Upside down


One boy says to his brother:

Hey Moony Moony look!

I’m gonna do something that will make Mama gasp like this: ahhhhhhhh!


What’s with my boys

And upside down?

I get it’s smiles

And no more frowns

Only thing is

my mother’s heart

Which somersaults

Until they’re down

Can’t they just stand

Like normal kids

With both feet firmly

on the ground?!

Must they swing so high

while standing up

And must they land

With such a sound?

Can’t they just slide

From up to down

Instead of climbing

All around

Can’t they have mercy

On this heart

Know that their risks

Will make it pound

I swear I age

at least 10 years

with every trip


To our playing-ground


My secret world


I tiptoe into the house

sneak past my children playing in the living room

dash to my room and lock the door

I’m so so tired, you see. Today, I just can’t make the instant switch from doctor to mother. Babies died today at work. I soaked up a lot of tears. I’m so tired.

In my room, I kneel on the floor, then I lift my prayer rug, peeling it away from the reveal the trap door underneath (don’t tell. It’s a secret..what? you want to come and see? OK, just this once, then..come along)

I go down the steps that wind down down down in the twisted spiral of time. By the time it turns into a slide, I’m 19 again, and poof! I always love this part..I land onto a bed of feathers.. and bubbles rise to the sky when I arrive..for no reason other than that I wish it.

I throw myself back and spread my limbs, eyes closed. Can you smell the pine needles and forest? Can you hear the silence that’s not silent? that’s filled with birdsong, and rustling leaves and running water..and a distant’s the flute. that would be my instrument if I had one.

Hello, Pegasus! you always greet me. The horse nuzzles me so I open one eye to peer up at him. What? enough laziness, you say? Do you have any idea what my day has been like? But Ok, lets go for a ride, let’s outrun my past..and push away my future for just a few moments longer..I already hear the banging on my bedroom door..the children are calling me … but I’m not ready to go back just yet.

I close my eyes against the wind, and let Pegasus lead. We fly above this Mystical world of mine.. The fairies race with us, the mermaids wave to us from the ocean below..I won’t have time to switch into a fairy or a mermaid today..but I promise myself I’ll be back soon for an extended visit with my friends. Oh, there’s Peter Pan! I wave back at him (ha! my sister will be jealous I got to see him).

Pegasus, always responsible, circles back-he loves my children you see,  though he only knows their laughter, and my stories of them. He lowers his head down to my bed of feathers. Reluctantly I slide off his back.. I open the trap door above me and imagine trudging back up up up my twisted stairwell of time.. it seems a long way back up to 32… but then I hear my children’s squealing laughter..hmm someone is being tickled.. I race up the steps full of new energy again..just in time to catch the game 🙂


My father and the sea


It’s such a gift to form a new image, or pretend to have a new memory of a loved one after they die.


30 years ago

My father stood alone

Gazing out at the sea

And someone wrote this about his meeting with Princess Diana:


I would not have understood then, his charm, his diplomacy, his loyalty

what he was saying

I was only 2


25 years ago..

I stood with my father (well, he stood, and my feet dangled over the wall I was sitting on)

Gazing out at that same sea

“Baba, I’m bored, what should I do?”

“Do what you’re doing”

“What am I doing?”

“Looking out at the sea”

“That’s doing something?” I asked puzzled

“Sure it is”

I ignored him and decided to do something “productive” (yes, I’ve had this obsessive streak for quite a while)

I pulled out my book: Basil the Great Mouse Detective, see?


Again, I did not understand what he was trying to teach me, about life, about time, about “being” rather than “doing”

I was only 7


But I’m starting to get it now

Starting to gather all his pearls

Strung along the seashore of our past

Lessons I am understanding

Only in retrospect

As I walk in his footsteps

which have been washed away by the tides

I’m starting to get it now

Who he was:

Just a man

Trying his best

to be a husband and father

Probably making it up

as he went along

Definitely making mistakes

as he went along

Just like me

Just like all of us


My children don’t get it now

But I’m sure they will


…or maybe 30

long-short years from now


I miss him 💔  and would love to gaze out at the sea with him one more time,

doing nothing….doing everything that matters.

Wid Kattan

Reference:The Diana Chronicles, Tina brown, 2007, page 271

Crossing-gaurd’s smile



The little things are the big things.

Whatever comes from the heart, touches others.

You never know which smile, or word or hello, will brighten up a day, or ease a heavy heart.

I think of all these things when I see the crossing guard at my children’s school.

Thank you Len!



Every day you stand

Help them cross the busy street

Bring them safely to the shore

On their busy kid-feet



Back and forth you walk

retrace your steps for miles

Across the intersection

Always sending out your smiles



Smiles that reach your  laughing eyes

And brighten up their days

And ease our parent-minds

In many many ways



Thank you!

If the world had your Heart, Abdul


If the world..

had your heart, Abdul

What a place it would be..

So cool

You, who cried..

