Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Confessions over milk-shake

Hold the wind at bay outside, there will be enough wind ruffling
the dirt off earth, of its laced seams-
picking out the stones and the grass grazing the last bits of morning away
before our eyes, squeezed in a corner of an old cafe

the smell of cigarettes will stitch itself
 to the corners where once we used to shop for abstracts
tied in with cheap bon-bons, This is how we sit
now, stomachs sore to be lined with milk

milk butters everything, makes the syllables I am about
to say softer. You ask a definite question of celebration
young love and older bodies, strange horses these devices
are from one another, these thoughts, those desires

inked in hand to hand, like sand to seawater
like my blush when I answer with a positive nod
your questioning to one of life's important milestones
you laugh at my sly eyes, avert yours and offer

a promise. An exchange from raw milk to milky chocolate
sweetness swims in my belly, same  you held for my niece
you ask again and I show you all that I wanted to
tell you everything I know while swilling my cup

with breath, if someone reads the oxygen
they will decode all that I have confessed
that the earth still spins the same both when we love and when we lose
but it feels faster when we say those words over a glass of milk.

Watch the dance

Dim the lights in the room,
there will be faint blue lights moving and a soft music

one table centered,
a center piece of flower and candles, fake snow contained

in a glass jar, Christmas carols at the other end of the room
like the end of a year, the launch of a new one

on the wooden floor, receiving arms
 a sea of men holding onto women and whispering

the words they are too shy to say when the lights
are brighter, eyes white and green and gray

with the remains of the last bit of alcohol
from my far end of the table I bear witness

to the crowd moving all together, staying in one place
arms holding arms, hands in hair and smiles

there will be love in motion, there will be
soft spoken words, violins and music

there will be loner on tables their other
halves cast away to where the sunshine reaps first the fruit of earth

dim the lights in the room,
watch the dance unfold, before your very eyes-
there will always be love somewhere-
there will always be reminders of things you lost, in music.

of hearing a horror movie play

it is not understandable what a sound
can send over your spine, under your breath
a terrible sense of panic, a spider burrowing over your arteries.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The day I could have...

The day I knew I could have lost someone I love
there were trees, basking with their hands
covering the sun better than the clouds,
there were birds, chipping like it was another day
not a thing prepares you for your thoughts,
not a thing prepares you for the lack of a
stable wood under your feet or above your head

but when it hits, the wall, the cradle, the fall
it becomes a day with clouds, without birds
without trees, with a sole idea
like this: I could have lost my mother
I could have lost my pillar or life.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Do you hear what I hear too?

At the brush of midnight, the stroke of a bell
floats over the choir of voices that walks back and forth 
for the glory, such a big word one pins down to
friends faces like matching names, matching socks 
there will be wine pouring instead of juice 
because the aged wine is less risky on the heart
easier on the stomach than the sugar that will also arrive
by midnight when the bells start to ring announcing
a change of the music, a change in the direction of the wind
southward to mangers and houses decorated red and feasting on envy
in  a time where hugs can be exchangeable for better options
for toys, for dinners, for a solid existence,
 why do we have to keep rejecting these words
pretend that a seasonal change will fix the fractures of a year.

Glitter, pine leaves

three candy- canes in a jar
there are pine leaves but the house smells of wood-fire
fairy glitter spread everywhere, for a child who
is coming by midnight.

Christmas in a snow globe

Put Christmas away, this year
our joy is deferred, a little wooden train without a railway
He, the Son will be born, yet nothing red can stay
birth, beauty, baubles with glitter and lights

read the rest here:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Last Straw

The last straw that cut the camel's back
was a bent request
asking him to stand up for the thousandth time, that day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Winter Song

Tapping of rain on the window
a three year old's laugh
a raincoat colored white and an umbrella of many colors
people's fear of walking under water, like they were made of wood
assured that mud cast them from clay
hardened by the weather-
it is different to be indoors on a rainy day
watch the day passing by, without judgement
listen to the music of the rain.

Monday, December 21, 2015

This is the news from the other side

This is the news from the other side,
 a bridge that doesn't connect
sides but rather transforms humans, from one end
to the other, without leaving a trace on the ground-

this is not science-fiction, but rather a reality
forcing open eyes, where cemeteries force you
to close them instead- shut them
from the falling shrapnel and screams

this is the news report for this morning:
a detail report of numbers and names,
some stain the papers with bodies, with an infinite number
death number 134 for the day, for the hour

the hour of death knows not the name
disregards familial ties, educational backgrounds,
like one was five foot ten, ten years in school
and one ambition to stand on two feet

provided by a previous piece of news-
it is dangerous, difficult to read the papers
there is more in the news from the other side
than death, sometimes a lower scale

sometimes, a happiness-
like a tune of  a face under a veil
or a step toward tomorrow in a better country
made to fit ones desire

it is easier to ignore the news from here, from over there
close the televisions, open the eyes.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Snow, white

There's snow in my eye
but the heat is warm, there is a fire alight and wine, chestnuts too
it is white, wherever I turn my head

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Accidents happen

Hit on the head by a bleeding dashboard
the road remains leading the same cars, from here to there
only the bends remain, the bumps and the bruise on the forehead.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Maturity 101

Is it the ability to hold your liquor or let go?
I do not know, I know if my stomach can handle
a blaze in a cup, amid other things

Is it the flight to the other end of the world to reveal a secret?
maybe, to lift the ladle to the mouth
then spit out the words, tasting like soup

Is it giving up love for the Looney Tunes pajamas  for the favor of blazers
and longer sleeves?
but these old faces will still haunt my dreams
a laugh in a day packed with human voices

I have been thinking how can one mature without growing up
because it was always easier on me- to ask
not to receive, these eyes have seen

what makes them lose wonder, lose freshness
take my eyes but give me the ability to look
without judging, without losing more

to the ravaging process of losing cells
 is it- the ability to hold liquor on the back
of your throat, but spit it like soup

that feeds the aging- is it the flight to the other
end of the world to reveal a secret-
that is better left unspoken ?

how is it that we grow? is it giving up
love for my Looney Tunes pajamas that make
the day bearable in bed?

we do not grow, but like trees
we stretch to see other views, that's just it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I do not know how to title my lines

Because it is a start, the start is always difficult
write slanted letters in one name clusters
squeak with the edge of a pencil over the wooden desk

once you start things will flow naturally to the rhythm of words
considered, to the lactation of thought and fluids leaking
from folds, unrelated to your body this time

write happy, write sad,  write drunk
who focuses on the amount of time you take
to let be, your most self every single day

observe there are enough things to consider changing
first lines, last lines, titles- why is it
so difficult to categorize the start

grabbing, gripping, containing
it is horrendous to title my lines
I leave the reader to take his pleasure, then.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Yule, no, proper name

A tree serves another purpose tonight
other than oxygen, fairies light and baubles
talk about snow when there isn't rain
candy-canes, a man in red and smiling children
the spirit of Christmas is in the air
call it Yule, red has found its arms everywhere.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Deadline for the fire

I was told earlier today that the firemen held
a deadline against the raging fire, that swoops them
careless to the cries, the wives and the wood that was
seemingly trapped on its way: this is the force
one cannot master or contain, nature at her best element
you cannot cage a wild tiger without pain
nor contain a sweeping fire by setting an expiration date
because there is oxygen that feeds it and fuels
this breath.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Instructions for better work

Sit close in a circle, made of plastic chairs
in the forest, in a while you will forget the names
just the smell of the stale air will remain
let the raindrops bang on your white coat
one you will donate to charity in a couple of months
let the rain delete your words, so you can find
new ones to fit in their places, for shinier events
let it take the grim details of where and how

he is the one who says, the one who instructs
and you receive on the other part
ticker tape poems and shards of memory
to convince you this winter will be warmer, somehow.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Write for abstract concepts

She wore pearl the day she talked
in her mouth, spread stories of how change is possible
with a blue dress, hugged another woman who still believes
in change despite the tent above her roof
despite the rod in her heart.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fight over food

Before you eat, you give thanks this is what you were taught at ten
you do not give complaints for the hands that cooked, the eyes that
measured because spoons and cups are not the ultimate methods used
for fitting enough dough on your bones.

