Saturday, February 27, 2010

"The Immigrant" by Helon Habila

Came across a short story by Helon Habila that I hadn't seen before this morning. Excrutiatingly beautiful. Excrutiatingly sad. Perfectly fits my state of mind right now. Exactly why Helon Habila is one of my favourite authors.

You can find "The Immigrant" at African Writing Online.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brothers, my peace is in my aloneness

Brothers, my peace is in my aloneness.
My Beloved is alone with me there, always.
I have found nothing in all the worlds
That could match His love,
This love that harrows the sands of my desert.
If I come to die of desire
And my Beloved is still not satisfied,
I would live in eternal despair.

To abandon all that He has fashioned
And hold in the palm of my hand
Certain proof that He loves me---
That is the name and the goal of my search.

Rabi'a Al-'Adawiyya (717 - 801)
Sufi poet

Friday, February 19, 2010

Putting things in order

Today a carpenter came, built shelves and hung a rod for my wardrobe. I am finally organized--boxes and suitcases and ghana-must-go bags now neatly stacked in the wardrobe where I will no longer stumble over them in the night when I can't find my torchlight. In the afternoon, after washing clothes, I sit and read articles about ethno-religious violence. Agarbatti incense twines through the room, wispy smoke swirling upward, like the jinn in Nazir Adam Salih's novel Zayyana. I say quiet Lenten prayers at maghariba, and after the stars come out, gwanin scriptwriter Nasir S. Gwangwazo, sarkin complex characterization and plots, comes and promises me a new script to read. After a year and a half, I have finally settled--a new bookcase, a new wardrobe, small pounded brass bowls and bits of pottery scattered about--a role to play. Everything is in place. I can't bear to think about ever leaving again. Alhamdu lillah. Allah ya kaimu gaba.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Koko and kosai at Golden goose, then home in a dark taxi to a background of a crooning Bollywood track. I dream of years past, as a new moon floats faint above me