Friday, January 30, 2015

Do we ever get but fleeting glimpses of one another

do we ever get but fleeting glimpses of one another
and improper ones at that
—bare backed, running sideways
through a long hall on our way to work—
what garish images we must all make
anxious, out of focus, our unready defenses
Ever ready to find fault

if only we could slow down for moment
pull our heads out of ourselves and peer into one another
sorting through the insides, cataloguing with a curator’s knowledge.

Yes, I see You,
 we would say to one another
and yes, perhaps, we would.

but a mind is not a museum, a heart not a tome
so how could we truly see
how could we ever know?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Love (in a World of Sludge): Short Story Collection

Dear friends, 

I am happy to announce that I have published a new short story, entitled "Love (in a World of Sludge)" in Love: A Short Story CollectionBasically, this is my contribution to a collection prepared by me and a few of my writer friends which explores the broad topic of "Love" from a Baha'i perspective.  As you can see, I took a rather unique approach to the topic, instead focusing on familial and societal love rather than anything too romantic.  Here's a short preview from the opening paragraphs of my contribution: 

Come one and come all, to those who would listen, and watch me weave a tale of love.
Though it be a subject that I, admittedly, know little about.
But then again, perhaps I know no more nor less than anyone else who lives and dies, tied as we all are to heart’s beat as we beat our way across this wide world.  For all of life’s a mystery, and love the greatest mystery of all. So then must I ask, my dear listener, what dear price do you pay with your attention, to spend a few heart beats in my perception?
So let us begin our tale.  And let us begin our tale in another world. 
Let us begin in a world of sludge.
            Now, this world wasn’t always a world of sludge.  But long ago, longer than anyone alive could remember, the sky began to rain down falls of thick, black, slimy, sticky, smelly sludge.  It started as a trickle, every few weeks or so, and soon became an everyday torrent that coated everything it touched and turned it into an almost unrecognizable mess of mud. The grass was covered in sludge.  The trees were covered in sludge.  Even the streams were now streams of sludge, slowly slopping and slithering down to a great slick sea.  In fact, the only bit not covered was the very top of a tall mountain at the center of the world, beyond the reach of the sludge clouds, where a very wise and immortal being was said to live.
Now, the rest of the people in this world were not so lucky.  They lived down deep within the sludge.  But the people there, they were adaptable.  Resilient.  They were able to cope with all the slime and the muck.  They learned to cultivate food in the sludge, mushrooms and toadstools and things that grew in the dank and the dark.  They covered their bodies with sludge, decorating their arms and faces with ornate designs.  The sludge was hardened through fire and used to make all sorts of items: sludge tools and clothes and furniture and even trinkets.
They carved a huge city deep into the mud, using each sludgefall to thicken and embellish the walls of their new home. At first, they dug caverns deep into the sludge, a labyrinth of sludge catacombs towards the heart of the world, much of which was later abandoned as each sludgefall further deepened the layer of sludge.  The wealthier members of society moved towards the sky, shaping a cluster of great spires of sludge that housed hundreds of thousands.  The culture of the world became a sludge culture, as the people became more and more dependent upon the sludge for their survival.  Children underwent a ‘sludge ritual’ soon after they were born, ensuring that they too, were inducted into the society of sludge. 
And so it was that the people were able to build a life and forgot that there was ever anything else, before the sludge.
Certainly, this may seem like an unusual way to begin a love story.  After all, sludge hardly seems like a fitting foundation for romance.  But let’s be clear: love may be romance, but romance is not and never will be love.  Love is far too boundless to ever fall within such clear delimitations.  And love can find itself in any field, no matter how murky or mucked.  So trust me when I say, that the sludge is perfect for our present purposes.  For, as we will see, love is stronger even than sludge. 

            And this love begins, like so many will do, with the birth of someone special.  Someone who didn’t quite fit in or fall into the sludge mold, as it were.  And this someone just happened to be a girl, a child who was born to the poorest of parents, deep down in the dankest part of the city.  A birth which, in most circumstances, would have largely been ignored, if it were not for her distinction.