Before food, you stop to think about the origin, this is a story
of a name, where it came from- where it is going
it is not a story about the actual meal itself which can be
cooked with a thousand name but tastes all the same

I do not understand this need for validation: make sure you
know what you are eating and where it is coming from because
authenticity is the real deal, well, maybe one
should just savor food, like every other thing-

but even a simple meal here is a fight, you mark your territory by rice
by pieces of round falafel, originating from the bare chickpeas
you fight about the legitimacy of you tahini paste, like you
fight for your blood, the same way you fight for a space

to bury your bones. This is a fight to prove that history
sides with the one who has enough resources to carry the chickpeas
ground them like people under fire, then pour over them tahini
call them your own.

 What I eat does not fight this body, it fights to prove
both its name and this body- can stay.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A box full of smiles

two days I manage to keep a smile
crafted in a self-made box, decorated with gem-stones
for the bad days, written on its top-
you ask, a reason, a consideration
pessimism comes later, I tell you
it will know its hour


How many times have we spoken about this need
to be kinder, we said, to be lighter-
pretty much a daily basis of preaching

we have heard too much the necessity to look
into the other's eye, to walk another shoe
to feel with someone outside your body

today I wake up with a different urge
to be thankful, to the small things
usually dedicated to in writing

to the graver things, known to the masses
today I practice not Zen, not masterful meditation
but a power sweeping the walls I carefully construct

deconstruct, break, salvage-
how powerful are these verbs and this wave of being
a thankful salmon that swims
in opposing currents.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Celebration of a year older

There will be candles melting for you to see
there will be faces to greet, faces to meet and a couple
of odd days that do not match the amount of awkward
smiles in your head, the amount of pleasant spirit in
your lungs. There will be words to be said and others
to be redrafted for this is not poetry that is written here
but words dumped on words. You know you will grow
sooner or later, rather sooner than later since you know
how change can become as easy as clothes worn
each day. How memory works like a fast December
transitioning into a newer year, fresh for a month before
rotting again into old patterns; sleep, wake, work, live
this is you, my child all grown for the exchange of breath
the exchange of a day into another, this is a process
of your growth. Close your eyes, wish for nothing and no one
but your own skin to keep you covered. Blow the candles while
everyone wishes you a happy birthday and you to yourself:
A happier year, or a vow of one.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dear Rejection

Dear rejection,
it is nice to run into you today,
it has been a while since we last met-
have you dyed your hair the ever-changing color
that never steadies each  meeting?

I think you have changed a little bit perhaps gained more weight
around the arms that when you shake hands
it feels like my little bony fingers are being crushed
under your swift touch

 but you are constant, every time we meet it is the same;
you never disappoint. Always readier than me,
trying to convince me that you will leave me be for a while
that our meetings are healthy, stylish, even necessary

to my growth. You say things you mean
like you were brave sending this, you are beautiful
but- there's always negation in your speech
you carry sugarcoated words- I told you

some have accused you of being a snow-queen
heartless and repulsive but you constantly nag
on the fact that your disappearance will never
teach us, at least me, more values than your presence

my dear, dear rejection- why do you come
when I do not seek you or ask for you?
because would I ever decide to wallow
in a shelter of pity I have carved with my own bare hands?

You are smart honey, saying yes to others
while excluding some more, we are not all
meant to be perfect, practiced, learned-
perhaps some will have your negation later

always ready, you are a timely weight
upon my shoulder, but perhaps next time I meet you
it will once be different, perhaps we should stop
shaking hands and embrace, for once?

Picture found on google search, not mine.

Monday, December 7, 2015

In the kitchen, at home

It takes common knowledge and a little bit of salt
enough to wash the pieces of steak out
of their blood, clean the remaining life for frying
fifteen minutes to slice and dice the vegetables
wash, again with salt - all components
scientific names or plain, hygiene is learnt
with the carving of a soap bar, or the sizzle of oil

read the rest here:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Tears, Gas, ecstacy

If you haven't seen the tears pour out of the gas
that shapes the borders of our city then do not
pretend like you can cry for safety when nothing
reaches you faster. Just say thank you for the way
you are away from the fire-line, there will not be ecstasy from
fire. Sometimes there will be tears, hot on your frozen cheeks
running water, in ecstasy, for the departure of salt and water.

Saturday, December 5, 2015


here we know we grow by the variations of the markings set above
the white wall where we notice how many times we stretch higher
larger than what we were

here we know the place by what's next to it, a house
a green tree, or a dead one-
or as once a friend said the house next to where the dog is tied

here there are streets that have newly acquired names
like newborn children, fresh from the birth of destiny
these will be reborn, streets and children

here there are night watches, not for guard
but for safety because it could have been worse
it always can be worse than you expect

here people right in metaphor
because they are too scared to use their
actual tongues, for sharper blades

here, there is everything set under a landmark
a reference to known places, too familiar by breeding
these are the pieces of land we are meant to just pass,
here- never thinking of the space between the questions.

Friday, December 4, 2015

what if, you are not from here

Where is the east, you ask
looking into the sunshine's eye
one would stop you, do you even inhabit this universe?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

big, light, seperate

Fairy lights on her window,
cellphone light on his face,
this is newness, a heart of a cloud
poured, shred, making a big world small.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sometimes, no meaning

There are days when there is no meaning
to what you do, to the tedious curl out of the bed
rolling the cover from your middle and throwing
it into a repetition of yesterday's crumpled dreams
sometimes there are blanks, in the beginning
the progress and the end of the way the days fold
into your age, a year, another
sometimes, there are days when history repeats
what others informed, left behind
most days mean nothing on their own

Rise from the Ashes

Rise from the ashes, woman
make due the remains that got burnt
on the way to the market to pick up
new fabric for the clothes unable to make
for yourself because your skin keeps
burning like a charcoal, light then
darker to fuel the dates of others
the days of the children and the cut
out responsibility, they said phoenix
is a woman, her tears a river
her step fire, for herself, others
for a new next start.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Food for the thought

Stories are like food, the cook said to me once
while I waited for the answer she went on
if you put out the right ingredients you will end up with
a prefect result, meat, hunt and envy-

a start of a long tale

an ending that satisfies the masses

Saturday, November 28, 2015

They are about to kill a poet

The headlines told me you swore
with a tongue not yours, with words
you were not aware you picked up

unknowingly, they will trial you
beat you like you were Christ
for speaking against Him, in a twisted mouth

they will put you up in a defense
against poesy, poetica, the art
not spoken, not understood

they will tell you to make a wish
on a dandelion, near the lake
behind the trees you will not be able to see

they will accuse the divine of
needing you more that the common
people. Those on high need those

lower to serve without speech
they told me they are about to kill
a poet for his words,

take out the light in the eye
make it a minaret for others
high enough to learn to speak

against time, against Him, me
or them, they are going to kill
a poet while the words won't be a defense.

Functional bun

tie your hair up, when it is filled with smoke
collected and calculated from the burnt day
then make it into a functional bun, useful
or useless, there for the times when all you need
is a way out.

