Monday, February 27, 2017

dedication, to this day

To those who bullied us
Kudos, the words
that resulted thereof

fountain pen

Ink splayed, three layers deep
your grandfather's words
found life into my hands

Avoid repetition

How do you avoid repetition
that you are yourself in five shapes and three forms
solid, wind, water
even echo doesn't have the answer when it bounces off hilltops

Sunday, February 26, 2017

learning from earth

When you lose
learn from earth
even after the broken bones of her daughters
twigs and leaves fill the earth
it doesn't say; there's no spring this year.

the dreamy designer tells me

Glued to a closet
with fabrics across her sides
she tells me the story of where her scissors
have gone wild with hunger

return of our birds

The birds have returned
so has the sun, shaking off the dust
but not warmth to shake, cold heart
colder earth

Sudden power cut

Raise the wires 
cut down the storm and increase the silence 
this is our power-cut, closer to the storm
doesn't shelter you, your faith
will I finish this senten..

Sakura petals

flowers fall in my hands
these thorn-less petals
do you understand
the repetition in me?

maybe I should stop looking for the glue between the petals
perhaps I should look for a place that reminds me less of you
this spring

Monday, February 20, 2017


Too many pillows on this bed
it's a shame, really
how I turn like a wave
but I cannot sleep

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Don't show your anger between 9-10 a.m.

Because it is already early in the morning 
those around you haven't had their coffee yet 
because you will least expect to wake up 
with your sides bent over to call for it 
like an unwanted guest, arriving with nothing sweet in its hands
because it makes the sides of your cheeks crease 
on the long run with sides folding onto one another 
because it is too eager to contain what
you wish to get undone like little ropes bound together 
untangle this from your head in the morning hours 
with the brew of a cheap, double boiled Nescafe 
filled but never refilled like the fake boost of cafe in your blood
dissolve like sugar, this anger, it does not look good on you

this early in the morning. 

When I first came back

When I first came back
I saw the tree-tops, ashen green
I had forgotten that this is how olives grow old
with dust wrinkling their hair

when I first came back
there was a pull in the sand the lined the shore
bagged over to the West from where the river lies
like the pull on my ear before landing

When I first came back
no building was higher than it neighbor
equal in high the stone and man
man and stone

when I first came back
the sun was shining but I wanted
to close my eyes
too much light in a small space takes weight on my lids

when I came back
there was no music, no tapping of hands
or shoulders to shoulder
in a line to invite, entice to dance

when I first came back
I vowed never to leave you again
but each time I leave you become more beautiful
this is the deal with homelands
the further they get from us
the nicer they claim to be
put on their jewels and drag us back
to face our own misery.

New taste to my cup of tea

Hot cup of tea tastes bizarre today
other than your breath on it
there's sage, to balm your old sores
love of mine

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hidden, a tail

the broken glass bottle from yesterday's evening
mixtures of your taste and mine

the acne around my jaw
to make attractive, my words

the stutter in my recent speech
too little time to finish my sentences

the smart allocation of mundane
set ups with color coded post-its

the bones I have staked away in the garden
history, mystery and the present

the times I refused to openly tell you
the flowers have long died

I know your secret, it is along my ribs
walled with a lie and a thick scarf

in the verse lining our eyes
three years' worth of words
things one of us will not regret.

Hasten the practice of storms

Quick, hasten
to this destiny of fog and thunder
carrying you away,
showering me with water that is far from holy.

direction of prayer

You tell me it is a sign of respect
the bend of the men's knees over colorful rugs
with gold thread, blue, red and green

to bend in prayer then find your quiet
it is a sign of peace
how many times do we realize
we are faithful, if we are, truly found

you tell me it is a sign of respect
that the men let her watch how prayer
works its way and she, faithless,
you speak and I think of warm people

on softened prayer rugs and faraway lands

Rain on a sea-view

All this sand, drifting
like maidens waiting for the Nile to sweep them
in exchange for vows unmade
this is the expense of beauty

from the hill, looking down toward the seaside
the sand keeps working with the wind
making a new hail with its own hands
gripping the thighs, the feet, the cars

no caresses for those of us who sleep
standing because we fear rain on the seaside
as if one source of water was not enough
to let us go, or brag by the nearest branch

floating, our hands,
it is hearty this downpour
over way of more water
less sand, nothing keeps you floating

against your anger,
this is why rain is never pretty on the sea-side
moody mother, no one can tell your time
other than the tides taking out those who live on the sea-side.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

the other side

When do you know you have
crossed over a bridge?
do we know by way of water where the grass has gone
pale and yellow, knee-high

or when we arrive
at the other side expecting green pasture
silver ends at the bottom of clouds
like the sky have stretched to take us in

like I have stretched to take in the sky
as if looking upwards is the only consolation
when you crossed
but haven't reached the other side

A time to love

Is this need or necessity
that we buy our time to love
prevailing atop any other thing

Friday, February 10, 2017

How much of my life has been gone?

