2020 – Age 11-14 Years: Runner Up

Fatema-Zahra Mithwani (age 11)

Theme – Reflections in Lockdown

Judges’ comments: The refrain “I will put into my satchel”, which is repeated throughout the poem, acts as the perfect backdrop to the emotive language in between. Alliteration, sibilance and anaphora are just some of the techniques used in this rhythmic poem. Beautifully written!

My Satchel of Sakeenah

I will put into my satchel

the soothing song of sashaying skylarks, serenading skies with sweet melody
the brilliant rays of beaming sun that shower me with optimism
the billowing breeze that brushes cheek, that tenderly thumbs through silken locks

I will put into my satchel

sapphire sips of sky swilled from straws of towering bamboo
the heady scent of jasmine from a Maldivian sunset
the sumptuous sink of teeth, into loaf, freshly baked

I will put into my satchel

books, like gardens, slung over my shoulder
pen, and paper, and words-with-wings (du’a)
my might of mind, skyrocketing towards freedom

I will put into my satchel

that heady elixir – no alchemist can brew – of love from my mother, so pure, and so true
the faith of my Father – my lion, my rock
the warmth in three syllables that spell, ‘family’

my satchel, she is fashioned, from finest of thread; from resolute conviction of Fatima and Zaynab (sa)
her front, emblazoned, with His Names Most Beautiful,
her insides, gilded memories of Ka’ba’s first glimpse

I shall sail in my satchel upon the ways that make me weary
I shall surf upon these stricken seas, saturated with strife
I shall land upon the Shores of Promise once again

for Zaynab’s (sa) words live on – yes, they live on – in me
and – through Her Blessed Eyes?

I see nothing but beauty.


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