Sunday, October 15, 2017

our trees, our names

The trees I carved in my childhood
turn to tell me
they have swallowed the names

Our voice

Look! the amount of minutes you spend
voicing other people's concerns
. but failure to voice, your own

Friday, October 13, 2017


Why grow roots when wings can lift you up,
but why develop wings when you can just stay rooted in earth
why then, this struggle to be one thing over the other
you are the world but settle in a piece of ground

Fear 101

It is the same touch
of the waves that shake inside of you
when you do not recall you came near water


In my palm, your heart beat
it felt like a fluttering
like the first time I held a baby in my arms

there's something about smaller creatures
a thought of a childhood
lost at sea

sunbird, traveler
you take my honey
to feed the flowers growing in other lands

sunbird, take my song then
away from the walls that choke me
from the stale air and the starless night
to the sun, the master of the day

wild running

Duckling's feet
I cannot spare you the speed
you need to learn that wild running
gets you nowhere, if you don't look
straight ahead


says the tyrant who knows
how to leave a blank between the two sides
arguing for the right to breathe

say the women who have
severed victory in the name of freedom

the women who nod their heads
with the knowledge that if these heads were raised
the world will shake with vigor

congratulations says the men
who have deprived
women of their womanhood

thinking that only body parts
complete the whole
like a broken up puzzle

match and arrive
at a perfect depiction

a boy
a girl
a boy again, maybe both

a boy with a heart of a girl
a girl with the heart of a boy
an identity so like water, lucid

congratulations, they say
those who know nothing of the stories
of murder by gender

on exile by first and last name
they deem a celebration
our pain

says those who hear the news late
say grace for the souls revived
because it is easier to celebrate
than to demonstrate fury.

a waiting game

it does no service
this waiting
for the grass has grown
but your chair remains empty

Brothers n blood

Don't call us brothers
when your sons murdered our sons
one bright afternoon
when the world turned and there was no one watching

how simple was the act of blood
can happen in the name of an idea
that was aborted soon
with the language of threat and danger

don't shake hands with the devils
then ask why you got burns over your arms
because fire knows its ways
to the hand that expects it most

don't say to us, bring this,
take that, ad if we only live to serve
this does not do you service
that those you hurt can erase the pain

with the holding of hands
the waving of flags, marching of bands
bullet proof cars, treated acne scars
these are the ideas left in your head

in mine, in the wounds festering
over a decade of brothers slaugthering one another
bearing words open like knives ends
to bear the weight of the world

don't call the rest of us brothers
when your sons murdered our sons
with the language of threat and danger
splitting us into territory
when we were born from the same mother
that cannot stand her ground, brothers.

Back to the chaos

One word, unleashes
the thousand questions and one
a hurricane in the brain

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Do not save them

You are not born a woman
for one reason, to hatch an egg

to make of someone a human
you are not born a woman for a sole reason

you are not born a woman
to make meets end or to make ends meet

your body is not a bridge
to be trampled upon where they cross but you stay

so you are not born a woman of service
saying yes and no like you would exchange old cans

your words are precious
made from rare gems

you are not born woman to reap
what others have planted in your absence

to make you claim bad crop
worse confusion by the tongue

you were not born woman to be someone's hero
only mother, wife, handing over dreams for your life

you were not born to save someone
don't let him tell you are a savior

First rain

falls gently like it's not seen earth
falls urgently like children's laughter
the first rain that patters over my head

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

recreate yourself

Like an old rye that sheds its outer layer
recreate yourself
after death


How many times do we have to resort to Orthodox measures
to clear out the air
these unorthodox ways;
the gin in your lap,
the lack of prayer over my lips
this destiny.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

An agreement

Has it occurred to you, she asks
the many times you have said: me too,
in a single conversation with him,
the boy with the dark eyes?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Son of the Original Sin

You will expect long hours, sleeplessness 
insomnia befriends those who haunt the witching hours 
you do not expect your toes to feel frigid like frozen shrimps
you already cover yourself well with a history

Read the rest here:


I look into the olives
that have not yet fallen
even after the leaves of autumn surround the grounds
how strong can you latch on
when the world lets go

Another half

You talk about yourself as whole
when others insist you are fragmented, a half of a lemon
a halved moon, an incomplete dent

because you do not have a trail that runs behind you
like a school of ducks
running with small feet toward the water

as if the things that stand on their own
cannot be compelte
when was the last time you looked at a tree?

full branches, leaves, bird nests
bird song, water
you can stand tall and be whole

you contain more of the universe
when you stand upright
because you know you can bend without breaking

into a million little pieces
that scatter like glitter facing
the wind

you are aware of the effects
of lonesomeness too
the longer nights, the unending realizations

that you can be part of the day
without being an active ingredient
in the making of the every minute

yet you cry
for the days that are wasted since they drag
like long unfiltered cigarettes

leaning over the view of the river
you will note
you can be the current and the overflow

just wait and shut your ears when you hear
talk about someone to complete your life
to be the other side of you, like a flipped coin

a question to the skies

Is it still blue and dull
the sky that receives my open hands
every single day?

my freedom, my cigarette

You said my freedom ends when yours starts
a common misconception
wait then till I finish my cigarette, love

Father to son

like son, like father
like father, like son
like the sun in the sky
this sin, this son who sins
like father, he sins,
like father, like son
like the sky, like the sun
evident, this sin
passed from father to son


You discover late,
the door that closed
was left open for a long time

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

After bravery

So much depends upon your poise
strong and tall over a white white sink
when you pour blood that washes out with water
after bravery

Saturday, September 23, 2017

the other face

Empty tissue boxes,
syringes with caps left open
the prose sleeps in between dosages of medication
this is the other face of illness, no one sees clearly

We talk

I tell you how to fry an egg without burning it 
give you direction to the folding of t-shirts and the saving of old pots 
teach you over distance how to carve a perfect apple 
how to pick your fights
how to assure you never lose your wars
all that you could have learnt had you been a sunshine 
through the family home, brother

the power of three

There is something about the power of three items combined
a reason behind faith and magic:
three stars aligned in the talisman around your eyes
the trinity of holy, sacred and sinful
gathering like a storm that finds its end before it begins
the after thought that by omission
a grand touch of breeze will find you, near the river
with three books near you, with your hunger
gnawing at the power of trinities

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Gone this autumn

This autumn, falls quicker than I can master
the young hairs, fresh like dew
the oldest of friends, all departing for lands with longer winters
the epiphanies of a homeland, that awaits trial by errors and worngdoings
the chants of my lips, the wait in the music
all with the leaves,gone this autumn

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

the evil eye

An eye that winks
with the reverence of a tear
can also sting with envy

Take my eyes, friend

Take my eyes, friend
I will be able to show you how beautiful is broken

into little pieces of light colored scarves, like whispers
floating through the air,

Take my eyes, friend
I will be able to show you fear in different forms

how the house my grandfather lived in was broken into one night
in his eyes, as he departed, the sunshine broke over the grey sea

the sea where we swam
where we swore on our bodies, we shall be back, one day

take my eyes, friend
I will show you what it means to learn to dance for hours straight

yet still be awkward about the thousand ways
a woman is supposed to cross her legs

with decency, with vigor, with pride
without showing too much, or too little skin and stone

take my eyes friend,
I will take you to where a woman stitches pieces of tatreez

together, black background and red thread
one for blood, the other for those dead

take my eyes friend,
for my broken is beautiful
for my fear is accepted
for your love is redeemed with the wave of a hand to beauty.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Teenage love

Your old violins,
a long black overcoat that lines your features

your imaginative ways to make me smile
a turban wrapped to heat your bald head in the winter hours

 your new cigars
smoking breaks between the instruments and the music

always sweet,
the exchange of note to voice, of symbols to music

your hands and fingers
made razor sharp by the incision of strings

Nowadays, your violin weeps
for another woman while all I can do is hold to memory

On my back

We want different things from this life
I don't want your lame limp arm,
the one with the ring on its tips
on my back

Saturday, September 16, 2017


Hard to be awake these days
when the night-time is a blessing
alcohol, dreams, your soft lips


To stand up tall, in shoes that you realize
fit perfectly your ankles
the satisfaction is pride in its glory

Sadness in a tragedy

Can we be sad, you question, on tragedies
that happen away from our own?
humans trailing wheat from their burning fields
why do you keep questioning what has rightfully been, a reality?

