A Riposte to the Technorati
By Irshad Azeez
If the King of Pop popped pills
just to make it stop,
what’s the worth of a crown?
Just let it drop.
What’s the worth of a crown
when power is handed up,
or when it’s just a hand me down.
It’s still the same old emperors. Just new clothes.
Same views. Just new roles.
Same bread broken among the same false messiahs – crumbs get thrown to the circus –
while Rome burns.
Picture, an infant squirming next to a cow’s carcass bursting with worms.
Picture, a hunter tracking a predator tracking an endangered pachyderm.
Picture, a spiritual cause being side-tracked by those who’ve hijacked the term.
Conditioning needs to be unlearned, no stone un-turned,
but when I step out to meet Revolution
all I find is Evolution
‘cos the R has left and moved to the suburbs.
For the privilege of optimism.
For a curated internet feed and a spin doctored vision.
Or better yet, a version. A truth aversion.
From digital pulpits preaching science and abundance like a sermon.
I mean how?
It’s still the same emperors. Just new clothes.
Same views. Just new roles.
Same bread, same false messiahs,
and as surely as the world turns,
Rome still burns!
And I’m catching flack for thinking like this,
like get back you pessimist.
I’m just trying to interject some perspective,
they won’t even leave a space for a parenthesis!
My friend Yogi says the way out is space.
My friend Amir says stay in the rat race, play it safe.
But I’m stuck on this evolution thing and unlearned conditioning,
wanting dignity for all
and wondering what that takes…
(Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold)
By Mira Hamade
Mend his cracks,
Kisses will wipe out the rust.
He’s been injured,
Bruised by sharp edges of lust.
Mind his scars,
They will guide you through his soul.
Fire’s almost out,
Still, you could get burnt by coal.
Mold his smile,
Dust off the remains of pain.
Clean his closets,
Some skeletons still remain.
Mourn his loss,
At raging wars fought meekly.
Crown him with praise,
Those wrinkles hold a story.
Photo credit: Rachel Chisholm
An Electrical Engineer’s Valentine
My heart is a giant logic gate,
putting you AND I together.
I simulated the circuit on Quartus,
and it functioned smooth as ever.
You’re the Thevenin to my Norton,
the sine wave to my generator,
we’re an operational amplifier,
and our Gain couldn’t be better.
Though our classrooms are freezing
I know I can count on you
to burn the capacitors just enough
to bid the cold adieu.
Conditional probability is easy to you,
you solder circuits like a queen.
Your perfection brings up one question:
Are you a senior project or a dream?
Your smile is my turn-on voltage,
I’m in triode when you laugh.
Our hugs put me in saturation-edge
and then we create a pinched-off channel and I forget how to rhyme. Just like this.
Photo credit: Matt Fortune
So much to do, so little time,
why is everything complicated, or just am I?
Questions too many, far and wide,
answers known and ignored, I wonder why?
Much like the wind, unseen but felt.
Cards on the table, like trouble, dealt.
Beneath lies, the value within,
could either fail or let us win.
From the pallet, from the skin,
love is tasty, lustful and a much needed sin.
Confusing the senses, overwhelming the mind,
is it pain or is it pleasure, that we hope to find?
الرسام أحمد الطيب
الشاعرة نور أبو غيدا
في عينيها تدور الدنيا
وعلى شفاهها قطف التوت و العنّاب
و أنفاسها شذى الياسمين
دابت روحي بحبها فعشقها يزل الناسك المتعبد عن خطاه
و في حضرتها أستبيح الممنوع
و أسكر على نظراتي لها
و أسترقها من بين خصل شعرها الأسود المخملي
.المخملي المعطر بمسكٍ و بخورٍ تفوح منه نسمات الحب الأزلي
فمن مثلها في زمانٍ لم تبقى النساء نساء
و اندثرت الأنوثة فلم تبقى أنثى غيرها
فتربعت ملكة النساء على عرشٍ صعب المنال
.و ما أنا بفارسٍ لأكون لها شريكاً
.فقررت الصوم عن زلتي لأتوب
.و ما نفع صومي في حضرة الملذات و قلبي فيها يدوب
و من غير ربي يرحمني و يعفو زلتي
.و من غيره يتقبلني كما أنا
فرحماك ربي عن حور عينٍ في الأرض لها مكان
و جنتي هي و ناري هي
.و عذابي هي و خلاصي هي
و ما لعنة عاشق إلا نظرات من عينيها
.عيون المها تأسره كأسيرٍ يأبى حريةً رسمت بعيداً عن جدرانها
I Lost My Queen of Hearts
I was never really good at any card game
and I don’t think I ever will be…
but I can’t really make that sorrow claim
cause one set of cards nearly killed me.
