Edition IX

September 2018

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Better Perspective - by Sara Houmani (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

Better Perspective

By Sara Houmani

Oh I’m knockin’
On a door
But it sure
As hell
Ain’t heaven’s.
I locked
Myself out
My house
This time
I’ll get a
Better perspective
Of the home
I’m building
With another
I hope,
I just hope
By the time
He finds the keys
I’d have
Snapped out
Of you
For good.

You and Me - by Saja Radi (Photo by Mary Helna)Photo credit: Mary Helna

You and Me

By Saja Radi

Not out of love
Not in love either
Delving in sorrow, I sit
For you – no longer than I
Can lust at the sky
Watching as life passes by
Together, through the glass window
The black and white
You nor I wish to suit
So in the cold light of noon
We sit in the in between
Exposed or in cladestine
Staring at the blue

The Last Time - by Hanna Abi Akl (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

The Last Time

By Hanna Abi Akl

The last time I saw her
was when we sat together on the sidewalk
facing an old fixed-up church,
staring at the scratch marks on the wall

She held the universe in her eyes
and I held her in mine

Back then
the lines only came easy
when I was with or around her

Now I write
ground-shattering words
that break the Earth in half
and if I see her again…
if the next time I see her is the last time
I am sure
she will show up with that same smile,
those wandering eyes,
that free-flowing hair
and the little giggles in between

I am sure
I will greet her
like I have the first time;
with the same intrigue
we greet strangers
who unwillingly captivate our hearts

And the weakness that never dies,
the fear that stems from
the last time,
the last goodbye,
the last rotation of the Earth
will only harden and grow
until the next time,
the next giggle,
the next few lines

I write

about her.

Bacteria, the Virus - by Omar Kayyal  (Photo by Miachel Schiffer).jpgPhoto credit: Miachel Schiffer

Bacteria, the Virus

By Omar Kayyal

All I know is Bacteria.
Information is prioritized
by arbitrary criteria.
I am Omar. I am a son.
I am a brother. 
My ears pick things up,
that’s sonar. 
The plastic in this cup
was molded by oil
so that it wouldn’t turn back into soil.
That’s bad
because there’s only so much dirt
to go around.
That’s scarcity.
Not a city built on fear, 
that’s Pyong Yang
but a notion that things don’t last,
that life is a dial and time is falling sand.
That’s good because it makes life worth-while
and while Worth can be 
like in Scrabble the word “worth” is eleven; it’s made of five tiles
like Tesla’s dream to globalize the solar powered mile.
Worth can’t be qualified
because that’s intrinsic.

All I know is Bacteria
that a long time ago
decided: it’s time to split.
The divide made what we call
Good and Evil,
Evolution and Religion,
the Two State Solution,
World Wars and Technological Revolutions.
Darwin parted the ocean
between Moses and ancestors 
with a devotion to instinct.

Should the question,
The chicken or the egg
be directed at Darwin
-who is not the authority
on whether you agree.
He would answer:
The egg of some other unfit selection
decided to split, to mutate it’s DNA,
and it’s courage was rewarded, with the birth of the modern day chicken.

Courage is not being afraid to be afraid,
the mother of Bacteria
said to its child as she gave birth.
She was a Virus, the last of her kind;
her name was Truth
and in the absence of lies she had to die.
Before Bacteria, I know no other,
save for its mother. The mother of all wombs. She died giving birth.
Bacteria wanted to forget. Bacteria feared fear. It decided to split. 
All it could manage was two:
Half into fear half into courage.
Soon it divided into bytes and bits. 
Truth was relative. Trump was president.
Free will was threatened by the 0.01 percent of religious fundamentalists.

All I know is Bacteria, the virus.
I know we have the courage
to look in
and see truth.
Bacteria left it for us,
it’s the fear in us all.
We’ve inherited a chance
to meet the mother of all wombs.
We only need keep our eyes open
when closing them is what we would choose.

Can't Reason with Love - By Zeina El Hoss  (Photo by Ignacio Campo).jpgPhoto credit: Ignacio Campo

Can’t Reason with Love

By Zeina El-Hoss

I’m good at naming feelings
and noticing their signs
I can point out “anger”
when my face flashes
in every shade of red
Eyes protrude marking their targets
ready to fire on sight
Veins pop out
outgrowing my skin
like branches shooting upward
from my collar bone to my chin
But I can reason with anger
in a soothing attempt
to curb the lashings of my tongue
I pull out a deep breath from
the tip of my core
Anger can learn to calm itself 

I can point out “sadness”
and feel the dampness
of the pillows my heart has cried on
Wring the tears out of
every shirt in its closet
and hang it out to dry
Then vacuum its chamber
and dust off every memory
and open all the windows
so light and air can roam free
But I can reason with sadness
as I write eulogies and bid farewells
to my old self, to my lost self
and come to terms with heartbreaks
separations, disappointments
Slowly but surely
moving on is a skill I’ve mastered too well
Sadness can learn to find a way out of the black hole 

And though I can point out “love”
and feel the silky smoothness
of its velvety red cape
as it embraces my soul
hanging down to my soles
draping me with comfort
whispering sweet nothings and
empty promises written on papers
as proof of eternal confinement
“I will love you forever”
while forever has come and gone
and though I can see every illusion
glaring at me, like August’s sun
I still can’t reason with love
I can’t seem to convince it to leave
It keeps trashing my eviction notice
and I’m a naive landlord
for tolerating its worn out welcome
I can’t reason with love
and perhaps I don’t want to
tame it or break it or bend it to my will
Love can’t be reasoned with 
or coaxed into leaving
Only blindly accepted
and allowed to,
gently, violently,
wreak havoc in your heart and mind

Child & Evil - by Elie Harfouch (Photo by Hakim El Haj)Photo credit: Hakim El Haj

Child & Evil

By Elie Harfouch

In the land of a child
The angels hide
Hide from the evil
Hide from the demons.

In the land of a child
The beauty arise
No fear No labels
No sin No lies.

In the land of a child
The garden of lullabies
Mesmerized eyes
The mystical heart
The strangest art.

In the land of evil
The innocence lost
Caged by temptations
Devoted for lust.

In the land of evil
Looking for fame
Wanting the gain
Searching for love
The problems won’t be solved.

In the land of evil
Addicted to gold
Stuck on the dope
Bow to your Lord.

In the land of a Child and Evil I was trapped in between.

An innocent soul gone with the wind.

Falling with the rain
But the memories remain

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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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
Edition IV
Edition V
Edition VI
Edition VII
Edition VIII