December 2020

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Photo credit: Salma HQ

maybe in this little boat, we’ll float, back to bora bora …

By Salma HQ

If I tell you I love you
I want you to hear it.

feel it in my presence
feel it in my absence
when the ships leave the docks
to search for more food
when the anchor is drawn up
to ensure we’re anything but subdued
when I step onto your bow
to join eye-lines and live in interlude

feel it when you call
feel it when you hang up
when my raft sways near you
rather not send a siren’s song to lead you, to
my spaces, both dark and light
balanced in the yin n yang, linked
and yet you still won’t disrupt

feel it with my full
feel it with my hollow
when I know every planet
not blasphemous but omnipotent
when I can’t see the stars
borderline diffident
when you sit grounded watching the oceans
let your thoughts accept me a visitant

feel it in our conversation
feel it in our silence
as we map out movement
and move mountains with music
soothe one another in amusement
and build deals for improvement
while we bring down our flags
laying secluded

we may not see the shore
you see more
me and
I’m a nomad sure, but
you blow stability past my lips
so I guess we should explore

when I tell you I love you
I need you to hear it.

Photo credit: Janko Ferlic


By Nadeen Alalami

Where will her eyes find a shelter when Mama cries?
Wise fingers smooth wrinkles when Mama cries.

“How could he love me and then leave me on my own?”
Mimicked lies sell comfort when Mama cries.

But this warm breast should not be weeping every night.
Hope shatters. She turns off the lights when mama cries.

“Don’t wake me up because there’s no reason to be
here.” The story fails. What was before Mama’s cries?

Nadeen. You were told you’ll save her world but you can’t
breathe. Burdened by your aliveness, still, Mama cries.

Photo credit: Anderson Rian

La Lune

By Hiba Memon

How gorgeous is the moon that hangs

silently through the night,

amidst the stillness of the stars

the soft creeping light.

I have seen many moons in this

short sojourn of mine. Some

well-rounded and flattened,

as the embers lick it’s soft edges;

and some found in the most

unassuming faces, brimming with light;

or eclipsing at times; me in my mother’s

glassy eyes and a tiny crescent on the side

of my nose. Molten gold or blinding white,

I can never tell. Yet how gorgeous

is the moon that winks at me from

behind the clouds, and how short, this clandestine tryst!

Like a lover departing,

gushing with promises to show

up the next day; it always returns.

Photo credit: Joey Genovese

Falling Leaves

By Zubair Hussain

Crisp autumn sighs in grief

ashen sky blankets emotions,

Barren earth struggles to confront

life fades by the hour,

Cold wind darts across

melancholic maple and oak,

bent trees mull over lost foliage.

Amid the melee;

urban dwellers scurry in routine,

heartless and unforgiving;