Slain by nostalgia

An old movie, a new friend
there is a shift between the new and the old
between, we are slain by nostalgia

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A good read

Some things are harder to read:

A book in tiny print
a hand for care
a few coffee grinds, for destiny


The orange on my desk
instead of these chapped lips

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Class II

The notion that I cannot touch your hand, or whisper what I want in your ear
these days with modern technology and old-fashioned brains
makes me worry, for our future


Every time I walk into class
I realize how well educated I am
how little I know

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Practice what makes you stand still 
the silence 

Practice what makes you shiver 
a dance in the rain 

Practice what scares you
be alone

Practice compassion 
be for others what you are for yourself 

Practice giving
by receiving unexpected patched up desires 

Practice wellness 
to receive good fortune, is it not how the world works? 
I open my palms, and this is what the fortune cookies tell me 
what do they know of this body? 


Do we need a reminder on occasion of the passage of time
a month, a year, a day,
we grow older yet nothing much changes except our skin
the way we spell our names, the way we make for others space in our stead.

You smell like roses

You smell like roses
red red roses
stolen from someone's backyard.

A stranger's hug

In place of a celebration
of self-made misery
you receive a stranger's hug

closing the door

Close the door
there's power in things slammed
said the seer who lost her eyes to an accident

Monday, September 4, 2017

soul search

We are impatient these days
searching for our souls, as if it will be granted, a reserved finding
in speed and haste we wander

the answer we get is computerized to our value
error 404: not found

Laundry hanging at the end of August

Put the linen away from the sun, less it fades
the colors evaporate to their eternal mother
sunshine and terrain

dust particle on your exposed ankles
exposed knees bending over the basket
watching behind you for a glaring eye

a red eye my teta used to say is an eye that wants no good
yet quiet not envious or jealous
a red eye is a difficult eye; clouded by short-sight

lift the blankets over your head
it is fine if you do not see where the line meets with the sky
because your garments are presented to the world now

exposed, sun kissed,
the details of your life as you do your hanging
your hand is soft but you hand with firmness
old t-shits, socks, and crucified lovers never thought of again

the trumpet, your back-garden

The trumpet in your back-garden
a horse neighing
into the night

end of summer, by the shore

The sun takes half of my youth
yet the remainder
is swept over the high tide

To lift the guilt

To lift the guilt of the lazy days
I keep track of the things undone
with the surge of hopeful tomorrow.

Reference check

watch how you refer to your own body
the language you use for the ears
the speed you cater for the tongue
the darts you keep for the eyes
the remainder, flesh on flesh
skin; soft like almonds and sweet like honey
watch for the references you make to your own body
cherished, but like an old dress in the back of a closet
forgotten from day to day

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The scarifies

A ram was sacrificed in the desert
but we say, why do we have to keep this tradition
of killing to live and let live the fury in us not God-sent
not God-granted or given by name or forced in action

relentless is the blood that pours and this anger
that frequents the borders, where no man walks freely
and the women live to serve
to only serve

tadhiya is scarifies, but the weight of the word is different
to average listeners, it can mean anything alive meant for death only
to us it also means a life-line
left following other people's dreams instead of our own

a ram was sacrificed in the desert in the place of a son
but why do we keep killing our sons and daughters in place
of rams in the desert, we are not tribal any more
we claim to be civilized instead in this clear mindness.  

The writer says to me

I enjoy the sound made by your keyboard
typing, there is a strength in clanking
the sound of your voice, the weight of meaning
in your words.

the secret

A secret
is a phrase shared
between the folds of a soul and another

Bow, bow

Bow for he is passing
the one that separates his shadow from the wind

too high for comfort, his laughter
inappropriate for red carpets and high walls

bow, bow
empty the street bellow your balcony

vacate from cars and all animals
divert the traffic too, preferably

for the shadow of those who break us
cannot simply mingle with the shadows of those like us

bow, bow
for he is passing

the wind, his shadow
those who have final say in our voice

a point of light

There is a point of light
that gathers within dark spots
its is called a heart, most of the times

The notion that you are not enough

is strong like a hurricane that tips off
a tree that has been aging like old wine

the notion that you are not enough
finds you on the days you pray most to be seen

like a shadow, it follows you
because it has been born and bread in you

these cells that carry you over
the drag of days that prolong

like the illusive nature of today
that is is part of yesterday and a part of tomorrow

the notion that you are not enough
lifts you like a storm would a tree

from its roots makes you
turn like a fire to a wick


Like building blocks,
it is made slowly
how one speaks in different voices
yet sounds bluntly the same

Saturday, August 26, 2017

news, cables, doves

What news, can these cables give me
that the dove has not yet whispered
to my lonely ears?

An apathy to shapes

I no longer care how shapes define me
look closely, the earth is round
yet it behaves as if it is a linear arrow

the undercurrent

Like an undercurrent
pulling over a log of wood
change does not wait for oxygen

Basil leaves

Your lips are leaves of basil
when they part
the aroma is all I can take in

Monday, August 21, 2017

Easier to let go

It is easier to let go
if you do not have power to see the dream 
before your eyes like a realized tomorrow

Saturday, August 19, 2017


this repetition is immovable
this rendition of words and works is immovable
this speedy act of reassuring the voice gets to you
is immovable

immovable is this repetition
immovable are the works
immovable is the act of voicing
yet it moves you


to walk with a head in a cloud
with feet on the ground
a higher vision and worn out shoes

The last dance

is always longer than expected
with feet turned out toward the final port of goodbye

with emotion, the very minute before breaking
into two different bodies

this is the effect of finality that there is a line
as evasive as the horizon

yet always present, a mad turn
like a fish outside of water

a moment that will run out but is sensory
enough, left skin over hands, hair falling on the shoulders like waterfalls

a move into the direction of sound
a body breaking over another that is departing

there are things we do for pleasure
ones we never speak about when we have a chance to redefine fun

a swan's song in an overstretched winter
is only an attempt to break iced-over waters

I cannot help how my feet greet you
it is the heart I keep worrying about on daily basis

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Discountinued Writing

As if with chains of punishment
the words leave me 
when I try to resume writing years after abandoning the pens

Friday, August 11, 2017

A brief history of genealogy

compact like sand grains in an hourglass
the minutes you spend narrating a story of an origin

like sand grains the voices are now
closer to being characters than people who have once hugged me into life

you say, gently with the peeling of beans:

one came with the eastern wind from where others are now escaping
the land of good food, merry afternoons and Palmyra making space for other civilisations

another came from the land of wine, vowels, warm suns
Roman ruins without retaining the language only short sleep and merriment

a third descends from where the cedars converse with God
on the matters of ordinary men and women between day-light and sun-down

the forth was birthed where I am standing,
surrounded with olives trees, dust, sunshine and struggles

binding is this difference, conflicting is this fear
of letting it go to waste; that beauty, that richness, that spirit

hard to tell, I lean toward the western sun,
teach myself to rewrite my contradiction like an old useless chapter of a long book

all this, then runs in my blood
of this genealogy I inherited the fear and a traveler's will

a bird has no roots
irrespective of its wings, it has, a home.

freedom from the questions

when you do not ask for it
it arrives,

a midsummer nightmare

Not detailed like an apple spiraling down on me
in various sizes, or a car driving off a cliff into the oblivion
my nightmares are simpler these days;
I dream of dancing with you

with the same intensity after chasing three snakes away
letting one bite out my ankle
with poison in my veins
I dream of dancing with you all night.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Literary canon

Shoot out of the base
those works you tired your eyes
reading at luxury in your bedroom
this is the literary canon you are trapped in;
half of what you are, half of what you read.

embracing freedom

Embracing freedom
with hands instead of worn-out wings
is bear-like, soft and dangerous

you evade me

with music, as if running away needs its own track
what lies you have gifted yourself the chance to trust

with silence, you greet the day
for the lack of noise can clear what remains of the eclipse in you

lunar, a temperamental evening
with art, you evade coming to terms with your smile

they call it survival's guilt
this compelling need to redesign yourself

with all this movement
will there be  stillness? I hear you ask

in the heart of the mountain

Situated in the heart of the mountain,
not quiet the valley,we wait for the glow of the first star

night repaints the evening as your face
tells a story of finding footing

we walked down from the hills 
into the valley without seeking water 

without following a light 
as if water is always our beginning 

men, women, animals searching the hills 
for our dignity to restore the shame of our forefathers 

we looked and found the heart of the mountain 
in a valley

I nod, rest my head on your shoulder
look outside of myself for answers

among friends, among faces, among the rocks
that make most of the hills we call mountains by negation

but the sound of my voice has been lost with the laughter
emitting from the glowing embers and the friends who say goodbye with a smile

goodbyes are a lot easier these days
accompanied by promises of the world getting smaller  as we grow older

between the wine and the kanoon, our bonfire
you sit, back-turned over  knowing that the minute you sought another

the one you left behind stopped respelling your name
with ash and embers on the rocks of the valley.

Reference to shame

You reference shame in the midst of summer
the same way you reference cold
with a shudder, as if cold should always be shy 
of its snow 

Restoring faith

is a long process
the restoration of faith

it means there was a loss somewhere
a tie severed, yet still healing

without glue, plasters or all the stitching needed
for a possible regaining of belief

this is the thing about faith,
the power to believe in invisible wings

shielding your shoulders in big cities in the underground
walking next to you in the small towns,

this is the return of faith
you wear an old jacket that fits just right.

the hair, like a corpse

on the ground
like a dead corpse
is the hair your fingers twirled around

Monday, August 7, 2017

relative sizing

How narrow is this bubble of yours
zone free from dissecting lines
how big in comparison, is the homeland?

The right to strike

with an old bat, a shoulder that is already broken
with a hat, a head that is too stubborn to accept cover from sunlight
with a pillow, enough dreams beating sleep into place
with a group of students, new ways to change the unchangeable
with a force, the action against a reaction that tumbles like a rolling stone
with a gentleness of a hand, colors that make the sky spin into a rainbow

on burning embers

Admire, is a strong verb
one you usually give for those who leave
even if their new start includes walking on burning embers

Repainting the roundabout

Paint drips over the end of the roundabout
fresh, like a surviving ice-cream

the flowers have been tainted too,
a little red on their summer-white petals

this doesn't save you, the face-value of paint
in the morning hours, there were thoughts

about a special occasion, made for the purpose of visitation
but the paint keeps dropping without guard

they said a king was visiting,
let's paint over this city;

repaint our tears
repaint the tank tracks
repaint the lovers night walks
repaint the tainted ugly faces
repaint the lack of air
repaint, let the red paint drip over the flowers.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

a debate

A tone higher than mine, yours 
at a discussion, no party wins
why then, the fury

Friday, August 4, 2017

the leap

Leap, you said
from a high-building onto a ground soft
like cotton

it is easy, for those who are assured to speak
eloquently like you did that day
when you spoke of faith

Alien to the norm

Like a broken record 
alien to the norm
this is how you sound, writing in a language 
you were not born into

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Learning new letters

You ask me to read the letters you learnt once
but failed to retain, presently, with effect

I spell out the words for you to no avail
there is no use making up sound in a language your heart doesn't speak

I ask you once more, for a reason the threading broke
in your voice to no avail

you answer me with reason
say, the guns poured over my notebooks
when I was just in the sixth grade
all I had was holes in my letters

Good in a city

There is nothing good that comes out of a city
when its sons and daughters 
sleep in rags, with empty stomachs 

in a suitcase

it is hard, you tell me
the different ways one has to fold
a homeland and stow it in a suitcase

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Left in the closet,
hanging between my grandmother's tale and my rush to greet other faces
is my Thobe, a dress hand-stitched, with loss and love.

Not sorry

that I broke my hand reaching out for you
that I lost my tears for exchangeable gas, I couldn't help it
that I cannot feel the slightest remorse that one day you could have been
that grief does not take me over any longer, I cannot help it.

Shades of blue

What was Azure, you ask me
I point to the sky; it is summer and all clear
tell you this is how it reflects over water
the weather

you ask me further
how it makes me feel, this shadowing of sky and ocean
like a fairy-tale, I answer
a good start of one, at least

this is how we communicate
these days, on the sky, on colors
on a basic shade of the rift that was
where fish once swam between us

carried over-broken food for small finned daughters
how does it feel then, when the sky turns Celeste
another shade of the same blue?
like a gap is closing, a start of a fair-tale, a good one this time.

Beethoven, Havana Style

there's something like a late blessing in music
a tie, as if from a blue silk thread, weaving the heard 

the left behind. How do you play Beethoven, Havana style
Timba first, a flash of a dancer's rhythm in the steps 

you stop counting, falling as it may, 
the effect of the notes dropping in an empty studio 

but you are one blessed with a full heart and an explainable desire 
for listening to the noise of the city 

as it exhales at night, Havana, hub of the imagination 
this is it, then, how adventure gets written 

with a trumpet, with a soft beating of a drum 
no one can hear but an experienced night cat: a dancer 

tiptoeing on a melody, maybe this is all we are doing 
perhaps this is exactly what Beethoven would have sounded like 

having not been born with a pierced eardrum 
with stripped skin and less aptitude to genius

maybe a little drumming called the gods once 
will awake with the trumpets, a jazz at the edge of the night 

like swords clashing, like bodies fusing together 
in response to the late blessing of music.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Short statements

I do not know, such a short statement
for a woman
who spent her life buried in books.


if what you give, automatically comes back to you
why then, do the clouds only give us rain?

we have been playing all our cards wrong
but keep receiving good, like packages right on our heads

if you hear someone call you in their distress, and you answer without screaming
why then is it that you receive a harsh conversation with a soft voice

not all of us know how to arrange our words best
for those who cannot take in the noise and our frenzy

if your song is not music to someone else's ears, maybe you have an ill-fitting voice
it is not you who should be held at fault with the misalignment of your notes

yet still, you can control the temper by which your force the notes
out of you, like stars lining the sky

if you go the distance but fail to arrive back on time
because the road was longer than your feet anticipated

allow yourself a break, the body gets worn out
like little rocks eroding with time

if you do it right, things come back to you
full circle

On the news, the streets of your city

On the news
the most familiar streets you've walked
the grocer's, the post-office, the place you fell when the school-girls laughed
the bookshop, its glass doors, it will all look different
with the same intensity, it becomes foreign

on the news, the most familiar streets in your city
become alien, when the tanks start moving in.

Canary song

Your voice matters
he tells me, this is why canaries are locked
they sing only to the nearest ears, out of the bars
can listen

Pandora's box

held the world's ills in her hands
a young woman without complaint, brushes
the blood out of his torn shirt, give her the name of a thousand
nightingales for she can stand to carry a weight so heavy
there is something about opening
the box, who knew how many demons could pass
through one human heart and leave it intact?

Ask Pandora if she dares answer,
tongue turned inward by fear or what was left unopened.

Breaking bad news

Why does the wait between the pebbles that line the street
seem so important, now that there is a secret in the chest?

insignificant details, it is true,
reasons why we lock secrets in our chest area to begin with 

is it because the heart is already in a cage?
isn't that enough already?

but this is the effect of waiting
it has its moments 

the insignificant details of uncertainty, 
like the number of cola caps found on the street when your head bows

in prayer as it does in fear
for there will be a tug, heavier than you when you sit 

between the certain and the uncertain 
aware that at a minute's request, it will condone, 

the fear of yours into minute pieces of information 
always delayed  at your risk and your order

this is why we delay the break of bad news
out of fear that good news will not be able to turn around the corner

to come find us when we least expect it. 

Mindless repition

How do we avoid mindless repetition?
asks gently
the echo.

the call of the free

Whatever freedom says
I answer her shortly
no one knows of the power left
in the pigeon's wing
after it was released from the knife at their edges

a July sunrise

July, is a tired eye,
wedding bands and reflections of lonesomeness in the mirror
the older you get, the easier it becomes for you to forget
how the steps change from a skip into a slow paced walk
there will always be time to think in the heat of summer
to leave feeling for the change of the season
the weather, the possibility, the end meeting of July

July is a tired eye,
that sleeps less and less in the dog days
but it is watchful eyes that scan the world first
like rays of sunshine hitting the roofs minutes after sunrise

The calendar, a reminder

On the wall
a calendar, besides from its clock sister
does not give mercy
you need reminding that your bones are getting colder.

The truth, saltwater

The truth, he told her
stings like saltwater washing over a wound
cleanses the pain away

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

in times of desolation

Locked are the gates of the city
ones only opened by God

those who pray outside the fortified castle
hear the screams of the sinners inside the walls

those who do not pray will not come to understand
that a revelation only comes if you kneel on hard stone

skin in the night, not glowing
prayers never soft or slow

locked are the dates of the city
ones only opened by God

try as you might, the faithful can hear the sinners
murmur under their breath, that only prayer works
in times of desolation, like these minutes.

refusal, by poetry

I refuse
the poetry by negation
it is what I have not, that keeps the things I have at hand

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Imagine the voices

As you sleep covering with the night
in the old house, stones borrowed, one after another
from the mountains that crumpled by invasive steps
like needles taken in a healthy body, for a double-check up measure
imagine the voices of those who carried, those who built
as you side with those who destroyed
know that my grandmother's back almost broke at eight years old
atop a mule riding to safety, while my grandfather, sixteen
rode the waves to the all-lit city to flee
so you can sleep safely, imagine the voices of those who died standing
were robbed a chance of sleep, where you now lay your head.

A state of mind

you discover it late, in your books
between the trinkets you collect as you go
it was apparent, yet lacking, like your middle name
a new way to smile, a different direction to your feet
a larger expectation of the sunshine on your face
freedom, is a state of mind

a traditional arrangement

Perfectly round, your ring
he places on your hand, 
you still don't know how to react to love 

do you pull away, or do your fingers interlace?

The photograph

On the living room's wall, your photograph, 
the day you graduated, well framed, twice the size of mine 
behind it I'm in pink on my day, 
mine is small and blurry, brother. 

Aphrodite's island, this night

born on the rock, off a cliff
it was not a dangerous labor to be born over water

to have earth and the cold sea
at your feet, yet still be beautiful
with a piercing heart

divided is this shore
that once belonged to her Aphrodite
cut out with an invisible thread that was once her hair

emulate good women,
this island sinks in olive groove, silence
the sea echoing a siren song that divides
makes whole the seashells.

Friday, June 30, 2017


This is the state of grace
that things moving backward
find the clock handles ticking forward
a cuckoo bird singing, it is already morning.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Upon returning

you note how your absence is the same as your presence
enough of old fashioned items, same bed, same pillows
nothing changes but you, you breathe a bit wider and smile a bit longer
because in your step forward, it has shifted
all that keeps you standing still.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fallen over

Fallen to pieces, your favorite mug
these hands, shook at your voice
I apologize, for the ruins

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Calling the other side of the country

we call each other, voices tittering, cyber hugs
before I reach you; I think you are like me,
ordinarily sweet, brown-eyed, olive skinned,
unlike me you'd have sea-salt in your eyelashes
a crush kissing the brown bow you use to wink to men

lower shyly when a friend is around 

Monday, June 26, 2017


It was called Ra, once
the day the pharaohs discovered
what burns you is sent from above

Ra, a sun upon my head this morning
I do not pray nor believe in the past life
just this present that I can barely handle

handles tied to my waist, like a bicycle
we would march on,
toes-in-sand, like land-crabs

there is a sun over my head today
that burns slowly, responding Ra Ra Ra
like a wave that bounces of the shore
and comes to greet me.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


not with blood nor with old guns
the arrival of a new moon and the fast is now done.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

G, lies softly

between lads, lie, softly,
like a waterfall that is loud to hear yet oddly sensory

like love, be forceful
an indentation before speech

between the dance-moves become
a pain dried up, like a well that hasn't seen rain

like dewy grass, attend to the possibility
of containing little things; laughter and bugs, children and adults smiling

sailor, you are, between the lost lads
waves lapping on tomorrow relying on yesterday

you become tongues unspoken and bottles unbroken
not sealed or sent to perfection but a space

to find possible this leaning forward,
that prancing, that dancing, the friendship that stays.

Friday, June 23, 2017

excuse my absence

excuse my absence, for it will be
lacking words, chasing a silver cloud
that has gone too near, yet too far this summer
a shooting star that fleets by unknowing of its own end

I write in backward letters yet think straightforward
why do the sounds take longer to leave me?

excuse my absence, for I will be riding a wave
thinking of land, whispering a bohemian dream
to those who can sleep while listening
to fury the same way they do music

excuse my absence,for I will be looking into a magnifying glass
at the grains of sand.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

this fear of the past

like an ant, is the fear of the past
quiet and persistent, like an ant
climbing a chain-saw reel

your bike

In dirt and half paved roads
it spins quicker than my heartbeat
your ridiculous blue bike.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Seen, with others

Do to others the same that is done to you
like help, remove dirt from their eyes
to make clearer, their vision

Monday, June 19, 2017

like salt

Like salt, dissolved into everything
went missing,
three children and a man who cause so much laughter

Foam memory

What's better than a sleep
a restful bliss in the night
deprived, are the insomniacs

what's better than this body
your one own true house
to take you in, to let you be?

slowly, it descends onto you
the night, masterful player
of what you are and what you will be

I know myself by keeping time

I keep time, the way a farmer looks after grains
with a serene knowledge that there will be blossom
in the spring. I keep time like grains

I keep grains like I do memory
some fresh with today's hope
some other laden with the grief that finds me when I least expect it

like watching you sleep

like seeing your body rise and fall in breath
in some other person's dream
there is a memory to where my hands reach for you

foam memory, the indentation that is left
when your body rises, that the bed remembers you
the way my knuckles fill softly the spots where your fingers should have been

this memory wraps us both
like a foam that reverts to be
not the surface of the sea

but what's better than sleep, for us, those who think before closing their eyes.

a return

 your absence
my presence, like old fashioned items
borrow, never returned

incomplete poetry

the words, all incomplete, half-rhymes
half lines, how do you imagine them to be whole
when the letters do not speak to one another?

