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.