When you knew,

The Tasmanian Tiger

Was extinct before you..

Before you were ever born

But you cried for it

Soaked your pillow

“Why? Why did they kill them all?

They weren’t dangerous! They didn’t do anything!”

You who asked me once

With your hands on your shaking head

“How do people do this?

How do you steal something?

How do you kill someone?


You who wave at strangers and say

“See Mama,

It’s a game ..

you wave and see who waves back”

And people always wave back to you, my love

If only the world had you heart, Abdul

What a place it would be





The Tasmanian Tiger is believed to have been hunted to extinction in the 20th century. There is actually a video of the last one known to survive,  in the 20s I believe. Despite its official classification as extinct, sightings are still reported, though none has been conclusively proven.

It was a relatively shy, nocturnal creature, but a formidable predator. It was one of the rare marsupials where both the male and the female have a pouch that can protect the young.

Such a beautiful animal, so like you; merciful, shy, rare, caring-for-the-young  Abdulrahman (which in Arabic means servant of the All-Merciful ).

Maybe you’ll be the one to discover there are still some Tasmanian Tigers left. Maybe you’ll be the one to capture them on camera when you grow up to be a wild life photographer, like you say you want to be.

There is always hope. As long as there are hearts like yours Abdul, there is always hope.

Painting above retrieved from: the depths of my heart.

Poem and image published with the permission of : Abdulranman, 9


Hope Gone Viral

Pop the Bubbles


I work in Women’s Mental Health. I see depressed mothers all the time. What amazes me is the isolation and shame these women live in, each in her lonely bubble-the borders of which are an illusion. In reality, each woman  is connected to all the other mothers around her who feel the same. But they are all too ashamed and too afraid to say it: I’m not happy. I don’t feel anything for this baby. I feel irritated with this baby. I feel like a terrible mother, a failure. I just want to sleep….. I just want my life back.

So, this is my message to them, my own confession:


Pop the bubbles

Prison cells

Let them coalesce

Join our hands

Share the space

So we suffer less




Tell the truth:

When baby cries

I want to run away

To my old life

To my old self

Admit: don’t want to stay




Here’s a secret

So well hidden

Really, it’s ok

We’re just too guilty

Scared to say

We all felt the same way




‘Til we get help

And find ourselves

And love ourselves again

Then love our children

enjoy them too

Just how it should have been


Wid Kattan

Note: perinatal depression affects around 15% of mothers. That’s not a small number. It could happen to anyone. It as nothing to do with the quality of who you are, and has nothing to do with how much you truly love your child.


Halloween this morning

On our way to school this morning.

My son: Gasp! Mama!




I just saw..

a big tall man!

his face was eerie green!




Yes sweetie,

You’ll see strange things today

Today is Halloween




And there’s a girl!

with purple eyes!

a purple mouth!

and long black cape!




and there’s a gargoyle!

with it’s horns!

scary stuff in town

There’s no escape




From the grade-one-ers

to the high-schoolers

to the principal

of the school




Who was dressed

as the frosty snow queen

her lips blue

and gaze so cool




And they’re all

just getting started

it’s not yet

8 a.m!




What will happen

I wonder

when night falls?

when they all break loose?



I need more coffee..






Sticky Situation




Sticky situation

Beyond imagination

Involving mom’s turquoise goo



Silly magic putty

Really wasn’t funny

Sticking to my hair like glue



Don’t sleep with it at night

Don’t let the bedbugs bight

Dad told me, but I didn’t hear



Woke up with putty in my hair

Blue and furry like a bear

A vision to instill some fear



I started to cry

But knew it was ok

When I saw mom’s laughing eyes



We’ll get it out don’t worry

Although we have to hurry

We’ll be late to school, but let’s try



One day you’ll laugh about this

She said as she removed

One sticky blue piece at a time



And even as she did

I saw that it was funny

And together we made this poem rhyme



A true story

Published with the permission of : Omar, 5.

Image also approved (after revisions) by Omar, 5.

My Turqoise


I’m no one’s pink silhouette

Tired of society’s etiquette

I have a name and a face

I have a voice, yeah you bet


I’m going to walk tall again

I’m going to wear my turquoise blue

I couldn’t care any less

If it’s too bright for the likes of you


See, I’ve tried to conform

Tried to curtesy, smile and twirl

But I have to stand up for me

And more so for my baby girl


For she will do as I do

Kids never do as you say

And I’ll teach her to be true

To her true colors all the way


Mimi, I’m so excited for you to find your own turquoise.

Love, Mama.                                     Wid Kattan



Image retrieved from:

Mother of Boys



I’m used to messy rooms
And floors scattered with toys
Used to stickers on walls
And the clatter of noise
I know all about paintings
Done in blues and turquoise
about  blocks tumbling down
With one slam that destroys
About ice cream and rainbows
and a million small joys
That make life so full
See, I’m a mother of boys
Wid Kattan
Image retrieved from: