Tulip

image

Tulips grow out of my skin
with roots tangling around this body I once called prison.
To this day, whenever I despise my beating heart,
I remind myself that flowers grow within the cracks of my skin,
inbetween dark and hollow spots,
where once was nothing but grief.
I remind myself that bleeding is healing
and that the tears I cried have been the cleaning rain for my soul.
I remind myself that tulips do not grow
without the cold breeze of winter;
and so do I.
For I have been growing out of pain,
and I will survive each winter to bloom again.

Jehona Thaqi© you will not destroy me

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Sacred land

Sacred land;

where honey flows in rivers

and milk drips from trees, nourishing the earth with motherly love;

a land of dreams hidden underneath God’s veil,

where the wind brings peace

and where flowers sprout from deserts.

*

Women glaring at their trembling feet,

voices shivering, voices lost;

I haven’t heard my own voice in weeks

for my words have meant nothing;

soft skin, soft hearts,

bruised, but not aching anymore.

*

Men staring at our faces,

or underneath our skin;

for clothes do nothing but try to hide the flesh from hungry eyes;

harsh voices, harsh tongues,

its sound echoing throughout our shivering bodies,

invading more than our privacy.

*

Sacred land,

we are still fighting,
silently;

for what has always belonged to us.

Jehona Thaqi© our bodies, our decisions

Oblivious

I was oblivious of life;
for too many heart-breaks had marked my body,
and I speak of the heart-breaks of a woman; a warrior,
who protected her soul with silence
but whose silence has been broken by understanding
that a woman’s tongue will not be tied to the dreams of men.

I was oblivious of happiness,
for too many tears had drowned my laughter,
the tears of a losing warrior,
but war will not be over unless this soul flees my body,
and even then, when I rest underneath the earth,
I will leave the tomb as dust 
and remind you of the power a woman carries within;
a woman who has been opressed
but never silenced.

I was oblivious of my strength,
the strenght of a woman;
I was a prisoner to my fears,
but today I will destroy the chains tied among my soul,
I will be free,
and concious of everything I have.

Jehona Thaqi©

Black, bitter coffee

Black, bitter coffee on a sunday morning,
or was it monday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I sit silently in the corner of our living room,
my spine curled and pressed against the wall;
so much space upon the couch we bought,
but I am afraid of not being able to fill the spaces you have left empty.

Black, bitter coffe on a friday night,
or was it saturday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I weep into the freshly washed cussions of our bed,
they smell like lilies and honey,
they smell nothing like you, for I have washed them too many times since the last time you visited,
your scent has vanished out of this house,
yet it is present in everything I touch.

Black, bitter coffee on a wednesday afternoon,
or was it tuesday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I sit at our dining table and read about wars far from home,
I read of homes destroyed, and people buried underneath them,
I cry;
you used to say that there are people dying, 
when I told you that I could not breathe at night, you said that I am fine,
when the lights turned off and my body was shaking in agony of losing the war against my mind, you said that I am egoistic;
I feel the guilt within my tears drown the last hope of winning the wars within me,
I can see people dying, somewhere far,
yet so close.

Black, bitter coffee;
I drink to stay awake,
for the nights scare me,
and there are dreams lurking in the corners of this house,
dreams I do not want to have,
for my dreams have been shattered too many times.

Black, bitter coffee;
I do not sleep anymore
and I have forgotten the days,
just as the days have forgotten me.

Jehona Thaqi©

Mother – Nënë

Mother,

dear mother,

I have intended to write about you more than once,

but I did not know where to start

or where to finish,

for there are no words to describe the magic within your soul,

mother.

You held me close

to the body which ached and shivered,

but nothing felt like home unless it was within your arms; 

it was your love that saved me from pain,

mother,

your hands that healed the scars underneath my skin.

I am sorry mother,

for I have drowned your cheeks with tears too many times,

your soft, porcelain skin and sad eyes;

a doll, like within Kadare’s novel,

utterly beautiful, yet somehow unreal.

Mother,

I could write page after page,

but I have yet not found the right metaphor which comes close to your soul,

so I will hold you, tonight;

dear mother,

and I will tell you

that you are the roots of my happiness;

no matter how far I will go,

you are within my very soul.

***

Nënë,

e dashura nënë,

sa shpesh deshta të shkruaj për ty,

por nuk dija nga ku të  filloj 

ose ku të mbaroj,

sepse nuk ka fjalë të mjaftueshme për ta spjeguar magjinë brenda shpirtit tënd,

nënë.

Më ke mbajtur afer trupit

i cili ishte i permbushur me dhimbje 

por askund nuk u ndjeva në shtëpi, pos në krahet e tua;

ishte dashurija jote e cila me shpëtoj nga dhimbja,

nënë,

duart e tua i sheruan plaget nën lekuren time.