consumed by the trivial,

Drift away like falling leaves…

Photo credit: Reham Yeshar


بقلم أسامة الحسيني

دعوني أعيشُ الدهرَ حُلواً بخاطري
فدهري غريبٌ ليسَ إلا كزائرِ

يمرُّ بنا مرَّ الهوا ليسَ سائلاً
بفعلِ الهوى في مُستهامٍ و حائرِ

عشقتُ العيونَ كلَّها، ما أجلّها
حَوت كسُهيلٍ غيبَ حُلْوِ المصائرِ

و لي في عيونِ الغانياتِ معارجٌ
تجوبُ بمظلومٍ على جَوْرِ جائرِ

و ما مثلُ عينٍ من عيونِ مليحةٍ
لها سُخطُ جبّارٍ على ذي الخواطرِ

تُعزّي فقيداً قد قضى في جِوارِها
و تَعلَمُ حقّاً أنّها جوعُ ضامِرِ

لئيمةُ طبعٍ، غيرَ أنّ بهاءَها
كما علَّ يَشفي إن تَجودُ لناظرِ

عيونٌ إذا لاحت تراءى بريقُها
لهاوٍ بفرطٍ في الهوى غيرِ قاصِرِ

تقومُ بهِ فعلَ المُجونِ بعاقِلٍ
و هذا عجيبٌ فاقَ سحراً لساحرِ

إذا ألمحَ الحسناءَ قلبُ الفتى، رأى
بدقّاتهِ سهواً كسُكرِ العصائرِ

رآها بقلبٍ من أثيرٍ نواظرُهْ
و قلبُ الفتى شرُّ العيونِ النواظرِ

متى فُتّحتْ أجفانُهُ من صبابةٍ
يموتُ الفتى مما بضيقِ المعابِرِ

و يأمُرُ من يهوى و عينيهِ بالأسى
فما هوَ للغيرِ الجميلِ بناظرِ

عشا اللحظُ عن سِوى عيونٍ تلألأت
أبانت لهاوي العينِ دربَ الضمائرِ

 أبانت، و زانَتْ بالبيانِ كأنّما
لها هديُ قِدّيسٍ على كُفرِ كافِرِ

أبانت، و قد أردت قُليبَ مُحنَّكٍ
فأوردَ في الأشعارِ من خوْرِ خائرِ

أبانت، و قد كانت تقولُ لعاشقٍ
بأنّ الجوى يُزجي مهارةَ ماهرِ

أبانت، كأنّها بيانٌ مُنزّلٌ
فأضحت رسولاً لمَّ شملَ العشائرِ

أبانت، و رامت هتكَ أفئدةِ الدّجى
فأمست، بمرماها، غنيمةَ ظافِرِ

أبانت، و قد أمحتْ دهاءَ مُعوَّلٍ
فضاعت بدُنيانا أصولُ الشّعائرِ

أيارا فهذا دُرُّ نظمٍ نظمتُهُ
و أنتِ لهُ سِلكٌ و حُسنُ الجواهرِ

فمن قالَ “أهوى مُقلتيكِ” و لم يزد
‫فقد قال شعراً و هْوَ ليسَ بشاعرِ

Photo credit: Teslariu Mihai

Mental Revolution

By Hiba Rasheed

Slumber eludes these murky eyes

Eyes held captive

In the memory of you sleeping as a child

Now morphed into incomprehension

A walking, talking horror picture


In the shadows of our borders

I try to cross over





Get washed up at your shore

Because your

Foreign policy dictates

That love is to be shoved and kindness will break



Let me in

Let you out

Let us douse this cerebral oppression

With divine prostration

Be the calamity that befalls carnal incarceration

Fill your empty streets

With the chants of liberation

And rebuild cities from the ruins

Where your essence

Remains lucid


By the aftermath of revolution

As dusk part ways with dawn,

And Azan calls you to pray

You will find me


At your border

Ready to strike

In you

With you

Until these shackles abate

Photo credit: Oskaras Verbickas


By Neil Lejoy

Above me, shine the stars beautiful,

Below these, lies the wanderer by the moon.

As quite as the road could be,

The entity detests, to not flee free.

Thinks that the simplicity, is wandering,

To him, considering is no such thing.

His worries behind the ride,

Even love to what seems false, never binds.

The urge to feel lost, the breeze rushes,

All throughout the city, he seeks to cherish.

He wouldn’t be wrong, he won’t indulge,

In their lies, thinks he doesn’t deserve worse.

Awaits for the Sun to come through,

That’s when he puts rest, to what he thought was true.

Still wanders, no clue of what’s next,

There he wonders, would his ways end?

Pedals to not stop, wheels swift,

This lane is where he belongs, and fits.

Photo credit: Darya Tryfanava

A Memory Part II – The Father

By Veronica Byrne

I could not go see you on Christmas Day

Not on that Day!

To see you lying there on that excuse for a bed

with presents scattered hopelessly around you

not a hint of merriment, forced smiles

and unbearable sadness, lost hope,

no hint of Glad Tidings!

I could not bring to that scene

memories from times past

as we sat by the fire, drinking tea

the wireless broadcasting a carol service from the Cathedral gallery

you getting ready for Midnight Mass

topcoat on and shoes polished

fixing your hair in the looking glass

No! You will stay safely with me, as you were

locked in my memories of Christmas cheer

of holly and berries, of frost and fir

of three wise men and the Northern star

of parcels in twine coming by post

cards on string, and smiles to make the most of it

the yard to be done, but not on this morn

Not on the day that the Lord was born

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