My City

In my mind

My city is infested

With manifestations

Of your lies, abuse, cheating, theft

And Betrayal- you villain- you came and destroyed us, our hearts and bodies.

Like a brutal, vile disease,

The trauma (the emotional aftermath of the disturbing experiences your people justify our beautiful fairies deserve) unfolds

With every step I take

(I am repulsed, holding back,

Withdrawn and unaccepting of this pain

And how ugly it makes me feel).

But the love I have for

My city- the place

I was raised and

Born again-

I know this love is deeper

Than any wrong you did me (I did me).

My city is so beautiful,

I can’t let your filthy affairs

Congest the air quality

And Drag us down:

We are fully aware of our wounds and have become saints

And we are transparent now,

Our scars translucent- don’t you try to

Figure this relationship out.

My city: my affair: my romantic ordeal:

I want to walk freely

Towards the breeze;

And run breathlessly

Against the shores of sugar beach

(I’m watching for the stars after the sunsets):

And touch the myriad of

City lights with my own beauty

As I walk out of a live theatre performance

Into the brisk and gentle downtown streets (my streets/my home).

No matter the years it takes to heal

From your filthy poison,

My city and I stay true to the vows.

You may break our bodies

(And feed us torture, hate, and torment)

But to honest ones,

home is still home.

~Maryum Khalid~


Tell Me

“Tell me how you were loved and I’ll tell you how you make love” (Esther Perel).

Note to Self: Tell me about your pain. Tell me about your suffering. Tell me about who loved you. Tell me who didn’t love you. Tell me who you wanted to love. Tell me who you loved who didn’t love you back.Tell me what happened to you. Tell me why you are this way. Tell me who says “what is wrong with you”; who asks this of you, and who asks that of you but they never taught it to you in the first place; tell me who shuts you out when they can’t control the spiritual parts of you and tell me about when you shut down to shield your incorporeal essence. Tell me why you hurt. Tell me who you hurt. Tell me who hurt you. Tell me who you want to be. Tell me who you are. Tell me who you want to love. Tell me who you want to be.

~Maryum Khalid~

Artist Jean- Michel Bihorel

Life cycle

This sowed guilt is not transient. And I have all these questions like what do you want people to gather about you? (After life slipped from down under my feet without even giving me a chance to take a few breaths). No, I wasn’t given the chance to make a choice anymore because only nature truly knew me. The left over wounds are, however, not enough, no, it will not suffice because there’s some reasons the soul goes on if you want it to, no, I can’t justify the lies even as I feel my fugacious soul- consciously withering and falling before I’m supposed to.

One day in the quietness I realized maybe we acted in this way because we were both angry or tired, we were alone and maybe we internalized literally everything. I hadn’t hugged anybody in so long, hadn’t had any genuine human touch.

Maybe the answers we were angrily seeking were already inside of us because maybe we were going through the same thing and couldn’t ever vocalize it because of the absurdity, audacity or shame of it but maybe we were like each other and that thought just changed everything. It made me more quieter but more humble and accepting to her pain and also my being. Shameful and everything in the open, I allowed myself to understand the angry, bitter, and lonely parts of me. I peeked through the doors of my physical and mental trauma, I was kind of okay with feeling the flashbacks and the horrible memories, I was a bit okay with breaking the stone walls to enter the parts that hurt me or that I let continuously create doubt in this soul and body of mine, I gave thought to the chance of knowing my loving self, underneath all that pain. So there was the shock, denial, disbelief, the confusion, running away, the anger and the mood swings, the anxiety and fear, there was the guilt, the second guessing, the shame and self- blame, oh there was my soul, withering away from others, feeling sad and hopeless as I was in trance, somewhere in space, floating in some unknown galaxy, parallel to the seventh dimension, holding on to I don’t know what, feeling disconnected and physically and emotionally numb. Feel. Feel. Feel. Some parts were aching from the traumatic injuries, the lasting impacts of the physical violence and mental torture. Apparently this is the road to full recovery and stability.

Do you have these moments when your old self fights with your new self? Like before you would contain yourself but now you feel like you want to be open, you want to flutter around more but sometimes your old self will hold you captive in your cocoon. Or before, you were that person who contains their laughter and happiness, either to enjoy it little by little, or not at all, but now you let yourself experience what ever it is you’re feeling, you want to walk and smile, then you want to run and smile, but your old self tried to hold you back? But this new self is teaching you how to let go. This new self is keeping your soul from getting old. You are changing, blossoming. Tell your old self that letting go parts of you isn’t shameful and there’s no need to look down to some of your yester -days and yester- ways. The timing is right. New is dark. New is apprehensive. New is exhausting. New is on time. The appearance of the new you means purity, beauty in your developing spirit. Emotional inner peace as you break into a new spiritual awakening- learning from the old self. A new self of grace, elegance, shyness and hope.

This is some out-of-body experience or some self- reflection or looking into the mirror and not recognizing myself or maybe recognizing all of me and finding some peace or some soul to hold on to.

~Maryum Khalid~

The real Question”

“The real question is how comfortable we are with our decisions, successes, and failures, and will sharing these stories benefit the other person? “Thick boundaries” are also related and equally questionable. That therapy and life are separate things is a pathologically rooted understanding. In my culture, life and healing are inseparable. One does not heal by sitting in a small dim room talking about bad things that happened. The community gets out in the sun and dances to earth’s heartbeat”.

Art by Cheri Shields

Dancing to Nothing

Throw the pebble in the pond

And you have made a choice:

And just watch what

You steal on the way

From girls

Dancing to their dreams.

Steal their families,

Steal their homes,

Steal their time they thought was theirs’,

Steal them walking their way to Rome.

After you are done with the pebbles

And they have nothing left to give-

They’ll wake up to rocking alone

Looking out their windows.

(With nothing).

They cry not because they’re alone.

(With nothing).

They cry because you stole their homes.

(With nothing).

Dancing to their dreams.

~Maryum Khalid~

Ripple Effect

Cheryl Taves

My Story

Everything makes sense from your side

So that the world can finally see

What kind of a soul I am.

you can say the last words

And close your books.

The truth is:

To be wrong about you this Much;

To be off so much…

laying criminal charges does not constitute guilt

And you declared innocent or guilty doesn’t say anything.

My word against yours:

No proof.


The truth is:

You have no right

To my truth.

And no one

Has the right

To write

My life story.

~ Maryum Khalid~


With the

Slightest touch,

The colours

Of you,

They bloom

Past freedom,

Spirit, love

And life itself-

What will happen

If I actually

Get to hold you?

Will it simmer down

To truth, actuality

And breathing?

Or will the

Imagination and compassion

Create a field of

Things we can endlessly talk about?

Will we have a history


“Life time” conversations?

~Maryum Khalid~

Lorri Kelly

Point blank

Point blank

From peril.

What was saving me

Even after the 786

Episodes of

Blunt force trauma?

How many lives

Are buried beneath

Your hopes and dreams,

How many times

Did you die

To cover the messy

Suicidal streams.

You can be found alone

In the anxious mysteries

Of still waters;

You can become crystallized

Over and over,

Brew what ever feeling

You want to last,

To satisfaction

And call it home;

You can dance with

Your lover,

Evoking eternity

With every move.

Point blank


Of life, in tact.

~Maryum Khalid~

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Peace – Burial at Sea

exhibited 1842