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You Can Call Me Abdul, a Poem

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books. Basically he just loves to write.

you-can-call-me-abdul-a-poem

You Can Call Me Abdul

The cab pulled over to the kerb (curb)

At the airport taxi rank.

The driver asked me "Where to Sir?"

"Just to the nearest bank."


As he drove, the driver talked,

Told me about his life.

How he had to leave his homeland,

His little son, and wife.


His country was in turmoil,

War-torn, bitter strife.

There was no choice, he had to leave

To find a better life.


I could hear his voice was breaking

As he opened up his heart,

The need to bring his family here

To make a brand new start.

you-can-call-me-abdul-a-poem

He stopped the cab outside the bank

And I asked him please, to wait.

He joked, "It's ok, take your time.

I don't have an urgent date."


The driver smiled as I returned,

"You were not long at all.

Where may I take you now please Sir?

You can call me Abdul."


"The Hotel Mariott," I said,

And gave him the address.

"I've business to attend to

But I need time to destress."


"I know a lovely place to eat,

The food is quite superb.

A quaint little restaurant

Run by a friendly fellow Arab."

When we arrived at the hotel

I bid Abdul farewell.

He handed me his business card,

"If you need a car, just call."


Unpacked and settled in my room

I quickly went Online,

Brought up the Palestine embassy

To see what I could find.


I did a search for Abdul's name

On the card, he'd given me.

Found out the town that he was from,

then called the Embassy.


As a former foreign diplomat

I have connections in the field.

It's not what you know, but who you know

When doing global deals.

The Gaza Strip, Palestine: Fleeing the bombing

The Gaza Strip, Palestine: Fleeing the bombing

I have seen countries ravaged,

Families torn apart by war.

I'll use any influence that I have

To help this man, Abdul.


Three days passed, I made the call.

Abdul recognized my voice.

"I need a car if you are free."

He replied, "It is no choice."


Abdul drove me to the restaurant

He told me about before,

I said, "Why don't you join me?

Leave your taxi at the door."


Reluctantly he nodded,

As I paid him for the fare.

I handed him a piece of paper,

"Call the number written there."


Arab Restaurant

Arab Restaurant

"Your family will join you soon,"

I told him with a grin.

For once he seemed at a loss for words,

As what I said sank in.


We sat down at a table

And I ordered us a meal.

Abdul didn't seem to yet believe

That what I said was real.


"Give me back that number,"

I said, holding my phone.

I called and spoke to my contact,

Then gave it to Abdul.


He confirmed his name, then listened,

Then his face lit in a smile,

As what I'd told him was enforced

He'd soon see his wife and child.


Children amid debris: Palestine, Gaza Strip

Children amid debris: Palestine, Gaza Strip

It doesn't matter who you are,

Religion, race, or creed,

Every man, woman, and child

Deserves the basic needs.


Why should where you're born determine

If you should starve or feast?

If you should suffer threat of war

Or be struck down by disease?


Everyone is equal,

On this world called Earth,

Health and wealth and happiness

Should be a right of birth.


Extend the hand of friendship

To everyone you can,

Black or yellow, white or red,

They are your fellow man.

© 2018 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 26, 2019:

Audrey, thank you for reading this and for the lovely comment. I am glad you thought it a worthy message to share with the world. If only I knew how.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on May 25, 2019:

Thank you, John, for this beautiful message. Your heart is pure. The world could sure benefit from these powerful words of wisdom.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 20, 2018:

Thank you, Eric. I appreciate you telling me that. I am glad this had a positive impact.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 20, 2018:

Caroline, thank you for reading and for your kind comment.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 20, 2018:

I like to conserve and that first order is use and reuse. I suppose most folks turn off writers after they make a comment. I just cheat and reuse articles. Yours will not hit my bin soon. Thank you

Carolinemd21 on December 20, 2018:

Hello John, that is a very beautiful and interesting poem about humanity, kindness and respect. Thank you for sharing. :)

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 11, 2018:

Hi Pnknucklez. Thank you for checking this poem/story out and for your inspiring comment. I agree, there is not enough kindness and compassion in the world. Too much fear mongering makes the population scared to be generous and accepting.