Friday, November 27, 2015

United with my mother

There is an uneasiness that has settled itself in my stomach
and being female, as sex was selected at birth without doubt
or understanding I check for signs that narrate something else
I think of my mother without confession, without shame
of where my thought went, of how at four we start saying
that girls cannot ask, the men will give them the answers
later, not now, when you grow you will know
I learnt by myself, no secrets in shame
there is a belly-ache tonight that lingers beyond my attempts
at medicating a thing I cannot see, cannot change nor control
this is a shame, would be a beginning
I am half sick with a flu and all I can keep in my head is a sentence:
is this how mothers feel before birth, after desire?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Advice from a writer to a scared starter

Cut down all that does not relate to you
there is much excess to the way
the curves make meaning out of the combinations
you use, it will not be easy, the relentless repetition
of avoidance but do not be weary, those are rest on the margin

Start, just begin
it will flow, naturally
this and other things,
my dear.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Flirtations across the table

There are instances when the word beautiful
stops meaning what it wants to give in a short adjective
when the tongue buds to vocabulary better
than simple words, across the table from me
you tread lightly the space needed for your thoughts
to travel to my hand, tell me
all that's round is sturdier, stronger
than mere words.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Hold the beads in your hand, repeat three times
what you hear in the bell's chime-
say the way to a better step
is by assuring today is sent off well

this is the child's prayer, mine
a basic recitation of old desires
new dreams, this is how I string words
for better worlds

pray for a country whole,
for people on a plane or on the ground
for safety and arrivals,
these are prayers that remind me that

there are no corners of the world
when it was made round for a set purpose
to be big, beyond me-
I recite this and that and repeat

At times when I am praying for the universe,
I forget myself

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Some poems that speak in my tongue

A while ago I was there, away, reading for the masses
reading things that spoke of my tongue without me realizing they did,
roughly I made them up and left them here:

Parts of you, parts of me

How can I tell you that I want to renounce the features
you passed to me, not because of time, only because
I no longer need them. I no longer need the spread out
feet that could cover the length of two rivers and a sea
without getting me anywhere that is useful, or how
would you be able to know that I no longer need
this giant nose if I cannot smell a house starting to
burn just a little far away from the house of stone I inhabit?
how can you have given me such big features and forgotten
to give me a patience matching their size to assure I can
handle all I am given?


There is something about cleaning
that makes way for other things
like the piles of washing, drained of yesterday's
blood, thought and smoke filling the hems

a dusted table is better than a clogged one,
less viruses, more room for breathing
for a surface to emerge from what
was there and what is left

the things I do are like cleaning
take out, scratch, rewrite
it is a cycle of production of what was
into what is to become, like

the leaves pertaining to the end of
summer, it is easier to clean at times
easier to destroy and rise
than pretend we know where to start again.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Foul prediction

There is an army in my city
And a mirror across of which I stand
 we haven't fallen yet
but there will be debris

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Top tips to self distraction

This is how you deal with chaos, with madness
you have always said the world is mad-
maybe a little, maybe more than expected
when it seals itself up and gives you way

first start running to the end of the forest
to where the foxes hide in dens,
day-dreaming of dandelions for bread
and butter, run and find your call

then scoop up water in your palms
it is easier than giving it way to your lungs
because you cannot afford to have fish swim
in your rib-cage, on your back

then tie your feet to a string and let the winds
swing you high and low, into the atmosphere
of giving it everything and risking losing
an ear to the wind, an eye to the branches around you

let your hair down by the campfire
watch how the embers burn wood
into ashes, into a vast mass of grey
like the remains of bone and muscle

be the song of whatever surrounds you
and run from it, for it- this is how you
deal with chaos, just eliminate yourself
minus the night, put out the lights and go to sleep.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Seasonal cleaning

dismantle the crumpled socks
while you recall a conversation
bitter almond, athlete’s feet greet you,
smelling of cyanide, there are mismatched toes
but you can still walk

read the rest of this poem and two more here:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Majdoola, braided

Majdoola, braided, is the hair
soften with brushes the color of honey
it is an ease for the mothers
protection against the elements

Majdoola, it is complicated
tangled, this story I am telling you
without detail, with much for you
to figure, together

Majdoola, a nickname of a child
smart and tall, with a smile that
takes out the stars and replaces them
with milk teeth, one for luck, two fro joy

Majdoola, like from the Majdal
up in the north of my country
a city sleeps on apple pips
dreams of orchards, long harvested.

Majdoola, a lopsidedness that is
not even, Not even right, or left
but somehow splitting a back into two
with trivial burdens

Majdoola, how the elements combined
neat sounds, neat meetings and filthy
demands, all tangled together like a
heap what will come unbraided- on demand,

Monday, November 16, 2015

Those are the sick trees

The hands are bare and wrinkled, love
like a tired old woman, battered by passing minutes
these are the effects of autumn, no sun
this is sickness that start at the roots and extends
in the trees, not alone, love

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Wattan

This is the new Wattan,
the same old country with the hope that renews itself 
each year as if by contract, something better is coming
something bigger, they say. A refuge of the wires. of tin baked roofs
an anthology no one understand like words on abstractions
a delicious, delirious contrast of this and that 
of broken homes and villas on the edges of town
this is your new Wattan, a universe 
celebrating a day of independence, for a minute
from time and reality

Saturday, November 14, 2015

No cover charge

blink, then joke about the clothes we wear
then about our age, you ask for a photograph to prove
we are old enough for dance, young enough
to assure alcohol would not ruin our livers

I ask for a way in, you tell me there will be
No cover charge
just leave the pizza for midnight's hunger.

Friday, November 13, 2015

How scared can a woman be

This is how I will wrap the parsley,
tender but not broken as I think of
a wrapped child, returned to his mother's arms
for one final time

this is how scared a woman can be
that she mistake veggies for a child
and wraps the world in her shoulderblades
this is how obvious her fear will be

she will not say anything, because
speech breaches the sacred demands
of the silence that details control is
still present within the walls of the house

within the walls of the heart, that no
longer can understand the basics of math
or the problem of history demanding
houses be torn over a head in promise

of peace that never comes, this is how scared
a woman can be, the length of two fabrics
sacrificed for the stitching of wounds
open in public but held together in private

because tears can diminish sacred prayer
and manic laughter, inane voices
are for little girls, afraid of a needle point
of a sound that comes at night or of a vision
this is how scared a woman can be
that she no longer sees her own reflection as
one she recognizes. She doesn't want to lose
she doesn't tell you, she is scared
of abstract thoughts, or actualities
but she will not let you know.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Paper thin

Take my clothes off, there is nothing
I am hiding anywhere, above nor beneath
my flesh. Take me apart, like little pieces
of jigsaw, one by one and expose the body
that is no longer mine and certainly not yours
hand me the gown, nylon padded but given
a softer name, like lining to make the scabs
gentler then leave me alone to the monitors
the drips, the rhythmic breathing and the harsh
light. This is me now, rest in bed, walk, sleep
read, repeat. Whiter than pale and loose of
bone, there's a monster in my chest and another
in my sleep. Hold me when I tell you that I will miss you
I'm sorry if I speak in a low voice, this illness  makes me paper thin.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Art Cafe

Coffee is the universal saying for many expressions:
to take to coffee, is to court, to talk, to love
to bring coffee to bed is to demand wakefulness
from a dream, from last night's sheets practice, from reality
to leave for coffee means a deal is sold, land, house, books
when wine is not an option to celebrate,
to be with a friend in a coffee shop, or an arts cafe
dissecting life between sugars and smokes
is an option to assure, no work of art remains untouched
or unspoken, only the sugar stays in the packets
the smoke rises in the corners of the coffee house.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

