Friday, November 19, 2010

4th Annual Spit Poetry Slam

I haven't written in a while, I know. For the first time ever, I participated in a poetry 'slam' at Brooklyn College (11/18/10) presented by the Omicron Gamma Chapter of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. co-sponsored with the Hispanic Society. First off, all of the participants were amazing. And at a school like Brooklyn College it is hard to realize such talent exists. Musicians, singers (who wrote their own songs, and can actually sing!), poets, rappers...I mean, it was an arrangement of talented individuals. I was inspired, in so much fascination, and just obsessing over every piece presented.

My poem was a short one and of course dealt with Lupus. Not depressing, but quite serious. Usually, I'm informal and sarcastic...but this was different. And also this was my first attempt at writing poetry, Lupus-related. I've written some poetry before but never performed. Another wish off my bucket list can be checked off now.

And also at the end of my performance, the hottest performer of the night (he was hot and his performance was my favorite) came and shook my hand and said, "Your piece almost made me cry and I know it came from the heart." Something around those words...but it touched me and I promised Ruqayyah and Chopra that I would never wash my right hand! Ever!

I'm posting the piece here as a memory and for my readers:

To Appreciate
Hi my name is Shahana Hanif
And I have Lupus.
With a noticeable limp, I walk.
And hips.
Bones all gradually decaying.
The mechanisms that keep a body in function. Mine no longer work.
However, this piece is not about me.
It’s about you.
As I walk to class…breathing in the Fall air,
counting the 1, 2, 3 benches,
I stumble upon a rock.
It tickles the heel of my foot as it clenches…
I feel my right knee buckle…
And my hip tries to juggle
That one struggle.
I pause for a moment to catch my breath.
And I look to my left, and I look to my right as everyone around me does not stare.
Still standing, I realize how fast everyone is walking.
With their very somber face. Trying to win this unexplained race.
That was me one day.
Walkin so fast, runnin’ from place to place, not givin’ a damn about anything.
Face serious and all.
And only two years ago the doctor reminded me I should be thankful that I’m living. “You’re alive, be thankful.”
But I didn’t understand her till now.
Why be thankful when you’re limbs are so weak?
When to go up a flight of stairs, to walk one block, to sit, to stand…is of course all that we take for granted.
Can’t run, can’t jog, can’t jump. But you can. You can.
And as I continue walking, I appreciateI appreciate.

1 comment:

  1. You are so amazing and last night it really came through. You're such an amazing writer I hope the feedback you got last night inspires you to continue writing poetry and telling your story.