Paul Neglia from Poughkeepsie, NY USA on December 11, 2018:

Hey John,

Nice piece of work. It is so troubling that we allow religion, race, sex, to interfere with being a good person as if the stranglehold is something we cant escape. This message you have in many stanzas is one that we should all adhere to. Nice work my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 08, 2018:

Yes, we should use our connections where we can...not waste them. Thank you for the kind comment Flourish, I hoped the poem had that effect.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 08, 2018:

Who we know can change our lives, and gestures like this can have enormous impacts. The warm spirit of your poem touches the heart and encourages us each to do better.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 08, 2018:

I am glad you enjoyed this poem and it's message Li-Jen. I did not plan this poem and no idea what it was going to be about when I started, It just took that direction and I am glad it did. Thank you for your kind comment.

Li-Jen Hew on December 08, 2018:

Hi Jodah. Your poem is beauty. It is a great act of kindness because it inspires people. There are a lot of bias and your last stanza teaches the right thing to do and reminds us to keep loving. A short time to help can make a big difference like seeing Abdul's family. Touching poem. Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 07, 2018:

Hey good to see you Cris. Thank you, hope the Abdul you know is a nice guy too.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on December 07, 2018:

Wonderful write John. True story needs to be told. Spread the love. P.S. I actually know another Abdul.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 07, 2018:

Thank you for reading this Rajan. I am glad you found the message a worthy piece of writing.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 07, 2018:

A very touching poem, John. This fine message is the need of the day. Thank you for this poem and message.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 07, 2018:

Thank you so much for reading this Cynthia. I agree with everything you say. The world would be a much better place if we all showed some compassion to our fellow man and woman. Cheers.

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on December 07, 2018:

What a sweet and touching poem! Everyone deserves to be with their loved ones without fear of persecution or threat of death from the tyranny of man. Small minds make the world small and horrible. Each of us has a responsibility to do what we can to make things better. Some are in an better postion than others, but I believe that each act of kindness, care and understanding helps contribute to the humanity of us all. You chose a beautiful way to spread the message. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 07, 2018:

Thank you, Brother Sean. Glad you like my subtle form of preaching lol. I try to get my message across the best way I know how..usually through poetry. Bless you.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on December 06, 2018:

Thank you for your voice, my brother. Talented men like you who use their gift for serving are real artists!

May God help always to be a beacon!

Sean

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 06, 2018:

Aww Shauna. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed this.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 06, 2018:

Thank you, Maya. much appreciated.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 06, 2018:

Hey, PoetikalyAnointed. So many people are in a position to mKe a difference but unfortunately most turn a blind eye, glad you enjoyed this. Thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 06, 2018:

Thank you, Clive.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 06, 2018:

Thank you Chitrangada. Yes, this may be fiction but I wish it wasn’t. I love what you said, “humanity is the greatest religion.” There are good people in the world doing amazing things unfortunately the media prefers to let us see and here the bad news, so we rarely get to appreciate it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 06, 2018:

Quite a nice coincidence there meeting at the store, Eric.what was the woman’s reaction when your wife paid the difference for her? Total disbelief I bet. Thanks for sharing.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 06, 2018:

John, this is poetic story-telling at it's best. Love the message. Love the flow. Love your heart. You're a humble fellow!

Maya Hayat on December 06, 2018:

level man......world need people like u :)

PoetikalyAnointed on December 06, 2018:

Bravo,John! What a touching story this was to read. If only ALL peoples with connections would step in at the time of need. We humans have become so selfish with our talents, time and money. This was wonderful example of showing kindness.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on December 06, 2018:

Nice story John

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 06, 2018:

What a beautiful message through your well composed poem!

We need such helpful people everywhere. Every small or big action counts. Humanity is the greatest religion and you conveyed it so beautifully through your story.

Thanks for sharing this heart touching poem and message!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 06, 2018:

So John we had a weird deal yesterday. I had to head to the store early for a return (we had a bad deal with Romaine lettuce being contaminated) Turned out my wife stopped by on her ways to work. We met up in the queue. We were giggling at our good fortune as I got the groceries and she would get to work on time.

Then an elderly lady was having a row with the teller over a price.