2^4 towns

They say love stings more in smaller towns
in cities where streets align directly under the sun
pointing to the city center

in my city, it takes one the distance of three long streets
to contain a whole city, shops for fun
windows for viewings

all is sold separately, the restaurants are parked
near the shoe shops, all sold
alone for the same game of couples

wandering I walk the city- alone
you have left and love stings in this
small town, the streets have your

foot marks, like a dog's in newly poured cement
your cigarettes, smells,
a thousand dancing gypsies

love is different in a smaller town
compacting the number of times one turns
to mistake a shadow in another man's beard

kisses we stole are subject to the microscopic
eye of the neighbor here, the florist there
they know your aunt and my father

we keep love in our hands, on our fingertips
in a smaller town, love has managed to walk every street
yet calling us both by our full names because isn't

that the daughter of x with the son of y
parading the highway, restless
on a summer night

in the city, long after your footstep
the daughters of x will walk with love
depart at the white gate

then turn to damn
the moment they fell in love
with a small city, in a tightly chocked city
of stone and brittle bone.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Things you learnt outside

you are a second grader, fair-with eyes
the color of sandalwood and hair the color of wheat in autumn
the grounds are still the same, there are two boys, a stairway and a puddle of water
you see it coming, a punch, a fall- a boy soaked to his knees to save your apple

 read the rest here:

Saturday, November 7, 2015


When we were young, the games were easy
rules lined up to make sure we knew where we stepped
now the games are easy, but the rules are different
because we don't know where our feet lie, and where the lines end.


The day we decided to make sweets
you were ill and I was warm, mid-December
but we decided to work on the making 
of chocolate dipped with edible sugar in all forms

this is a memory, now
the kitchen half red, half white
the counter top, flooding with flour 
and trays, to be useful in the fridge

you used the measurements
I used my eyes, this is how we make sweets
I told you, but you insisted
even soft things need to be controlled 

melt the chocolates, you said
add sugar, I instructed as you slept on the sofa
a cat in your lap. I was just a guest 
you were home, inside a chocolate wrapper

the day we decided to make sweets
I realized we both measured distinctly
additions in our lives
you were careful,by the book

I am used to using my eye,
let it roam wherever it may 
land east or west, this is why
most of my food ends up bitter, my dear. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Moonsoons v.s. real rain

You speak of monsoons
I speak of light rain-
try to convince one another of difference
water falling to earth at gradations of simmer-
say colors, plants, voices diverge
but the terrain that sucks water, is the same.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


The needle may pinch,
she knew- when she sticks her hand out
there will not be pain.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

where the helpless turn

They ask why there is still the question
of religion on the back of your brain
failing to understand, human foundations
are different than stones

there's a trinity of what we are composed of,
bodies upon souls, spindles of thoughts
running from one end to the other
without questioning

when you ask why people still pray a certain direction
kneel for God's graces and for their vices
calling Jude, oh, Jude-
blessed, pray for us.

we turn to the direction we choose,
some tumble like stones, rocks
some work towards the sun
thinking God is the infinite, we the lost causes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

it is fall

it is fall, again
the leaves turn the color of ash
eventually, things will remind you of death
flakes of dandruff on your maroon coat
hair in the drains, it all leads you to think
it is ending, and it won't restart
not until spring,
not by these areas anyways

Monday, November 2, 2015


The kitchen will always be blue, 
the only open area here-
on your window, there will be blue paper-planes
still, shaken by the breeze that arrives 

unexpectedly. There are cats in your dreams 
cats on the walls, only the cheshire seems to be smiling
pointing to the direction of the old pathway in the wood
pinned to the wall

we eat cereal in Tupperware, 
you apologize for the hospitality 
as we look over the swans 
breeding new hatches for the season 

they will live here, over the pond we keep 
calling a lake, for lack of better words 
in second tongues- only we will fly
and call it a return

you and I are from other soil
we know it, little do people know
 the blessing of not eating 
out of Tupperware, of sleeping in self owned beds

there are times we borrow
grounds, kitchens
blue that will term us visitors 
each time we return

I will go back, you tell me
I am meant to be, I answer you
even when you don't ask anything
you don't need the questioning. 

The paper-planes are blue, 
this kitchen is blue 
we are here watching soft rain 
in a week we will be gone 
you to the directions of Matrbhumi
and I to my Watan
these are the motherlands 
that we get to ourselves
no Tupperwares or make-shift tongues.

Matrbhumi: Bengali for motherland.
Watan: Arabic for homeland. 

This poem is for my Bengali friend S. B. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Travelling northward

The distance between north and south here
is the same as the distance between my navel and my neck
a direct, short transit that is explicitly harvested with wires
expectations and taboos, locked up like genies for thousands of years
a mere step away through the center- this is the distance northwards
we do not need trains, nor planes but our two feet to get us across
our hands, little fingers and callused palms
there are clash-points at my feet, you are wrapped with your fear
of walking forwards, walking upwards. I have to live with the deprivation of your face
this is too dangerous, these wires but this is our land, you will remind me-  I am willing to allow
you reminders. When will you travel northwards? I'll press the question
onto you like a bunch of delayed jasmine flowers waiting on an opening
leave the south with its problems, with its fields, with all of what they call
holy. You do not have pretty eyes, but your mouth is sweet and I'm done with your whispers
grant me serenity by your face in my mirror.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

This year

This year I will not be hanging, dead arms out on my tree
nor buy candy the color of blood to sooth silk lined stomachs
I will be choosing a way for the rain to fall elsewhere,
without children hugging my feet, or mothers asking me
how and where I got my dress. This year there will be
paler monsters and assorted candy- meant to harm
to ward off those ideas that stopped coming in only at night
this is the spirit of the Hallows, or hollows, or anything that
whistles for the devils and wears the face of an angel.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Chalk heart

Your heart is made of chalk
when I touch it, I am left with
powdery marks on my fingers
eroded particles of you

it might be possible that you
did not want me to have
the dust set over your veins
the ones connecting directly inside

chalk usually leads us
explaining in mired details
the way, but you do not
allow me to read the map

you know I will find a way
to draw, like with a childish
desire, my heart contents
out of the chalk marks surrounding yours

allow it or not, love it or hate it
you cannot admit these facts:
there are those whose hearts are
made of stone but softer

Your heart is made of chalk
of the gradation of those before us
those who will come after us
soft and harsh
glazed in fire.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


The signs to the end of times are clear-
watch the holy books reveal
the changes first on the ground
a great mishmash of fire, storms, mud

animals on all the pieces of land and ocean-
hail, rain storm, repeat
this is how the world will perish
I know it is different

in my country the world ends
every single day, the methods are varied
but death is the same-
an end to the layers of life

this is how our world would end
like two thousand, two millions,
children, women and fathers
marching to the point of shelter
but vanquished with the powerful
choice of one

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Do you remember the windows?

it is far, you say to yourself- these thoughts
close your eyes, relax. Eradicate the blood,
forthcoming and forecasted from memory
you were only twelve
the windows were always extra bright

read the rest of this story here: 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Spitting clouds

There's rain on your face, it softens your features
you are aware of that- but don't use too much water
to save you. You can drown, easily
you can talk to me with storms in your mouth
but you do not need to spit out the clouds.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tighter the space

You give a woman a collar
to wrap around her neck,
the cold metal above her chest you
call a beautiful necklace

I love my jewelry, wherever it lands
 circulating my spine or my thin long fingers
or the tired, pierced ears
wrap me in jewels then leave me be

all my lovers gave me earrings
big, some sparkled
to hear me better, my love
they said, I knew it was meant to hear other things

you are different, you give me space
no rings, no gold, no diamond
enough room to flutter my wings against your chest
then tighter you squeeze the space around me
till I can no longer see.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

on the art of lying

so many faces, for the same expression
different men and one garment.

What hides in the closet?