Why this will not matter

Because I said to you, I will stay and lied
this will not matter

because I see myself, in a frigid city
scavenger of Za'tar to make you happy, this will not matter

because it is only secondary, to want and burn the bread
while you day-dream of the past, this will not matter

because I still write in cursive while most other type letters
to you, to them, to the universe but mostly for myself, this will not matter

because the trees have blossomed, then lost shape, then regained leaves
while I was just watching, this will not matter

because there are more dead people than one could count on ten fingers
and our death is faster than life here, this will not matter

because each time I wear my thobe, I forget how long it takes
to stitch together one life, one thread at a time, this will not matter

because I was never a freedom fighter,
even if I believed I could never live  in a cage, this will not matter

because the longer I write, the easier it is for me to reach myself
this will not matter,

because of all the times I wrote I was using the wrong pronouns,
writing to you, to he, to she, instead to the "I" the eye ignored
this will not matter

The lonesome

This is what the lonesome does
craves a hand to walk with to the end of the road
but sits firmly to watch the others run in good time

Visiting Darwish, once more

Under the willow, is his grave,
I point to the butterfly effect that the shadow drops over 
where the tree meets the top of the stone

sleep. sleep here, eternally
for how many women have lain braids of their hair and peace 
onto your body? 

sleep and rest, poet 
with you words and old poetry, 
a smell of a woman with braids of wheat onto your body

under the willow is his grave 
but in the room is his passport, old and torn 
letters of love and letters of disappointment line the walls 

what lines line our day with words 
all known, that lead into nothing
everything real will go too

the record plays his voice when he had left 
somewhere between death and live, he has walked 
how slow are these other walkers!

in life he lives simply;
ate at the same restaurants 
made love to the anise strong Arak, loved the night 

sat beneath willows, they do not grow here
but out of the roots of exile 
alien, too foreign, these leaves

treat it like a shawl poet
let the braids of the trees cover you 
head to toe where no woman could now 

under the willow is his grave
beneath the butterfly effect 
I stand, pray, to return once more.

your voice

A wind sweeps past you,
this is your voice, someone says
why do you have to howl and scream
isn't music also, a voice?

Rejection, like a ring

You treat rejection like you would a fallen stone
at the bottom of the lake, taking down a precious ring with it
you know it lives outside of you, while you cannot see it
it is still there, in the deep, for the fish to swim around
scoop or glare at the glistening shine and your misery.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

a strangeness in the city

This city, holy and unscrambling
is small enough to contain us both
big enough for us not to cross paths

wishes, she said

like glue, she said, wishes are stuck to your lashes
the minute one falls, make a wish and close your eyes
I keep counting lashes, without waste

Saturday, June 10, 2017

a sense of wonder

Lifting the night, is the dawn
as I watch the city sleep 
I tie together my life, 
how long since the colors made me realize I miss wonder
the amazement at everything beyond my arm's reach. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

instead of a wall, a grey wall

Eyes shut, I can tell there were once flowers here
where there was once a street
now is just a pile of grey concrete

I used to remember
pink flowers swooshing past the islands
in the middle of the world
as if between the world and me

were those pink flowers 

it didn't change, who said so?
Don't let my tenses confuse you

there were once pink flowers, that still are, living
as if frozen, piled over with concrete
as in, a way to forgetfulness is to cement
make a base and go on from there

between the world and me
there were once pink flowers
that were, that still are, cemented 
into a wall- instead. 

this shadow of yours

With a switch of a light-bulb
it disappears, like love
this shadow of yours

Monday, June 5, 2017

call onto yesterday's light

The thrill of a slumber continued in you
like a long wait about to be broken
into two, a present minute and a past hour
this is what waiting has done to us,
the ones desolate enough to call onto yesterday's light to cure the blames.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

the city's waters

The city hasn't fallen and its bridges stand still
I recall, lost, as in unable to find myself
a straw in a old bag of beans

someone said walk the river trail
where there is water, there are others
as in, you will never get lost if you know
the source is always your northern compass

so I walked over to find myself again
a small whiteness over my skin
eyes, brown, like my grandfather
tortured three times to let you rule

and conquer, a kingdom fallen
princes belittled, but in the city I had found myself
we grew up singing to its bridge
off it, the fallen, had found the water

we were never silent
because we knew how to swim
if you follow the trail of the river
you will never get lost.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

destitution forms the night

Destitution comes in the form of the night
knocking on a closed door, a thought,
thrown around like an old song worn into vanity
contending to your shadow as a means of reflection

desire comes in the form of the night
this is a destitute attempt at shaking away
the dust that clamped its way into my ears
I cannot hear a song and this is a song for you

death too comes in the form of the night
quiet slumber and pained turning over in bed
like the sheets have the ability to swallow over
dreams painted grey with slow breathing

destitution comes in the form of the night
running onto your shadow, like an old reflection
like assuring bearable, a shade in hell
I cannot hear a song and this is a song for you

what's wrong?
have the music stopped or am I too deaf to the same old tunes?


this apology that does not arrive
with limited vocabulary, like habibti,
loved one, folded twice, like a kitchen towel
left on the counter to gather dust.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

a month's opener

If the new month opens itself
with better manifestation of the sunshine
does it eradicate the clouds that still float, timelessly.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Heavy on the mind
a man left without much to eat
while I throw old apples in the back-garden's bin

The dance of war is a beautiful thing

 Dance- to move your body in a way that goes with the rhythm and style of music that is being played. The Webster Dictionary

on the floor, you move
under your steps I hear, a thousand child scream
as the bomb drops

and I remember how the longer I shivered-
I thought- the sooner I would learn to enjoy
music and fireworks as an adult

growing old is different than growing to heal
or heed to the sound of danger, a dancer

you lift your hand with the softer set of arms
without rhythm, a confused anger,
glide a blade in the hands of those who lost humans

gained power, to stand and speak
with the voices borrowed from those who were refused
the right to words or to moving lips

flaming hips, chant a mantra that is incomprehensible
to the back-drop of a celebration
kill to live and let live

isn't it the first rule of survival
those who are fit decide on those who are not?

the dance of war, you comment, is a beautiful thing
it only takes awareness and the right amount of appreciation
to the making of music from the clash of two swords

or the clash of two bodies, created from the same material
bone and skin,
breath and brain

rattle like hollow wood, tries to beat optimistic music
from lonely flutes

the dance of war, beautiful feeds on the same ground
where we stand
counting how many shoes can we donate to one-legged children

this is a result of movement,
eastern or western to the beat of music

your body shakes, it is beautiful you say,
to dance on flattened earth, you cannot tell
that there will be music, coming from the shaking ground
careful where you set your dance of war, for there were people
 there will always be, in flattened lands, old-hidden music.

The letter I wrote

Folded, in your breast-pocket
a letter I gave you, like another wrapper
left between your heart and the rest of us
who do not sleep, lay waiting for answers

Giving way...