You know that Kalthum song that goes like this
قد ايه من عمري قبلك راح؟
how many years of my life have gone by before you, love?

this is the main question we ask
how many of our years have gone by
without honoring, you, love

this is a waste of time,
a waste of age that no one should
be allowed to pertain from one's life

a lost age, a lost era
like my wondering three times
the same road without once realizing where it ends

but this is not how we think of natural things
like love, that there will be an end
at your stick when caused to open flame

melts, remelts in your mouth
it has its way around us
this power

but how many days had been gone
with an argument hanging
over my bed, like my dream-catcher 

but then, like a sick knife
the stabs no longer feel fresh
over my skin

maybe this is exaggeration,
an attempt at counting down
ticking minutes

until they stop mattering
then how many years have gone by
before you love?

it is not a need to hear you answer
but repeat like a broken radio
mechanic walks in small steps
the years we had, like roads, all heading forward.

New Boyhood

Wedged between the screen and the console
your hand has a mind of its own,
rough to play at the age of men
boys' games, boyish joy

on the way to Jericho

On the way to Jericho,
a Bedouin on the road, nods off

sleepy hills, sugar mills
a stray donkey that looks tamed

old dried salt, white, so white
and the smell of phosphates

three signs to count down to the edge
of meters you proceed to attain below the sea

below the earth yet still above
a change of atmosphere and dried skins

dried sins, mount of temptations
monasteries in the desert

try this, taste that, kneel
says all the same devil

palm trees swinging,
this is the road ahead, singing

on the tour bus that takes you
no stranger but oddity

from head to toe,
think about the times you have fallen

in the lowest points of earth
on the way to Jericho, how many times
you lay thinking
that even barren earth can still give.

Sightings on a Friday morning

Three chains of the hills
mistaken for mountains
greenery, shrubs, sheep and a shepherd sleeping
little sighting on a Friday morning

Haste n words

The last time I wrote to you
was in haste, with a new fountain pen
the ink smudging left and right
my paper, forgive me.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


Three sips of one coffee and I can still
tell you one perfect lie
wrapped inside the vermicelli

just above the cheese on your Kunafeh plate
this is information you have proved wrong so far:

the number of times I told you to read
my religion from my name
the extent of stretching a woman needs to walk up a street
darlin', it is twice as long because of our narrow feet

our long streets. The amount of pain that results
from dancing all night with the wrong pair of feet
attached to your body, like walking on broken glass
emphasizes how fast you can bleed

how much more can you take if I say more?

this is the Eastern information you have received:

three children dead, one sent to school
one to buy vegetables,
one to his bed

ten cameras broken before the right to speech
was accredited and ratified
left to corners and spilled out

tents replace houses here,
refugee camps like children
come with no one to expect their arrival

summer is long
winter is harsh
whatever is in between just passes

too much is covered
our bodies, our pride, our womanhood
because of other eyes and fear

fear is endless

you have been misinformed my darlin',
but honestly, no one can blame you.

desert dessert

Half ripe bananas
three ripe dates,
forgive me desert, they were so warm
too sweet

Sugar mills

If you pass the mills to your right
you will see large stones, not cane
or shaded trees, only stone upon stone
provision is like this: take the graces of the lands
hand them over to the devil and wait to eat
your food charred, sugar burnt is sugar
wasted, honey. But no one stood or blinked twice
when the men milling the sugar dried up
in the desert sun, long before the mills could made to turn

Rocket road

Nothing could have landed here
where the land is flat as iron
but where you also know that
loss is a natural phenomena

with the start of the spring,
green are the tops of the mountains
here summer and winter are the same
gathering at the feet of the mountainous ranges

goats, yet to be shaved sheep
a broken Bedouin and three donkeys
grazing on a little green
between the tents and the doorway

you know you have already lost your way
not by the voice that eggs you to return
rerun the same course
but by your inability to breathe

all losses are the same
one road can take you north
while the south promises you
a feast of joy, little findings

this was rocket road, a road
cut over by war that has not
even stopped yet, where the rockets landed
now the sheep graze

On this day, mothers

it reins, a word that has lingered too long
on her one selected day, come as it might
happy wishes, without fight,
to mothers and motherhood

the way of the swallows

The way of the swallow
is the way of spring
see them return and watch water bursting to life

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Three pieces of bread,
two sandwiches made, with utmost care
double folded in the middle
all this abundance, what more than love, is it?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Print my name across your forehead
it is easy to see you spit fire
when my name isn't sandwiched within the flames

print my name in gold letter,
bold gold, the kind that needs no reasoning
no season nor regiment

in small bold pens
print my name with force
because with force I have braced an entry here

don't tattoo my name to your chest
then cross it the first time
you get a chance

by the winds

Who leaves and what stays?
this is a legitimacy
only questioned by the winds