who picks up what mabel leaves?

It’s amazing all the events that fall into place for a single moment to happen. I could think back really far for this. But let’s keep it current.

About a month ago I started working at The Globe and Mail. Being a newspaper company, publishers send them a number of free books and cds and dvds, so they can review these items. Once or twice a year, the globe has a charity sale of these items.

The second day I returned from my trip to Saudi the book sale was on. I wasn’t sure I was going to attend. But then my project manager shows up at my desk and talks about a game plan. “We’ll go there ten minutes early and line up. Once you get in, grab all the interesting books you see and sort them out later. Or else everyone else will snatch them!”. She was way too enthusiastic. I had to go.

When I stepped into the room I wasn’t sure where to look. The books weren’t really organized well. So I walked around, putting anything interesting I saw into a bag. I happened to stumble upon this book: Black Stars In a White Night Sky (by JonArno Lawson (a Toronto based writer/poet)). I flipped through some of the pages and it seemed interesting enough to purchase. I didn’t have time to read the book right there, so I bought it solely based on the rhythm of the alignment of the lines.

This weekend my sister, brother-in-law, niece (5 years old) and nephew (5 months old) drove in from New York. My brother-in-law’s grandmother wasn’t too well, and was hospitalized. They came to visit her. The sister and brother-in-law went to visit on Saturday and I was hanging out with Erum (my niece). We were eating ice-cream in my room, she was anxious about the trip to the mall later that day. I decided to read poems from Black Stars to her. I kept repeating the same ones over and over. At some point, she started repeating after me.

This is probably my favourite poem from the book, The Maple Leaves that Mabel Leaves: [direct audio link]

After a bit, she started to play with the guitar. So I recorded again (the conversation we had here is in Urdu): [direct audio link]

Then she started to sing what I believe is the theme song for “Drake and Josh”: [direct audio link]

A thousand moments lead to this one. These are the leaves that we leave, these are the leaves that we rake.

9 thoughts on “who picks up what mabel leaves?”

  1. beautiful, thank you for sharing (:

    i love, love, love how she swallows key syllables here and there — quite the little rockstar, to borrow yasminay’s word (:

    also: the two of you together … maasha’ Allah, may the Lord preserve the beauty of this bond, ameen (:

  2. Hello there,

    I wrote “Mabel Leaves” – this made my day!
    Just beautiful.

    Until now, it bothered me that the Globe has never reviewed my books. But if they had, you wouldn’t have found it! Suddenly, I’m grateful to the Globe for its indifference.

    all my best,

  3. you sir, and your book have made the days of many! and generated plenty of smiles, laughs and thoughts.

    thank you for such a wonderful book.

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