My wife who was in a hurry turned back and handed the clerk 3 buckaroos to pay the extra price.

Reminded me of why I married her and she was awkward about my kissing her in public.And the beat goes on.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 06, 2018:

Thank you, Shaloo. I thank you for such an inspiring comment.

Shaloo Walia from India on December 06, 2018:

Such a profound lesson through this beautiful poem....simply awesome!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

Venkat, I am glad this poem moved you. Thank you for such a generous comment. Take care.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on December 05, 2018:

A very appealing lesson through this beautiful poem. John, I am really moved by this poem. A nice presentation!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

Thank you, Linda. Yes, it is one of the most topical subjects at the moment across the world. The solution is not easy but we must not lose our compassion.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 05, 2018:

Your poem covers a very important topic, John. Thank you for creating and sharing it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

I hope so too MsDora. Thank you for reading and for your appreciative comment.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

Thank you Manatita. I just heard a passage in an audio book my wife was listening to “You can call me Saul” and I thought I can write something about that. I changed the name to Abdul, and this is what happened. I much appreciate your comment.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

Thank you, as always, Kim, for your generosity in your words and caring comment. Blessings.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

Now you have me almost in tears, Rinita. What can I say, but “thank you.” I know there are people like that out there, just not enough.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

Thank you Ann. Appreciated.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

I am sure those years have subsided by now Eric. I am glad you found this story touching. We do need more “feel good” stories, and they are out there, as you saw at the grocery store. You must recount that experience for us.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

Thank you for the wonderful and insightful comment, Brother Elijah. I struggled with that sentence throwing back and forth between “should and shouldn’t be a right of birth.” So thank you for pointing it out.mi have now changed that.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

Thank you so much Liz. I appreciate that comment.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 05, 2018:

I'm almost sure there's an Abdul out there somewhere who thinks you wrote about him; only wish he would chance upon such a kind passenger. What a beautiful story with a happy ending. Thanks, on behalf of immigrants from everywhere!

manatita44 from london on December 05, 2018:

A beautiful piece! You wrote it well, all alright, but these sort of pieces touches the Heart for other reasons with which one identify. What a wonderful story! Excellent work!

ocfireflies from North Carolina on December 05, 2018:

John,

Per usual, you deliver the greatest gifts through your words. I, too hope there are those out there using their connections to help those who need it most.

Blessings Always My Dear Friend,

Kim

Rinita Sen on December 05, 2018:

I could cry, but I wouldn't. This is deeper than tears, will remain in my heart for years. I hope there are really such people, who use their connections for the betterment of fellow beings. I am at a loss for words, for the exclusivity of the poem, and the poet, that's the wonderful writer and person, John Hansen.

Ann Carr from SW England on December 05, 2018:

A beautiful sentiment in this sad war-torn world, John.

Ann

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 05, 2018:

Just give me a few minutes here. OK I can see now. Your great writing brought a tear or three to my eyes. I love feel good stories.

I look for this kind of "good" stuff. And I will be darned but it is happening all around us. Just this morning I saw the love at my grocery store.

Thanks for a great reminder.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on December 05, 2018:

Brother John, what a "random deed of kindness" done for someone one hardly knew and then admonishing everyone to do all in their power for our "family called human". It was said in such a way that one couldn't anticipate what was going to happen made it very suspenseful.

However, I believe your saying "Health and wealth and happiness Shouldn't be a right of birth" was intended to be "should be a right of birth" as it was before human began our present way of life of human controlling human and made a money wealth. It is our love our own form wealth which is the cause of 99%, if not all, of human sufferings although that is our karmic destiny.

Thanks for sharing it.

Liz Westwood from UK on December 05, 2018:

This is a heart-warming and inspiring poem with a great story and message.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

Yes it is a message that we need to spread at this time of year, Mary. Thank you for reading.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 05, 2018:

I admire you for extending a hand to the driver. It is the essence of humanity. Yes, health and especially peace is the right of everyone. An apt message this Advent season.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on December 05, 2018:

Thank you so much, Bill, that comment is all I need to hear.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 05, 2018:

Beautiful message, John! Such a beautiful message.