December 2020

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Photo credit: Farah Al Hajjar

My Cheat
Grandma’s Winter Closet

By Farah Al Hajjar

You eagerly waited to welcome the darkness in my hair
Darkness may be overwhelming but may also be the only thing that can contain you
A night that lasted a month, or two, I forgot really, but it was like a short century
Don’t you love the night?
It was a long good night for me

I breathlessly waited the madness in your hair
The waves that rushed to hit my shore before quickly disappearing in my hands, flipping me with my lungs striving short for air
It’s fascinating, I fainted.
Carrying lightning in your smiles and thunder in your laughs I woke up in the deep

But why shall it be this quick
And why am I in love with a storm
A passing one, that keeps on coming and then vanishing with every part of me

It wasn’t winter, it wasn’t cold
I stole a storm that was hidden between the clouds in grandma’s winter closet. I wasn’t supposed to get near.
“Cheater” the moon whispered from between
It was a very hot night, I was madly turning round naked
Picking and attracting dust

Didn’t know dust can hold hell whole galaxies with it.

Photo credit: Vinicius Muller


By Leen Mbarak

Floating limbs floating mind

Withered soul, crimson sky

Painted waves breaking over me

Over sea, under sea, eyes facing the heavenly

Hot against my skin, paper thin, peeling off painfully

Pain for me, unhindered internally

Eyes up, eyes up searching desperately

Blurry blurry fluid in the sockets mixing with the boiling sea

Rage rage waves break but no fire warming me

Numb and cold yet I float, hundred salt, bitter mold

Bitter breath, sour soul, paint on canvas over wood but under soil

Beauty of a smooth stone housing bone, housing brick,

Broken sticks fixing me, straightening my entity, holding me up-holding their expectations, anticipation to fall apart to part from them only partially

Just to breathe from under dirt, stacks of hurt Buried 6 feet near the core being dug with a bent spoon

Shriveled prune, in a grave, under the Midday moon

Too soon, too soon, gone with the waves, after noon

Of headaches, lone, aching bone

And here I float in burning water but no water melting rock, hard, unmoved, rough skin not scarred

Corrosion of life forming me, forcing me into conformity

This scarecrow is the product of their pressure and I am but fabric held on stick

Stick-Stuck inside the 4 by 4 walls sticking to the  paper rules on every wall

And the mirror with broken shards stabbing the reflection in the frame

Flame, flame! Flame on skin

I float on flame, insane, in pain, fish feeding on me, on what remains

Of me at sea, out of sight, out of reach, out of mind, out of hope, out of love, out of rope

To pull me back to the shore of normalcy,

Normally, I’d have swam back to my sanity

But I find that in my mind,

No sanity is left for me

Left of me, in the ocean, right of sea

East wind, homesick sailer swimming in their own melancholy

No compass in hand, no future planned

Mind unmanned, disobeying command,

I drifted willfully, will not fulfill their destiny

Floating limbs, drowning heart

Cannot stand on burning sand

Cannot float in boiling sea

Cannot sit, Cannot stand,

Cannot stand

The life of me.

Photo credit: Raamin Ka

Chaos is Well

By Valerie Younes

falling for a ticking bomb wasn’t in my plans

somehow hazard attracts me like a magnet

I couldn’t help but stand and stare

the way you got me into the fishnet of your basket

I never manifested change to show up

more of an entertainment if you ask me

from dusk till dawn we drank from the same cup

as we counted the stars till everything turned heavy

the paths we’re sharing might have a dead end

why look further than the horizon, just hold my hand

all of your concerns will be locked in my safe

and no tidal wave dares to get near this grave

I shared with you a very intimate moment

my temple was open for the one chosen

letting you explore somewhere that no one has been before

is what’s keeping me from building fences around my door

for you are so gentle yet unaware of it.

Photo credit: Rishi Deep

If I Told You My Story

By Lucia Sakr

If I told you my story,

Will you hear the brokenness in my voice
The sound of my heart shatter?

Will you hold my hand
Making me believe everything will get better?

Will you catch every tear
That ever drowned me in the lonely nights?

Will you guide me to the road
That leads to home holding me tight?

Will you fall into the hole of my sadness
A pain so deep you can’t reach the end?

Will you feel the greatness of this sorrow
Which the universe to me has sent?

Will you learn the meaning of this book
That contains my name as a title?

Will you see the sword I keep
To survive this war
This battle?
Will you discover all the mysteries
I’ve been hiding all along?

Will you kiss my forehead

Telling me I am strong and that I proved them wrong?

If I told you my story,

Will you understand?
Will you finally understand?
Why am I the way I am?

Thank you for reading Poetry! 

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