Oh mother city
City of love and mercy
How long must you carry this sorrow
This pain in your chest
Daily they kill your citizens
Your heart is with sorrow
How large your grief
Oh my poor city
Brutality goes on and on
Death, murder in your streets
You witness the genocide of your children
I smell fresh blood all over you
Feel your pain in my bones
Your green dress is red now
Your happy face is faded away
All I can do for you is pray
Asking God for a better destiny
Photo by Joe Calton
Your beautifully written poem is so moving, so heart-breaking. When I read it I feel your pain and your city’s pain, and all of your people’s deep, long, suffering. Please know you are remembered, cared about, that all over the world, even as far as New Zealand, other hearts are aching with yours, and other tears are flowing with yours, because of your courage to write so honestly. Thankyou.
“I smell fresh blood all over you” – the most harrowing image in a strong poem. This focuses the horror. We pray along with you.
Thanks for the reminder.
I feel like your poem is a silent scream. You tell us your feelings, we can see your pain through the words, we can see the horror through sentences. I feel like i touched your inside, you express yourself for everyone to understand. So i don’t know you, you don’t know me. But i understood. And i want you to know that you are not alone, we’re all here, we believe in you, you are very impressive, and you deserve the best
This is very impressive. You are very impressive by your writing. So truly i tell you, you are talented and i will always be convinced of that. If you ever feel down, you know that on this earth, there is one person who believes (and none will ever change my mind) that you are talented
“Feel your pain in my bones
Your green dress is red now”
I really like your way of describing the images of the Kabul. It makes me feel the city vivid. I could know the sense of incapability for you to save your city and the strong willing to devote yourself for Kabul. No one want to see the things most important in your life become worse and worse every day. Be more confident and insist on your writing to let more people know your situation. Thank you.
The imagery you use in this poem is very powerful. I like how you compare Kabul to a mother and its citizens as her children. The poem becomes even more powerful when you talk about Kabul’s pain. I especially like the line, “Your green dress is red now.” Green is a color normally associated with life and red is a color that can be associated with blood. It does a good job of showing how violence has tainted Kabul. Thank you for writing this poem. It’s a very powerful piece of writing and it helps raise awareness to what’s happening in Kabul.
It is terrible what is happening to the city of Kabul which you love and call home. The imagery that you use in this poem is very powerful in describing the horrors that have happened in your home city. You outline problems such as the genocide of children, the breaking of bones, and the stains of blood which personify your home city in a way that your readers can gain in an insight as to how your are feeling during times of difficulty when your home is getting attacked. Another great example of your powerful imagery would be when you describe how the city of Kabul which originally had a green dress now turned red which has more than one meaning. You explain how it changed from positive to negative and how it is also covered with blood which has the color of red. The last two lines of your poem do an amazing job of showing that you still have signs of hope for your beloved city and hope indeed is what will help you through difficult times like these. Poems like these are critical for improving the future as they help raise awareness of very real and ongoing problems in many areas. I hope you continue to raise awareness by writing beautiful poems such as the poem of Mama Kabul. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
Your poem is filled with meaning and power. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and suffering that you and the people of Kabul must be experiencing. I admire your courage to write with such honesty and acknowledge that it must have been difficult for you to reflect upon and remember these times. However, the way you utilize imagery and other literary devices, really strengthens your message and I liked your writing style. I love how you use the colors green and red to symbolize the transition from the peace and innocence that Kabul was once filled with, to the violence and pain, it is now plagued of. Your writing shines through this violence and acts as a tool to not only spread awareness of these heartbreaking circumstances but to also remind us of the beautiful city Kabul once was. What is happening to your city is truly terrible, but the last two lines of your poem demonstrate that there is always hope, and it is this hope that helps us get through the toughest of times. I would like to thank you for writing this great piece of literature and hope that you continue to raise awareness and write about your experiences.
