Edition XXVI

February 2018

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Selfless - by Maryam Al Bastaki (Photo by Alannah Bowes)Photo credit: Alannah Bowes


By Maryam Al Bastaki

I think a lot about how it feels to be
in your skin
when it doesn’t get the love it deserves from you.

I think about the way it holds things like emotions
for too long.

I think about your eyes
and what they look for when they see me;
is it my soul you are seeking
when you trace the words coming out of my lips with your fingers?
or is it my heart you are wishing to conquer
when you draw them with your careless gaze?

I think a lot about how it feels to be
in your skin;
to wake up in your bed,
wash your face,
look at you in the mirror and feel a certain way,
like changes need to be made.

I think a lot about how it feels to be
in your skin;
how you can nourish me with so much affection,
but cannot do the same to yourself.

Graveyard of Dreams - by Adel Awad (Photo by Hakim El Haj)
Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

Graveyard of Dreams

By Adel Awad

I wonder how many coffins I’ll need
For my graveyard of dreams
Scattered with withered roses
Colourless petals crumbled cluelessly
Blunt thorns that poked one too many hopes

An eerie silence echoes
The buzz of a billion bees
Banished by broken promises
Where once a droplet of nectar
Oozed after a thousand attempts
Thirsty for tomorrow

Dreams awoken by countless sleepless nights
Only to be put to sleep for the rest of eternity
Rest they shall, beyond the unfortunate bed of life
Rest in peace, my dreams rest in pieces

Defeat - by Haroon Tahir (Photo by Felix Russell-Saw)Photo credit: Felix Russell-Saw


By Haroon Tahir

So if you think
playing the victim
will make you win

then I’ll happily
to your petty victories

If spewing hollow lies
will conceal
your countless sins

then I’ll gladly
take the burden
of your heaving guilt

On The Topic of Love - by Maya Kaabour (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

On The Topic of Love

By Maya Kaabour

There is no good love or bad love
No right love or wrong love
Maybe short loves and long loves
Or love that isn’t great with timing.

Love that rings your doorbell
when you’re not home
or arrives too late
long after the guests have left
and the tea has gone cold
and the cookies have crumbled.

There’s the “I wish I did things better” kind of love,
and the “I remember you when John Mayer appears on shuffle”
kind of love,
and the “You remind me of my mother” kind of love.

Some loves grant you your first kiss
in seventh grade.
Those ones play in your head on repeat.
A reminder of when things were simpler
and life was sweet.

Some loves lose 30 pounds,
grow a beard, and move to
to forget you.

Some loves belong to different
religions so they never agree
on a wedding venue.

Some loves can’t speak to each other –
They get lost in the clutter.
So they morph into silent letters
and hide in words –
always written but never uttered.

Some loves are half loves,
some loves are not loves,
some loves are really hates.
Some loves turn out to be lusts
so they never really ache.

Some loves stay in the closet
playing hide and seek,
waiting for someone to find them –
waiting for someone to remind them –
that everything’s going to be okay.

Some loves are young loves,
they always want to play games.
Some loves abandon their lovers
long before they’ve gotten a name.

Some loves are monstrous loves,
they hide under your bed.
Some loves remain unrequited,
so they fuck with your head.

Some loves light up like
fireflies in glass jars –
Some loves are too shy to
buy you a drink at the bar.

Sometimes new loves start
looking like old loves…

But the ones I find the most intriguing
are the loves that stay
long after they have left:
Their unused tooth-brush a solemn reminder –
The weight of their missing bodies,
an elephant in your bed.

But some love is always better
than no love.

Welcome it with open arms.
Listen to the pebbles being
thrown at your window.

Let it break you.
Let it take you.

The heart is a muscle we forget to exercise often.

Can We - by Noren (Tirtho Banerjee) (Photo by DJ)Photo credit: DJ

Can We?

By Noren

Can our adult hearts stay apolitical
with leanings injected into our babyish blood?

Can our undying souls be spiritual
with distorted interpretations of religion swaying our faith?

Can we really love with that selfless devotion
when building a wall of ego is deemed as strength?

Can we want less and still be at peace
while greediness branches its roots into our psyche?

Can fame teach us a lesson in modesty
as it slips out of the hand? 

Can we feel the thrill in beauty
as we try to outsmart nature with ugly means?

Can loneliness become solitude
which doesn’t cage us, but liberates?

Can the truth of an emotion be unveiled
amid hypocrisy of all those masked words?

Can we live a moment of glory
without thinking about the end of an eternity?

The Thoughts of Painted Skin - by Haya Venna 2 (Photo by Cherry Laithang)Photo credit: Cherry Laithang 

The Thoughts of Painted Skin

By Haya Venna 2

A storm was brewing inside me,
a storm that had a name.
With dark eyes and dark thoughts,
every synonymous had thought the same. 

