You Can Call Me Abdul, a Poem

Updated on December 5, 2018
Jodah profile image

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books.

Source

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.

Source

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."

Hote room
Hote room | Source

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 | Source

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 | Source

"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 | Source

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.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 John Hansen

    Comments

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Pnknucklez profile image

        Paul Neglia 

        3 days ago from Poughkeepsie, NY USA

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        6 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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 profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        6 days ago from USA

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        6 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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 profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        6 days ago

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • CrisSp profile image

        CrisSp 

        7 days ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        7 days ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Cyndi10 profile image

        Cynthia B Turner 

        7 days ago from Georgia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        8 days ago from Greece, Almyros

        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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Aww Shauna. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed this.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Maya. much appreciated.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Clive.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        8 days ago from Central Florida

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

      • profile image

        Maya Hayat 

        8 days ago

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

      • PoetikalyAnointed profile image

        PoetikalyAnointed 

        8 days ago from US

        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.

      • clivewilliams profile image

        Clive Williams 

        8 days ago from Jamaica

        Nice story John

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        8 days ago from New Delhi, India

        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!

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        8 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • swalia profile image

        Shaloo Walia 

        8 days ago from India

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        8 days ago from Hyderabad, India

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        8 days ago from British Columbia, Canada

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 days ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 days ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Ann. Appreciated.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 days ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you so much Liz. I appreciate that comment.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        9 days ago from The Caribbean

        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 profile image

        manatita44 

        9 days ago from london

        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 profile image

        ocfireflies 

        9 days ago from North Carolina

        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

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        9 days ago

        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.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        9 days ago from SW England

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

        Ann

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        9 days ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        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.

      • The0NatureBoy profile image

        Elijah A Alexander Jr 

        9 days ago from Washington DC

        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.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        9 days ago from UK

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 days ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        9 days ago from Ontario, Canada

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        9 days ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        9 days ago from Olympia, WA

        Beautiful message, John! Such a beautiful message.

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