'Or being hated, don’t give way to hating'- Rudyard Kipling

Run from the nearest place on the hills into the desert
but do not ask for Tiresias to predict rain
force an oracle when he is half-made of a snake

snakes make of the desert a home,
it is always like that, the cure is in the belly
of monsters

the monsters decide who lives
who dies, it is not up to God
anymore, decision-making is entirely human

made plausible before the first moon of the new month
a month left to God where all the devils are locked
but a few had gone astray, like normal angels would

in El-Manya you would hold a gun in your right hand
a flyer in your left, at arm's length,
pray before you act, not act and pray for forgiveness

in El-Manya, you would hold a gun in your right hand,
a flyer in the left, does not ask for forgiveness
the precision of a shot on a six year old's neck

heroic, the act of blood over bravery
made to receive
payment in ripe blood

Go tell the mothers of the children
who receive coffins instead of flowers
to grieve silently

between the afternoon meal and the dawn's call for prayer
sorrow has to wait until the word of God
settles among us

run from fear and contain another
that you are slotted 'interesting' in airports
at the sidelines of conversations, slaughtered for following

an ideal, a difference, a belief
but this is not how I was raised
not how I would expect;

a bullet from a stranger whose mother fed from my mother's
orchard, who with prayer I had showered
with love I had practiced, turning both my cheeks

where my lips caught the blow
where a son of mine died because he obtained my last name
because our names are kofor, blasphemy

blasphemy is the other side of love
where I put you down, in the name of the one who reigns
the skies, where I break your back and wish you a speedy recovery

blasphemy is when my prayer is without direction
but with aim, blasphemy is when in El-Manya
going to God means a death

of little flowers left, untended to,
where children are not sent to play or arrive at church
but later in the day, the blasphemous
stiff, yet white, like angels
fallen in the wide deserts of the pharaohs.

a tenderness

Three sets of novels sit on the windowsill
three books of poetry on my lap
your voice, in between the pages, is tender

Sunday, May 28, 2017

in this East

In the back-yard, you take the children to plant flowers
digging up spaces for the little pink and red petals
trust you are fine,
in between the shots, other children dig spaces for the bodies.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

De-colonizing my kitchen

Colonize my tongue
cut the words of my language into several pieces
but leave the kitchen counters clean of your cutlery
calming chamomile, charred fish, Falfel with chick-peas
you cannot claim the way I calm down my anger;
I chop the vegetables and the world goes still around me
better cut-out vegetables than colonized cookery.

What the eight year old said

I want my mother, she cried
the eight year old who knew that the light was coming
yet all she wanted was comfort of darkness on a familiar shoulder
close your eyes little one, let us hold you
in our minds, in your innocence, in our collective shame.

trust the weight

if I put my weight forward, on a high roof
would you let me fall?

Do not drink with a sore throat

The milk left from the Santa Claus days
do not drink with a sore throat
your imagination will be contaminated by soreness

Before the banging sounds

Before the banging sounds there was song
a dance between the screens, the stars and the singing teens

before the banging sounds was music
an escalation of notes, joyous around the packed rooms

before the banging sounds was breath
from which we all became, to which we all return

before the noise was silence
a break in the middle of the sentences and a cheer

before the noise there were claps
a wave of enthusiasm and a feeling of achievement

like a world full of chances for dreams to become real

that was before the banging sound
where the city lay by sea

where the children never needed to rearrange their names

before the war was the peace
we had imagined to be, a young boy waiving a flag

before  the banging sounds
was a belief that the breath that made us, assured we are one

before it crowds my head, I will speak
I am not made silent yet.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Three bruises on the jaw,
a burning sensation behind the eyes,
I am subjected to your muscles

Dreams, caught

Do not hang me loose, above your sleeping head
catching your old dreams, sifting in me
exposing my back to the bare wind while you rest carelessly
I am not responsible for your nightmares.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fresh blood

Where does it generate from?
this fresh blood, not the youth, nor the old
does it, then, grow on trees?

Using the letter P too many times

This is your country
she said to me, before the map was clear

paves with poppies
because poppies are red, like blood, no

these are your people
confusing their letters

there are too many peas in the pod
but not enough to make dinner for the mother with three starving children

you use the word slanting too many times
but the ground under you doesn't slant, it shakes

there is a difference in the two verbs
she insists with a sense of wonder, as if one can predict the ends of earth

this is your bird,
it pointed its beak towards me, not a peacock but a phoenix

to rise from the fire you built with your bare hands
who told you phoenixes where mythological?

the proteas burn and they are as real as the back of your hand
touch it, I will never lie

this is your country,
where the letter P is used so many times
the softer it is on people's palettes makes it melt like ice-cream
to erase the taste of thistle on their tongues.

the poet wonders

She ponders if the natives are the color of the sky
or if the have fled the earth or become it-
I think of my grandfather, hunched over the land
watering the sky

on to your night-stand

One box of juice, for thirst, for vitamins
one box of tissues for night-wakings
you sometimes find your self in a strange room
the realization will take you by storm

a tray, untouched- the food is growing cold
with anger, with server lack of appetite
the light is high and strong
maybe too strong for your soft green eyes

a buzzer, for the calls- to those who can help you stand
your phone charging in the distance
blinking yellow and white-lights
like candles we used to trace, young enough with our fingers

away you sleep for a night
I pretend not to hear, the phantom snoring
that makes your absence clear
on your side of the bed.

the voice in your throat

You are born with two vocal cords
the argument had already started in the kitchen
there is reason, he tells me, that you have one moth and two chords
your voice is more powerful than the set of lips you color every morning.

Opening night: PalFest X

The night opens, outside the court,
in the auditorium we can hear the outside world dwindling
call for prayer and a pause for the call for words
nothing sacrilegious about the sun-set, the sound, the word

Ten years, write
read the voices that speak in the name of those who listen
read the words that have shaped nations
pushing them forth like ebb and flow

mark their words, with power
write: this is how the words gather to form you
a body, an audience, a history
write, let the words become you

back-dropped to the old court
back-lit walls, back-dated posters
a celebration is a sound you make in the throats of others
to cause jubilation; make noise, use the words

ten years merit the celebration
of nights opening and closing under an old fig tree
near where Mahmoud Darwish sipped his coffee every morning
watched the birds in flight and made the letters dance

a decade of dedication to the voices
that have once thought dead, fished from the rubble
nicked by the hands of time,
we are all aging, aren't we?

I meet them,master of the words, at the dark hour,
fresh from flight, unaware of the hearts
of the cities to come, with the week passing by
one week of their lives and a minute into mine

to go somewhere, you leave your whole self behind
but to come forth is a gift you give
those who are unable to move
too long is their absence and our fury

The night opens, outside the court,
in the auditorium we can hear the outside world dwindling
call for prayer and a pause for the call for words
nothing sacrilegious about the sun-set, the sound, the word

the night opens outside the court
and the outside world is alive
a call for prayer rings in the night
in respect we ask, do we stop for the voice of God,
or do we continue to hear, the voice of God reflected in our words?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Call to St. Jude

I will call out to Saint Jude
three times between prayers and the beeps
of the dangling machines, that speak of a language we do not understand
Biblical or not, one call never changes
save us, the last of the lost causes.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Collect v.s. practice

Too long I have practiced the art of collection
with what fits my hands, shelled-out acorns,
twigs, a soft stone here and a jagged one left to the wild
I have never practiced leaving behind what is not mine

this is our selfish desire, to collect and claim ours
what has been given rightfully to others,
without apology, but with a sense of wonder,
now the collection's pieces line up like soldiers

over an old desk, a mirror or in an old closet
with practice, I keep at hand a continuous set
of doings; lifting a bucket to paint the sky
turning around in sleep to dream better

making shapes of the same clouds over and over
repeating to myself that with collecting and with practice
it can be fixed, what I cannot retain, describe
or make mine by sole ideas in my head.

when grace arrives

Put your grief away in a bag
the sun is here, already, and you are late
there's no room for pain when grace arrives

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

hanging on her chest

He hangs on her chest
like a photo in an ill-fitting frame
heavy, chipped and fraying except for seven year old jokes
he goes but his photograph on her neck stays

explaining a jukebox

I would have liked to walk with you that day
instead of walking with lonesomeness, the whoosh of autumn leaves
behind me and a turn at every corner, to imagined otherness
I would have like to walk with you that day

arrive exactly where I found you, at the end of October,
with a cigarette half dangling in your mouth
smoke inhaled, not yet exhaled, until you saw me
a dress, short with pride and patches of black and white

you carried around an intense energy,
yet bound your ankle a shade of guilt between the beads of your anklet
of things done in secret; lovers kissed on the mouth when marriage
was the only tie that lead you home

still I would have liked to walk with you
to the end of the crowded bar, where you asked
for the source of music, pied-pieper, piped to the wall
before the dingy bathroom, behind the pool table

across from the bar where we sat, served expensive alcohol
in cheap glasses. You protested, again, on the sound of the Beatles
not coming to your years and I had to explain
how to flip years of music-making into compact CDs, black on the outside

holographic with notes and somber melodies. A dollar in and a few arguments
over whose music suits best the minute,
for each minute has its song, each memory, river-long a piece
to undress it to its core

