Edition XXXVI

December 2018

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The Healing - by Kasia Truscott (Photo by Cody Davis)Photo credit: Cody Davis

The Healing

By Kasia Truscott

i. January

Your words sing like fat pigeons sitting on telephone wires,
crooking the cables like the creases around my mouth.
Candles flicker on the little brown bodies that sit
naked and embarrassed on my cheeks.

Happy birthday…

to you…

There is only one thing I wish for.


ii. February

I haven’t yet taught my tongue to trace
the sticky shape of the question mark that lingers
in the back of my mouth like the stench
of rotting teeth.

Now every time I swallow,

there’s a lump in my throat.


iii. March

The ice melts and it gets colder.
This year it doesn’t snow.
My mother brings me a blanket
and a candle before she cries
herself to sleep.


iv. April

I remembered that stars only shine
because they’re dying.

I think I must be the galaxy.


v. May

I decided that I would paint my name
in cumulus colours across a sky that would bleed
at my fingertips, and then remembered that
I was just visiting.


vi. June

June taught me that if you undress
the summer months you get a euphemism
for depression instead of a metaphor for happiness.


vii. July

I am still trying to tell myself
that growing isn’t such a bad thing.


viii. August

The sky split open and kissed
my ink-spattered bruises,
my scuffed knees, my scraped elbows.
It was slow, floating in gentle waves,
little wet lifeboats in a dry sea.

The message was:


ix. September

I looked in the mirror
and recognised myself.
My eyes swam in colours
that I had never seen before.


x. October

The world really does
look bigger from up here.

I can’t explain how I feel,
but maybe I don’t have to.


xi. November

I smiled.
It was an old,
crumpled copy.
But I smiled.


xii. December

The rain came to visit for a final time,
soft and sweet beneath a glowing streetlamp.

The water, the light; a golden flower,
an echo of life bursting into the night.

I am both Dark and Beautiful - by Erin Thomas (Photo by Aashish R Gautam)Photo credit: Aashish R. Gautam

I am both Dark & Beautiful
“because we are more than the color of our skin”

By Erin Thomas

We are more than the shades that

color pallets run out of

The dusky wheat ready for harvest

The color and aroma of tea

The hew of mahogany and teak

Powdered sandalwood

The sands of Arabia that sweep across the land

The coffee beans and wheat grains –

that flows from the farmer’s hands

We are nature in its contrast and ray

We are Earth’s shade in its grace

like olive clives set across lands

it is time we embrace every skin and shade.

My Head is a Forest - by Nathalia Khawand (Photo by Bryan Minear)Photo credit: Bryan Minear

My Head is a Forest

By Nathalia Khawand

my head
is a forest

colored ink
drips down
from black leaves,
painting the ground
just below
where broken sentences
craving to find
a continuation,
to be spoken.

my head
is a forest

where roots
remain buried,
thirsty for air,
yet unable to reach it,
choking on
colored words
and the idea
of being forgotten

my head
is a forest

where thoughts,
and nuances
connecting with each other,
lost within
the mess
of unconsciousness

the mess
of oneself

my head
is a forest

where light
is broken
into streaks
and strides
and words
broken into
of myself,
pieces that I am trying to put back together.

my head
is a forest

- by Asmaa Kadry (Photo by Kunj Parekh) المصور كنج باريخ


بقلم أسماء قدري

طلّع البدوي الي فيك
و سيبه على حاله
إوعى تغيّره
خليه يقول الشعر
يرسم طريقك ع الرمال
يلم خلجاته ويرحل في الخيال
ويجيب من حيث لا تدري درر
أفكار وشاردة بانتظار القنص

طلّع البدوي الي فيك
على حالته مجنون
حاول تتخيّله
خليه يعبّر عن خبايا الكون
ويلاقي كنزك المدفون
اسمح له انه ينطلق
يصطاد م البراري فنون
يكتشف أرضه الجديدة
يصنع اليوم من رماد الأمس

طلّع البدوي الي فيك
واسمح له انه يجول
خليه يغيب في المغيب
ويواجه المجهول
ماتخافش مش هيتوه
ولا هيلاقيه الغول
خليه يجيب م الغياب حواديت
تغزل حكم
والحكمة ضالة العقول
هيعود في يوم منصور
واثق ومش مغرور
زي الأمل شايل شروق الشمس

Promise - by Nabeeha Zafar (Photo by Brandon Wong)Photo credit: Brandon Wong


By Nabeeha Zafar

I cannot take your pain away, oh you confused child!
I feel its heaviness breaking you
from clinging on to the little hopes and dreams
that still fester in you.

I see you keeping a happy face, oh you brave child!
You just can’t let it crack through your skin can you?
I wish I could validate your pain
so you would break down and I could heal you.

You ask
How do we make sense of this utter darkness
when we are so scared of it?

I answer
When the time comes and you are ready
But can you make this one promise?

Where you walk into your fears?

To get lost in this meaningless abyss of boundaries
to find that one link that breaks you out to glory.
When it all comes out jumbled up, confused, broken
and you see the facade of what the future holds for you.

Go on and throw a brick of rebellion…it’ll go right through
where you can bask in the sunlit happiness of the present
where the door left behind is a forgotten story
where what lies ahead is yet to be seen
where your tears stream down your face
and you feel a relief
leaving your heart open to receive
and now…
all that you wished for must come true

This I promise you child.

Destination - by John Gbenga (Photo by Brandon Wong)Photo credit: Brandon Wong


By John Gbenga

Where do I belong

Here or there?

The swift-moving world of

endless possibilities

where my weathered skills

found a niche, recoiled

and recast into a finesse

basking with fulfilling flames

Or the home I left behind

that I always miss dearly,

priding itself as the womb

that gave birth to the skills;

then dumped them into a population that

never valued the usefulness

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
Edition XXXIV
Edition XXXV