Written for my Eldest Brother’s Wedding in September of 2016

More obsessed with math, other than me, there is none
Yet here I witness the paradoxical one plus one equals one
Our family of nine is to be reborn once again
From this day forth, one family of 10
A brother of mine, for 18 years I’ve known
Now, for infinite years, yours and yours alone
So get ready to hear do-nits and pea-nits and to watch YouTube
The hilarity indescribable by numbers or shapes and cubes
May your future be as happy as today’s present
Filled with biryani and cake and chai, REPRESENT
And in this future, 1 and 1 may equal 1, or
Perhaps they will equal three or more
What numbers could I use to describe these bonds and ties?
Love is beyond where the edge of mathematics lies
So even at time’s halt, when darkness abounds, each other’s light become
Even at Earth’s end, when everything becomes wrong, each other’s right become

~Muhammad Umer Amjad

A Flag Without Colours

Also published in Ink Movement’s Mississauga Youth Anthology Vol IV:

Pray for Paris, pray for the parents

Kanye West, Ultralight Beam

A Flag Without Colours

On that day, when red was shed
That day, when hate took its toll
Flags of blue, white, and red were spread
Flags of fire, to reignite the soul
Flags of water, to soothe the dead
Yet, for only three colours love was told
White, yet of surrender not
Risen, yet is justice sought?
What of that green, black, yellow, too?
Why only the red, white, blue?
In far, green, lands, those days have lasted forever
Are those days’ end near, however?

Is only colour important to you?
You burn red but not green, true?
Coloured souls, with colour, come to life anew
These ancient souls of dark are nothing new
Does the voice of love speak to thee?
It speaks not in red, white, blue, green
Or will you become the voice of love?
Will bottom finally be unseparated from above?
As if the only colours in need are those we see
Alas, colour was not enough to save humanity
If for colour thy soul yearns, see thy rapacity
If thy soul of few colours burns, unchain thy capacity

Colours painted where words became wind
Music heard where sounds of voices faltered
I paint my soul, but strokes become thinned
Colours spread, but is the world altered?
No? Then wear that colourful, colourless crest
For when East becomes West,
Love is found in the worst and best
My paints, scarce, my canvas, torn
When flags are colourless, justice is born
My painting, flawed; infinite inside, little external
Unbind thy soul, thy colorful, colourless internal
For where colour is blind, love is eternal

For one hundred thousand years,
Songs of love spoke in languages opposing
Crying only coloured tears
Now the era of colour is closing
Will colourless light be born again?
Will fire, water, black & white unify, then?
Let red, blue, green become one, henceforth
For when South becomes North,
When flags without colours rise
Then begins hate’s demise
When difference is lost ‘twixt servant, sire, lower, higher, water & fire
Then, love abounds in the universe entire

~ MuhammadUmer Amjad

Ice, Fire, & Rain

Also published in Ink Movement’s Mississauga Youth Anthology Vol III:

Inspired by the Avatar Cycle and The Legend of Korra’s Beginnings,
as well as A Song of Ice and Fire

The A Tale of a Life
Ice, Fire, and Rain

A life was born one day
A life not black and white, but grey
Not purely happy, not just sad, such is the way
That our journey must be, come what may

This life was meant to suffer, be in misery, and feel pain
This human life, filled with ice, fire, and rain
It asks itself, “Why must I do this? Is all in vain?
Why must I ache? Why must I strain?”
The mortals think life their bane
Saying, “Those who disagree, must be insane”

“Fear, hate, sorrow, cries
Is this where my destiny lies?”
The man asks himself, so unwise
One day, this life meets a Spirit of Light, with disbelieving eyes
He asks it, “Why does anyone live, if everyone dies?”
“This is not something I can answer easily,” the Spirit replies
“To show you the truth, I must take you somewhere. Rise!”

The mortal followed the mentor, unsure what he would see
They went into a place, freezing and shadowy
“O Spirit, where art thou taking me?”
“A place unfit for life, a place unfit for thee”
“But cannot I stay somewhere warm? I do not understand, clearly
Perhaps this is to show me that life is cold and brutal, could it be? “
“Do not believe that yet. Let go of preconceptions. Break the chains of destiny. Become free!”

They continued their adventure, the human becoming hopeless
“I do not feel better. Like life, this all feels pointless”
They went into a place burning, blindingly radiant, lifeless
“You said you wanted warmth. Do you see the consequence of your bias?”
“Spirit, I do not understand. Of all this, what is the purpose?”
“Do you not perceive the contrast? Let yourself see from the heart, not the iris
Do not believe life is so black and white, for how can it be? Break the chains of destiny! Become boundless!”

“You asked me why we live, if it is so punishing
You asked me why we die, if life has a meaning
Just as Light cannot exist without Darkness, so too life is filled with happiness and suffering
Only in the cold, you realized you needed heating
Then, in the fire, still, you were quick to fleeing
Unable to handle extremes, a midpoint you were needing
Because with winter and summer, there is autumn and spring
One needs to experience both justice and evil, to keep their heart beating”

“Without hardships, how could you know the blessing of ease?
How could you know the joy of a smile without the frown of disease?
Do you see now, why Life is not a breeze?
Both love and hate are needed to develop, to evolve, to seize
-The chance to understand others, the chance to cause a change, the chance to please
We can only make the world better by bettering ourselves first, so do not sleaze
We can only better ourselves by seeing all the world’s villainies”

The man asked, in denial, “But why do we face love and hate?
Why does our acceptance matter, if all is in our Fate?”
“Our conflicting sides of Hell and Heaven, give us the power to decide our own destination,” answered the Spirit, frustrate
“Remember your path will not always be straight
But no matter how dark or difficult it gets, you must believe you can bear the weight
Both friends and enemies you will encounter; no matter what, exonerate
Unshackle destiny’s seeming restraints; all is meant to be, but the choice of it is yours; differentiate”

“Answers to your many questions have been given; what else do you inquire?”
“Please tell me, O Spirit to achieve these goals, what need I acquire?”
“Let your fiery heart melt the ice of cold desire
Become Water, full of life, easy to flow with, able to quench rage’s fire
Become Wind, a soft breeze, invulnerable to hate, gentle, but able to inspire
Become Earth, a firm foundation of truth, of unshakable valour to admire
Become Light, a beacon of hope, a shining guide in the Dark, a spark to aspire”

And so, the Spirit bid farewell, leaving the man with his life illuminated
He lived the rest of it giving up himself, “I can help you”, he would say to all souls, unimpeded
Alas, a day came when the skies wept; the life faced its mortality, but pleaded
“Do not let me die yet! I have failed, O Spirit, I could not save humanity… if only I had never conceded”
“No! ‘*To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!*’
You’re time as human may be done, but you will return when you are needed, O Enlightened One”

One day, another life of Dark and Light, was born again
Once a man, but changed anew, as a Spirit of Light, appeared then
Recently evolved, still reminiscing of its humanity, the Spirit consoled the life, “I can help you, friend
This is a new beginning, not the end”

~M. Umer Amjad

*Note: Original quote in asterisks above by Ralph Waldo Emerson*

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