I turn my head and explain how row behind row
like schoolchildren the songs line up,
from the belly of the old-looking machine that matches nothing
in the bar except an old sofa, this is not a place for youth

but it is a place for the present
for a few moments a jukebox, I say, is the world.

a pocketful of past

Had I lived differently, you say
Had I not done, not talked, not walked the line, you tell yourself
but you remember too, that the coin with these two faces
shamed, regretted, is unwanted in the pockets for too long.

sweetness, sometimes

sweet sweet,
hunger is the sweat of duration

no food in our stomachs
but privilege covers for our vices

like a mother, like an old mother
we look for reasons for the consumption

to consume, is to loose everything
let then, this hunger consume us

like those on famine,
you cannot afford to start eating because you waste resources

why are we getting scientific,
hunger is not about science, it is about a feelings

but cannot all feelings be tamed
trained and honed, or yet replaced

like those substituting the sun
with synthetic light

like seeking water for an answer, water hasn't always been a solution
all soluble, not this hunger

not that primal need,

for a change to happen assure, our collective hunger and anger, are suppressed.

Summer is back

I see you, with your back turned to the grass
your head is already in the stars
you whisper, summer is back

I do not want to tell you
that I already know, I have reached
summer's hand on the back of my shoulders

the fly's buzz in my back-garden has told me
a soft air of wine and a long lull in the night-time
a dance with broken toes on the roof

summer is all about open;
looser shirts, smiles, shorter tempers to the direction of the sun
your hand finding mine, is the ultimate reason
for summer to return.

Monday, May 8, 2017

reminders of the plight

Do I keep a sand-clock
to remind others of their plight
asked none but the time that remains present.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

sent into light

Sent into the light
those thoughts, three dreams by the firewood
collected from dried-sap trees

Thursday, May 4, 2017

She remembers

How spoken to her, addressed
a sense of  a midnight escape and a new star
dragging its tail onto the night
a lot like goodbye and a little like a meeting

Monday, May 1, 2017

Poppies and thistle

In the fields, were poppies, last week
today all I found standing was leaves
the poppies have withered
at the hands of the purple thistle,
much like me and you.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Light explaination

You wonder, how to explain light
to someone who only knows darkness

it is easy, the voice says

the same way you take out darkness 
onto someone who has seen a lot of light

How do we part ways with ourselves

How do we part ways with our selves?
the old wears the same comfortable coat bought years ago still stained with coffee-marks and old stars

the new takes in its hands a magazine and flips for other shades
of a freshly sown coat

the streets get wider when they are unfamiliar when you walk in new shoes

the streets are smaller with memory of the corners where kisses were stolen

Do we really part ways if we stand on a cross-road?

this is the lucky encounter
where we part ways with ourselves

as if the younger needs guidance
that only arrives by age

like dried, vintage wine
the space of a thumb

this is how departure is, a move forward
with a weight set onto your ankles

taking your weight backward
there's always something new to look forward to and something left to be buried

on your way out,
even if it is just for yourself.

not shareable

This body
is not yours but is no longer mine
not shareable or bite-sized
this body belongs to the water that cleanses it.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sesame trail

The trail of sesame is shareable
release it as it slides across the floor
eat away ants, the sesame, not my toes!

To the people who do not sleep

The people who do not sleep 
know the souls of the city 

count stars instead of sleep
match their eyes to the intensity of darkness

reflection, shadows, treetops
this is how the day dies, a light, alighting softly

light doesn't always reveal everything 
the slow-walkers can tell you how much you are missing 

the flutter of a hummingbird as it treads from flower to another 
in your back-garden while you are bent, chasing away moles

the sleepless can tell your age 
by the number of stars they have seen make a constellation in your eyes

they can lead you out of the dangers of the night 
entertained by the mad music that rustles with snoring 

they take your hand and page you through a book
chronically registering laughter and futile cats wandering the streets

blessed are those who do not sleep
for they are the time-keepers of the night 

and we, sleepers,  realize at day-break our loss.  

looking into the world

Maybe when you stop seeing the world around you
it starts to notice how many times you limp
before you can stand on your feet

it will hold your hand before pushing you into a jump
lunch forward and some haphazard net will appear
as if it was always there
as if it was never missing

maybe it is easier to open your eyes
when the world wants to force them shut.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

In the trap

In the trap, crushed bread
a mouse with his small hands
does not think like a raven


How many times have we spoken and written about the sea
like it is magic when it has killed us and our own

how many times have we glorified the fire
blamed nature for getting angry rightfully, without understanding

we are sea and fire, yet all we have is saltwater
this is the empty stomach's growl;

the answer is zesty and bitter
much like seawater and our death

you do not wait for salt to touch your chapped lips
nor for water to assure both work together to cure you

do we need salvation, from dehydration
death or dignity above waters

how many times have we been turned down by the sun
which is essentially a star, resorted to the sea
as an exit strategy?

countless, like salt,
boundless, like water

we don't need to count any more.

dream visitors

Visitor in her dream
she had expected you to enter through the slanted door
with warmer hands

A tale's theft

Don't steal the story from the beak of a raven
leave him to tell what he has gathered with the magpie

shiny little things; coins, pins and the end of a grandmother's thread
like the end of stories, a lot like love

do not steal the tale from the birds
only they can fly too high and drop your lines from the sky

crushing the tales into pronouns
to be picked out by the ants.

Some goodbyes

Some goodbyes are never said;
they are left in the bones and felt
like a week-long flu

some goodbyes are met with a nod
a gentle turn backward to note
if the other person has already started walking away

some goodbyes are held
like a hug places all the puzzle pieces together
before they crumple

some goodbyes are like nightmares
they keep playing, using the same elements
yet exaggerating the fear already jumping in your lungs

some goodbyes are not made ready for
no one is ever ready to leave
the same way we are ready to begin

as if only beginnings are sweet
without being forced out of labor
long hours and short breaths

some goodbyes are distracting
with length and breadth of the times
faced within the same minute curled up

some goodbyes are hosted
like a dinner party, display your favorite china
and wait for the storm to break it to pieces

some goodbyes are easy
because you naturally part with your hair,
tree leaves and old skin

some goodbyes last the longest
like a constant sunset, glowing orange
then fading into the night.

Savior, blood

There's blood on your side
your are in pain, but won't be too long to see bruises
how can I help you, flush out the wounds
when you know you came into the world to save me
my selfishness, my silence and your peace?

Monday, April 24, 2017

one lemon tree, a swing and my yard

Watch, the spaces we do not occupy
like the scent of lemons fragrantly replacing
your swing in my backyard

The graves are empty this morning

The graves are empty this morning
but the crows are loud with song, it is the effect of music
louder than vain measures of space;
someone has kindly places vegetables over our dead
from their bones grow not only flower but food to fill plates
faithless against the respect of earth and water;
water a grave and the soul will be free
but it has, it has risen with Him and marched to Jerusalem.

held up by two arms

Lined together, a fox-like step
a bar that is back-lit, light the backs to reveal in front
other than alcohol, what you take in reflects outside of you
smiles, kisses, loss that still manages to find the door keys late at night
held up by two arms

Across the ocean, I carry my heart

I carry this heavy heart of mine across the ocean
maybe if I look carefully a few things might shift during the flight

maybe it is hopeful thinking,
to think that you can move a heart by sitting still above the clouds

maybe it is because I have told half truths
about fear of heights, disaster and you

or perhaps it is the proximity to heaven
that allows us to be more confident

the higher you are to a chance of peace
the better you are at clearing your thoughts

your tray-table, arm-rest, knees squeezed
face-pressed to the glass you lean on and say a prayer

against the melting snow forming outside
I carry this heavy heart of mine across the ocean

and while the slow snow melts
my life flashes, little by little before my eyes

I carry my heavy heart across the ocean
on purpose above fear, above noise of strangers around me

I carry my heart across the ocean to meet yours,
I flew all night but I feared truth by extended hours of flight

you will receive me, once I land
with a flight-shifted heart.