There must have been something she wanted-
told me to open the door, gave me a rusty key to unleash it
but a door is not always a door, I objected
a door is otherwise a recitation of the verb- enter

read the rest here:

Friday, October 23, 2015

Rain song

When it rains, I know
there are fairies in the clouds

make it rain, I imagine the fairies dancing 
water has a different perspective of earth

dirty to wash off the remains of the overproduced 
soil, maybe it is a friendly meeting of the clouds to dirt

this is how rain forms, earth receives back 
what it gave for breath-

water, elements, parts of houses in the wind
hurricanes, mud, it depends on how loud the breath is drawn

it rains on the windows of your heart
already cold, by dying embers, water-kissed to drowning

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The worker across from me

Bent over like the end of a river
onto rocks, lifted upon his head
this is the worker, sitting across from me
he knows I am looking, he doesn't complain
but knows Marx might have been his God
but Saint Jude is the one who keeps his watch.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Brief conversations in a known pattern

Three stories fell down over a few heads
nothing too bad, the papers said, quiet the people
from the thoughts in their heads
but I have seen this happen

it is a pattern, I know first the streets
the asphalt, the fire sweeping the grounds
then there are the stories,
then the houses, it is always the same, how chaos builds up

same as when I was twelve
I ask, how are you? All I will get is
your inability to answer my questions with I'm fine-
you are slow, I know it is not my fault

this time, it will be alright, you tell me
we are at war, I say
you want to leave, you say- nothing permanent- just
 for a sunny beach in the middle of a rainy October

change the weather, change this atmosphere
maybe starting fresh will boost up my level
of immunity to the fallen stories
as if it will make you accept what falls from the skies

it won't, I am sure, you answer me- pause:
but I want to take my children to sea
knowing I will have them back with the waves,
with the shells, with the sandcastles-he says to me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Remote phone

Take me back to when,
we used remote controls for phones
and pressed onto the buttons,
convinced we will hear someone else
on the other side of the line.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Scheherazade's tale

When will you know that you cannot behead me for my words?
Nor can you behead me for yours, because the movement of tongues
Does not respond to the tapering of you give me
Or what you deny me. Deny me the reason to move

Don’t think you can behead me for dancing either
Not when I twirl around my own bedroom
Or in the corners of my head
I do not dance

around you for your pleasure, but rather for my self-gratification
for the thought that my legs can hold me up, and move in any direction
I am willing to undertake, left, right or elsewhere
This is not about control,

this is not about the lack of it either-
we both know that a king will not behead his queen
for a bad story, a bad move.

Olive harvest

The olives are pregnant this year
with more tears, drinking out the blood
that fell, last years' rain and two snowstorms 
that shattered their backs, these aged them
beyond their two thousand years-
they say the season is good, I say

but the season is surrounded by wires
sunshine and long hours of pulling out the best seed
from the ugly siblings, I cannot handle
separation anymore

it is the olive season, for us, peasant with the ability
to articulate the shades of green on an olive pip
we weigh the olive predicting
olive oil, tears, and blood squeezed out

I had begged to pick out olives
but was refused heartache by the sight of
sacrifice compact in an olive
carrying more symbol than status on a tree.

This image is not mine, I obtained it through 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Morning Newsflash

Why does my generation
with the gradation of the skin tone I have
olive based- you ask obsess over the last words said
before the shot, as if this time words can be an answer

newsflash: words aren't always the answer
in a report earlier today they said, half the city is dying
the other half is already dead. I knew, you could tell
that death rises a little out like the morning

to pluck, to reap, to use all those agricultural terms
you use to make it easier for yourself to be consoled
by the idea that banters you, that lets you know
you don't always have the right words

sometimes you do not even have the words
or the struggle to wake up in the morning
shake the ash that piles onto your face,
from the debris of houses, demolished over your head

there are stories you need to remember, facts that you need to forget
like the words the announcer repeats, like a second Hiroshima
half the youth of this city are dying,
the other half is already dead.

Friday, October 16, 2015

when the days went easier

We slept on the floor
we were happy, sweltering with talk
and a buzz outside the window
faking summer
in a glass bottle 

Furry musicals

On the edge of the piano,
walked the whiskers, once, balanced on the tip of tunes
but never fell into music, even when it could.

Third world dream

I swear, heart and soul to send you quiet thoughts your way, said the one who lent the land
I light a candle, praying for the thoughts you send my way
at least candle light glows hard enough to make you ignore
the fact that you wake up three times a night these days
to dream of elephants in the sky, wake up screaming
I am scared. No one is old enough to reject fear. You tell those who refrain from
listening when they don't want to open their ears
this is third world, honey. Live with it, accept you are
 Different, we get the forest,
you get the dessert, we get the milk,
you the sick cow, we leave you to imagine
while we speak your name, attach to you peace
then abandon you when the nightmare roll in and make themselves comfortable
label you trauma, tell you we are sorry, so sorry
but the bombs will keep falling
for peace.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dignity or what's left of the values instilled in us

Speak about dignity
a rise of the gun or the rise of the sticks
speak about dignity to me,
one more time when people become numbers
speak about shame when
a boy swims, bent double, in a pool of his blood
speak about dignity, that's easier to watch
than move towards from the weight of shame bottling up.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Keep well

There are a few pieces of advice our mothers hail
after us each time we slam a door shut in their face
their noses too close to the door
smell, the firewood for a long day
possibly weighted down by rubber erasers at three
then smelling on incense at seventeen
then reeking with the boxes of loss at twenty
our mothers know best to tell us before the doors get closed
keep well, from the world.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A mourning morning

He knew, and so did everyone else
knowledge can be powerful, so much this morning
there's a slit on his throat while he is still hanging
and a pouring of lava into various colors of being

her father could tell she didn't say
good morning today. It was different,
he knew, she wouldn't ask
for the gum that ruins her teeth

not any more, at least
she will not be able to open her eyes
when he calls her name,
no need for double calls before school

he knew, but held on,
the body fragile in his hands, eyes shut
she will not wake up, dad
even if you shake her shoulders
she's sleeping like a princess, for eternity
the boulder on your heart will always take her place.

These are the bedtime stories

Tell me how the fathers narrate a story for their children before bed?
when the child asks his father
about the strawberry beneath his head, or when a little girl
asks her mother about her limp leg, what would be the answer

Forget patriotism and those ideals they plant in you,
the same are planted within your enemy
none of it will matter, when the sack of sand explodes
leaving you open on the fireline

this is the story you will tell, the hero awakes one day
to the sound of a dangerous dragon- if it is a boy
to the hiss of a snake-if it is a girl
the enemy depends on your choice

this is how the story will go, a classic slashing
of the head before the village remains dead
but the story will miss a part
or many, if you were careful to notice

this is how you narrate to your kids,
the stories you don't want to discuss
some leave story marks
while others leave children without parents
to exchange blankets and
a warm story, to ease off nighttime.

Don't be brash

The brash,
his wake, isn't it
nothing but cooked bake, on the table

Friday, October 9, 2015

Water tank

Water tank, filled to the brim
bubbles, here and there. colorful rock, add diver and oyster
there are other fish, only at sea

I fear the day

Hi darling,
I am still well. These will become my little letters to you
I am fearful but I will not say anything, tonight

I will try
to let you know that I am well
if you stop to hear it once in a while

it is not
cold here, not warm
but you don't really care about the weather, we surpassed small talk

how's the distance
between what you hear and what you see
honey, not too far I will write back

this is it,
my fear then, that my days will turn
into a long haul wait, for it to stop

start again, darling. these are my letters for you
I fear the day when I will have to write by light bombs
and their light, is coming soon, I am afraid. xoxo

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Outside my window, war

On the street anger has a different name,
every day a darker gradation of crimson
today's anger was a burnt tire
tomorrow's a child wrapped with a flag, like a soldier
ready to defend without arms,
without legs, left at the refugee queues
the rooms he sleeps in tucked with a feather

at homes, hunger hasn't started yet,
it is a side-effect, they will tell us
like the question was in the bullet's belly
like the answer would be in the tears that will follow
they will know hunger when in a short life they will recall
the pouring of lead, snow in mid-summer

I confess I haven't slept for the past three nights
maybe because this will change my sleep patterns
the inability to ignore what the day brings, full of sunshine and sight
the night comes with its cover, so would my
angry fear, too shamed to confess that at this age
I still shiver at the smell of gas, regardless of less toxic masks

when we shiver we remember our
anger, crimson to purple,
red to green, this is noble- dulce et decorum est
sit back and then collect, like arms- these side-effects
this is war, it knows nobody
yet it reaps what it can along the way.

