Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Candle making on an autumn night

Melt the wax without hurting those slim fingers
ones the sorceress told you belonged to an artist
in a cold city that never belonged to you
where you searched for reason to keep walking without looking back
assure that the perfume is added gradually to avoid burning
your face, the smell is always potent to fill you
with nostalgia to the one who let you stand
and knew how to bend you, left and right
to his will, to his touch-
add a wick, there should be a source of light
something to keep the fire going, shouldn't there be?
desire, despair and other dead things
you burn to light the leftover darkness in the corner of your room
this autumn takes you by storm
by way of the sun disappearing behind the mountains
the natural turn of the leaves, the wind and the day.

Go, be

I said go, but you didn't move
I said go, without budging
go, I will order you
be better than me,
I have a gift and I am wasting it
waiting for other gifts that will never arrive.

First Aid to a poet

Cover the bones fractured
with power of holding meaning, twice

bandage without stitching
a simile and a metaphor constraining

restrain from rushing towards the broken
the fallen, it is a trap for most novices

you are not meant to save the world
it will still keep going around without asking

without waiting for you to take
five minutes to arrive to disaster

don't pull out anything from your wound
it might be infected, oozes out, little held-on- secrets

a promise or two that hide
in the crevices of the markings under your skin

watch out for water when there is electricity
these are little things that can stop the heart from beating

not just music, lyrics, a dance
or someone holding your hand

be careful of irregular rhythms
a rise and fall around your heart

it is always the reason why you are standing up
just be careful and attentive, listen out and call for help when you need it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

the grace, like a cyclone

Folding over yourself
like a napkin on a Christmas table

the knowledge that if you fall
something cushions your skid

enter then, into the grace
that keeps bubbling under the surface

of the noise awakening with daybreak
the urgency of your eyes to feed on water

wash out the numb repetition
of yesterday, the day before it, the day after

don't think of funerals
when you bury time away

waste to make of old sweaters
something beautiful

re-purpose the words you say carefully
fall back into the creation of living

veer towards the grace received
all in one breath, like a cyclone turning around its own self

Old friend

Old friend,
I miss
writing to you in cursive

these hands

These hands cannot
carry across your way anything
when they are holding a baby


You do not feel it
how winter arrives until you lose
your sense of space and place
the blackouts are often a sign that you are living

by choice or by practice
in the land of your forefathers
where they carried touches
learnt how to burn and be burnt

this is the brutal effect of winter
some don't find cover
when what you need is just at the fingertips
of your very hand

it is hard to build up to warmth
when there's much on the line
repeating, like freezing pipe
a need for warmth

you will be upset for the black out
when darkness swallows you
but then again, it is never new
how you can let go and stop resisting sleep. 

a new host

You give me hope
in a piece of candy, wrapped well

insist I drink from the water
brought out of your own well

maybe I am growing to appreciate
the things others do to make distance smaller

yet still, it feels strange
that you are surrounded with lonesomeness

wrapped well rather than the blanket
you give me as a host, on a dark winter afternoon.


the need to finish the year
with vigor, before time flips
the calendar explains your anger and my apathy.

Too many eyes

stare at you when you try to work
how the work can be set up
like building blocks in music
how he looks ahead, disheartened
to the sounds of music forming from your heart
how you turn, there are the eyes, the ears
the years made up in a time bubble
how we learn by giving and taking away
same skills we gain, since childhood
just magnified day to day.


It takes one, normally,
one indication of failure to know
the challenge is still alive

like riptide

It washes,
like riptide that can tear you to pieces
the effect of the words others say on your behalf

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A powerful weekend earthquake

injured thousands,
survivors were at home, asleep

others exposed to the night cold
we need everything, they cried

help, aid, water,
in all our three tongues

footage of rescue workers
offered only condolences

dispatched to those waiting
to be treated

shelter, they said,
had been provided

this is anarchy, how the world ends;
a lack of water

a lack of light
chaos on the roads

help,aid, water,
we need everything, they cried

mud brick can crumple
these days

 fault lines are not our own
so let's revert to historic dust

footage of digging people out
rescue workers offer condolences
and the cold eats what remains of the sky.

rose in a garden

a rose in a garden of thorn
bleeds red
among death, you rise too


an impeding storm 

the sound of war 
rings the doorbell

it will find me sleeping 
these days for winter has already begun

it will find me 
in my own peace, dreaming of walks by the shore 

a hum-drum
the sound of war 

breaks down my door
finds me cowering in a corner 

with a book and a flashlight 
like I was twelve again

running from lava
on a speaking mare 

a hum-drum-hum-drum-drum 
the sound of war 

shoots over my head 
takes down the kites I painted all summer 

takes down three trees that stand 
pregnant with fruit 

takes down the quiet, the child, the budding rose, 
the burnt-out books, the land, the hands, 
the music, the days, the nights, the ways 
the times I counted in reverse 

brings me this fear in my bones, 
the sound of the drum never leaves me alone. 

relation to the ard, the land

You work in negation
the sound of tapping your foot to earth
to aches, this is your tie to the land

that becomes not-
yours but then it is enough
yours when you need it to be

with fury and rage
this land, this ard, yours and not yours.