Më fal, nënë,

qe i permbusha faqet e tua me lot;

atë ftyren tënde te butë, lëkurën tënde të bardhë, sytë e tu të merzitur;

kukull, si e pershkruante Kadareja në librin e ti,

një bukuri jashtëtoksore.

Nënë,

mundem të shkruaj pafundsisht për ty,

por ende nuk e kam gjetur metaforën e duhur për ta përshkruar shpirtin tënd;

sonte do të mbaj pran,

e dashura nënë,

dhe do të tregoj

që ti je rrënja e lumturisë sime,

dhe nese jam larg teje,

ti gjëndesh brënda shpirtit tim.

Jehona Thaqi©

Privileged tears

The weather has been good, lately,
you say,
while the shy sun enters our home,
frankly, the weather has been good,
but so have we, for the last few years,
and I say years,
for I do not remember the last tear you have shed.

You leave for work,
kissing me goodbye, like within the movies, swiftly, yet lovely,
and I watch you leave as the sun rises,
until you disappear within the bright light of this morning.

The weather has been good, lately,
I think,
while washing the dishes,
and so have we, for the last few years,
yes, years,
for I do not remember the last time you cried.

Tears fall down the sink,
I like to call them my privileged tears;
the weather has been good, lately,
and there is nothing to worry about,
we have been good, too,
for you have not cried in years,
and I have neither,
only on mornings that shone too brightly
against the façade of our home.

Jehona Thaqi©

If I could

I would put my arms around you if I could;
hold onto the body that held me in silence,
run my fingers across the spine that carried much more than its own weight,
put my cheeks at the edge of the shoulders that have endured rain on sunny days,
wrap my hands around the hardened knuckles and stiff fingers;
but I can not.

You sit across the room,
I glare at your soft features and glowing skin;
your face a mirror of your soul, beautiful and tired,
with wrinkles across your forehead and dark circles underneath your eyes;
I see a young man tired of fighting alone, yet to proud to tell me so –
I would put my arms around you if I could,
but the room grows bigger each time I move towards you,
unable to reach your soft skin and tired soul.

You look at me with big eyes and a vivid smile,
a smile as soft and tender as described in Fitzgerald’s novel,
and you too, like Gatsby, will sooner or later diminish into nothingness
if you do not let me take your pain;
I would put my arms around you if I could,
but the more I run towards you,
the further you seem to be.

I will put my arms around you, dear,
so open up your soul,
for I have love within my broken heart
which can heal both of us.

Jehona Thaqi© I am here

This is no love poem

This is no love poem;
I wrote this
to remind myself that this heart of mine
has not been aching since forever,
to remind myself that your leaving
has not taken love along its side.

How often you have told me
that I was too young to love as much as I pretended
and how long I tried to convince you
that the older I got, the less I could remember the taste of sweetness upon your lips,
the less I remembered the fear of losing
and the fear of forever.

You see; today I woke up
drenched in dreams of things that never were mine;
hollow heart and no thoughts at all,
as if all we had lived through had been merely dreams.

Some people abuse drugs,
I abused love;
so much so that I became addicted to your recognition,
I craved your arms;
first only at night,
then every second of my days.

If only I had been weak enough to give up,
maybe I’d be lying next to other rotting bodies;
to addicts of all-kinds,
until the sickness of love had reduced my bones to dust.

This is no love poem,
but I wish it was.

Jehona Thaqi© (selfportrait)

A letter to my unborn child

There is life growing 
within the spaces of my body I once despised;
a new heart beating against the insecurities of my own,
fullfilling me with strength
I did not know existed.

Dear child,
you are still as small as a rose petal,
yet for your mother you are greater than anything this world contains;
for you have filled my body with life
and you are nourishing my spirit with seeds of love.

Dear child;
I keep pressing my hands against my stomach,
softly – 
wishing you were already within my hands,
but good things take time;
so I will wait patiently until the day we meet
and I will kiss your cheeks and small hands
until your cries soften and you fall asleep.

I wish my words were enough to express the love I feel towards you,
dearest child,
but my tongue is unable to speak what my heart has felt
since the day I knew you existed.

Within my twenty years upon this world
I have never felt stronger
until you became my very source of happiness.

Jehona Thaqi© all rights reserved

Only a woman

You thought I was only a woman,

but you forgot the strength

that flows through my veins and rushes throughout my body,

with bones of steel and healing skin,

for scars tend to grow stronger each time you cut

through women like me;

merely women –

whose strength you tought you had buried 

with breaking their souls.

You thought I was only a woman,

but you forgot whose hands have raised you

and whose love has nourished the seeds of the man you are today;

do you remember who held you

when your soul ached and your voice shivered,

she, too, is a woman,

who you considered less

the more she gave to you.

You thought I was only a woman,

but you forgot that I am a raging sea,

calm – just before the storm arrives;

but powerful and unapologetic when it comes to being

only

a woman.

Jehona Thaqi© [my drawing of the albanian singer Era Istrefi; https://www.instagram.com/strefie/ ]