Edition XXI

September 2017

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Chimeras and Cell - by Hakim Elhaj (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

Chimeras and Cell

By Hakim El Haj

It occurs every little while

Phantoms, goats, and breeze

The myth is half asleep

Its pores are open to receive

Hungry to melt down a spell

 Rooted on Earth

Ready to be seen

It occurs every little while

Submit to its demands

It’s a bird made of sand

With a cold wooden grip

That knows how to hold a fruit

In its tiny hand

Feel it

No need to understand

A Rhino's Plea - by Jacques Briam (photo by Jacques Briam)Photo credit: Jacques Briam

“On September 22, 2017, it was World Rhino Day, a day to celebrate all the rhinoceroses that exist on our planet, and to remember the dire situation that they face. As such, I wrote this poem to raise awareness about rhino poaching.”

A Rhino’s Plea

By Jacques Briam  (Founder of Wild About The Wild)

My skin is thick. My skin is tough.
But for a bullet, not tough enough.

I am worth more dead than I am alive.
It’s a sad reality, can my species survive?

My horn is my protection, but it’s also my demise.
Those who speak of its special powers are spreading lies.

They shoot me at night, and in daylight.
It doesn’t matter, as long as the money is right.

My face is hacked, brutalized.
My life is wasted, not valorized.

I am a rhino, and I am in my prime.
But at this point, it’s just a matter of time.

Poaching is rife in our present day,
and it’s up to you to lead the way.

Raise your voice, share my plight.
That’s one way to join the fight.

You see, my skin is thick. My skin is tough.
But without your help, it won’t be enough.

“More than 7,000 rhinos have been killed for their horns in Africa over the past decade. Most of these horns are sent to East Asia, where they are used in traditional medicine to supposedly treat a wide-range of ailments. However, rhino horn actually has no medicinal properties and their use in traditional medicine is fueled simply by beliefs. With the rise of Asia’s economies, rhino horn is also being purchased more and more as a simple status symbol.

Get involved in saving rhinos by raising awareness, donating to rhino conservation organizations, and by taking part in eco-tourism to see the beauty of a wild rhino in its environment!”

Città Santa - by Silvana Nardiello (Photo by Zoe Marzolo)Photo credit: Zoe Marzolo

Città Santa

By Silvana Nardiello

Ho clessidre come vene
e tu come sangue scorri.
Scrigno come cuore
dove tu prezioso amante riposi.

Ho mani e piedi
ancore della tua carne,
ho bocche affamate dove i tuoi baci lambiscono le

Schiena, muro del tuo pianto
dove fogli della tua anima
dimorano in preghiera le mie vertebre.

Sguardo nel tuo sguardo, radici nel mio midollo.
Le mie ossa il tuo tempio
Io, la tua città santa.

Ceres - by Chloe Elliott (Photo by Jessica Andersdotter)Photo credit: Jessica Andersdotter


By Chloe Elliott

there is little meaning in the sky tonight
she is pale without the swollen bump of clouds; ribcage crackling like vinyl cartilage
and soured gooseberry marrow.
like a silent miscarriage you rip open
her sutures and find a black thud; pulsar curled into a fist, this
deadbeat pound of flesh tearing home inside out.
this aching bould of moonrock knuckles
and meteorite toes, curling itself around a midwife’s gloved thumb,
flesh never meeting flesh.

purple and bruised
like a dropped plum that has rolled under a casket of fruit, the sickle sweet stench of
abandoned harvest demands the room. writhing in bedsheets of spilt wine,
as if latex could carry warmth in its cradle.
this steady upward heave of asteroid meeting plastic; pallid gossamer chest fluttering in
fruitless attempt.
and most nights’ heartache echoes like unplucking, swallowing childhood in fistfuls.
(void will turn to compost heap
whilst skin to peel to core to seedling to earth)

and this, christened as carrion; lifecycles spent carving out meals in apology
nebula to dwarf, child to box and she rocking in wickered ignorance. clouded eyes searching the child, coddling scar over star
and she and this,
and flesh never quite meeting flesh.

A Chance - by Susan George (photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

A Chance

By Susan George

One day,
you will wake up and realize
that you have lost everything in this world

Every single person
every single thing
you have loved and kept very close to you.

You will feel the pinch
in your heart.

You will wish and weep
you could have him and her once more

For another hug,
for another date,
for another night,
for another sunset

you will have to make peace
with it.

Peace with it all.

Make peace with the sadness

Peace with the sorrow

Manifest the sorrow

and manifest space for magic
space for wonder
space for awe
manifest space for better people
space for happiness





Trying - by Rasha Darra (Photo by Tarek Roumie)Photo credit: Tarek Roumie


By Rasha Darra

Chipped my fingernails until they were raw and bleeding
Pushed myself until nothing was left
Gave my all when no one was trying
And still I am stuck as I am

I am a river forever bleeding
The sound of my flow resounding in my ears only
Lost and unheard I remain,
Forgotten in the abyss of I tried and I failed

Yet my voice will not be drowned any longer
The swish-swosh of my flow will be heard so clearly
no one would be able to drown out the sound
I am unfinished, still untried in the habit of leaving

Giving up is not in my nature,
Although I am so close to going over the edge
perrr perr perrr, my voice will ripple stronger by the second and,
I will shine brighter.