Sunday, April 23, 2017


I walk toward you, you state taking three steps backwards
when you turn I ask, why is the stepping away from my body
I had walked toward you, you state,
now it is your turn to retrace your steps to me, lover.


First salute the sun for hitting your face with enough rigor
remember it is just about cleaning, the utmost point of silence where you bow
letting your face touch soft earth, a cold veranda, the mat placed
carefully with odor and soft smoke not colored but smelling of oddly familiar cedars
you grew up playing under, tapping with your hand the bark
without screaming for near ancestry. After that turn your head
to the direction of where the sounds are, not simulated through a headphone
or a speaker but natural, this array of every living thing looking
for a space to be. Cells, cicadas, soft brushing of trees shedding their burdens
hear silence for it has its own sound and calling
careful enough to move the heart forward, by letting it lean backward
this is the state of meditation, the way you make still what moves you
restart to salute the sun, turning right and left
each time it gets cloudy and dark above your head.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

To the present

Present: 1. (of a person) in a place

without much notice, the leaves turn yellow
as if overnight. No one has requested them to wear
the colors of the city, wait, tell me
how did time dye the leaves my window overlooks?

Read the rest here:

Monday, April 17, 2017

Granting you freedom

It is absurd, how humans think
they are able to grant  a butterfly wings
when she was born with them and waited for their colors to mature.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

the straw

Atop the water floats a straw
a top of turbulent waters, floats a straw
atop the sea's breaking waves, floats a straw

there is a sinking man, a moving current and a straw
may the finds for survival be larger than straws to wrap arms and pull to shore.

Let me paint you

Let me paint you,
I said. handing over a stool with a dripping paint-brush
you turned your face to the other side

the flag

I do not have land to my name
the places I accumulated I have harvested
with local produce, lemon and olives and ash

to grow a tree it takes years
to mark  land it takes a minute
I do not have land to my name

I am woman and a mother does not need
to teach a daughter how to be a mother
or daughter, like instinct, this intuition passes

I do not have land to my name but I have a flag
a flag marks a proud ownership
grab my flag once more, take it from beneath my thumbs
to see, how regardless of land, the lemon and olives will look after me.

in the cavern, at night

Unlit, cavern yet there is music
no presence of tobacco in my lungs but there is smoke
no fire, none on the ground or near the table
but some sparks on the shoulders you massaged.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

to challenge yourself

Here are some instructions for you to challenge yourself:

- stand atop the mountain and scream none-sense, if the echo answers, run
   do not wait to hear repeated what you have told others
- buy tools that you are unable to use, make a masterpiece in five minutes
   best things come in the most limited of time
- inhale green smoke and tell yourself, it doesn't touch me, this madness
   even if it touches someone else sitting next to you with his hand down your back
- dream in color, but speak in black and white,
  the devil has lodged itself in the clearance and we care for the details
- see the stars, learn how their death lights up the whole world
  stop saying you can be like that, melting for light
- love yourself, despite what they will tell you
   despite how they at around you, refuse, belittle, the little things will find a way to find you.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Not generic

Not all knights need a horse, go convince him
not all nights require a drink at hand, let the glass know too
not all mornings are cloudy or overcasts
not all mourning is black upon  black
if He has ridden a donkey into a city old as my bones
maybe you can walk to me, without shame to your name.

Perhaps, it's too loud

a drumming noise in the back-garden
winter has long passed us by
what confusion of the senses
perhaps it is too loud,
I'm hearing my own heart

the wheel turns endlessly

The wheel turns, this is an endless fate for the revolutionaries 
that they face the wheels with a word, 
a shake in the hip and little fires in the belly 

this is another turn of the wheel
bright eyes, bright smile, a slant in the middle of a speech 
women who write backwards, to mirror an image 

the image is a mirror too, do not mess with the speech
but the wheel of movement marches on 
twenty stomping feet and a fleet of hair in the wind

the spirit of a horse is free, born and bread wilderness 
you cannot contain a horse in a mason jar 
let alone a woman in a flame-like metaphor 

a little and it will end, 
this insane turning like a hurricane that doesn't want to stop
or the tremor of a heart that beat on the wrong side 
too long. 

feels like love

My throat has no sound in it
but music, that has found its way there through
a broken pipe, an old record
this feels like a surge of the ocean
a lot like love.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Egypt, my child

Christians of Egypt,
I fear for you
the wrath of the Pharaohs.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Things are different, here

this is what I tell you,
things are different here

I don't speak of the world as if it has 'corners'
because this is an invitation to walls

one that sat on the street
on your breath too long

but I assure you, taking your hand
is unmatched of silk to skin

you witness the sky, a bit clearer
with all shades possible of the same morning

twitter of a bird or two,
crazy is gradation of the day, very clear

a building crumbles like paper
on the heads of its inhabitant to make more way

for trees, for houses, for a man's dog
some men are more worthy than others

it is different here
what's most holy has killed the prophets
we survive because we have lost faith

green hand

once spring made the trees glitter green
at your touch, you said, a green hand makes the soil grow
long held out the grass is yellow in the garden
it misses your green hand

in the crease

Between your smile and your hand sifting flour 
I find my footing, this is an obsessions, 
to find the path to make of the bread- a meaning 

in the crease of your wrinkles, 
I find my homeland, how the wrinkles 
of the olive tree, like olive skin generate newer blood

this ancient being has no heftiness
I find my energy in the lightness of your step
cane-bent, but like sugar-cane, you still stand tall at church 

perched on the old desk, that is pinned to the glass
I find my reassurance that once young 
can mean a potential of the future folded in a wrinkled crease 

between your smile and your hand 
I find the remaining bits of thread for a thob
a dress, stitched gold and red
the colors of royals and peasant, contained like my homeland 
on cloth, wrapping around your hands, grandmother. 

re-watch, re-tell

night descends while the window flickers with a soft breeze
I sit to watch the stars align one more time,
tell me another tale, then
my lone shadow

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The woman who spoke about other women's freedom

Found chained to the bed
a bruise around the head
the woman who spoke about other women's freedoms
was heard howling at a familiar claw
tearing fast at a white robe, now red

the beggar, the visitor

Thief, screams the beggar
at the ant
that begged for a morsel of his borrowed bread

forget (v)

like a man does
comes the advice about forgetfulness
as if the brain picks a gender to place a heartache into
systemically like a lost brooch 

 like a found treasure chest
bury astray, the given 
forced over like a bent shadow 
the careless hand that pretends to feed while it's empty

take down the music, where the memory 
captures a rapture that can only be replaced 
by photographs smeared over with fingerprints
like a Christmas tree fold the branches and tuck it away

there's something very surgical about a removal
a death of some sort forced onto the living
a rush of a thousand meteors 
without answer or reason 

how many ways were these atoms formulated to make two bodies?

maybe it is neither a job or a demand 
to keep the bodies under check 
a jog, a dance, a walk 
is enough to let new air in

this is a kind verb 
it allows us interpretations with leeway
if you play with meaning, do you arrive at the desired end of the ocean
or where you really just a few kilometers down your own shore?