Edition XVI

April 2017

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Refugee's Plight - by Mariyam Thahira (photo by Tarek Roumie)Photo credit: Tarek Roumie

Refugee’s Plight

By Mariyam Thahira

Envision your land
that had nurtured flowers,
graceful and kind-hearted,
suddenly being invaded
by insects, of sympathy, devoid.

Envision the peaceful doves,
who above thee once flew,
being shot indiscriminately.

Envision the sky which was once permeated
with rainbows, brightly tinted,
abruptly being confined
by clouds, rayless and cold,
that sprinkle bombs without any end.

Envision the fresh grassy garden
where you first cherished the scent of rain,
being converted into a graveyard,
of memories that can never be recreated.

Envision those mighty walls,
who protection to you: guaranteed
and a safe haven: offered,
being effortlessly destroyed
as you watch through helpless eyes.

Envision yourself being forced
to safeguard your dear ones
despite the delicacy of your bones.

Envision your participation
in a warfare, sans another option,
as you defend an innocent nation,
unarmed, unprotected and unaided,
but with an invincible determination.

Every time your heart
refuses to defend refugees
remind yourself of this poetic art
that encourages your conscience
to envision their lives.

Not Just a Color - by Dania Al Husseini (photo by Matt Fortune)Photo credit: Matt Fortune

Not Just a Color

By Dania Al Husseini

I saved you a front-row seat
At the edge of my eyes.
Lean back, relax in the shade of my lashes,
Dangle your legs off my lids.
I’ll put on a private screening for you,
Roll scene after scene:
Break-dance, the waltz, sentimental serenades,
A beautiful movie awaits.
I’ll blink over and over
To caress your cheeks,
Then look into the mirror
To see your knees tremble-
All just to watch you,
Soak in my pools of grey.

The Second Time Around - by Trayle Kulshan (photo by Natheer Halawani)Photo credit: Natheer Halawani

The Second Time Around

By Trayle Kulshan

“I’ve passed this turn before,” she thought. “There isn’t much to see the second time around.”
She watched slow lightning break skies wide,
silent, as the sun sank before the thunder died.
She heard whisper-rain melt sand to glass,
the river rose widespread, hiding westward paths.
She turned behind again, waves from tires rolling round
Red splashed over green,
earth climbed up muddy trees,
A wild cat hid in leaves.
Finally the thunder joined the lightning and the rain, and washed the earth with sound.
“Perhaps there is indeed some magic here,” she thought, the second time around.

فرصةً أخيرة‎ - by Maria Hakim (photo by Nina Sharabati)Photo credit: Nina Sharabati

فرصةً أخيرة

‎الشاعرة ماريا حكيم 

أعطيتك فرصةً أخيرة
و حين خذلتني
..أطلقت سراحك من قلبي

للمرة العاشرة أطلقت سراحك
و لكن هذه المرة سورته بشوكٍ
..بشوكٍ سورت قلبي و عقلي

بشوكٍ يجرحني إن سمحت لك بالاقتراب مني
،فكرامتي أعزُ عليَّ منك
.و لن أكذب على نفسي للمرة العاشرة

.زال اعجابي بك و بقيت عيناك لامعتان و ابتسامتك ساحرة
.ساحرة و صامتة بقيت عيناك و ابتسامتك
،تلك العينان التي من خلالها زرعت بذور الأمل في البداية
..و تلك الكلمات الوهمية التي سقيت بها أملي  يومياً

،إلى حين ما أدركت حقيقة الوضع
،إلى حين ما أدركت مدى اختلافك عني
.و سردت كل شيء أكرهه فيك
..حزنت حين إذن ولمت نفسي على ضعفي

و في النهاية فرَّقتُ اسمك عن إسمي
و كتبتهما على ورقتين مفترقتين
..اسمك وضعته بعلبة قديمة و قدمته ذبيحةً مع صلاةٍ صغيرة
.و إسمي فتحت به صفحةٍ جديدة

Sadness - by Jean Teodoro (photo by Clem Onojeghuo)Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo


By Jean Teodoro

At times, it just seems too much,
Your wound keeps on bleeding,
And you can no longer hold your tears back

At times, you felt just too weak,
No hopes can bring you up,
Like the world has been too empty to hold you

Faces will come and go,
They’ll watch your broken eyes
But they understand not your agonizing heart.

Grow - by Dina Hanna (photo by Dina Hanna)Photo credit: Dina Hanna


By Dina Hanna

Sometimes we run from things in life
Sometimes we let them go
At times we think we’re old enough
But do we really ever grow?

Your hands are full of blisters
Your grip you can’t release
You don’t believe in prayers
But you’ve been brought down to your knees

Maybe it’s time that you learn
You’ll lose as much as you will gain
But once you are reaping what you earn
You’ll forget that there was ever pain.

Sparks - by Adel Awad (photo by Allef Vinicius)Photo credit: Allef Vinicius


By Adel Awad

Its the sparks that light our lives
Glimmering the good moments
Allowing our smiles to weave
Christmas lights in our souls
Telling us that we get along just fine
But just like the carnival that visits town every winter
It could all be for a while

Life has its way of intertwining darkness
It’ll be up to us to shine the light
From our souls for one another
And become each other’s light

I ain’t no firework
That’ll capture the whole town’s hearts
For a few moments however
Before diminishing forever
I’d rather be a candle
For I have no desire to be the brightest
Last, I will
Gently through the night

The intermittent sparks that keep our spirits alive
Shall die the day
The stars stop shining in our favour
And you’ll want me to let go
To become my own light

Come that day
And I’ll wish I could
Set myself on fire

The Pen & The Sword - by Haroon Tahir (photo by Natheer Halawani)Photo credit: Natheer Halawani