Stalemate with Narcissus - by Donya Abdulhadi (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

Stalemate with Narcissus

By Donya Abdulhadi

His emptiness burns through me like a candle under a sheet of paper.
His stubbornness a long lament breaking the summer day’s sun;
thick fingers pressed round my neck.
His apathy waiting for the moment to inhale me, own me and release me.

He takes a drink and cloud his vision, dims his sight.
He lights a cigarette – smoke.
I take a drink and level my sight to his.
I smoke a cigarette – mirroring him.
He sees himself, not me, and so he doesn’t know me.

His move.
I am Nemesis – play me, and you’ll lose.
His deflection, distortion, silence chokes me.
His single word and its double meanings.
The hero I had seen in him was me.
I saw myself in you.

Lock the narcissist in a windowless space, become a mirror. He can’t have you.
His image and the sound of your heartbeat – the silent drum of your slow victory.

I burn, he inhales me. Will he release what is left of me?
Stalemate with Narcissus.
His game may have me undone.

Woman - by Rita Soficaru (Photo by Luke Braswell)Photo credit: Luke Braswell


By Rita Soficaru

My heart is a dark, moist cave,
and there’s a woman there;
tall, dark-haired and
covered in blood.
She’s not talking
but her eyes are telling
the never-ending story
of not giving
myself permission
to be a woman.

My womb is a Desert:
hot and dry and windy,
and there’s a woman there;
tall, light-headed
and losing herself in the dust.
She’s not talking either,
or maybe she is
but there’s so much noise
and light and oblivion –
I can’t hear her.

I visited them
the night I was told
to be a mermaid
but I turned into a shark
the two women
would happily give permission
to eat them.

My Inspiration - by Reena Remesh (Photo by Pujohn Das)Photo credit: Pujohn Das

My Inspiration

By Reena Remeshkumar

It is dim 
but never pitch-dark

It’s light rays 
are the path to stars

It being shy
with an external force 
that brings it out of its lime light

It being un-noticeable 
is the most beautiful sight of all

The moon, 
is my inspiration

The Infinitude of Love - by Anca Mihaela Bruma (Photo by Jessica Andersdotter)Photo credit: Jessica Andersdotter

The Infinitude of LOVE

By Anca Mihaela Bruma

Embraced equinoxes
on the lips of a Spring,
breaths made visible
with Chi power,
meridian feelings,
no North poles
on the other ends…

Solstice mysteries,
boreal mélange
and infused potpourris,
we twirl with Druid feet
and sing our footprints’ song.

During all our 27 glacial years
in front of each winter I knelt,
all monochrome seasons were bundled
and veiled each midnight sky
with Mercurian hands
and Venusian dreams,
traced your smile
between Neptune and Jupiter
with thousands of hellos
and millions of welcoming good-byes!

During all of our 16 eternities together,
LOVE kept growing exponentially,
with realities colliding in poetic holograms
devising the infinitude of the Infinite.

Roots - by Letitia Jiju (Photo by Peter Hershey)Photo credit: Peter Hershey


By Letitia Jiju

Long before adolescence had bit into my flesh
and then gradually
over the years sank its teeth into my soul

           –  sly predator  –

I had a fondness for mangoes from Kottayam.
The kind that swayed in the dull moist wind
on a tree whose roots seemed ethereal.

My grandfather seemed to know exactly when
the mangoes were to break away from their
temporary attachments.
He could never make such premonitions
about his own children.
he often cites this as one of his failures
and even if he doesn’t articulate it,
I know this.
He would quickly climb a ladder,
pluck each wobbly young mango
one by one
and hand them to me.

My grandmother would peel their skin
slice them into cubes and feed me.
She’s partially deaf now,
the other part, she pretends most of it.
Her selective hearing is her disposition,
not from aging or peeling away mango skins
or her children.
She wears it like a cloak at nights,
walks the hallways,
a captive in her own home,
steals short-lived glances of her grandchildren asleep.

           –  the crickets can hear her  –

                   –  they always do  –

Silence has settled into this house
the way a dying moth rests its cold wings.
The mango tree was cut years after the moth had died.
I cannot look at my grandfather,
his hunched back, protruding belly
as if he stomachs his loss.

My grandmother’s mouth breaks into the saddest smile
and I pray that I ‘d never have to see it again.
Her detergent hands cup my face
and I smell the mangoes
and I hear the crickets
and I see the dying moth
and I wonder if my lineage is of inherited ghosts.

Our Daisies - by Laith Bilal (Photo by Cole Hutson)Photo credit: Cole Hutson

Our Daisies

By Laith Bilal

These kisses you feed me,
they water my mouth no more.

These dancing shoes you brought me,
They only made my feet sore.

Ungratefully, you swallowed every rose I had to offer,
As each lung of mine had a garden in store.

Soaking our daisies with pouring uncertainty,
Forsaking its pure, lingering scent of amour

Feet - by Kaya  (Photo by Kaya).jpgPhoto credit: Kaya (Kavyaa Suryaa)


By Kaya (Kavyaa Suryaa)

I could feel the tension
I could feel all the blood in me
settling to the bottom, within my feet
my feet, now red, under pressure
pulling me down, I could not seem
to fight the weight that was
pulling me down, down and down

my feet now full, now red, like a bucket
full of water, ready to spill, ready to give way
my feet now ready to burst and set free
the tensed blood for once and for all

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
Edition XVI
Edition XVII
Edition XVIII
Edition XIX
Edition XX