#TwoMinutePoetryChallenge

I wrote this poem in the space of two minutes and I challenge my readers to do the same.


Look outside.

Are the clouds weeping? Do they share my sorrow?

Or does the world simply go on?

Did the sun rise today? Did the winds still blow?

Did time just carry on as though

Everything is okay?

Did the birds sing this morning? I would not know,

For their symphonies continue to be cancelled out by my desire to hear nothing.

Tell me: did the trees sway in the breeze today? Did they notify you of their reluctance to bear fruit at this hour?

Why must we wait for things? Why do we challenge ourselves to wait to escape?

Patience reflects delusion and a false sense of

Immortality.

Are we all just kidding ourselves?

We are all just kidding ourselves.

Look outside. The clouds are weeping, but they do not share my sorrow.

I am here, encapsulated in a universe that is neither happy nor sad, yet here I am,

Embodying (compensating for)  its lack of happiness and sadness,

All at once.

Like how the clouds gush tears of neutrality, I cry tears of happiness, sadness

and everything in between.

 


Sadia Ahmed, 2016

Steaks and Salads

TODAY I vowed to abstain from steaks and other poisonous (though delicious) samples of junk food. My reason for this sudden and surprising change is due not to self-consciousness and an overwhelming desire to be as skinny as a twig: nay, I simply wish to evade and significantly reduce the risk of having severe health issues in the future.

I made this decision after seeing my uncle Safwan after a while: he is younger than me by a month, though way taller. Recently, he decided to go on a diet- or rather, a fitness regime, as he likes to call it. Safwan was once one of those people who’d have third, sometimes fourth, helpings of food for dinner. Now, he only eats peanuts, salads and fruit. At first, I was appalled. 

We went ice-skating today, and Safwan came along. After skating for twenty minutes or so, we stopped at Tesco, in order to purchase a few drinks and snacks for the journey home. While the rest of us indulged in Oreos, Galaxy bars and Lucozade, Safwan bought water. A teenager going to Tesco to purchase water. I laughed at him, and (waving my chocolate bar tauntingly in his face) asked whether he’d like a salad with that. 

Later on, we had lunch at a grill restaurant. I enjoyed buffalo wings and steak chips, and even assisted my cousins in finishing their meals. Meanwhile, Safwan ate one piece of grilled chicken with an abundance of salad. Suddenly, I realised that, however delicious junk food may be, our bodies are temples, and deserve nutritious foods. It was after that highly-fulfilling meal that I became determined to eat healthy, and perhaps engage in some strenuous physical activity every once in a while. 

To test my own commitment, during dinner with my father and his friend, I ordered a Greek salad and mango smoothie. This was the ultimate test for me; I am usually a girl who’d favour steaks over anything, and my father had taken us to a steak-house of all places. I forced the salad down my throat at first, but later began to enjoy it, at least relatively. I resisted the urge to eat anything detrimental, but then gave in to the temptation of steak chips, but only a few. 

Right now, I feel absolutely great; I wonder whether this feeling will last.

© Sadia Ahmed 2015

A Question of Gender

Since the age of four or five, I have always considered myself a ‘tomboy’, and would always argue vehemently if someone called me ‘girly’ or ‘feminine’. These terms are usually associated with being dainty, polite and graceful, and having an intense admiration of the colour pink. I am not dainty or polite, and am about as graceful as a physically unstable elephant. I am fond of all colours, however pink is not exactly a favourite of mine. Can I still be considered feminine?

According to the Oxford dictionary, the first definition of ‘feminine’ is as follows:

Having qualities or an appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness.

The second definition of the term according to the Oxford dictionary appears to contradict the former:

Relating to women.

If this is the case- if the genuine definition of the word ‘femininity’ simply means ‘relating to women’, there can never exist a prototypical woman, not in this day and age. According to the second definition of ‘femininity’, women who have pixie cuts, women who have long hair, women who cover their hair, women who enjoy wearing sweatpants and T-shirts, Jewish women, Muslim women, women who enjoy wearing make-up and skinny jeans, transsexual women, sporty women, tough women, outspoken women, shy women, smart women, wild women, women who are obsessed with pink, women who are obsessed with black- these women are all feminine, simply because they are women. However, the lives they choose to lead should not be defined by this term,  for a singular adjective can never wholly define a completely unique being.

I am often considered ‘masculine’ and a ‘tomboy’ purely because I happen to express myself freely, and feel comfortable in sporty clothes. When I wear a tinge of makeup, my aunts ignorantly comment, “You look more like a girl!” I am not ‘masculine’, for I am not a male. The term ‘femininity’ for me is completely subjective to each individual woman. I am ‘feminine’ solely because I am a woman. I do not believe the term should come with a set list of rules, expectations and prejudicial associations.

I am a female. I am therefore feminine. Calling me ‘masculine’ or otherwise will never dissuade me from being who I am.

Please share your personal opinions below!


Thanks for reading!

© Sadia Ahmed 2015