Photo credit: Omar Al Abdulhadi
The Stars Shine Brighter Than My Scars
I look up to the cloudy sky
and I wish I could fly
away into the depths of blue
leaving no clue.
The rain falls on my skin
as if mocking all of my kin.
Every fiber of my being
aches to let go fleeing
every thought of mine flailing
with the fear of failing.
It is then I see the world;
beauty I am blessed to behold.
What is joy without woe?
What is life without foe?
What is love without doubt?
And what is the rain without drought?
My life is in fact fleeting
but I shall always be fighting
to be free from the shackles
that hold me down baffled.
I look up to the sky
and it doesn’t seem wry.
I see a glimmer of hope
and another shimmer of scope.
I see the clouds of love
and there flies past the dove.
I see the stars
that shine brighter than my scars.
Photo credit: Nina Sharabati
A Moth, a Jar, a Penny
By Verda Khan
Fragments of thoughts chase
in this dire need of sleep;
I stare at my little ol’ lantern:
A jar full of moonbeam.
A moth, a jar, a penny
they coexist in my world;
a penny I bought the jar with
and on and on I twirled.
What use is of an empty jar
if not to catch some life;
flapping wings of a moth
spoke of melodies and highs.
So I ran and ran and ran
in my black Brooks and frock;
in gardens, streets, on carousels
to catch moths beyond the block.
I look at this ancient jar
with heaviness on my chest,
reminiscence is a struggle
so I make guesses at best.
Seasons passed with caprice
fogging all my dreams,
or did I look the other way
to glitters and plastic beams?
Photo credit: Mary-Ellen Greenwood
Mother said, Dear oh dear, put that dress on and smile for me
More so for everyone else, even if your heart does weep
Forget poetry, forget literature, but not the art of flattery
Let’s become well versed with placing your cutlery.
Father was a stern angry man, his blood hot
And word strong enough to break stone
His girls he cherished; but of his sons, he was proud
Money, monopoly, and banter out loud
All the men knew was business, and cards in the courtyard
She woke up one day; a strange man beyond her garden
His brown eyes fixed her gaze, with no sign of pardon
Weak heart; she fell in love, she made a mistake
With a man who promised allegiance and to never forsake
It was a hopeless summer day, she broke all promises for one
Lo and behold! There was Father’s terror and the sound of his gun!
The strange man to never again see her face, and father
Never to accept her in his grace
So with nowhere to go; but only onward
She made her path, through the alleys of culture
She carved a way through mountains of tradition
To become her own pride, to learn and teach
To never seek love which is not equal,
To never love foolishly again, but to love
With the virtue of a girl and the wisdom of a woman.
Whom am I
Whom am I to speak?
The right of opinion has been given to each
Mental perfection and isolation is far reach
Society feeds us abominable propaganda
Has us waiting on the media, TV and our favorite celebrity to teach
Individualism is no longer realism
If you don’t act like everyone else you’re not real and that kind of mentality got us stuck inside a real prison
Being a modern slave isn’t real living
I won’t even talk about the killing
Cause if we stop being mental slaves we wouldn’t even be willing
Don’t label me a conspiracy theorist
I’m just speaking on what my soul is hearing
But whom am I to speak?
Not quite among the meek
But someone who has yet to reach his peak
So really whom am I to speak?
Someone who’s seen the best of both
Lived the high life after coming off the streets
But whom am I to speak?
A loner with two mothers
One that loves me like no other
And another that left me like no other
Broken into a million pieces
Feeling abandoned by God but still find it in me to believe in Mohammed and Jesus
I claim no religion and I have my reasons
But whom am I to speak?
And for that I’ll shut my mouth and keep my thoughts hidden deep
Cause I am no one
I am no one to speak
Visual by Ahmad Minawi
By Hiba Memon
My ancestors deck the walls of my house,
each portrait is framed , polished and tinted.
Carefully placed, so immortalised in tones of sepia.
Devoid of any colour, their expression; placid.
As if time never existed, and all there ever was, was nothing.
Starched collars and stiff petticoats with frills of sorts,
some tall, some short, some lean and some stout.
Their faces are etched in my memory, their names are engraved.
I bury them in the darkest corner of my mind, only to have them resurface again.
To remind me that I too am one of them.
To warn me that I too, will become one of them;
eternally framed, painted and hung,
in hues of sepia.
Visual credit: Danielle Malone
Collision of darkness and demons,
love succumbs against thoughts benign.
Even though I am a sinner,
your innocence will always be mine.
I fall into a million pieces,
as you watch me with an unfaltering gaze.
Even though I deceived you,
you stayed setting my world ablaze.
When truths are revealed,
you will see life’s parody.
Even though I ruined you,
you are my tragedy.
Photo credit: John Cobb
Loving Beyond Limits
My definition of love
starts and ends with you,
nothing beneath and above
will ever be so true.
Without the need to search,
my love story was written
giving a space to perch
with romance it was litten.
Painting my life with beauty,
creating a masterpiece,
you’re my priceless reward,
I’d hold on to for eternity.
Photo credit: Jeremy Cai
A Moments Smile
A million words that haven’t touched my paper
A thousand thoughts that haven’t crossed my mind
So many things I want to tell you
So many words lost in translation
Like a familiar stranger
A distant light where hope was lost
You shine so beautiful through the darkness
If you only knew
Words are a dime a dozen but true feelings so few
But they spawn from deep within
Where my demons happily reside
Risking a million tears for a moments smile.
By Fadwa Sadek
Tell me who I am and I’ll believe you
Pick and choose your words for my desperation seeps
Lace your words with lies and give me any clue
Be careful where you step, my demon is dark and it creeps
Tell me I’m a flower that wilts and blooms everyday
Tell me I’m a train wreck that takes people’s lives away
Tell me I’m poison you wish to taste but you have fears
Tell me I’m an ocean that breathes to swallow all your tears
Do they sell identity at the local supermarket?
I have all this filthy cash from the bounty on my time
I lost the tag that had my name, can you help me find it?
I’m told crawling into skin that is not yours is a crime
I am a vacant vessel fill me up as you please
The uncertainty I hold is far too much to complain
Stick me in the sand or up against those gloomy trees
I will not scratch a hand nor rust, I will not even stain
Feed me some meaning with liquid purpose on the side
A deficiency demands you give me what I know is mine
The heart’s hunger, so brutal, always stays unsatisfied
But with a head so anorexic how to keep them both in line?
When I fight my way out will you pat me on the back?
Give me your best “good job” and the affection that I lack
Will you take all the credit and leave me with just scrap?
Will no one ever know how it was you who set that trap?
Do you still tell yourself you did the right thing
When you pressed that bird too hard till it could no longer sing?
Yet still you claim to love it, that it was for the best
But I know you just liked your voice better than the rest.
Photo credit: Lilian Hakim
By Arta Afshar
I used to live here,
this was my home
and I cared for its heart.
Fighting against the blood loss and common sense
because for five minutes you felt like home.
You felt like home,
you were just another bed space for junkies like me to die in,
but it doesn’t hurt because I decided it shouldn’t.
But are you worth what I’ve destroyed in your name?
Words are empty now,
your unspoken ideas on love never grabbed my attention
because you never truly understood the true concept of it,
you couldn’t care less for how I felt about you
but you were always there,
now I’m 5000 miles apart from you
and I finally feel like I’m home,
but you still wouldn’t care.
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
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