Pain Behind the Smile 

© Lozan Yamolky



In a world that seems to be

filled with smiling people

everywhere you look,

your own sadness and grief are keeping you inside;

your curtains closed
and your lights dimmed.


In a family filled with socializing siblings,

fatigue is keeping your phone silent

and you are desiring to crawl deeper

into yourself in search of solitude.


In a workplace where you are

expected to be cheerful and positive,

anxiety is making you unable

to pull yourself out of your bed

in the morning.


Giant billboard ads

of friendly happy gatherings

are making you feel ashamed

and awkward for being unhappy.

Yet, you smile,

you socialize,

you work

and you blend in with the rest

despite the pain within.


Neglecting who you are and how you feel

to make others happy

is only a temporary remedy

to ease the deep pain you feel inside.

Many smiling faces around you

are hiding the pain too.


I know your pain

because I have been there.


I want you to know,

I understand.



I release you from the pressure

to be like the rest.



I set you free

from the chains of society’s expectations;

at least temporarily.



be comfortable to be who you are

and realize how you feel is natural.



you don’t have to say

‘I am fine’ when you truly are not!


Here is my embrace.

Here are my welcoming arms

and here is the place for you to be you.


Just remember

when you come in,

leave your smiling mask

at my front door.



© Lozan Yamolky
A pome from the book: Counting Waves
Published by: Silver Bow in 2017
To order your copy of my book or my debut book (I’m NO Hero), contact me.

Forgotten Stories


Forgotten Stories
© Lozan Yamolky

Dedicated to my beloved Nana Fatim; may her soul forever rest in peace.



She told us stories; more than a few.

All were old; none were new.


She told us stories from her heart;

She held our minds spellbound, every part.


She told and retold, as we lay on the floor,

we listened as though we hadn’t heard it before.


Stories of sadness, fright or despair;

all ended triumphantly with joy in the air.


Tears flowed whenever she laughed;

when father got mad, she was our life raft.


She was always busy keeping our house clean;

But never too busy to listen to our dreams.


We ran shouting her name to the end of the street;

the joy of expecting her was always a treat.


Without her aba-ya* and slippers she’d never go outside;

we always hid them both to keep her by our side.


She told us many stories, and testaments of strong faith;

taught us to deepen that well within and never leave room for hate.


I’ve forgotten all her stories except for one;

I try to recall more, but alas, I find none.


I know within the folds of my beating heart,

inscriptions of her stories created love’s sweet spark.


Her stories, I may not be able to fully recall,

but memories of her telling them are not forgotten at all.


Nana, larger than life you are to me.

Empowered by you, I am loved and I am free.


You are no longer here with us; you have left this earth,

but your humble soul carved tenderness in me since birth.


I carry your essence with me wherever I may go,

because your passion and kindness are deep within me, I know!


© Lozan Yamolky
Counting Waves
Silver Bow Publishing 2017
Disclaimer: Photo by Harry Braun (Oahu, Hawaii 2016)


 aba-ya*: a traditional black head to toe cover women in Iraq wear when they go outside.

Meet The Author Day

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Thank you to all who came to ( Meet The Author Day ) in Maple Ridge yesterday.
I love your support!
Anyone wanting to get a copy of my books, they are in Black Bond Books in Maple Ridge and also sold in New Westminster (Renaissance Books) or buy them from me directly 😉

Thank you Sheri for organizing this and lifting up local authors.

“Go Back to Where You Come From”

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© Lozan Yamolky 


He shouted,

“Go back to where you come from.
Get back on the boat!”


“I cannot,” I said.

Where I come from
they would marry me to a man  as old as my grandfather.


They would stone me to death,
for being in love.


They would drag me through streets till I die,
because I am homosexual.


They would ostracize me  for being of a different faith.


They would hack me with machetes  in the streets,
for not believing in their God.


I cannot go back to where I came from,
because they would behead me for refusing
to join their religion.


Our village counsel  would order my gang rape
for debts my family cannot pay.


They would shoot me  while I am on the bus,

because they do not want girls  to go to school.


They would make me work at age five

because they need my small hands and small size
to move in jungles, in caves and underground.


They would humiliate and publicly torture me.
They would use and abuse me
for being born third gender.


Where I come from,

they would assassinate me
for standing up for women’s rights.


They would publically flog me,
hundreds of times,
for blogging online  about freedom of religion.


They would dismember my body
for not wearing religious garments.


They would cut off my hand
for stealing food to feed my hungry family.


Where I come from,
they charge me with apostasy
and sentence me to death  for writing poetry.


They would force me  to join their army
or be killed.


Where I come from,
they would buy and sell me  just like property;
I am their sex slave.


They would chain and imprison me
just because I am a girl.


They do not let me speak my mind,
they do not let me be free;
I can no longer be a child.

Where I come from,  they took my ancestors’ lands,
my family’s homes  and threw us to the streets.
I am no longer allowed  to live in my land
because they gave my land away
and even gave it a new name.


I cannot go back to where I came from
because I am deformed since birth;
I just sit on sidewalks
begging for my daily bread.


The bombs disabled me.

Fear paralyzed me.

Chemical weapons blinded my sight.

Shouting and screaming  at the loss of my people muted me.

The fires burned my flesh alive.

I am deaf from the endless sounds of  bombs:
mortar shells,
air strikes,

I cannot go back to where I came from.


Where I came from,
the war is not going to stop,
because weapon makers  are profiting.

I cannot get back on the boat  because it sank
and with it,  sank my hopes and my dreams,
my aspirations and my future;
my illusion of peace.


I can’t go back to where I came from you see

–      but you can!


You can go back  to being tolerant of others;
back to having empathy and compassion
for the innocent hurting in our world.


You can go back to the time
before you were taught

–      to hate.


© Lozan Yamolky

From my debut poetry book: I’m No Hero
By: Silver Bow Publishing 2016

To get your copy of my poetry book, (I’m No Hero) and/or (Counting Waves), send me an email. I ship worldwide and take PayPal
$20.00 Canadian$ + shipping.

Disclaimer: Phot of the lady sitting on the rock is my sister Viyan