LeilaAbuSaba

Archive for the ‘poem’ Category

A Grammar of Loss – for Leila

In poem on October 10, 2010 at 1:05 am

“Death is a black camel, which kneels at the gates of all.”
-Abd al-Qadir, Algerian military & political leader and poet, 1807-1883

I. Use of the Past Tense

It is surprisingly difficult
to begin to use the simple past
(never simple) or past perfect
(far from): like the quickly-
corrected stumbles we make
in a foreign tongue,
embarrassing ourselves; but here
not only grammar but heart
resists, yearning for the present
indicative, the continued present,
the present of ongoing action
which leads to the future.

II. Synonym

When the friend has gone,
we tend to say, “She has passed,”
“He has gone on,” “Dearly departed,”
“We have lost him,” avoiding
the straightforward reference
to death.

III. Case

In some languages each noun
possesses a case, such as ablative
or genitive, and in this case the case
would be accusative; but whom
to accuse?

IV. Number

The verb and the noun
must conform, like to like;
but what is the correct number
of loss?

V. Dangling Participle

Leaving so much hanging, those who
still live, the conversations which seem
to continue, the unasked and unanswered
questions . . .

VI. Diagrammed Sentences

I | have lost | you
| \forever

You | are lost
| \to \forever
\me

VII. Conjunction

Conjunctions show relationship.
What has been joined
may then be sundered.

VIII. Subjunctive Mode

Use of the subjunctive expresses
an idea as desirable, supposable,
conditional: Would that she were alive.
If only it were to turn out differently.
I wish she were here with us.

IX. Indefinite Relative Pronoun

Whatever happened had to happen.
Whichever treatment she sought
was inadequate. Whoever could
have believed it would end
like this?

–Lisa Rappoport

I Walk the Beach with You in My Heart

In family life, poem on October 17, 2009 at 4:10 am

I WALK THE BEACH WITH YOU IN MY HEART

By Mary Edith Bentley Abu-Saba

I meander on the beach, remembering your curls
The softness of your hair, the bounce in your step
Your stride that thrusts you way past me
Your unceasing flow of words, words, words….

I ache to see you today on the beach
To hear your streaming sentences
Your laughter at the boys chasing the sand pigeons
Your stream of opinions about the Middle East
The World, Politics, Whose In-Whose Out.

How could it happen so quickly—moving from a
Formidable force of joy, hopes, dreams and stories
To a still and somber body gasping for breath
Refusing to go quietly into The Other World?

I fantasized pulling you back, fighting to keep you here
“But her children need her!” was my argument with Fate
“She has much to say to so many people” was another
“Simply, we can’t do without her….so there!”

I walk in a dream-like state, trying to bargain still
Trying to think of just the exact thing I could have done
To twist your route toward continued abundant living
While walking with me on my path to the terrestrial garden

I wanted forty-seven more years of earthly encounters for you,
To read scores of books, and write fiercely
To argue with the obvious, To ask for the impossible
To shout your joy “Look! I am Alive!”

Silence overtook me, and finally…. I accepted.
Not easily, mind you, but with determination
To hold fast to our memories of your gleaming lights,
To love and care for those little ones you left behind.

And So Let It Be.

October 16, 2009

A Symphony of Grey Curls — To Leila

In poem on October 17, 2009 at 2:23 am

A SYMPHONY OF GREY CURLS
TO LEILA

By Mary Edith Bentley Abu-Saba
January 15, 2007
Monterey, California: Home of Eva and Michel Nicola

Grey black curls bounce and spring
On the top of your 6-foot spire
Catching the wind and the sun
Flouncing their sassy gaity—a spectator sport.

I plunged my hand into the nest
Felt the strength of luxurious satin ribbons wind into my fingers
Sensed your life-giving affirmation:
“Yes I lost every hair in my cancer battle
Now—see here, I have prevailed
And I will survive…and yes, I have a bushel basket of Grey Curls!”

No time for lingering tears of regret
For past angst, nor future uncertainties
Too many present realities of a child’s finger to bandage
A book to be read for tomorrow’s class
A paper to be finished,
Life’s present deadlines to be met.

Laughter and streams of words build into complicated ideas
Thrown out for others to digest
Filling the spaces of Inter-being
No need for contrieved plans for entertainment
Your curls, brain, energy, laughter, tears
Nurture our Present with rich sustenance.

The genes of my body and your father’s have joined and exploded,
Becoming a modern original symphony of your making—
With big ingenious strokes from the Goddess.
You direct that symphony with well-chosen rhythms and harmonies/disharmonies
Resounding wake-up cacophonies and glowing melodies
The soft, thick tanglie curls beckon your life’s musicians to join the chorus
To form the orchestra—each of us plays our part.

So Let It Be.

Condolence Thought

In poem on October 17, 2009 at 1:13 am

Greetings to MARY and to all,

The EARTH herself sends to us ambassadors,

Rumi’s “human beings” whose beauty beckons,

inviting, welcoming, reassuring to us all.

Not concerned with delineating boundaries,

these special emissaries gently remind us

of our common parentage, of our oneness

beneath the passing appearances of difference.

What a relief they bring us with their glance,

which is saying to us, “Yes, you can really

rely on me, my heart is deep, steady, loving”.

Leila, Leila, may the Laila, the night, be

filled with starry light for you.  You have

fulfilled your mission so beautifully.

Blessings,
Lynn Feinerman

From Nathalie Handal for Leila

In poem on October 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm

You are light traveling through a quiet wind,
you leave a whisper
for the world
to keep.
You are in my heart beautiful friend.
Nathalie