, making its way to the top

Is the sun,

And I feel my heart rise.

Sunce moje.

Nesha Usmani

Watching My Mouth

At times, it’s as if I am

entirely made of words. Words

I do not say, not even whisper,

but which sit against my skin or

cling tightly to my lips.

Pulling, pulling, pulling them open

To try to climb in and take hold of my voice.

I feel them, like a bone-freezing wind,

wrapping around my spine;

leaving little bruises,

Leaving me longing to dive

into a cold, black silence.

Where I know not,

and am unknown

to the dangers of my speech.

Nesha Usmani