a good green seed

You see the good green seed,
The sun with its burning glory is hiding behind gray clouds 

necks, ropes, hands

Hate is a strong word
to target at those who try to exert power over your space

crowd with doctor-like hands
your throat, your decaying body

the body you are struggling to love
years down the line of being blamed for its genealogy

hate is a strong word
but it gets a stronger grip, over your hand

that tremors to take off
the ropes old lovers and school bullies tied around your neck.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Territorial, this hunger

Soil on my fingers, earth under my nails
this is how dirt arrives at your city-cleaned hands
territorial, this attachment
that hunger

Monday, November 6, 2017

you move

like a wave
you move from head to toe

After the fact

To the one who rolled over the darkness like dough,
But more importantly to the one who holds the flicker of light

24 hours earlier-O’hare 

Keep it light, the exchange of sugar for smiles
It doesn’t get darker at the stroke of midnight
pacing across black and white floors, a friend holds you up
like a woman giving birth,
you wait for it- take offs and landings
flooding a Windy City-

a headless heated hegemony

14th St, Washington

The curtains were green
Linen lined up against the light that falls on your forehead

bellow 14th features the tipper- tapper
movement and stores opening and shutting,

ripe executive jackets,
opening and shutting

a mild beginning of November-
three women-turned-girls wait by the crackle of a fireplace

but the limbs are heavy with worry
opening and shutting

from the window, an incredible stillness
this nightfall, your voice has already departed

opening and shutting
a height of pitching banshees, unexpected drumming

does the heart have a right to squander?

you feel it-

a gust of northern wind,
darkness’ daughter

mother covers all faults, yours, his, hers
but the lie remains a lie

amid rapid breath
friends-come-couples holding time like a shopping bag

this is what the death of love looks like
too many open bottles and a little left to drink

torn-out letters, river-side runs
time drained into micro-memory

this is what the death of love looks like
an opening and a shutting

three women-turned-girls waiting by the crackle of a fireplace
and a tap on your back, all this warmth

to stop the swan from belting its final song

two days later
44th Street, New York City

you open your eyes to immensity
competing for length

passersby, cars, sirens
light, even the night is different

even the weight placed on your feet
while you strain your neck to look up

light arrives to your hands
kinder this time even with ferocity

opening up a purse she gives you scrapes of her being,
a tale shared is a tale halved

glasses raised, toasts made,
promises to be kept- a shutting

streets navigated
by heart and instinct

three women, you, swallowed in a big city
there will be time to grieve later

8 months later
an open balcony in Jerusalem

The first sunrise after months of rain
is unforgettable

the remaining hours pass,
thick, quick like sand, stretched

ointment rubbed, you stand over your childhood
three crows call for morning

the sighs no longer sound the same
there’s a gentle humming

this is the aftermath of grief
color returning to earth and to your cheecks

you take out of yourself, bits,
old stars, long hair, bridged teeth

offer to the sun what remains behind
why do you offer when you can shut the doors

cower behind an old desk, stand straighter
when you dance?

but the swans’ old song is like morning
a first sunrise after months of rain

to remember is to select

to remember is to choose to forget
watch from an open balcony the sun rise

over the green fields and tracks ran
how time swishes like green curtains

a year after the fact. 

Photograph by author, taken with IPhone 5

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Don't wait

for the hail to apologize
for breaking your windows
for wetting your clothes
for not keeping dry, your most intimate garments
for storms don't apologize
for ruining what falls in their tracks
for all is waste to a storm, all carried along the way

don't wait

for those who left to return
for had they willed a return, departure would have not been a way
for the moment that marks the inauguration
for beginnings
for they don't come presenting themselves
for your eloquence
for  your considerable desires

don't wait

for the sun to shine
for it has its own mood
for it functions regardless of your needs
for it breathes and lives
for those who will it life

don't wait

for a call
for lines are expensive
for words are cheap
for those who have mastered them like second skin

don't wait

for old lies to get straightened
for water doesn't run the same current twice
for it obstructs nothing

for your early sleep or your longing nights
for an end, or a begging begining,

don't wait

for you know better how these games end.

under the eye, black

A swelling under the eye
what kind of lie will I cake
this time to exposure to your hands?


Look on where your foot steps
how many flowers you break
standing up, it tells a lot about the way you stand up
the way you treat the most delicate.

back-garden music

Soft grass whiffs, in my name
as if this willingness to draft
sound to answer cries
takes you further away than your back-garden

Inhospitable, this fury

says the flower to the soil
that roots her, no one wills how home becomes
inhospitable to fury.

not like this, love

Love is not supposed to be
like this; the three bruises on your arm
the space of a slap on my neck

the speak softly
that is whispered in my ears
leaves no time to regret

keep your voice low,
demand and I understand like a whisper
less you are heard

like an ancient call
repeating in your head
there's a bridge you burn

when you fall into my shadow
but I allow you use of sunlight
when you only close your eyes

love is not supposed to be like this;
heavy eyes, drooping heads
my body is not yours
as much as it is not mine
but love is not supposed to leave marks
on my heart, like this-
soreness, weakness, sightless.

Red, red shoes

the color of my shoes
you remark, is like blood
the gloom of winter is ahead 
I answer, let's keep it light

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween, in this country

In other countries, people wait for the departed
to walk earth again,
in my country, the departed walk earth every single day