You can download the rest of the story along with the other excellent stories in the collection for $1.99 from the Amazon Kindle store here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

flowers in all things

shall I speak of, my love, the reason for my love for thee?
'tis because thou hast opened up thy heart to me

to its garden lush, thou freely gave me gate key
and welcomed by your beauty, I drank in its purest honey

settling on thy branches, nestled within thy leaves
I found solace there and began to spread my wings

now ever will I sing with devoted, sweetened melody
for this once lost songbird sees now the flowers in all things

Friday, March 15, 2013

For my lover's eye

a star, shimmering silently,
far and lone in the vast expanse of night
so swiftly sputters to almost nothing
in a flickering, fruitless flame
without that keen and eager eye--

for it is that lover, gazing hungrily 
into the rich and deep midnight sky
who catches star and views its beauty
that imbues purpose into its fire;
as beauty can only be beholden
otherwise forgotten, neglected
into all the bother, dies

--and so it is, my love, that I ever long
to be held, kindled within your sight
for your love fills me with meaning
and gives me reason to shed this light.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Point

this the  .  of our whole lives--

shaped by our substance

as much as the surrounding



that we define our s i g h t

and thus does weakness
                                    become a might

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

the weight of self

i fear i'm stuck      
                 within the weight of myself

for envy has a hungry mouth


and devours there                    
                                the veins of wealth

and the           s  p  a  c  e  s              inbetween

become      heavy and sick
with                allits filth

leaving all these            


where there once was health

                        a blackness
                which begins to suck
           joy will come
                 to all

                          as well as to myself.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Life Words

what Words can well describe what any human has done?
for when life's indescribable, Words equal to, there are none;
but even so must we try, as humans do, to give voice to our own,
to make our mark on this tomb, before our tomb we call home.

and so must I speak, of my life, how well lived; when
I was created by a Word, and through a Word did breathe in
my first taste of this earth, the desert air, in summer dawn,
and nestled in mother's tongue, was counseled in mores wrong.

and thus I must speak of those Words that stole time,
of those that clouded my pure heart, and darkened my red eyes,
and of the Words that I wore, with a shame and a worry,
defining myself, with the Words they bore through me.
and so, too, must I speak, of the Words that did rise,
that illumined my spirit, and made my ears wise,
how they guided me from the tyranny of my own mind,
and how those wise Words did save this poor life.

and thus through these Words, have I conveyed to you,
though necessarily failing so, these Words ever tried for truth:
life is more than Words, but more than Words, life cannot be,
for Words give life to life, as life brings Words to be.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Life Beget

What more from does Life beget, than Life's preserving breath?

As whether by decay or fresh grow, 'tis change that Life does know, 
and with such change in stride, from the future cannot Life hide,
but must cope with blessings and blows. And thus I posit so:

that 'tis hope and dreams upon, which Life is withal drawn,
the promise of the new; as without, naught has Life to do,
and so how is Life to be, when Life does not believe?

When imagination is foul stolen, wishes withered, fancy broken,
suffocation only is Life left; as is, when forbidden breath.

Likewise to supress dreams, is to Life oppressive, tyranny--
whether from without or within--hope, must needs for Life to begin,
and so, too, does hope Life beget; as it is in our dreams, Life is set.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New e-book, "By Death's Feather"

Available now for free download on, is my new ebook, By Death's Feather (or, the fantastical journey of the late Ms. Alicia K. Pembleton: A philosophical and entirely fictional tale of the recently dead).

By Death's Feather
Ms. Alicia K. Pembleton, a 29-year-old social worker, who, after being crushed by the wheels of a large black truck, finds herself dead and wandering through the afterlife.

There is one slight twist in this soul's tragic turn of fate, however--Ms. Pembleton is (or more accurately, was) an atheist. She would thus prefer to deny the fact of her death and the truth of her situation. Alas, her unbelief is challenged by a perhaps unwelcome companion, Geo, a psychopomp who appears to Ms. Pembleton in the form of a fuzzy and frayed childhood lion toy.

Ms. Pembleton must now reluctantly unravel the mysteries and miseries of her past physical and current spiritual existence, while also dealing with her surviving family's future, in a quest to reunite with her sister, Sarah.

By Death's Feather deals with such weighty themes as life and death, family, hope, faith, honesty, persistence, joy, pain and suffering, and above all, forgiveness, in an almost shockingly light-hearted manner.

An enjoyable exploration of the faith and hope that lies within all of us, irrespective of doctrinal belief, it should appeal to readers of a variety of ages and backgrounds.

Like all of the poetry on this blog, By Death's Feather has been independently produced and written by me, and is currently available for download. AND IT'S CURRENTLY FREE!!! That's right - I said FREE!!! So, even if you only enjoyed one word on this blog, please check it out!  And if you do enjoy it, or even if you hate it, please leave your honest rating or review.  I spent the past 2 1/2 years working on this novel, and would really appreciate your feedback!

The book is available on, an electronic publishing house for independent authors.  Smashwords will publish an electronic version of your book for free on their site, and will distribute copies to major online retailers such as Barnes & Noble, etc.  As someone who supports independent art, I hope that you will check out other Smashwords authors, even if you do not download my book. 

And, just in case you missed that link, the book is available for DOWNLOAD here. 

Thanks so much for your support!

- Soha