With a reflection of a caring mind,
masked to the brim with opinions so olden.
Oh what irony it was,
to call the judgemental heart golden. 

All that was talked about were diamonds on my tainted neck,
from the richest places to an even richer atmosphere.
You could only be tied to someone,
any rich one from the same part of the sphere.

No goads to my un-clever opinions,
my education being a secondary concern.
She’s a girl and therefore she belongs in the kitchen,
house chores is more important for her to learn.

An epiphany clouded my mind,
the only way out is to shine.
But how to do so when you’re a reject,
I better get somewhere before I’m back on their mind.

الحقيقة و السراب - by Alaa Abu Arshid (Photo by Ajmal Cholakkal)المصوّر أجمال شولاكال

بين الحقيقة و السراب

الشاعر علاء أبو ارشيد

نقفُ على قارعةِ الحياةِ كحجارةٍ  فارغةٍ لا تستطيعُ النهوض
نشعرُ باللاوجود .. دون اكتراث
لكننا محظوظون أننا ما زلنا نشعرُ بشيءٍ ما
نرى ضجيجَ الحياةِ رغمَ السكون
و للسكونِ هيبةٌ تعلو على الضجيج
..سكونٌ يتلبسُنا.. يُخدّرُنا
و يطعنُنا إذا ما حاولنا كسرَهُ بنفحةٍ من أمل
أصبحنا نشاهدُ أنفُسَنا من خلفِ الزجاج
لكنّه ممنوعٌ علينا الاقتراب
فالذي نراهُ هو صورةٌ محسنةٌ عن أنفسِنا
تكادُ تلامسُ خيوطَ المثالية
غير أنها ليست حقيقية
سراب .. لا شيءَ أكثرُ من سراب
نبحثُ فيهِ عن ذاتِنا التي ما عُدنا نذكُرُها
لعلنا نجدُ شكلاً آخرَ لواقِعنا الغريب
لعلَّ الحقيقةَ يصنعُها الخيال
!لعلَّ الحُلمَ يولدُ من جديد

Blame it on Rebellion - by Eve Thomas (Photo by Dina Al Bayed)Photo credit: Dina Sami

Blame it on Rebellion

By Eve Thomas

Blame it on rebellion.

The drinks, the cigarettes, the men,

blame it on a broken heart, that’s been stepped on, spat on,

denied and never loved on.

Blame it on the emptiness,

that was burned by flames of burden,

into my chest.

The drinks,

the chugs of sweet, sensual,


down a throat that’s been hurting,

crying. Alcohol that fills the empty holes in a heart,

that’s been hurting.

The cigarettes,

are symbols of the love I once lost,

the kind that messed it up

for the rest of them. A symbol for the man

that took out all the good in me,

smoked out my soul, and discarded me,

like his very last cigarette.

And the men explain themselves

as they come and go,

one by one, in and out the door.

الماليزية - by Omar Khodeir (Photo by Jared Erondu)المصوّر: جارِد إيروندو

الطائرة الماليزية

الشاعر عمر خضير

قطعت تذكرة في يوم عادي                       قلت أسافر الصين أشوف حالي
جمبي صيني وهندي واسترالي                  رسّام ومغني ودكتورة وقاضي
مضيفة وطيار                                      وكرسي فاضي
شايف وشوش بتضحك وإبتسامات             أطفال حلوة وألوان عصير في كوبيات
سامع موسيقى جميلة من سنة تمانين          وترحيب من الطائرة ثلاثمائة وسبعين

بس فجأة! الغيوم حل على الجموع              في ثانية! بقى في رهبة وخوف ودموع
ناس بتصرخ وناس بتدعي                       شنط بتقع وواحدة بتجري
مش مصدق اللي بيجرالي                        سيبت أهلي ومكانش في بالي
معقولة يكون ميعاد الموت جالي؟               معقولة خلاص حيتبدل حالي؟

في لحظة! الفروق راحت بين القاعدين        في لحظة! عرفنا كلنا اننا من طين
في لحظة القلوب ضعفت                         وبقينا خايفين

لا مال ولا جاه نافعنا                             وضعفنا وحزننا هو اللي جامعنا
كلنا عايزين نرجع بالزمان                      وبنعيط ونقول ياريت اللي جرا ما كان

ساعتها بس عرفنا                               ان كل حاجة ملهاش قيمة
وإن المؤمن إلّي فينا                             هو الوحيد اللي كسبان

It All Started with Hello - by Reham Yeshar (Photo by Nina Sharabati) (1)Photo credit: Nina Sharabati

It All Started with “Hello”

By Reham Yeshar

The sky blows warmth and twirls with a mixture of red and yellow

The envious sea rises from blue to sunset and reflects a sweet mellow

The land inhales the love you gave and exhales it to all hearts like a playing cello

A warmth that grows, a reflection of love, an endless song all started with “Hello”

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 poems from our first edition in 2018:

Edition XXV