And the Ilympic Event: Lyrical Art winner is…

LAYLA IZRUNA from Qabeelat Barakah, Manchester. Mabrook Layla.

Alhamdulillah as part of the Share the Khayr campaign, AlMaghrib hosted its second Ilympic Event: Lyrical Art Poetry competition.

Poets and Spoken Word artists were all out on form to put forward their pieces. And the great thing about this event was how the sisters from all over the AlMaghrib World were representing in the finals, with only a single brother who made the cut.

The winner for this event was Sister Layla Izruna from Manchester who spoke her piece LIVE from Sh Abu Eesa’s Rizq Factory seminar. Her piece entitled “Mind the Gap” inspired by a short working stint living in the City of London and the working environment. Her piece was a unique story telling style which is an ancient art of poetry long forgotten. It was a focussed and detailed piece based around an evident theme and very relevant metaphors.

Here is the winning poem, which most Londoners can definitely relate to:

Mind the Gap
Please mind the gap between the train and the platform

Stepping off into a world of
Bricks and metal and grey.
Walking through lines and lines of posters
Lines and lines of posters
Portals into made up worlds
We’ve made to escape
The made up world we’ve created for ourselves

I look up and I can’t see the sky for all the skyscrapers
Trying to scratch their names into the heavens
“I was here!” they desperately call
Hoping to make a name for themselves among the clouds
Thinking this is all there is to lay a claim on

I need to lift my head a little higher to see
A little higher to just breathe
This city air is suffocating me

Building walls higher and higher
Between us and the signs
The signs that remind us
What it means to be alive
That God is Great and we are not
Not all powerful
Not independent
Not self-sufficient
We depend on Him and He is Magnificent

Soon hands will become obsolete
Because all we’ll need is a stick
To prod at a keyboard for all life’s necessities
And, do you remember when we used talk to one other?
Face to face
Eye to eye
Heart to heart
Now reduced to a notification on a phone screen
And something less than three
All this communication is only isolating me

Please, mind the gap

I think we’re all stuck in the gap
And haven’t quite made it to the other side
This Godless Gap where man thinks he’s making it all by himself
With no need for the One who made him and his ability to make

We’ve forgotten to lose ourselves in the vastness of the sky
Soothe our souls in the green of the countryside
Work to do, trains to catch, messages to check
Life goes running on distracting us from life itself

When was the last time you woke with the birds
Let your hearts dance to their song?
Prepared a meal to the plate
Right from the ground which it was from?
Now, I love the city, don’t get me wrong
But sometimes there’s a time for a timeout

Because I’m losing touch with nature
Losing touch with reality
And God help me if I’m losing touch with Him

This is a Circle line train direct to your Creator, your originator
Please, please, mind the gap.

You can check out Sister Layla on her Facebook page and personal blogspot aptly entitled: Salam in Wonderland.

You can also listen to the winning piece and also catch the rest of the submission finalists at:

Well done Sister Layla. You have done the UK proud!

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