Metro poem

Mind -
the wind as you descend . It might suck onto your face
like a baby kitten, first needy then tight
to remind you that you are heading elsewhere

read the rest here:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The news says

there's ash beneath my feet
 the rubble is above me
yet I manage to find you a love song
disguised in a flower 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mindfulness bellow the surface

 You are mindful, they say
with the men, as if a line cuts us into two sections
one for the fragile, one for the solid
on the train you give up-you do
not only your seat to the women hand in hand with a child
or the man, half sighted, half dizzy. You leave
 sometimes you wonder if there's a big caution mark on your forehead
the way there are when there's roadworks
since when do you have to be mindful of the tiny details?
only when you look
bellow the surface

Friday, October 2, 2015

Stone and Sand

You come from the sea, with its debris
I come from the mountain, stones on my back
when we meet you will ask, how can your back be so rough
I will ask, how can your hands be so soft,
stones I will answer and you- sand.

Girl abroad

Think of her like this, a born new creature
not into a religion, or paganism
a mixture set to mold, into becoming
our daughters, you say are something else

before the buckling of the in-flight belts
you give her a list of can and cannot
canned tins to be checked regularly
she cannot tread over the many versions
she wants to become between airport transitions

you let her go, taxi is the way- you say
to avoid all that cannot be part of the list
of forbidden, forgotten- pile them up in threes
it is easier to remember that way

girl abroad, she is filled with wind
with an airy desire toward hand in hand
and smiles, maybe all she needs is a
ride home with the assurance that she can-

in the woods, near autumn she knows
you will say- a big girl who navigates the land
for prophets and scavengers- is able to tell
fox from wolf though she never knew how the dogs look

onto a naked eye- she will know how to step
with all  the men, all those men in suits and in smart dress
prose of meaning and of sex
Shoulders rubbed, old clothes scrubbed white

Sunday's for washing the week's mud-
girl abroad, why do you term her differently
for guardianship, you say
that's all you are able to hold, to let go

girl abroad, like me-
like others is the same as your home girl
except with wider eyes,
except lighter because she knows she can.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Here I sit, in a half lit hotel room
there is no champagne, just a basic bed
scraps of paper and a red stain where I should lie
and thought to the wind, allowed far away tonight

Similar to my mother

There are two noses, one long, one short and chubby
mine is the one I do not like, provided that it allows me enough smell
to tell that the turning of my stomach is justifiable, only at certain times
then there are other features that are common, arched brows
of too much usage, puzzled.
There's a small set of lips, a set of ears
and something in between. I haven't aged yet
but people say my face looks all too much like my mother's
except smaller, fairer and a bit worn by time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thistles for your fingers

Touch the thistle, it will prick your hand
there's sweetness in the way
blood drips over white fingers and green leaves

In the shades of an old almond tree

The almond tree has been butchered
there are stems where your feet played,
there is a plastic box and red tape where you found a scorpion
and crucified him for the poison, threat to your grown body
they have cut down your tree house, your first laugh with the boy
who was just 'blond' enough for you. You are at bay now but you cannot help
but ask for the leaves of the green blossoms, announcing the season of
hide and seek, of monsters and men in long legless outfits
these were your fears, they have butchered your almond tree
here is a piece of what  you have done, you still have the stem
like the memories, full of circles, each for a different year
they used to tell you, that's why things are layered
the trees, the brain, the compilation of woe
in the shade that is no longer given by almonds.


At first there's sirens, like the cry of banshees
loud, banging, but you are used to the intense noise
it doesn't matter, the hooting of the owls,
the cries in the gardens- there's enough to help you sleep
there's more than enough to keep you awake
You know- this is how most songs work,
enough of words a little of melody and some nice vocals
You know this song is no different, babe
Someone else's sound has fallen into you
inside your ears, ringing, wringing
and repeating, one- two- three
the same tune, out of focus and out of your hands
into your ear, your head, your being.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Meeting familiar faces

It is late night and you cannot see, probably the drinks
probably it is me, you say to yourself. Winter hasn't yet fallen
like a blanket covering earth with its mighty forces. There will be water
some other time, there will be warmth but now as the cool breeze
winds up your shoulders, you pause, smile and greet the faces
half familiar, half covered in a gaze you cannot recognize
its source, the sky, the silence or plainly your eyes with their complications.

A question for when I was two

When I was two, the priest asked me If I believed in God
and if I intended to keep on the faith. I nodded, understanding
that at two so much can stay the same and more can change
between toy and plastic letters and news I could hear but could never
reciprocate the demands God requested of me, be full
listen to what others say, to what he says, At two all I could think of
is the present, this minute I want to eat, to play, to run
who cares for other things that are demanded of me-
as long as one doesn't break, doesn't cry for every little detail
that passes underneath the sun. There goes a good lad, he who listens
he who knows when to speak.When I was two the priest asked me If I
believed in God, and he forgot to ask me if I will be able to believe
in all the beauty beneath His hand, among many other things.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

seaside goodbyes

Summer wears many colors, sometimes red, chipped, polished
toe-stricken sand, gurgling
facing the water, glimmering
hard to realize you are a wave

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Here, there, God

God spare us the devil-
they bang on their chests- louder than the rush of thunder
here, there is no sin, there will never be 
inside the territories termed holy 

Oh God forbid, the exchange of glances 
at the devil's dance- seven veils of silk made for temptation 
sleet onto the eyes, cover them- cover well 
sight of vices and the shedding of blood

they say here is different, it is inside that you 
reach to find God. You reach outside to meet
everyone else, but they once told me 
God is everyone else, everyone he molded to fit 

the descriptions in a different dialect or a shade darker
maybe even lighter for the exchange of milk an honey to survive
but Allah ystor, May God shield the thought of sinning 
they prayed out loud

Someone told me to cover my shoulders
it is disrespectful to God and tempts
I said my body was a temple
for holier works, to glory, to make useful

everything is different here, I know 
people flog themselves dying to reach God 
a God, of all sorts and powers
May he shield us from the devils of those who are abroad
not here, where the sun makes a promise  of glory every mourning


The act of writing

Typewriter, is what I wish for when the words lag behind in a fountain pen
there would be no papers for a while, because of hands,
the touch of different land- a hard rock to mold into a statue once more

Bonfire nights

Tonight the flames will reach the sky, red and juicy licking the night
there will be sounds of crackers coloring the clouds envy
a little bird will shiver somewhere beneath the covers
this is the dragging effect of war, bonfires that burn en mass
fireworks that raid your dreams.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wishes on a late summer day

There, the summer breeze in your words
you said I wish you were here
but I didn't tell you sometimes

our wishes leave us gasping 

Hush, it is a secret.

The silent ones know more than everyone else
they know you cheat by your smile,
catch you off guard with the transitive way

you curve into someone else's hand
while the rings dazzle at your fingers,
it is not always right, yet wrong is always


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

There for you, there for who

I break these breads like I do my sentences
a bird needs to eat today, I need to stop looking
I am there for the change of flight, there to sift through breadcrumbs
for a spike of wheat.

Confessions of a lazy body

Temptation takes many forms, we know
like the comfort that settles slowly
guided between the remote controller and the distant TV
there is an amount of reality for the extension of the muscles
beyond the fluffy pillows, there's more to the softness of
sleep between the pajamas and the counted wakefulness
the world can always wait for comfort to leave
its bed.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

the calddagh

On the stall, the sunshine beats the rumors of the clouds
leaving a smooth surfaced sparkle, over the showcased gems
one for friendship, one for loyalty, one for love
united in one metal; Calddagh, swarming with sleepers
a village into a symbol.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Make the change, or be the change?

Too many times we venture on hearing the same lines
spat, redrafted, edited enough to make a person feel better
about feeling bad. There are always so many options to adjust
so little time to manage the stretch from one place into a state

too many times you hear the need for a change
from someone, from another person, demanding a difference
a gap you, I, any pronouns cannot afford
not for the time being, you say and nod- unconvinced

they said to me change is good, it is a healthy way
reassuring you constantly become, constantly be
at the heart of everything that moves, well
what if I only need to be grateful by stillness?

the tenses allow us a different interpretation to
the same verb. This is language, Habibti, they tell me
but I am aware of the change from be to make
exist to enforce. This is where language fails
where words are useless and only the raise of a fist
the workings of the body become, the difference
the change.

Besieged city- to mine.

Surround the heart of the city, mine
leave the thousands to march in anger
but do not bow to the fallen flowers
red has been established a national color

since I opened my eyes- I knew
today would be no different, siege my city
like Stalingrad, mind the heat, it is warmer
mind the rugs, people pray here

even on the front-line, you will not understand
the fear that burrows, somewhere borrows the chambers
best in the house, the safest, at the heart
where other things could lay, wasn't it for the siege

besiege my city but leave me be
an object like its stone walls, a holy olive-perhaps
or better still a trapdoor to shut out enemy winds, dust and unwanted trade
besiege my city but mind these: the time of prayer, the time of wakefulness
and the time of anger, do not confuse it with any of the above.

In haste, you cannot describe a dance

Trying to convince herself she was right,
the notepad she brought to the dance floor was useless
there is motion, there is stillness, there are ones who sway in between
both and she cannot jot down the number of times
light changes from blue to green, beats per minutes to her heart
she can only know on her skin. Crawling a loss of words
in the way he lifts her, a vase, careful not to drop her
the way he teaches her to walk blind, in the rocking
of everyone else, to a rhythm, like breathing.


How many times can I get away with revealing secrets
asks the night-bird when it folds its feathers and sinks
singing to me, I cannot answer on its behalf
not when I committed the same sin
in prose, in speech, in silence.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Twins, alike

I tell you, you sound like your twin brother
but you say otherwise, we become what we are by others shadowing us
nothing alike with two skins in the same blouse

Haiku for your birthday

All is past, like your birthday
the ticking of times, the way I feel in the early hours of the night
molten cakes and candles still aglow

sometimes we don't need to understand

Frankly sometimes I do not understand what you scribble
it is a cultural thing, the need to speak in different letters
meaning the same thing. Sometimes I do not understand myself
because the surge that spurs out of me is late, taken into advance
towards other stages, places I cannot really figure,
things I do not fully know, but I am trying.


Sorry I was late
I will say
my words have been travelling
my body standing still
on a platform of two moving trains

My name is refugee

It was cold when we decided to swim to the shore
the water lapped around us once more,
but it was colder when we arrived, 
half asleep, half alive.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Old jeans

I have been wearing these same jeans for a week
no need for laundry, no need for anything external to these
bones and flesh covered once, stretched into skinny
an adjective to a state, there's nothing more than excess weight here

within this old jeans of mine, stretched far beyond its normal age
of washing, spilling champagne, and picking up the dust from the cities
I have visited, no one cares about the extent of stretching with elastic skins
not enough water for the bones, more for the brains

here is why I like my old jeans, all caked with
what I collect, what I forget behind.

Friday, September 4, 2015

My insanity

I am a prisoner, I know
locked in a cell made to fit me
compromised of compact letters
I am a prisoner in the minds of the great
Book-spines cracked with my fingers holding them
bookmarks from outer space

and baby teeth stuffed inside the over of heidi
all I have is these words and my insanity 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

sun, moon, dark

Be careful of your shadows
the moon requested
to the sun that never sees the dark

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A stranger, in lands

Today I said good morning,
you answered Sabah Il Kheir 
why cannot we rest on one language here?
but we can pick and choose what works better with coffee

morning reminds me of yesterday
what I allowed myself willingly to forget
overnight, there was much to process in my sleep
and more to process with buiscuits

there is a fine line between being strange
and feeling familiar, like the sound of morning rain
the invention of one word to summarize the whole
as if we were missing if strangers

screw the lands that demand of me
to greet the morning
in two languages
but gives me silence when I ask for more.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Reem, a gazelle

Where do we start to avoid the question?
one cannot simply do it, can he? even the ends of sentences have their issues

in the desert we start, sits the gazelle
eyes, gleaming with pure green, the color of what she cannot have

even the gazelle knows the sources of the water
take me to where it starts to rain amid the thistle and the snake's tale

a tale of a tail, one for love and another for money
there is much that goes on at the belly of a monster

but hold, nothing but a deer in a desert, slow-cooking in the hunter's eye.
Reem, my deer held nothing more but maternal comfort in the sniper's viewfinder.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Tonight at No. 29

Tonight at No. 29, your presence is requested in replacement
for someone who talks a little slower, with less of an accent
but more of a truth that everyone can see, tonight we replace
the way you speak, because you are not bright enough,
or shy enough to stop where you are supposed to and acquire
the liberty to confess of your shortcomings despite
your pure knowledge that you are not perfect and you will never be
significant to another human soul other than both your reflection
amid your shadow. Tonight at No. 29, it is an invitation to
bid part of you goodbye, letting go is easier than most people's
desires to stay put. So come, bring your sacks folded neatly
with desire and disaster and drag them behind.
No one understands the poet, not fully
tonight at No. 29, reinvent yourself, tell your face a lie.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The bellydancers

they will know you blood by history
of gossip and long, long words 
justifications that ram the corners,
never care lady
shake- shake- shake 
your tiny spaced waist. 

poems that come from places unknown

Days when heartache is longer
it takes a bit more to keep
dragging all that it is hers
the words, the objects
into the mud, unfinished

A visitor everywhere

Stamp for an entry
your day to day being,
a touch of the woodlands in your hair
caught between the locks
a touch of the lakes at your eyes
and gone tomorrow, you will be
to the origins and the roots that shaped you,

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bella Caledonia

To Scotland,  thank you.

Forth bridge shining, many have been floating in the water
this is what you see from Queensferry to Edinburgh,
the way land allows to the sea its distance when it needs
to breath and meet new faces, it is different how we see
when we are looking.

In the garden, there is thistle,
purple and green that reminds the stranger
of torrid landscapes, ones you never look into when you travel
the distance between paying attention and falling asleep
to avoid catching yourself in too much motion

in the hall, there is music,
there are voices, some singing, mine screaming
shouting basic sentences, in an attempt to pledge
to the higher gods of creativity and self sustaining habits
like someone patting you on the shoulder and telling you to
be happy, then disappearing

in the flat, lots of laughter and conversations
of real importance, of nuisance, of ignorance
we hug one another, carrying the parts of being
of a varied, diverse world but working on one
tongue that shifts from city to another from
one confidence to the other

in the end, a friendship is forged, that transcends
the boundaries we set to create
by attempting to let language lead the way
 we resist melting into everything
bagpipes at every corner
I leave with the Edinburgh horses hooting me
the Scottish warmth beneath my neck, huddled like a scarf
lighter, dreamier, always tracing my steps backwards
to the castle, to the faces, to the knowledge that a dream
once became more than a vision with closed eyes.

photograph is mine, Edinburgh 2015.


You give me one palm and I wonder
how much it took for it to shape,
the scar on the left, the mole beneath your finger
the cords you held, sometimes I even think
of the hands you caressed, softly whispering
in the ears some details, of hair-color, or lips
or new fashion, I look at the back of your palm, clean
lean, long fingers, only to want to tell you
I work hard at the details I place between your fingers because
I love the details in you,
the way I love your hands.

The ripple effect

blow on a wave, it ripples
this is how your breath grows
one circle after the other, slide over the waters
all the parts of you, the lunch, fuming with tomatoes
the hesitation between telling and holding back,
the story within the lie, and the lie that lays in between
the story and the water,

blow on a wave, it ripples,
skin and dribbles over your body
your thoughts belong to someone else
not you, not me
this is the ripple effect,
blow on a wave, harder
watch yourself grow.


Sometimes one feels like a need for apology
declining  like a fall to the ground
there will be no time to sadness
not enough for it to stretch its arms like wakefulness
what will happen is this
lost connections and late late answers
nothing has been in pigeon mail
but the words have been travelling,
faster than those melancholy for a reason.

the palm reader

he stops me and says, may I read you by your hands
I nod, too fragile to talk back

he doesn't not offer a map for the future but an explanation of the present, uses words like: passionate, respected and honest
then he looks down to where the lines meet and says: Loss creeps under your hand, in the form of distant obstinate cry-
bottled up, careful
but then miss you are intense, passion driven and those are mere consequences 

photograph is mine, Edinburgh 2015


Humans are what human you treat
like water to desire, if you deal the cards right
you gain, human, what you treat

like the way she once moves her hair
like the way water ripples over your skin
when you say hello, or when you let go

there is a fine line that separates human
from another side-effect of the streets,
one sun-kissed, and one over-pouring with rain

Monday, August 24, 2015


I will walk away from my vices
when I have the time, we say. I will stop
smoking on the way back from the breath
that is split between sunset and gutter

fuming with nothing. other than the
whiff of blended beauty and otherness
you feel the trees magnify
when you are held

I will walk away from my vices,
next month, next year
that never comes
it is easier to fall and never look back


Sometimes I fail at talking to you
like knowing I purposely couldn't ask
why and where you married art
and birthed little versions on the same theme
like how it feels to be someone, else-
beautiful. This is why I fail at reaching
anyone, you- them,
there is a lot to say, little to keep
and room for me to not say what I can.


A mother's touch on your shoulders
when you shiver, bones first
these are the little acts of kindness that make us

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

In this life, in another

You ask what I would be in another life
and I can barely cover up this one without
falling short on the edges or straying long enough
careless to the sound and the fury
in this life I am trying to be myself
but if you are really interested,
in another life I would have loved to be Florence Nightingale
with a lamp half filled in oil
ointment painting what couldn't be restored
I would have been a nightingale of hers
if I didn't fear the sight of blood

Watadd Shoutout!

I rarely speak directly to my readers but this one is for Watadd

 UK based poet Steve Willey and a few creative people have teamed up to establish Watadd / وتد a poetry, performance community workshop in London.

 As of September I will be volunteering as the Lead Artistic Coordinator for Watadd's Palestine Team.

More exciting projects coming enjoy the good work we are doing and check it out here.

Question on an assumable womanhood

They ask and all I do is answer, like I don't know- these questions
they throw towards me
do you know to roast a turkey into perfection?
or grind hummus they ask
take that time, divide it by half and you've got enough
to survive for a week

do you know where the money goes? not in bags
they accuse, full with gleamed up shorts
and colorful gadgets, you work and be responsible
for tomorrow's laundry there

there is where the money goes.

Friday, August 14, 2015

on the streets, something else

You can tell a city is merciless by its streets,
cloaked in open spaces, lamp-posts here
half-chipped, tree-old stones there
paving the land, for the feet’s joy

read the rest here:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


This place confuses me
with its high palm trees
dust and olives, yet I call it home

home is where you lay your bed for the night
says the travelers, the lost children never found
but home is a variation of colors of your bed sheets

this is the idea romantica you have of everything
there's nothing with the slumber but an insanity
this is why home, this places confuses you
an quenched thirst to newness

home is where you pick up your failures
like olives picked out late September
waiting to roast,
clearing from the dust.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Close your eyes and concentrate
on the breath that leaves you
to forget the guilt at your nose
the chant at the doorway to your heart

practice mindfulness by being easy
the less you allow for your body
the more you see
be mindful to the atmosphere around you
shut the sounds out,
but keep listening to the others.

something light

tell me something light
to clear those ears from the words heard

speech doesn't always serve the speaker
there are times when the break for breath
comes equivalent to approval

for denial and for all else
the blossoming of language and

tell me something light you say
weightless on my woman skin
so I open my mouth and address you
with a smile, better leave
the words to their weight

Monday, August 10, 2015

explanations, for children

positives are welcome, like cards
like lemonade when mothers
resort to revolutions instead of jokes
to explain to their children
why there are dead pigeons on the side of the road
but hawks in the sky

Sunday, August 9, 2015


the war is over, the troops have gone back
gone but not forgotten, these leftovers
the radio sings of joy while the bombs drop.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Panics in lonliness

Do not panic if you wake up
the end of the street, mulled with yesterday's moon
there is nothing bad about staying behind

you say it is moving that scares you
because you retain the right to finding out
what you don't want to see
some dream, some desire

you won't budge
forwards between brick houses
with others, because when you want to move
you need direction and you can no longer

pretend you are lost
there are many things that will leave you to panic
if you wake up alone,
a continuity of some sort
maybe there will be softer ways to take the same road
and not by yourself

Friday, August 7, 2015

reservation, special

reserve a cloud for my eyes
between the opening of sun and the closing of day
for my eyes, reserved
for the future, just a soft, fluffy cloud.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Things you don't approve of

the things you don't approve of don't come in lists:
- like this or that
- like the marriage between religions and forgetting God
- like these stupid values someone sews in your head
- like the dreams on hold
- like sunshine in rain, and summer rain
- like plotting your life into a rythym
- the tick-tock of the dying clock
- stopping time for someone who cannot give a moment of thought, to you
- like the aforementioned lists
- like words, too big for poems
- like little thing, like big things

a life lived in the margins of lists cannot handle all this approval
or the lack of it, think about it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

You are now here

You are here now, but how many times 
I have not been, here or now, 
it takes a glimpse to get here 
another to leave the now 

you are here now, do not think 
of anything else, sometimes I 
think of privacy  as the contrary to 
being alone, do not count me in on your thoughts

you are here, now, 
think of nothing else but the breath 
that leaves you, the shadow that is by your side
you are here now, alone

you are here, now
the power of your lungs never fails 
there's wind coming from somewhere you won't know
and a drifting feeling, that's why 
I am here, now, breathing
it makes me cry. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I keep referring to humans like animals
like horses, strong and yet soft-spoken
for tasks humanly obtained
deny humans water and grass,
let them graze on sunshine, the horses would say
if they could speak,
too long we have invaded their spaces.

What the nation wants

It escaped us, the want of living
to him they said, they just wanted enough bread
to feed the chicken, seeds to exchange for beds  
to her they said they just wanted language, 
storming the nation, mistaken by the difference 
between biscuits and bread.