This poem might genuinely be one of my favorites I’ve ever come across. You illustrate the city of Kabul and its condition so well and allowed me to feel the emotions I think you might have felt when writing this. Having grown up in a completely different environment, I know that I truly don’t have a personal connection to Kabul, but your way with words lets me understand the kind of desperation and despair stemming from this poem. As heartbreaking as the meaning is, I took a liking to the line “your green dress is red now” — the way hundreds of little images rushed to my mind hit me hard. I too write poems, and I tend to struggle with wording my lines to have them express exactly what I’m thinking at the moment. I doubt I’m even qualified to comment on your writing, but I think you have so much talent as a writer. Moreover, Mama Kabul reads as a source of inspiration for many people, acknowledging the desperate sort of situation you might be in. I hope that you can continue to voice your thoughts and write in your beautiful style, and I pray alongside you from the bottom of my heart for a better destiny for both you and Kabul.
Thank you so much,
This is a very beautiful poem what it trie to tell us is the reality, which is very sad and heartbreaking. Kids from this land that “you” raised are killing each other, How sad is that I can’t even feel you’re is crying for your kids. What you try to tell us especially the people in Kabul is very meaningful, these are very good knowledge to help people in the “unconscious” to realize what have they done. It might bring peace to this land, thank you for sharing.
I can feel your pain by reading your poem. All the imagery (sensations) you use is so picturesque and dynamic, I can imagine in my brain what grief Kabul is experiencing now. A few days ago, I read a poem called Kabul; by that poet’s descriptions, I would not think all the sorrows are taking place in Kabul (he described Kabul as similar to a paradise). When you are using personification by referring to Kabul as a mother, “Your green dress is red now” hits me so hard. All the green landscape in Kabul becomes bloody sights, I am sorry about what happened in your hometown. I hope God will hear your prayers, and I will pray with you as well; maybe a better future will come soon! Never give up on yourself before that future arrives, I am always here with you!
Your poem is very meaningful. I never could really understand poems but I understood every single phrase because I could see the meanings behind them. I can tell you spent a lot of time on this and thanks for sharing it with us! The pain and suffering that you and the people of Kabul went through is very tough, and writing this poem that reflects the hardships of your life must’ve been very difficult for you. I really like what you did with the colors, and the ending made me a bit emotional. In the end I”m really glad I choosed to read your poem and I hope that your prayers come true!
Dear Shafiqa, the pain you see in your homeland of Kabul is tragic. When I read this it feels as if you are talking with Kabul, telling it all the awful events that are happening to it. What makes it even more painful is how you write as if Kabul is a person, and having one traumatic event after the other. How you talk about how green and beautiful is used to be, but now is covered in the blood of your people. I feel the pain you have while writing, the sadness in your words.
Thank you for sharing your silent cries for your city with us, Shafiqa. Kabul was portrayed as your mother in your poetry. I applaud your courage and justice. Accepting and revealing the horrible face of “her” must be extremely difficult for you. You have many realistic descriptions of violence and terrorism in the poem, which made me move a lot. When you say you can feel the city’s grief in your bones, I understand your sadness. When I close my eyes after reading the poem, I can see the scenes of the buildings being attacked, as well as hear the sounds of screaming and shouting. I really enjoyed how you used a green dress that turned red to symbolize the transition of the city of Kabul from peaceful to full of violence. I believe that your powerful words have struck the hearts of mine and the world. The disgust towards the flames of war grows deeply in everyone’s mind. I hope more people can hear your sound and realize the tragedy caused by perpetual war. Since this poem is written in 2018, I want to ask are things getting better now? I hope you and your family live in a peaceful land now and enjoy your life without torment by these memories.
Your poem that describes Kabul as beautiful but tortured made me mourn for all you have lost. In our class, we are learning about your city and country, and your poem captures the soul of the city and its recent history like a high-definition snapshot. It truly came to life for me. For example, you captured my imagination by describing Kabul as wearing a green dress turned red. The color green brings images of the vibrant life and nature of the city, while the red shows how it has been covered in bloody battle for far too long. I know it must feel like the violence in the city will never end, but with people like you expressing yourself so beautifully, I know it will not last forever. I will never forget the phrase “genocide of your children” because it shows that the young are constantly being sacrificed in the unending wars. It made me wonder, “Where will change come from, if the young never have a chance to grow up?” Still, if you have faith in Allah, even in this dire situation, then I will share your hope and optimism. You are a strong-minded and inspiring leader, and I know someday Kabul’s pure green dress will once again impress the world.
