Edition XXXIV

October 2018

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An Ode to Breasts - by Malda Smadi  (Photo by Malda Smadi).jpgPhoto credit: Malda Smadi

An Ode to Breasts

By Malda Smadi

As a child, I reimagined my flat chest with water balloons eager to become a woman.
And as I grew up, I understood that my breasts were small.
So I filled my t-shirts in with push-ups bras that felt more like body armor,
but later preferred the lightness of a B-cup.
Yet I still had to subdue their presence in front of men.
And then I started to worry about them sagging!
So I exercised the muscles in my chest.
Then my friend died of breast cancer at 23,
so I exercised self-examination on a monthly basis instead.
I thought of all the breasts that were deemed unattractive,
and my breasts didn’t matter anymore.
Except there was the part about intimacy and sexuality,
and maybe one day, motherhood.
But eventually, a pair your grandchildren will laugh at.
If you’re lucky.
And then surely, death.

Drift - by Faye Cuevas  (Photo by Jamal Saleh).jpgPhoto credit: Jamal Saleh


By Faye Cuevas

My back aches
an archipelago floating apart
my spine binds the days that had passed

If I were to tell you about geography,
there would be no map making
there would be just palms
of hands that we hold

I will remind you of childhood
of how we made cakes out of garden soil
and lofts of spiders in match boxes
of adolescence-
when pockets were empty yet life was so full.

We will trace where rivers bend and overflow,
where dams swell
so we would not cry at the sight of
sinking boats,

or houses

or children

I will help you remember prayers that we say
when our fathers come home late

or whenever the ground shakes

I will teach you how to listen
to the clamor
that is in the core of your heart
and to be forbearing every time it crumbles

I will sit beside you
as we watch how it splits
into the most beautiful continents
this life will never have.

Sin rumbo - by Monica Ortega  (Photo by Hakim El Haj).jpgPhoto credit: Hakim El Haj

Sin rumbo

By Monica Ortega

Creo que ya no te deseo ni en mis huesos.
Le dijo ella a él.
Y se fue dejándole solo.

Creo que ya no te deseo ni en mis huesos.
Y una lanza se clavó en su alma.
su pecho sangró y aparecieron rayos de color.

Creo que ya no te deseo ni en mis huesos.
Trozos de cuentos rotos.
Y el tren partió…..

Y él partió.

Ya no te deseo ni en mis huesos
Le dijo ella a él.
Y los rayos que salieron de su pecho,
Le iluminaron en su camino.

Y siguió.
Sin rumbo fijo.
Sin mirar atrás
Con el corazón de color.
Con la esperanza de encontrar un nuevo yo.

Memory Lane - By Divya Manocha  (Photo by Anita Jankovic).jpgPhoto credit: Anita Jankovic

Memory Lane

By Divya Manocha

All I had to do was retrace my steps
to walk down Memory Lane-
parallel to Remembrance Road
and a few miles off Conscience Coast

An open museum of familiarity,
a nightmare lacking any clarity,
an exhibit displaying moving images
of yours truly through her ages.
Some were complete and painted clear
others obsolete, with just a smear

The gallery walls were interrupted
every time a gap erupted.
A void formed when I forget,
when my memory bank’s in deep debt.
The wall-hooks are still strung
for more paintings to be hung

The colors that bring the paintings to life
are none other than love, hope and strife
and the window lighting flickers
every time my memory bickers
about what was and was not
remembered and forgot.

I search for the museum’s curator,
but it isn’t until very much later
when I was really shocked to see
that she introduced herself as ‘Me’

Stop Spinning - by Eve Thomas  (Photo by Hakim El Haj).jpgPhoto credit: Hakim El Haj

Stop Spinning

By Eve Thomas

What if we stopped? 
This world we’ve created 
for ourselves, what if we stopped spinning 
in circles, and we stopped making these blunders 
and for a second, lay under 
the stars and just speak?
What if all of the chaos we managed to fabricate 
would dissipate 
and all we would have is each other? I want a moment, 
where you and I must come to this. 
A moment in time, that allows me to have 
one last night of your laugh,
your touch
and everything that lies in between the lines of
love and lust. 
I need us 
to belong to each other 
for one more night, under a cover
of the moon; I want to see the stars in your eyes
and forget the memories that distinguish what made “together”
as far apart and heavy as, “we’re over.” What if our world ceased to spin? 
I would let you in 
just for a few hours, so I could be held by you.

