All you need to know

Posted: 19/12/2012 in Poetry

I read Plato, Nietzsche and Marx, and I wonder.

I wonder what they would think of our Time’s Man of the Year, or our international agencies, or our peace treaties that do nothing but pause the tears.

I pickup my primary school Bible and put it side by side my Quran, and I wonder.

I wonder what my fellow Muslims would call me for having it in my possession.

“For understanding,” I would tell them, but they wouldn’t understand.

I listen to Mozart and Wagner, and I wonder what they would compose if they were still alive.

A symphony of humming bombs perhaps? Or would they have composed only for our so coveted “awards”? The only thing you should know about awards is that Mozart never won any.

I sit on the train and the child in front of me is playing a video game. He’s pressing uncountable buttons per minute, shooting every which way, and we expect him to grow up sane. His mother gives him a Coke to keep him going.

“Tickets please,” the train conductor announces, cheerfully stamping away as he reaches me. He stares at the black and white of my shemagh, his smile gone and his body tense. “Ticket, mate,” he says, snatching from my hand. He wants to say something to me, but doesn’t, and he doesn’t have to. I saw it loud and clear.

At home I hear the married couple next door fighting, I’m unsure who’s winning. She thinks he’s had an affair, he probably wishes he had.  A thud. Then silence. Later, police sirens are heard. They take her away, she looks so sad.

I switch off the lights but my eyes remain open. I think about Plato, Nietzsche, Marx, my Bible, my Quran, Mozart and Wagner, and wonder, where did it all go wrong, before I start humming a new pop song.


  1. yasniger says:

    Reblogged this on yasniger and commented:
    This is beautiful and so original……

  2. ahmedtkadry says:

    That’s very kind, yasniger, and thank you for reblogging it!

  3. yasniger says:

    This is beautiful and so original……
    it is such an impressive piece

  4. ahmedtkadry says:

    Thank you again!

  5. Very well told and thought provoking.

  6. ahmedtkadry says:

    Thank you, much appreciated! Thanks for reading.

  7. […] towards Islam that I can’t count on one hand. One of those brief encounters led me to write this poem. It didn’t matter that I had a British accent or had read the Bible, or was simply sitting on a […]

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