“Immersed within the core of my faulted and unworthy heart, is a treasure-filled chest with my Enshrined Jewels…”
So begins the journey into the writings of Sakina Mohammed, a journey of remembrance and perseverance, a journey dedicated to her past, present and future selves; her childhood, motherhood, to love and relationships, to self-love, to the stigmas faces by both genders, to Mother Nature, to the tribulations of society, to the myriad of human emotions, to retrieval and growth and even to the pandemic, which brought her the time and conviction to pen her words.
‘My Poetic Place’ is a book that tears open the human soul, and showcases emotions, battered and bruised, tears down stereotypical thinking like ripping away a still blood wound… then heals it with empathy, understanding, love and compassion, showing a unique responsiveness to the human condition and to nature around us. The more you delve into the poetry and writings of Sakina, the more you realise that you are dealing with an empath; keenly attuned to the emotions, thoughts and feelings of those around her.
The foreword of her book, written by Ryan Daniel Warner, the Publisher and Producer at RDW Word, observes: “There are glimpses and reminders throughout this body of work of our shared consciousness; the love and the harmony that we can work towards if we come together and continue to connect and encourage one another…”
Speaking to Sakina, she tells us, “For as long as I remember, I dreamt of publishing a poetry book. Back in school I had a little notebook of poems which my Literature teacher used to correct and always encouraged me to move on. As I grew older, life happened and my poetry started fading away. Over a decade later I found the inspiration to write again, at a point of complexity and confusion, poetry came to me as a form of escape and therapy. It’s the encouragement from those closest to me that kept me moving ahead. Then the pandemic happened! It was during that time that I truly explored this art, connecting with poets and writers across the globe on social media. In that mundane monotony and messed-up routine, the prompts and challenges kept me sane. Before I know it, I had collected enough poems for a book. I came across Jam Fruit Tree Publication on Facebook and contacted Mr Jeremy Muller; he made the publishing journey so much smoother than I had imagined!”
Sakina’s writings are passionate, to say the least, but they are also born of the desperate need to connect with herself. Apart from wanting to revive her love of poetry and realise her childhood dream to publish a book, she started a blog – My Poetic Place – as a medium for self-expression. After receiving a positive response, she moved on to social media and her reach has grown by leaps and bounds. She went on to receive the ‘Order of Shakespeare Award’ from the Motivational Strips Forum, the ‘Cesar Vallejo 2020’ annual honour from the Union Hispanomundial de Escritores, the world’s largest Spanish Writers Union, the ‘Gujarat Sahitya Academy International Award for Independence Day’s honours, a Certificate of appreciation by Motivational Strips Forum on their 3rd anniversary, and several certificates by Writer’s Unite Community as winner and runner-up for challenges and prompts.
Talking about the design of the book and the cover, Sakina says, “This book is my journey of self-discovery; messages to my soul. The cover represents me: the dress (the Bohra modest costume called a “Rida”) in colours that bring me the most peace, and henna designs (as I am a henna artist); these are all the things I resonate with the most!”
The reviews of this first book of Sakina’s are warm and refreshing, to say the least. Zaneefa Zaneer, contemporary novelist and 2018 Gratiaen Prize shortlistee comments: “Sakina Mohammed constantly embraces growth… Her poems are simple yet powerful.”
“The mystery of creation, the existence of human life, time, karma, accountability, consequences, and fascinating imagery of nature, the mechanisms of the human body are wonderfully reflected in the canvas of her poetry,” says Shakil Kalam, a poet, translator and researcher from Bangladesh.
Yusra Aziz Eliyas, Startup Enthusiast and Founder says, “Sakina manages to weave issues and words brilliantly, and tells of situations with such raw passion and in such a clever way, that it jumpstarts every single emotion and thought possible.”
I will leave you with these final words from Ryan Daniel Warner about the poetry of Sakina Mohammed: “This is more than a poetry book; it is a spiritual teaching of warmth and wisdom. A place to visit time and again when our lamps feel dim and our hearts feel heavy.”