I usually play the Joker…
might toss the Ace or the Jack.
But this time we played poker,
a game where you can’t go back.
Instead of money, cash, or wealth
we played with our hearts and nothing else.
It was the way the game was played;
leaving the table cloth, bloody and stained.
My opponent this time, was a lady,
one with elegance and class.
However she refused to play me.
She held her King, I held my stance.
For months and days this game went on
forgetting the day that it began.
For months and days I stood in awe.
She showed me her cards, and I showed her none.
She tried her best
to take but a glimpse.
But as they stood there discreetly,
I was held back ever since.
Like a chain to your neck,
denied your deepest desires.
No need for false hope and fake bets.
This world is already flooded with liars.
I explained to her my restrictions,
time and repetition did not help.
A future with no sense of depiction,
but the cards have already been dealt.
She questioned my devotion
invoking a virus of thoughts
as it spread with the injection.
Time allowed for the blood to clot.
It hurt that I hurt her;
a pain I’ll never forget
and so I needed to desert her;
something I’ll always regret.
I’ll bare my own demons,
those who hold the chain.
Society, religion, and other “reasons”
or so they go by that name.
As I was forced to depart
and leave the poker table
I left a piece of my heart
barely alive, barely stable.
Before I left for good
I asked for her kind name.
She told me they call her The Queen.
The Queen of Hearts… that brought me pain.
The Art of Letting Go
By Haroon Tahir
You heard it in those breakup songs on the radio
You heard it in those little tales your friends told
But no one really told you
How letting go feels like.
Those fleeting memories become a back-breaking boulder- hard to carry but difficult to just drop
Those coffee shops are a ghost town, haunting you with the remnants of the little joys you shared
Those friends turn to headless strangers
Those songs – they turn to soundless drones, gnawing at every end of your earlobes
Those posts – those odes to love – they just don’t exist anymore
Then you start to hate yourself.
You start to hate yourself for letting them in
You hate yourself for thinking that this could work
You hate yourself for stripping to your barest bone
You hate yourself for putting all your flaws on show
You hate yourself for letting your identities intertwine
But then, somewhere, somewhere down the line
You begin to see the light
You begin to see that loneliness is not that scary
You begin to see that you will be alright
Finally, you realize that maybe
Just maybe, you’ve mastered the art of letting go
Photo credit: Tarek Roumie
Do Not Believe
By Amr Khalifa
Taught to believe that life is difficult
Forced to believe that life is hard
Made to believe every move is critical
Though it appears I’ll just pick a card
Taught to believe that life’s a miracle
How can that be? Have you seen the scars?
Made to believe that I might be cynical
If I question belief then I question God?
Taught to believe you should play it safe
Forced to believe there’s a single way
Made to believe that the road less travelled
Is a dead-end once it’s unraveled
Taught to believe everything we are taught
Plant the seeds in your mind in your thoughts
Knowledge is key… to harvest the crop
But if you believe you will see… they will rot
Whispers of a Demon
Whispers of a demon
Burn me inside everyday
As he sprinkles a bit of lemon
On the wounds of my dismay
He smiles at midnight
Watching me cry in pain
Oh to him it’s just a delight
Watching me go insane
Yet he is not to blame
As he is but a creation
From that deep flame
That lies in my soul’s nation
A nation so complicated
Filled with broken hearts
Tarnished and affiliated
With fakeness from all parts
It is ruled by a major feeling
“The want of one as a friend”
Then comes the pain of dealing
With an action called ‘pretend’
Pretend all is okay
Erase who you are
Just do what they say
Thrusting the “you” so far
Thus that demon remains
Smirking with extreme joy
Cause I satisfy his gains
An entertaining worthless toy
He plays his musical notes
On the piano of emotion
As I ride on one of the boats
Of the stormy mad ocean
Oh I’m sinking deep and slow
In that nation of my creation
Life is in its name for what I know
A never ending test-like situation
Don’t Send Me Another Memo
By Binu Sivan
Don’t send me another memo
or yet another forward.
