powered by your voice
Jun 09
Lena's picture



By: Hawa Adam, Kiran Waqar, Balkisa Abdikadir, and Lena Ginawi
Singer: Lena Ginawi

♫...These green hills, and silvers waters…♫

The year is over and summer is being readily invited  
I wave goodbye to the shrill school bell and the short cold winter days
I say goodbye to my busy schedules and embrace the unplanned
The adventures
The freedom
Goodbye to the days that brought with them the silent snowfall, the warm hot chocolate and the tongues that they scorched
To the snowflakes that melted on me and my flushed cheeks whenever I came indoors
The snow brings the excited snowboarders and the fall brings the expectant onlookers
But now I’m lying on the green, sweet grass
Looking up with hands behind my head
Trying to find clouds in the spotless sky
The flowers nearby, daisies and black eyed susans
I smell their sugary fragrance from here
*Deep breath*
In the distance is the chatter of Church Street 
I hear the quiet murmur of children running, musicians performing, and laughter
I imagine the smiles, bright and beautiful,
of the children enjoying an ice cream cone on this hot day
Chocolate Waffle Cone melting on their face
With strawberry and vanilla
And don’t forget the sprinkles!
I remember going with my family
I hear the bugs buzzing by with the dragonfly as their leader
Jun 09
Lena's picture



By: Hawa Adam and Lena Ginawi

H: We were planning to have a good introduction to this poem
But we didn’t get around to it
Because we are the procrastinators 
We put the PRO in procrastination

L: And today we are going to offer you a few tips to develop your skills in putting things off

L: 1) Remember hard work pays off later. Laziness pays off now so be one who lives in the moment

H: 2) Warning, read or don’t read the dates on your calendar. They will always be closer than they appear.

L: 3) Homework is like yoga it’s a deliberation where hours are wasted and minutes are recorded

H: 4) Don’t put yourself down if you suck at art, you have talent because procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday

L: 5) When you have to explain to your friend why you didn’t do or never seem to do the homework just say the reason I save my homework off till the last minute is because then I'll be older, therefore more wiser

H: 6) Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off till next week

L: 7) If you think napping is your hobby, well then performing tasks in a deadline-induced panic is your motto.

H: 8) You know when you tell your parents your plans last minute and they can’t really say no. That my friend is called proper planning so pat yourself on the back for that
Jun 09
Lena's picture


Editor's note: Lena Ginawi is a member of Muslim Girls Making Change, the slam team that YWP selected to represent YWP and Vermont at the Brave New Voices Festival in July, 2016. She has presented this poem in public prior to BNV and this recording comes from her appearance at The Turrell Fund Day -- a Celebration of Children and the many people and organizations who work to make children's lives better. Lena received a sustained standing ovation; several in the audience were brought to tears.


By Lena Ginawi

Labels represent a way of differentiating and identifying people.
Little do they know, they are demeaning those they are describing or classifying.
Do they know that labeling the minority is impacting us negatively?
Society seems to be focused on negatively labeling those who might be seen as deviant from cultural norms.
The funny thing is, behaviors are deviant only when society labels them as deviant.
Labeling is adaptive and miraculous, but it also contributes to some of the deepest problems that face our species.
So what makes us any different from you?
Is it the way I dress?
The way I talk?
The way I hush my voice from the crowd?