Lena Winfrey Seder
Sr. Lena is a convert to Islam who currently resides in the Sudan. Her poems appear here with permission.
I began my journey the day I was born.
My name told my destiny.
Yet, it remained hidden for me to discover.
I traveled a long time to get to this moment.
So many cactuses I stumbled over in the dark.
No star lighted my path-- I was not yet awake.
Naivety guided me into sandstorms that made wounds in my soul.
Ignorance blinded me as the cactus' thorns scratched me.
However, these wounds propelled me forward and kept me on
a certain path.
One day, when I looked ahead, I saw an oasis.
A mirage, I thought, so I slowly walked towards it-- expecting
to be fooled again.
When I reached the mirage, I found a rose.
I touched it and found it was no dream.
Entranced by this rose, I placed it in the vase of my heart.
As it took root, it became a part of me.
My blindness lifted, for I could see the true Light.
Faith rested in my heart.
My desert rose led me to this destiny.
When I stray-- its paper thorns remind me to come back to
the straight path.
Each day it continues growing, it strengthens my heart and
I water it with my prayers, my charity, my fasting.
This rose is here to stay--
It guides me to an eternal Garden.
My thoughts, my goals, my actions are preparing my place in
That is where I will rest my roots--
As long as this rose remains in my heart.
Racism, the great crime of humanity.
Why does one's race always claim superiority?
We are all the same; there is no inferiority.
When we look at each other we see a resembling face.
We all have a body and a soul of grace.
As individuals, we do have differences.
Some of us may take risks and chances.
Others of us may be shy and give few glances.
We should find common ground and make peace.
The hatred and killing should desist and cease.
We are all the children of Adam and in life have a lease.
We should lend a helping hand to each other.
We should remember that Eve is our common mother.
We should love our human sisters and brothers.
Peace At Last
Walking through the woods on a snowy day,
Seeing the crystal blanket was so deep,
I made a wrong turn and lost my own way.
Sliding over the hill Allah made so steep,
Finding the perfect place where I could rest,
I sat down beneath a tree that looked best.
As I sat watching the snow calmly fall,
I then laid me down to give up my all.
Curling up to go to sleep on the ground,
Hearing the voice of my friend calling me,
No longer would I utter one more sound.
Death takes my hand and pulls me from the tree.
Escaping a thornful life for my gain,
I'll reach a home of peace that has no pain.