Edition XIII

January 2017

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the-way-we-are-wound-by-dana-dajani-photo-by-miguel-salgadoPhoto credit: Miguel Salgado

The Way We Are Wound

By Dana Dajani

A sound takes me back to a memory
a wind-up and then a melody
as I watch a mechanical ballerina spin
silver box top reflecting jewels and trinkets within
And this is where the tragedy of comparison begins
Tall and slender
perched on a pedestal
sad but proud
as a young girl, I mirrored her
as she spun around- perfect-
surrounded by ornaments of beauty valued for their scarcity
Those stones are treasured because they are rare and unique
but  in the features of a woman are those the same qualities we seek?
Or,  in pursuit of self- materialization,
do we sell our souls for empty idolization?
On billboards the Gold Standard is swapped for the Golden Ratio;
fit the mold and appreciation will follow
And this is the way we are wound
beauty is not found
it is manufactured

Ah, sweet femininity!
Ah, days of simplicity
basking in the warm sun
soaking up the adoration of my mom—
what will I become?
Anything is possible when you’re young
imagining different roles as you play dress up
I’d often slip into a certain pair of my mother’s shoes-
ones with bright sequins in the shapes of exotic fruit-
waiting for the day that I would measure up
always in such a hurry to grow up
Innocence fading
finger-painting quickly replaced by
make-up shading my features
Slowly jaded as time passed
I watched my shadow cast beneath me
angry at the sun now for being so unflattering

I wanted long nails and a bust
a small waist was a must
because the standard of beauty was predetermined
in my Seventeen Magazine
Automated by the machine
beauty queen mannequins
pumped out on industrial work lines
Silicon fillers and botox
pumped in to plump up laugh lines
Every goddess started to look the same 
furthering the notion that we must tame our individual identities 
and conform to some one else’s idea of normal
barbie, plastic, nameless, static
Confused and
uncomfortable in my own skin
all I wanted was to spin- ballerina thin-
to fit in
to age with dignity and grace
not replace the parts of me that reveal my age
So instead— I learned to embrace them

And the tragedy of comparison ended there
As a young woman, I grew to love my body for its Wabisabi
as the Japanese call it, perfect imperfections
And I see myself spinning
for a little girl who won’t ever receive a jewelry box from me
I will be the only jewel she sees
because I want her to be free
to create her own identity
and reflecting that shameless beauty starts in me

brown-cloud-of-the-east-by-dania-al-husseini-photo-by-bilal-khawli-tshek-photographyPhoto credit: Bilal Khawli

Brown Cloud of the East

By Dania Al Husseini

It’s a news-worthy story this storm
Dark clouds that roll along the sky;
We have our own colors you see
(here in the East).

No soft blues, bright whites or crystal clear ice
But oranges and lemons,
Brown sugar and cinnamon-
The whole baking aisle.

Let’s dream that it were true:
Running underneath ingredients
Crumbling from a spiced sky,
Holding pots and pans
To catch tomorrow’s apple pie.

Weighing our food instead of our mood,
Mulling around instead of hiding out,
Rubbing our eyes raw,
Shaking out our hair, our heads
At layers of sand crusting cars, clothes
Because the weather – yet again- has done a forward roll.

Maybe the sandstorm brings out beauty,
Like when the same bird sings at your sill the next morning
Unafraid to land on that cinnamon dune.

Did you notice that it coats the surface of things
But never affects the core?
Unlike Katrina or Sandy or the others;
It shares a fresh picture
Like a thought that creeps up on you,
Like getting lost in your neighborhood
Or that thing you should’ve done.

What happens after the Eastern storm has passed,
After you wash away the dust?

%d8%a3%d9%86%d8%aa%d9%90-%d9%88%d8%a8%d8%b9%d8%af%d9%87%d8%a7-%d8%a3%d9%86%d8%aa%d9%90-by-philippe-jardak-photo-by-natheer-halawaniPhoto credit: Natheer Halawani

أنتِ وبعدها أنتِ

الشاعر فيليب جرداق

يا عاشقة الوردِ                             من يديكِ الحبُّ والعسلُ      

              ببريق الفرح والجمال                        عيناكِ فضاءٌ وقمرُ             

عشقتكِ سيدتي، آنستي                    كمجنونٍ تعلّق فيكِ وكَثُرُ    

شفتاكِ عسلٌ مقطَّرُ                         حُلْوُ المذاقِ أستشفُّ به كلّهُ       

أحببتكِ جميلتي، وردتي                   حتى الكلماتُ باتت تقرأ الكتبُ       

عنكِ. أنتِ يا من سحرتني                 بجمالكِ، بهواكِ، نسيمٌ يُبرَدُ     

        ألمي، عذابي، حرقتي                      بنارِ عشقكِ ينزلُ 

إلى مشاعري وأحاسيسي                 كأنغامٍ غنَّتْ لكِ أناشيدُ

يا روحي، وعمري وحياتي               كلّها لكِ يا حبيبتي، كلّها لكِ    

أمالَ البحرُ أذنهُ على صدركِ              يسمعُ دقّأت قلبكِ، يا حلوتي   

غارَتْ منه وروردُ الحقلِ                  كيف يسمعُ صوت فؤادكِ

صيّرتيهِ يابسةً من كثرة النارِ             نارُ عشقكِ ولهفةُ شوقكِ

تراجعَ أدراجه مستسلماً لكِ               عندما عَلِمَ فارسَ الأحلام آتٍ نحوكِ            

يا ليتني ذاكَ الواهمَ لحبّكِ                 لكنتُ ملكتكِ، وعلى عرشِ الجلالةِ أسكنتكِ                    

