Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Daring the sea’ and other poems by Umar YB

By: Umar YB


Daring the seas, 
Come what may. 

Ready to know 
The tidal kindness 
Or the kind 
Of its deceit.  

If I cross the swells, 
Safe and sound, 
To the other coast, 
That’s my wish. 

And, if I wander
On the highs 
That I sink 
In the deep,  
Get swallowed,
Like stray Yunus*
That too is fine… 

For the belly 
Of the whale
Holds more mercy —
Being more roomy —
Than the belly
Of the wolves
Of the land.~~~~~
* Jonah (Pbuh)



That we, like eagles, are winged with harder elbows
Means we need not the nest.
See the sun — its outsized mass,
Doesn’t it go to west?

That we, like winds, carry the light on our shoulders
Means not we are beasts.
See the relentless mothers,
Don’t they wean to rest their breasts?

That we, like oceans, hug the stones thrown against us
Means not we ain’t cry
See the gloomy heavens
Doesn’t it weep the nimbus off sky?

That we, like earth, endure the diggings,
Tramplings and eternal knocks,
Means not we have no emotions
See us crying and bleeding
Are we for once like unfeeling rocks?


In the IDP camps are  
Gushing eyes 
Drooping shoulders and 
Whimpering chests hiding 
Shattered hearts… 

Legs tethered to the post
Of intimidation
Hands manacled with fear, 
Tongues too tied to tell 
What is masked under
Facial expressions 

Under the tents 
Chastity and innocence
Are bartered daily 
For every need:
A pinch of salt
A handful of halfdone
A place to place shoulders… 

In those refugee homes
There are festivals of rape
On daily basis 
And the victims, having no better haven, 
Can not but shut their hungry mouths 
While helplessly opening 
Their doors 
To every beastly invader entrusted 
Entrusted to be in charge of them. 



Action now for 
for the planet —
Kingdom of fauna, 
flora; the climate,
Seas and lands 
So very angered  
That the whole system  
is endangered … 

Man’s many makings 
maiming the milliue 
Must be tamed
by me and you
And the longer  
we procrastinate
The further 
things deteriorate

To the sorry point 
of no return
Where we can’t 
but impotently mourn
The chances 
we’re wasting now:
Time, Time, plus 
efficient know-how. 



Knock me down to the crust, 
Drag me wantonly in the dust
Sting every organ of me
With scorpion’s intensity 
Let lethal venom non-stop 
Overwhelm me toes to top..  
Pollute the zephyr around 
And shake my host ground
Uncleashing the wolf in you
Against this this limping ewe 
Till wings born of necessity 
Sprout on my scarred body
Maybe then my wide wings as they fly
Could amaze your now farsighted eye



Leave a Reply

Related Posts