Guide to the Hereafter | Poem by Laiba Nayeem

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The earth is littered with the ruins of empires that once believed they were eternal.

Open excavations lead to realizations

That dead today

had plans for tomorrow.


We live our days not once thinking of our last-

The Titanic sank when it wasn’t supposed to

Maybe we must look back to where we once came from

To start thinking anew


We once had our very own garden of Eden

Where Adam met Eve 

Where stars met our eyes

Where the birds sang to us in greeting 


Human nature is to feel sorrow

I miss the stars’ greetings. 

So I asked what I must do.


I was told to reach for the stars

So I joined a circus and gave myself up to become a human cannonball

I didn’t know about gravity

Left clueless as I fell back down


We are the broken Angels

Broken and bruised

Having fallen down to our doom.


In physics I learned

That any object in projectory 

Will have a moment of zero velocity

At its highest point


At my highest point-

I wanted to reach out

See- My ceiling consisted of the stars


In biology I learned 

Stars are not things to touch

They are a bubbling ball of flame and such

I let go


I’m too young to have already reached my peak

But now it’s all downhill from here

I know- I know that sounds bleak 

So I’ll take the next exit towards a path of recovery


Slow down! Healing is necessary when you have lost all feeling. 


Counting stars

Seems futile

When each already has its own name

But we do it anyway


Shoot me into space 

Where I can fly as I am held weightless

Weightless has another meaning when 

Your soul is heavy with happiness 


Take me back

Back to when my dreams of space were just that-

Dreams not nightmares


Allow me to hold your hand,

Please show me the way

Because somewhere on my way here,

I lost sight of myself. 


Be the guiding light that we have now become reliant upon

Hold my hand

Guide me to the hereafter


I already tried reaching for my shattered pieces 

Fractured fragments

Irrevocably replaced


So again, 

I ask you:

Hold my hand,

Guide me to the hereafter.


Because I will be left in the dark

Without you. 

By Laiba Nayeem (Calgary, AB)

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