This is a great poem. By personifying the city of Kabul, you are showing us just how horrible the situation is over there. Despite having people living in the city, it is unable to provide for them because of the war and violence. The change from green to red shows that Kabul was once a beautiful city that provided for all that lived there, and now it is dominated by blood and violence. I imagine that the sorrow of the personified city is reflected by many of the people that live there. I hope that you are doing well and that we can someday restore Kabul and Afghanistan to its peaceful, “green” state.
-Shafiq: Wow. What a touching, emotional poem. The personification of Kabul as a sorrowful mother losing her children has a melancholic beauty to it. It really drives in how much the people of Afghan love their home city, so much so that they consider themselves children of it. The grief of the people is reflected in the grief of Mama Kabul, and the tainted atmosphere of the city can be seen by her blood-stained dress. I think you’ve done a wonderful job at capturing the emotions of drowning sorrow held by the Kabul people. Not everyone understands or can feel empathy towards those losing their homes in a foreign land, but nigh all can comprehend the crushing sadness of a grieving mother. I, for one, was deeply moved by your poem, and I thank you for sharing this stirring piece of poetry.
Thank you for sharing this well-written and deeply moving poem. The personification of the city that you grew up in truly conveys the pain and suffering its inhabitants go through. Describing Kabul’s citizens as children of the city highlights how they hold such a deep connection with their homeland. The specific imagery you use exemplifies this when you describe how you feel the city’s pain in your own bones.
Your writing is so powerful; it spreads awareness about such a terrible issue using literary devices that really connect the reader with the text. I hope that you continue to share your experiences with your powerful and sincere words.
Thank you for sharing this poem to remind us of the brutal and terrifying experiences of violence and injustice that cause bloodshed in the city of Kabul. It is so unfortunate how beauty and peace have been replaced by terror and “sorrow” as the “mother city” has witnessed the “genocide of her children.” This profound piece of literature that you have written has made me realize how grateful I am to God for being able to eat, have shelter, buy necessities, go to school, and especially peace and freedom. With painful attacks on the home city of Kabul, your usage of “Feel your pain in my bones” emphasizes the heart-breaking and agonizing ambiance of the poem. The fact that this inhumanity spread “fresh blood” further shows how these are recent attacks. Therefore, I admire your courage and honesty as you put all your heartaches and tearful emotions into producing a piece of literary work that stresses the concerns and instabilities to bring awareness and change the society’s ways in the city of Kabul that once was a peaceful place to live with its natural beauty. I hope that everyone who reads your inspirational poem can learn a lesson and make the world a better place to live.
Calton, This poem was absolutely beautiful. Seeing the personification of the city actually helped to make to feel for it. I think that people often just look at places as they are, never quite understanding the pain, but this did the opposite. Allowing anyone to see something taken forgrated as someone, just one of us, is a talent that not many people are capable of achieving. My personal favorite part has to be when you write “you happy face had faded away,” because it really allows everyone to see the impact of our actions, as humans.
Thank you for writing this poem and putting in words the thoughts and experiences you’ve faced. This poem is one that portrays the harsh conditions your people have gone through from the mass killings on the streets of your city to the remnants of what was previously a beautiful city. Your experience and ability to deliver on behalf of your country is reflected in the braveness of your tone and boldness in your story. By addressing your “mother city” directly and asking rhetorical questions such as “How long must you carry this sorrow,” the strength in your words is apparent and it truly shapes my perspective of what your people had to suffer. By ending the poem with a statement of hope, prayer, and a strong desire for an uplifted society, I have no doubt that your words have and will continue to motivate millions of other Afghanistan people to follow in your footsteps and retain strength in the hardest of times. Moreover, through this poem, you have explained how the inequities your people have faced left a forever long stain on your city. A stain that will not be forgotten even in today’s world. Once more, thank you for writing this poem and expressing your emotion in the way you see best fit. It is because of writing like this that people seek a chance to build a better future and improve upon past mistakes, errors, and faults.