Every time a bomb blows up
Every single time kids are chewed up
fired by terror mongers and psychos
Facebook posts come alive.
‘It could have been our kids!’
‘We are so lucky!’
‘This is so sad!’
‘I feel so bad!’
‘What can one do?’
‘The world has gone mad!’
Just please STOP!
Remember Beslan. Beslan!?
You say the word out loud…
Yeah… it sounds familiar!
Where is it?
That is bound to happen
Will you ever forget Utoya in Norway?
You think not?
Or that school in the US… Hook something
Oh I forgot the name!
But those poor babes!
You know what we can all do with our collective feel ‘bads’?
Yeah… not for polite company the answer to that.
We Tweet, post and whatsapp and we are done with it…
Until the next tragedy hits
For heaven’s sake!
What can we do?
Don’t bad mouth your Muslim neighbour.
Definitely not in front of your children!
Don’t laugh at the rituals of your Hindu neighbour.
Treat the Christian and the Jew as one.
Don’t just preach,
Make them see the turban, the beard and the veil
for what it is.
A representation of someone’s faith,
not a threat to your belief!!
Stop huddling together and
flinching away from strangers.
Open your eyes.
Open your mind.
And for heaven’s sake
open your heart please.
I refuse to mourn.
To shed another tear.
Because tears are so fickle,
shed and wiped.
And then the inevitable moving on.
I refuse to feel bad.
My feeling bad is not worth
even half a cent.
I refuse to join a candle lit vigil,
or mouth platitudes.
But what I will do
is teach my child
that be you a Hindu or Mussalman
be you a Sikh or a Jain
a Christian, Buddhist or Jew.
Don’t think it doesn’t matter!
It matters cause each and every single religion teaches
‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’
Keep your colour in mind…
White, black, brown, yellow…
It’s what makes you unique
it’s also what makes you different.
And different is not bad,
Stop brushing our differences
under the rug.
Rather dust it and address it.
I will stop walking
on fucking egg shells
When discussing religion, God,
faith, love, homosexuality and gender.
I will teach my child that
true peace lies
hand in hand with honesty
Sometimes the bravest thing
we will be called upon to do
in our entire life will be to
quietly say “I don’t agree”
or “it’s not right.”
when faced by peer might.
And while I teach my child all this
I will pay attention
and try to imbibe.
And practice what I preach…
‘What can you do?’
you still ask me!?
Writers & Lovers
“If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.” – Mik Everett
When we are gone
and reduced to dust and ashes,
when no one remains
to call our names.
When, without your warmth,
the floors and corners of this house become cold.
All that there will be
are these words.
A few commas and full stops,
maybe a lingering question
or an eager exclamation.
A bleeding heart buried in the depths,
but death will never do us apart.
For in the dawn that comes without us,
every verse that is read
will call your name again.
(This poem is a parody of “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe)
Once upon a time, in a lonely neighborhood where there was no committed crime
it was bedtime, when I heard a sudden pecking,
a sudden pecking at my door.
“Must be mother,” I muttered,
“or is it nothing? My head is very sore.”
“I hope it does not bother me anymore.”
But the certain someone replied, “Nevermore!”
I turned back to witness a parrot perched on my window
it’s piercing eyes looking through my broken soul
as I ate my spring roll,
I asked “Will I ever see her…my hero?”
But it stood there with a bore whispering “Nevermore!”
I asked too many questions, way more than before
asked for no other than my mother who I deeply longed for
but the parrot couldn’t console as I would deplore.
With so much indifference, the parrot stole my roll,
flew off and chirped “Nevermore!”
We Are More
By Jamil Adas
By the power vested in us from the lord
We turn nothing into gold
So lo and behold, how
Speech can turn mimics into champions
We conjure lyrics that leave an empowered sense;
We are alchemists of the soul.
Undertaking life like mad scientists
Not in need of drums or beats
To disguise our speech.
Echoing silence paves for self-reflection
Infuses a peaceful perception
Intrinsically worth more than a mass diamond collection.
Ignore the fear feeding news and their curfews
You are the engineer of your own virtues
So drop the idle habits, revolt and scream:
“Life is worth more than what you make it to seem”
Thank you to every writer for the thought infusing poems contributed and
thank you to every passerby for reading the art of our talented poets.
If you would like to have your poem or image published for the next
Dubai Poetics edition
send your poem or request to be a “visual artist” to firstname.lastname@example.org