Magnolia - By Namal Siddiqui (Photo by Annie Spratt).jpgPhoto credit: Annie Spratt


By Namal Siddiqui

here, within the girth of evergreen pine trees
is a garden of magnolias.
Captivated I stand, like a swarm of bees

stung the earth of my skin.
I see countless shades, pale and pink
to your demeanor akin.

This majestic magnolia embodies
the characteristics of your beautiful body;
what is apparent and what is within.

Wistful and wild; soliloquy of a wind chime.
Roots that reach out, to the earth, to the sky
a dazzle of your pink, ancient but survives.

I see the blue of the sky, peaking through
countless magnolias, pale and pink,
accounting for me. Natures debt I accrue!

How can I give back, what my eyes owe?
as I stare at the pale of your shoulders
and the pink of your cheekbones

here, within the girth of evergreen pine trees
in a garden of misty magnolias.

Starry Night - By Farah Abdul (Photo by Matt Dod)(1).jpgPhoto credit: Matt Dod

Starry Night

By Farah Abdul

Stars have never shone as bright as they are shining tonight.
Is it because they’re trying to compete with your eyes?
I could say that the whole world has stopped and is staring at you right now,
but I won’t allow them the privilege of looking at you, for on this starry night you are only my prize.

At times I question if we were truly destined to meet.
How could this Seraph with beauty no mortal can comprehend even love me?
Your presence emits a great deal of joy onto anything it comes near.
Maybe you are the heavens that we all fantasize about and your eyes hold the key.

As we rest on these vales, I proceed to count my blessings.
I count two hundred six for every bone you carry
and one thousand or more for everything I love about you.
Although this might be quite rash and airy, is it so wrong to ask if we could marry?

Rather than answering my question, you simply flick my forehead.
You then sing and soothe me to sleep as I take in your scent.
One would question what a flick on the forehead could mean.
As someone who makes many strange things sentimental, I smiled as I knew what that flick on the forehead meant.

The ecstasy I was infused with was beauty, it was exuberance, a conviction, perhaps even a blend.
I felt joy, I felt happiness, I felt it so passionately when-
When you said to me that we would not meet an end.

Whether the stars in our sky evidently die
whether you lose the qualities that I once loved so dearly.
For every part of you that you might lose
I’ll find ten more things to love about you.

For my happiness does not emanate from the idiosyncrasies that you possess
but from the warmth that radiates from your heart; nevertheless,
some may find gaiety in planting a tree and watching its leaves become coveted in mountain dew.
For others it may be staring at the sky that is so blue,
whereas I merely feel fortunate to be able to find my happiness in you.

I - We - by Henzo (Mahmoud Rashed)  (Photo by Hakim El Haj)(1).jpgPhoto credit: Hakim El Haj

I – We

By Henzo (Mahmoud Rashed)

I, for a better word to describe it
Am, for explanation
Where all the roads have met
When smiles, tears and fights lost meaning

I, bare naked and my back against the wall
Have, for memories not regret
Touched the sun that burnt my face
Called upon the morning in its beautiful blue gown

We, walked the path as it was drawn
Survived the dawn with the mystery it brings
Sailed the rivers and the seas
For love was once a destiny

In a world where all the wolves dressed in sheep
Truth is what I sought
Opened my wings towards the sky
For may I, say it once more;

I shall exert every breath for a better world
I will stare normal and comfort in the eye
Will carry the flag of life and love
Shall call the universe our own…

The Lullaby - by Rishika Jalali  (Photo by Peroculus).jpgPhoto credit: Peroculus

The Lullaby

By Rishika Jalali

from the soft hues of the mountains
comes the faint melody of a lullaby

the zephyr whispers a little secret
the birds sing about an aching heart nearby

as I wade through the calm waters
waiting for my tears to dry

the cold breeze filling my lungs
a whirlpool of grief echoing inside

I struggle to free my silver strands
entangled in the wind’s cold fingers

my thoughts are scattered over the pellucid surface
my wistful vision still moistened

and as I turn around to break away
from the songs that I hear from far away

a loud thump comes from within
a silent wail begs me to stay

the sky is now a deep indigo
the stars have merged with the heavens above

down below is the city of the heavenly mirage
where the lovers long for the moonlit love

everything now looks tranquil and sublime
the soft hues have faded away with time

and as my beating heart comes to rest
the melancholy overflows from within my chest

and the grief that was trapped deep inside;
echoes all around and in these mountains it resides. 

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 earlier editions in 2018:

Edition XXV
Edition XXVI
Edition XXVII
Edition XXVIII
Edition XXIX
Edition XXX
Edition XXXI
Edition XXXII
Edition XXXIII