A Poem for Your Tuesday

The Close

For these are the things
that flow from your heart,
almighty mind.
Crumbled walls of splintered hands
broken by children riding bicycles,
and you are there
bound in the winding vines
of your jungle.
Speak, rose, of your thorns
and also of your color.
You have listened and so learned.
You know now what to say.
Your heart is not defined
by your face.
You are not symmetrical.
You are skinned knees,
for open wounds can let in light.
You have loved the wrong thing
and he has taught you
that there are worse things
than being crushed.
Begin now, to understand
that you are a mountain
covered in the expectations
of well-meaning daffodils.
See that they are beautiful,
but don’t listen to their words.
Don’t blame them either.
He was never wild.
He was only a small grey stone
for you to use
to shatter the glass around heart.
Break free, dear heart.
You will be a mountain that moves.

 

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Flashback Friday (in lieu of Throwback Thursday)

I wrote this poem after my first month in Beirut. Still in love with that place.

 

I didn’t expect

to fall

so in love

with every

heavy moment,

every late night house party,

every boy

at every late night house party

who I stare at with Almaza eyes

thinking of the ways

he reminds me

of you

I didn’t expect

to feel

so wanted here

and here I go again

falling in love with those brown,

dirty children

who spend their time

at the corniche

trying to shine my

tennis shoes,

the hijabi girls

drinking beer

with their boyfriends,

the taxi drivers

who never stop

honking their horns

at red lights

I don’t know how

to explain this fullness

in the tiny space

a postcard provides,

but I’m not so sure

you want me to try

so here

for the last time

I’ll tell you

that the sea blends perfectly

into the sky

and the mountain snow

is just cold enough

to give me a brain freeze,

the bombs are quiet,

the streets are loud

I write to you because

even here

it’s all I know how to do

 

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Throwback Thursday

Another old love poem written on a cold afternoon in a coffee shop somewhere.

 

The third poem I write for you

will be a pretty snowflake

resting on your sleeve,

so small you don’t notice

but there all the same.

 

The third poem will be bright and full

a siren that brings life

like a cup of coffee that you buy me

and in a moment

the world is our shining carousel.

 

The third poem will be Lewis and Clark brave

telling you all about how

I’m almost about to be falling

in ill-timed love with you

and though I’m the one who’s leaving

You’re the one that is slipping

through my fingers.

 

The third poem I write for you

will be the one that you see.

I’ll leave it on your car or slip it into your hand

or give it to you as a gift,

my goodbye letter,

and you’ll read it and chase after me,

in my mind.

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Crumbling

Check out this writing/photo collaboration between me and my soul sister, Crystal Ward. I’m in love with creative hearts and deep, dark inspirations.

Crystal Anne Photography

This is a collaboration between Elizabeth Endara (writer) and Crystal Ward (photographer).

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Across from the post office and down the street from the bus station, there’s an abandoned wine factory. It’s a crumbling building filled with trash. During the war, it was used as a sort of base for Serbian forces. The reports from those days say things like “the Serbian police opened fire from their position near the wine cellar.” The headlines present the situation as “volatile.” Only we, here in the present, know how volatile it truly was. A few steps from the wine factory is a memorial for the dozens of civilians who lived and died in this small town. Too many of them innocents, too many of them children. But the wine factory stands, itself a memorial of the past, yet it has lived to see today.

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The factory now sits alone behind overgrown bushes…

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For the boy with roses

I have a lot of feelings about the world. That is possibly the most general statement I could make. But I don’t really know how else to put it. I’ve been trying to think of a thoughtful way to write about the refugees (mostly Syrian) pouring through Europe right now. When I moved from Lebanon to Kosovo almost a year ago the last thing I expected was to hear about Syrian refugees coming through the Balkans. I spent some of my time in Lebanon in the Beka’a Valley with Syrian refugee children. Now I live in Kosovo, and my Facebook newsfeed is flooded with images of Syrians walking across Macedonian and Serbian hills. Yesterday, I almost got on a bus to Macedonia because I just wanted to see if it was real. All of it is tragedy, but nothing is more intolerable than the effect this has on children.

I don’t feel adequate to write about this in its fullness, but I recently learned of the death of one little boy who I knew, sort of. He was one of the little Syrian boys who sold roses in Hamra. He died while in Syria visiting his family. When his picture appeared in my newsfeed, I knew him immediately. The reason why I’m so sure about this is because I wrote about meeting him. It was midnight and I was walking home alone from my friend’s apartment. He and another boy, whom I believe was his brother, approached me with roses. I smiled and shook my head and squeezed the shoulder of the boy with the slicked back hair. As I walked the rest of the way home, I began thinking about those little boys who were awake way passed their bedtime. And then I wrote this:

Rosie boy,

why aren’t you in bed?

Don’t you know there is school tomorrow?

You will be so tired.

Sweet boy,

where is your mother?

She should not let you stay out so late.

But if she still remains,

she must not have any other choice.

Smiling boy,

are you hungry?

I have some chocolates,

you may have them.

If you were my child

and there was no war,

I would make you sit at the table

and eat your vegetables.

I would iron your shirt

and make sure it was tucked in when you left for school.

But every afternoon when you came home

it would be untucked again.

If you were my boy,

we would go for walks to the park

and swing on the swings together.

We’d play until sunset,

and then we’d walk home,

and I’d put you to bed

at a decent hour.

But I’m too young to be a mother,

and you’re too young to be out so late,

but perhaps we both are.

Boy with roses,

I’m going to bed now.

You should too.

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For Fares Khodor

Throwback Thursday

Written on a park bench when I was 22.

This is how I write

I just scribble

little nothings

until I stumble upon

a something

(a rare occurrence).

On my best days

my words fall out of my fingertips

like leaves from branches in autumn

they mix in piles on the ground

and people I like

and a few that I dont

and mostly strangers

shuffle their feet through my words

unaware that they are wading ankle deep

in my heart.

It hurts

writing hurts

because feelings hurt

all those crowded thoughts in stacks in my brain

waiting for their turn to roll off my tongue

or leak from my pen.

The hardest part is not knowing

how to turn it off

so every word

written or spoken

every grammatically correct text message

ever look or blink or touch

all of it is my poetry

wild and unchained

pieces of my mind.

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Pieces

I wrote this more than a year ago, but when I rediscovered it today, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

People are more important than places and sometimes you realize that “the dream,” the calling, isn’t wild adventures. It’s loving fully and completely and being loved in return. It’s finding people whose hearts beat to the same rhythm as your own. It’s living a life of freedom that teaches others how to be free themselves. The calling is learning when to say yes and when to say no, when to change, when to turn around, when to move, when to be still. The calling is to be truly alive in who you are, because that is the only way you can breathe life into someone else.
Sometimes the calling will lead you back to where you started, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t change.
And sometimes the calling will lead you to a place you didn’t want or expect, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It doesn’t mean you won’t love it. It means you finally learned how to listen to the voice that does the calling. You were still, and you heard, and the words rattled around in your brain and seeped down into your bones and your bloodstream. By the time it reached your heart you were ready, at least as ready as you could be. The calling broke your heart and you let it, and now you will follow it and watch it make you whole again.

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Ulcinj, Montenegro;  Crystal Anne Photography