I’ve been quiet in this space. In the past few years, February has been a time of quiet reflection and muted colors. It is equal parts winter, past tragedies, and me. I don’t hate it and I don’t try and push it away. Instead, I probably bake way too much (cinnamon rolls anyone?), find myself frequenting coffee shops even more regularly, and do a lot of reading and journaling.
As I write this, I have escaped the city to Rockport’s beauty and quiet. It was the anniversary of my brother’s death and I needed time for reflection and some mourning. This morning I literally chased the sunrise, knowing that it had to be just around the next corner, finally happening on its magnificent break over the horizon, flames of color spreading across the sky. It was deeply satisfying!
Into this quiet, my dear childhood, now adult friend Mikaere Greenslade posted a beauty of a poem online, specifically tagging me. The poem was titled ‘belong’ and I’m quite sure he has little idea of how much it meant to me.
Mikaere is a beautiful poet who lives in New Zealand. I found out recently from my mum that she considered Mikaere’s mum to be one of her closest friends. We lived in the same city from around 6 years old to 10 years old or so. Then, as is the case of so many global friendships, we parted, each to our respective passport lands. I was to return to Pakistan after a year, but Mikaere did not. Before the advent of social media and the finding of these long-lost friends I never imagined that we would reconnect. But reconnect we did over a shared love of Pakistan and writing.
On this quiet February, where introspection is not an enemy but a dear friend, I offer you his words. Enjoy!
'belong' (for Marilyn) where is home she asked four walls or being known where do the birds call your name where does rain caress the stones that cover your bones where a sigh and smile can hold hands and the dog sleeps late nau mai haere mai haere mai ki tou kainga whisper the trees Mikaere Greenslade 2023
To purchase this beautiful book, contact Mikaere through Celestial Press by clicking here. Here is a recent poem he shared on his page. Do think seriously about supporting him for where would we be without our artists, our poets, our writers, our dancers?
night prayer it whelms from deep bones and memory not a story but a know what you know dark turns and wait after the cold comes stand after the joy come scars hold breath it is all precious and you child and you