The Pen & The Sword

By Haroon Tahir

“The pen is mightier than the sword”
They say;
But my words can’t save
The Syrian mothers
Freezing in the snowy haze
The bloodied bodies of schoolchildren
Who had just gone out to play
The helpless heroin addicts
Who have completely gone astray

My words are powerless
They can’t change
A broken man’s fate
They can’t rekindle
A flickering flame
They can’t alter the course
Of tides or rain

Hatred and war continues to rage
And blood continues to fall
But they still say:
“The pen is mightier than the sword”

العشق الأسود - by Nour Abughaida (photo by Natheer Halawani)Photo credit: Natheer Halawani

العشق الأسود

الشاعرة نور أبوغيدا

..على سبيل الغرور
،أعشق نظرتك المتكبرة و إبتسامتك المتكلفة و عطرك البرجوازي
.حتى غموضك و كذبك باللامباة أعشقهم

..على سبيل الخبث
.أعشق اختباءك وراء أعذار واهية للقائي و أعشق تدبرك الصدف الكاذبة لوجودك أمامي
..على سبيل الغيرة
.أعشق أيضا غيرتك العمياء حتى و إن كانت مختبئة تحت  قناع التقاليد المجتمعية
..على سبيل الرجولة
.أعشق صوتك الأجش و إنفعالاتك الطفولية
..على سبيل الكرم
.أعشق كلماتك الملفوفة بالشعر المتغزل بي روحا و أنثى بها أنت متيم
..على سبيل الكذب
.أعشقك عندما تخبرني بأن فستاني ليس أخاذا وأنني أجمل  بارتدائي ما هو غير أنثوي

أعشق فيك ما تكرهه أغلبهن في الرجل
لعله جنون ولكني أحب تملك كل ذلك حتى وان كان فيه عذابي
أعشق حتى غيابك عني رغما عنك لتقنعني انني لا أتملكك رغما عنك أيضا
أعشق كبريائك حتى عندما تتنازل عنه أحيانا لإرضائي و إشباع غرور الأنثى بداخلي
على سبيل الحب أحب كل ما فيك حتى و إن لم يكن سهلا علي حبه

..على سبيل العشق الأعمى
.أحببتي و أحببت أنا حبك لي و إن كان حبا أسودا

بيني وبينكِ عشرون ألف خطيئة - by Jad Al Arabi (photo by Ahmed El Tayyeb)الرسام أحمد الطيب

بيني وبينكِ عشرون ألف خطيئة

‎الشاعر جاد العربي

بيني وبينكِ عشرون ألف خطيئة مقبولة في الجنة
وعشرون ألف فضيلة مرفوضة  في النار
،يا امرأةً تحققت فيكِ أسوء ظنوني
،أنثى تختزل كل النساء
،الأطفال والثوار
،السياسيين والتجار
…الخائنين والأبطال

Pink - by Hiba Memon (photo by Ismael Nieto)Photo credit: Ismael Nieto


By Hiba Memon

I still remember seeing your unmoving figure.
Serene and smiling, your face was cast in the most ethereal glow.
You were wrapped up in sheets of crinkled cotton-white,
I clutched your warm hands for the last time.
And in that moment, I really knew what home felt like.

Amy's Cry - by Biji Dominic

Amy’s Cry

By Biji Dominic

Amy was a celebrity star, 
She had a powerful voice,  
Her song, Rehab, was a cry for help,  
Her cries were not heard by the crowd,
Amy is no more, to happy the crowd.
Amy’s life was slipping away from her hand,  
Amy had addiction issues, 
She could not get away from her addictions, 
Amy is no more. 

Amy cried for help,  
Her cries were not heard,  
Amy is no more,  
Amy left the world with her songs.  

The River's Love Song - by Binu Sivan (photo by Doux Glace)Photo credit: Doux Glace

The River’s Love Song

By Binu Sivan

“My poems are born of you,”
the river whispered to the mountains.
As the wind carried the river’s gentle sighs,
high up to the land of clouds and veils
nestled in the skies,
the mountains trembled.

It had felt the young love of his beloved
as she skipped, laughed and tripped along with him.
Majestic he had stood, watching her antics,
she had murmured her delight and thundered in pleasure.
But… his silence had engorged her senses.
Nothing else could she bear.
Yet, she wanted, just for once, to be held
and loved with words she could hear.

Flowing away, with time, she left her mountain behind.
Meandering amidst valleys, she heard
voices other than her lover’s silence.
Thrilled, she gurgled with delight and rushed on.
She was loved, adored, worshiped and more.

Yet, greater as her name grew and
farther as her fame spread,
she missed the silent communion
that had created her.
She wished she could turn her waves around
force the currents back to the source.
Sometimes she raged.
Sometimes she sluggishly moved on.

Did he hear her cries and sighs?
Did her love know that she was done with life?
She moved on… tired and dirty,
loved and worshiped.
Stillness replacing energy.

And then with her baggage of offerings,
bodies, debris, and silt,
she gave up the last of her freshness –
her very essence –
to the vast blue
that matched her beloved
in hue.

As the clouds burst above him,
drenching him with her love,
he realized that she had given up her life
to once again fall in his arms and lie.

Faith - by Reetica Pattanayak (Photo by Ben White)Photo credit: Ben White


By Reetica Pattanayak

No hand,
No problem.
I see that girl walking by
Holding a teddy
In both her arms

No sight,
No problem.
I hear my friend,
Admiring the nature in front of him
Which he can see

No money,
No problem.
I see the father of the little boy
Buy his son new shoes
As I look down; my naked feet in cold

But when nothing is left,
Faith is what I get
When the world leaves me feeling
a little more than bereft.

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 of 2017:

Edition XIII
Edition XIV
Edition XV