Edition IV

April 2018

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Boundless - by Kate Toombs (Photo by Katelin Toombs)Photo credit: Kate Toombs


By Kate Toombs

the beauty and the suffering
the energetic exchange the seamless bond that’s always present if we just remain open.
the numbness that creeps in
separating ourselves.
a means to an end.
the humbling, to act from the heart; surrendering to truths deeply embedded in this existence.
the fire in us that moves us
new growth
intention flowing through all we do.
the grace
vulnerable acts leading fleeting glimmers of truth to absolution
giving each heartache new namesake.
reflecting each mistake
spiralling inward.
pushing against these waves
that crash so hard
tossing us into the depths
don’t fight don’t hold on so tight
trust this abyss
we are limitless.

Life of the Party - by Maya Kaabour (Photo by Michael Y)Photo credit: Michael Y

Life of the Party

By Maya Kaabour

You’ve always been the life of the party.

I’ve seen the sun smile at you,
on Saturday mornings.
As your women
hung over and wrecked
with crosses on their necks
waltz through streets
trying to find a ride back home.

Your green wooden window panes,
always left open.
Always left waiting.
A sign of hope.
As if something holy
or someone with a red cape on
would come
and save you.

I see it
I feel it
The pain
The terror
I see the bullets
That have pierced through your walls
Left you with nothing

Your anarchists
Your extremists
Your people
Your children
Are all fighting
Over a hit
of the fix you gave them.
Oh Beirut,
what have they done?

I see the clouds of smoke rising
I see your people left bare
with secrets to strip off
and hang on the laundry ropes
that fill your skies

The writings on your walls say it all.
You’ve lost your soul
You’ve lost your spark

You made the rules and then asked us to break them.
I’m not sure who to blame.
Or you.

You left me high and dry-
Lost in the alleys of your dark streets

I didn’t know who to blame.
So I asked around, Beirut.

I asked the men on motorcycles
who snatch purses from old women.
I asked your nine year old
gypsy beggars.
I asked your officers
and the teenagers in cellars,
who in another world could’ve been heroes or poets.
I asked your university students,
but they were too stoned to comprehend my questions.
High on a drug of complacency
High on a drug of nonchalance
High on a drug of compromise.





I asked your gods.
Your middle-men.
The pictures on the walls
of your many leaders.

I asked your fathers
Your rapists
Your artists
Your lawyers
Your educators

I even asked the old man pushing a cart of oranges in Hamra.

But nothing was to be found…

Not even a tad of sanity…
Not even a sense of security
You couldn’t give me that, could you?

Oh Beirut.
You’ve always been the life of the party.
But I’ve seen them frown at you,
when dawn breaks and you walk out on them
hung over and wrecked
with a cross around your neck
walking over shattered beer bottles…
trying to find a ride back home.

The Tunnel to Grace - by Omar Kayyal (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

The Tunnel to Grace

By Omar Kayyal

I set out to leave cement meadows,
flowered by familiar smells of Malboros,
offhanded looks of curiosity, tamed
by taught looks of judgement,

I set out to leave looking for darkness.
It lies beyond the boundless.
Reality and darkness are bridged by this skeleton.
Where the golden gate expands in the summer, and shrinks in the winter,
the tendons of this – chalk carrier of excess,
make rooms for bones that sweat and swell
in times of emotional duress,
tame taught bones from shrinking away with emotions run dry.
Dryness is an excellent mode of self preservation, but to it, there is owed no life.

I dig for the tunnel whose soil has no grains,
but is packed nonetheless.
The Soil lost Sand, because in darkness, there is no rain.
This tunnel lie behind a series of mazes,
all packed unto one another, to form the labyrinth
that is my mind. All these paths I know.
All these paths are mine. The sound which others use
to beckon me to their amuse,
may have held different phases, but once.
Otherwise however long I rewind,
however thin or thick a road,

When I dig a straight line,
in the soil of shadows,
I know I am so old.
My know, comes to me,
as does the cold, of the sandless soil, beneath.

I cannot dig anymore.
The shovel I wield is curled fingers, sore.
I know not where I go, and this gives me more.
Though I aim not to score, I feel pain whenever I enjoy,
the windless wind coming from the bottomless bottom,
to the side where I settle, for respite, from this crucial chore.

The tunnel I dig, digs me.
At its core.
An old man is releasing a wake-up-snore.
Better get back before I stir him. or her.
Snoring seems to power the universe.