بسطورِ الشعرِ لاقتْ أحرفها بكِ          أبياتَ الشعرِ مقفّاةً بكلماتِ عذابكِ المؤّبَّدِ                 

نزفتُ دمَ الألمِ وأنا مُلقاً                    بين يديكِ، داخلَ حضنكِ، في دفئ غمرِكِ، كجريحٍ بحبّكِ                                  

لكِ أقولُ يا جميلتي                         أميرةُ قلبي ستبقي وعلى عرشي ستحكمي. أحبّكِ                            

that-one-particular-point-by-kristina-kiseleva-photo-by-clem-onojeghuoPhoto credit: Clem Onojeghuo

That One Particular Point

By Kristina Kiseleva

I ask you – have you ever studied an isosceles triangle?
The way the longer line rests at the bottom or top
while the other two sides have to almost cross
paths but then suddenly stop
‘cause it has to meet that
one particular

That’s – how my heart is set on you.
There’s no different way to it;
No other way to see it

It needs – it has to,
meet that one

jamais-vu-by-pia-fajelagutan-photo-by-sweet-ice-cream-photographyPhoto credit: Doux Glace

Jamais Vu

By Pia Fajelagutan

Your home is still here,
cradling warm names 
with cold faces-

Like a mother’s kiss
that sits for days
on strangers’ eyes
riddled with bewilderment
The continents we seek seem

blindness-by-jean-irish-teodoro-photo-by-matt-fortunePhoto credit: Matt Fortune


By Jean Teodoro

Someday, I may not able to see myself on the mirror
I might not finish reading every single book I kept on my shelf
I might not be able to draw or paint all the pictures in my head
Nor could I write and type the thousand words weaving
I might not see how the sun touches the ground anymore
How its face peeks through the leaves of the trees
As it spreads, its rays touching the ground
I may no longer climb mountains and see the world from above
These eyes, as they are slowly taken away from me
One day, I will lose them completely
And I might learn to embrace the darkness that awaits me.


كتبتُ ما أريد

الشاعر جاد العربي

ماذا يبقى عندما نكتب ما نريد؟
نتصالح مع أنفسنا؟
ننتظر دهشة الاخرين؟
إشادة من غرباء؟
إطراء من أقرباء؟
أم فقط نحن نتخلص من فيض مشاعرنا بتجسيدها بأي طريقة؟
كل ما أعرفه أنّي حين أنهي كتابة ما أريد
،يجتاحني إليكِ في كل مرة شوق جديد، ثم أتذكركِ
فأحزن لأني أعلمُ حينها أن الطريق طويل
وأنت بعيدة وقريبة
،تماماً كاختلاف وتشابه القرآن والإنجيل
…إختلف التعبير، وفي العمق يشع الله بأسمى معاني الوجود والحقيقة

the-invisible-omnipotent-power-by-bijim-dominic-photo-by-rosan-harmensPhoto credit: Rosan Harmens

The Invisible Omnipotent Power

By Biji Dominic

The sky is blue
the helium generator with its full might 
the day is known by this celebrity’s brilliance
the night is known by infinite glittering
the sea with uncountable flora and fauna 
the forest with shady herbs and giant trees
the mountain with chattering rivers
the valley with grasslands

The good earth is filled with varied 
the creator touched with natural colour 
and fragrance
Yes, the greatest artist’s masterpiece.


Eyes Can Lie

By Rose Gathirimu

Eyes can lie
Touch can fool
Sweet talk can be convincing
But … a kiss
That comes from the HEART!
Feels magical when it is true!!

That kiss!!
Warm and tender
Fragile yet strong
As they touch, lip by lip
Eyes can’t bear but to close
Taking in every bit of breath
With each fresh touch

I can only surrender for more
The goose bumps alive
The sparkle alive
A waiting for more!!

airports-by-hiba-memon-photo-by-felix-russel-sawPhoto credit: Felix Russell-Saw


By Hiba Memon

I still remember, hopping off the plane and running towards you-

As you envelop me into your arms and hold me against your chest.

That jasmine musk you always wore, would waft in and around me

and I would think maybe, just maybe, this is what home feels like.

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 poetry@dubaipoetics.com

Join us again in our Poetryhood!!

Enjoy more of our earlier editions through these links:

Edition I
Edition II
Edition III
Edition IV
Edition V

Edition VI
Edition VII
Edition VIII
Edition IX
Edition X

Edition XI
Edition XII