Edition XXVII

March 2018

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Silent Witness - by Divya Manocha (Photo by Ajmal Cholakkal)Photo credit: Ajmal Cholakkal

Silent Witness

By Divya Manocha

The voice is an instrument-
An instrument of change-
Instrumental to change.

A balloon, inflated with opinion
now deflated by societal dominion.
No longer free to express
neither to the people, nor to the press.
Only free to watch mankind regress.

There’s been a drought on my tongue
for not a word has been said or sung.
Sweat saliva needs to flood
to satiate the rage in my blood
for a sound that will sound the alarms of society
an alarm to wake from impropriety. 

My true colours expressed by speech
now begin to bleach.
Rust is now the only colour-
the colour of my voice box.
That which produced words of steel
has fallen prey to the clocks.

It’s a loudspeaker put to mute 
Virtually of no use
Truth has blown a fuse
Now fake news is no new news
there are too few of the true views.

In a society where walls crumble 
if only I could spare a mumble:

Gozum - by Henzo (Mahmoud Rashed) (Photo by Luke Brasswell)Photo credit: Luke Brasswell 


By Henzo (Mahmoud Rashed)

I know these pair of eyes, I have seen them somewhere before
For they’re our eyes that tell our story
Stretched when we smile, tighter when we fake it

I got lost in them years ago, as deep as a moonless night sky
Found no clue to follow, returned back asking for more
Pour your emotions in them; nothing here to hide

Gaze into mine once more, do you see the child in me?
Curious about this world, longing for another chance,
Raising more questions about life, the stars, our hearts,

Inquisitive yet innocent, left to the old man I have become
I’ll be back in your eyes
I’ll read your soul through them,
Shall be drunk in your tales…

Broken Radio - by Namal Siddiqui (Photo by Duaa Alaamer)Photo credit: Duaa Alaamer

Broken Radio

By Namal Siddiqui

You’re like a broken radio

Inhibiting my thoughts with all the static and muffled voices

I am trying to hear you out

But you don’t say much

Rather you don’t say it right at the right time

I know you’re broken and I shouldn’t expect perfection

But I am flawed too

What happens when I am broken

When I need your voice to speak for mine

When these burgeoning thoughts are waiting to burst off of my head

Who is to blame when we are both broken

And we just don’t do right at the right time.

Not Yours and Not Mine - by Razan El Zubair (Photo by Jamal Saleh)Photo credit: Jamal Saleh

Not Yours and Not Mine

By Razan El Zubair

I keep forgetting
I am not yours and you are not mine.

I keep thinking
this has to be it,
this has to be what fairy tales tell,
this has to be a silver screen feature.

But surely I have to be mistaken
for I keep finding myself saying
I am not yours and you are not mine.

Why then…

why do your tears fall to rest on my palms
why does comfort lie between my lips
between my arms
with your head over my chest?

Mimicking the winds and time passing through ruins
you leave me with jagged edges every time.
With every I miss you. With every I need you.
With every smile from across a crowded table.
I have to remind myself
I am not yours and you are not mine.

So I try not to love you,
but without a thought you say let’s go home.
And a look on your face tells me
home has to be somewhere in the distance between you and me
for we have no home to call ours
yet at a doorstep you want to leave me
but still stay with a hand holding mine;

A game for fools you play with my mind
and as you stand in front of me
while you take a love tailored only for you
I whisper to myself

I am not yours and you are not mine.

The Sisters - by Enesa Mahmic (Photo by Pablo Heimplatz)Photo credit: Pablo Heimplatz

The Sisters

By Enesa Mahmic

This is a poem for an Ethiopian woman
who sells fake Prada in the Italian streets
on a cardboard
Her 2-year-old son is asleep beside her legs
Otherness / Othering / Andersartigkeit
She has a large furrow on her cheek
      – Sharp blade, jealous partner
I saw fear in her eyes,
she is afraid of the police, afraid of the inspection
her eyes slip like otter
Right. Left. Right. Left
Right. Right. Right

This is a poem for a teenage girl who is wearing a T-shirt:
Feminism is a radical notion that women are people.
Girl, I see your insecurity

I understand your anger

This is a poem for a Pakistani woman
who has been raped just because
she wore a short skirt;
for a woman who has been punished for disobedience.

This is a poem for women’s daily struggles.

Photo credit: Rasha Darra


By Rasha Darra

Is that really a wilted rose?
Stuck in its own dose,
with no one to help it form and
no one to save it from its own
life that teeters on the brink of salvation,
playing a desperate line between here and
the unknown.

It falls but is unheard in that deep hole
that lies between truth and falsifications.
Will it ever come back to its past form
of vigor and innocent observation?

Could it ever shift from an end to a means of beginning?
That wilted rose I ask again,
“will you ever come back to me?”
I whisper through the broken petals laid down at my feet,
the shattered sorrows lying all around me
I whisper, so low the wind fails to catch it:
“Come back to me…”

We Were Young - by Laith Bilal (Photo by Yara a.k.a. Peroculus)Photo credit: Peroculus

We Were Young

By Laith Bilal

We were young-
smoking roses,
bleeding cigarettes.

We were young-
dreaming, hopeless,
playing mute cassettes.

We were young-
perhaps too young
to ever understand
that life is one alluring lady
with every kind of demand.

We were young-
perhaps too young
to ever understand
that this stage we staunchly stood upon,
trembling, was a bit too grand.

We were young-
and shall always be,
until the sky seems bland.

Pragmatism - by Sumaiya Inayat (Photo by Allan Filipe Santos Dias)Photo credit: Allan Filipe Santos Dias


By Sumaiya Inayat

And should our paths ever cross again
would you remember
the eyes that once mesmerized you
or would you
gaze down the heart that yearned for you
and gather what is left of it?

I say, my beloved, take it on your palm
and blow it away
like wisps of sand
on a stormy desert afternoon.
Let them scatter such
that they cannot be gathered
ever again
for that
is how my love was destined to be.

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.

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Dubai Poetics edition
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Enjoy more poems from our earlier editions in 2018:

Edition XXV
Edition XXVI