A comment on “A Flowery Prose in Shame”

A comment on A Flowery Prose in Shame:

This poem’s beginning line “Do not say: But for the Grace of God, Karma, Alhamdullilah” should not be taken literally. There is beauty in being grateful to God provided one understands that the relationship between us and God is a complex one involving each having the freedom and responsibility to act. For instance, in every scripture, God asks us to be good to others- the Grace of God is given through our freedom. In this sense, the injustice is in our choices. For us to give our choices the name of God’s grace without acknowledging our freedom in the result is abdicating our free will.

The reference to the forbidden tree; an old love and hate; both men and God playing roulette is again mystical and ought not to be taken literally.

The Story of the Bee and the Human Being


Armed with righteous authority of legal title

to a piece of land I call home, backyard and all,

A Bee made its hive no more than a foot by foot

on the side of my deck,

disturbing none.

Does not the Bee know I am the owner of this all; I have a paper to say so?

I set out to destroy the hive.

Confused, the Bee asked:

How do humans live?

Cannot a Hungry Child eat a fruit in plain sight?

Cannot a Homeless Family build its nest on vacant land?

Is that not the Law of “It” who you call God?

“We are civilized,” I informed the Bee.

“We respect both the Fat and the Hungry; the Homeless and the Sheltered:

A child may eat a hanging fruit in plain sight as long a fence and titled deed gives her the right;


The homeless may build on vacant land not owned by someone else.

Yes, this does not feed and shelter all


but without our laws chaos would ensue and civilizations crumble.”

The Bee fled thinking all the while:

I have not seen hunger or thirst following “It”:

Unto man his laws.

I have not seen a Mightier Fool.

We are the Hungry Games

This past Friday (March 24th) my son and I went to see the movie “The Hungry Games”. I really enjoyed it, partly because the little guy/gal wins at the end even though the system is set against them. I am assuming that most of you know that hungry games is a movie about a ruling class which forces competition to death between selected members of different poor districts in a selected location and this competition is witnessed on live Tv.

What struck me was that the child who is poor and starving in Somalia may see me and you- the ones who live virtually with our fancy gadgets while they starve-as if we are the perpetrators of the Hunger games. Now surely, I tell myself and hopeful you concur, we have no power. We are part of a system and this system allows for poverty, hunger, starvation, loss of limb and life, and lack of universal human rights and dignity, including universal (world) health care. We have no control.  Or do we? We play in the Hunger games by participating in the system. Perhaps the Occupy movement, though insignificant in its impact, makes a point- we, within the system, who are more privileged, will not step outside of our comfort zone because we are doing okay- we are the beneficiary of the Hungry games.

Support Freedom of Mr. Nasser al-Raas a Canadian citizen sentenced to 5 years in Bahrain for Peaceful Assembly

The Bahrain government sentenced Mr.  Naser al-Raas, a Canadian citizen with a disability, to five years in jail on October 25th, 2011 for “gathering” and “spreading false news” for the alleged crime of being present, or at worst, participating in a pro-democracy peaceful assembly in Bahrain.

“”I didn’t chant against the government; it’s not my business,” Mr. Nasser Al Raas told the Star. “The country was in chaos.”

“He remembers three mock executions held under the desert sun. And he remembers the dingy cell in the notorious Al Qala prison, where he said he spent more than a month in solitary confinement, beaten and electrocuted daily, the screams of other tortured prisoners echoing through the halls.

This  torture was recorded in a medical report filed by Doctors Without Borders obtained by the Star.

Whether or not al-Raas joined protesters, his sentence violates his “fundamental rights to human expression,” said Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada.

During his military trials, al-Raas said he received regular visits from Canada’s consul in Saudi Arabia, Michael Erdman, but couldn’t get a new passport to leave the country. Canada does not have diplomatic representation in Bahrain.

Neve said he raised al-Raas’ case with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s office earlier this month.

“While it’s clear the Canadian government has been giving the case some attention, there’s no indication it’s been given high-level attention,” Neve said. “That’s what we’re looking for now with a verdict in.” ” (The Star, October 25th, 2011- see link at the end of the post)

I urge you to write or email   ( john.baird@international.gc.ca ) to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs to request him to give the case of Mr. Nasser Al-Raas the high level of attention it deserves.  The Honourable John Baird may be reached as follows:

The Honourable John Baird, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Parliament Hill:

Telephone: 613-996-0984
Fax: 613-996-9880
Foreign Affairs
Lester B.Pearson Building, Tower A
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G2

Telephone: 613-995-1851
Fax: 613-996-3443

The copy of the Star article is enclosed:
The Update on Mr. Nasser al-Raas can be found in the following CBC report: Update

A Tribute to Jack Layton

Jack Layton has succeeded in thinking and living beyond the politics of our prison- whatever limitations we imposed on our own politics, hopes, and dreams for our collective happiness and social justice. He thought and lived outside of the box of our own collective imposed self limitations. I do not know if his life and death will be sufficient to awaken us out of our blind acceptance of the way things are. I dedicate the poem, “Why?” to questions of social and personal happiness and justice that Jack Layton would surely have wanted us to ask. I hope this moves us all to strive for change:


Why do we put up with

crippling poverty?

inhuman realities ?

the monotony of work?

a mortgage for 25

to own a house and abandon a home?

We submit to the way things are,

the rules and system of law and order which tells us

to be patient in the face of  a hungry child

for promise of a change that will come one day  that the child may not live to see;

To have faith in our institutions, our politics.

We seek to change the system while we have no place to stand without it.

We buy a promise that will never come.

We are blind believers of patient change,

submitting to a system and giving up our free will.

Our happy lives have been scripted for us.

Moiz Billah

Born Again

I cannot fit into my Old Shoes:

I have Different Feet now.

I am Born Again.

Moiz Billah

Note: This poem is dedicated to persons who have survived a life changing experience and have to give up their “old self” and find meaning in their new reality.  The metaphor suggests that One’s self is not defined by the shoes one wears (the reality of one’s life) but rather is an invisible, life defining force within you which says, nay screams, “I am Born Again”.