Im smelling Malboros again.
A cigarette is put out,
as heel rubs cement.
Or is it a seed – for the flower of regret,
watered by a curious cloud,
needing the sun to come out.

Magic Trick - by Sara Houmani (Photo by Rob Potter)Photo credit: Rob Potter

Magic Trick

By Sara Houmani

You challenge me
To Arouse you
With a 3 word story
In exchange of Magic
I whisper
‘You arouse Me’
Tell a Man
He Can
& He’s all yours
To Juggle with.

The Womb - by Elie Harfouch (Photo by Jamal Saleh)Photo credit: Jamal Saleh

The Womb

By Elie Harfouch

It’s in moments like these
where the universe is revealed
I find myself wandering the infinite land
searching for a lover and a friend

The moments of peace
where freedom is revealed
tales of Gods and Goddesses

New music; my last hope
my first trip away from home
I am me! can’t you see?
I’m real not a normal human
I’m just meat

Why am I here?
dazed chasing desires and dreams
I could shake the ground beneath your feet
but things don’t look always as they seem

Let’s sail this ship to escape our past
Sins that killed the innocence while the demons laughed

It’s in moments like these I fly high and dance with the stars
where I’m back to the womb

but for others it’s just the tomb.

Sods of Sodomy - by Hanna Yazbeck (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

Sods of Sodomy

By Hanna Yazbeck

I, Stuck in the abominable haze
of a tumbling crowd, empty hands I graze
of passers-by and lick their inner throats,
Alas, not awry, so sudden to go dry.

Suddenly I saw the sod only,
The Earth had lain down to cry,
Lonely lamentations lying on lanes, lying to each other long
on the longitudinal leniency of lyrical lines of poetry.

But beneath the earth the snake was sliding,
Seven miles circling the
hellish Circus.
Clowns, bearded ladies, homosexuals, wire walkers,
a lot of brandy, rum for the balancing act,
and a lady.

A Lady,
alone in the dim light of the back room rehearsing her routine, her black gown a fictive illusion deluding you that she is real. You want to touch her and she dances. The snake slithers. Her stockings separate and curve. She is the soul of the Circus. The dim light is warm, reflecting on her bronze skin. The wings of her eyes flutter sensuously down to her loose lips, and send you in a trance of reaching, reaching… . Come closer, insert your 20$ bill in the crack of her gown. Come! Let your eyes stray on the curve of her bended buttocks benumbing you into being, as you graze her full breasts with the tip of your fingers. Do you feel alive? You are dead. Let her infuse you with life. Let her help you find God. Insert your 20$ bill. Can you feel your fingers graze the top of her milky skin? Picture yourself falling in the crack of her pointy breasts, down, down… till you reach the warmth of her lips. Wet Warm leaking liquid lips; the sanctuary of her legs. Her legs are long; seven miles.
Her legs are lonely lamentations,
longitudinal leniency,
lyrical lines of poetry.
Her legs are spread lanes for you to lie on, to lie to…
Sodom and Gomorrah,
Sods of sodomy the Earth laid down,
Mass hysteria!
The Clowns laugh,
The knife throwers chop each other’s heads,
The Clowns laugh,
The jugglers giggle gaily juggling the empty jugs of human heads,
The Clowns laugh,
The homosexual disease descends upon the Victorian women in the crowd,
The Clowns laugh,
The patriarch wire walker hangs himself from his own wire,
The Clowns laugh,
The drunk woman from the balancing act climbs, spreads her legs and loses her virginity to the stiff dead cock of the hanging man,
The Director in the last row masturbates to the revelation of his creation,
Little children crawl out of the virgin woman’s entrails,
The crowd screams in bewilderment,
The clowns laugh,
Men kill the children and cook them in the saucy blood of the virgin –
Feed the masses!
Five loaves of bread and two fish heads!
The crowd bows down in worship.
The Clowns laugh,
The Director orgasms and the Great Flood drowns the theatre!

A hush came over the lanes of the land;
the longitudinal lyrical lines of the seats,
The poet slept in the back gratified,
waiting for his seeds to sprout, In the distance could be heard
the faint memory of poetry –
Two clowns were laughing.

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 
Beirut Poetics edition
send your poem or request to be a “visual artist” to poetry@beirutpoetics.com

Join us again in our Poetryhood!!

You can check out our earlier editions of 2018 here:

Edition I
Edition II
Edition III