Photo credit: Fatima Al Nabouda
By Reem Waleed
There once was a girl that lived in blues
She went through life broken and lost
Never able to find her muse
With her heart on her sleeve and her trust an easy win
No one tried to uncover
The pain she hid within
Time and time again they broke her spirit
Gone was her faith in the world
Instead she began to fear it
This black or white world was too much to handle
She was an everlasting flame
But they kept trying to blow the candle
The ocean was calling her to drown her soul
“Freeze your heart,” it beckoned
“Give up what they stole”
Amidst the unforgiving waves in the deep blue sea
She had a last hopeful thought
As if God himself had heard her plea
Looking up at the sky expecting the same old blue
She never would have believed
The spectrum of nuance now in her view
Lightening and rain and hail and thunder
An explosion of greys
Bellowing at her, “do not surrender”
Do not let them take what they do not deserve
Do not let them speak when you said to observe
Do not bare your soul to anyone who asks
Do not let them fool you with their painted masks
Do not lose sight of those who truly matter
Do not forget
They will be there even if you shatter
تصوير آنا جان
أحب، فأكون، فأملك
بقلم أسما زاروق
ما يكون لي أن أحب ما ليس لي بحق؟
.إن كنت قد أحببتك فقد أحببتني
.إنما الحب هو قلم شاعر يخط حروف التغيير بحبر نووي وكنت تكتبين أني الأفضل
ما يكون لي أن أكون ما ليس لي بحق؟
.إن كنت الأفضل في حبك فقد علمته
.إنما حبي هو تسبيح في أرض عينيك وليس لي من حق فيه ولا في الحكم عليه
.يقال أن الأفضل هو الذي يدخل سرك الحياة وينجح
.وقد دخلت سرك حبك ونجحت. وماذا عن الحياة؟ ماذا عن حبك؟ إن لم أملك عيناك فلا ربحت ولا خسرت
ما يكون لي أن أملك ما ليس لي بحق؟
.إن كنت قد ملكت عيناك فقد علمته
.إنما بالحب تملكتني الأشياء ورفعتني حيث أشاء
وعدت من الفلك لا أدري أملكت عيناك أم السماء
Photo credit: Omar Kayyal
By Omar Kayyal
Organic material spreads thin.
A truck driver crosses distances
fueled by his children’s growing,
in his absence. This hole is semi-
filled with smiling photos, cursory
voicenotes – with journal entry updates
Like “I’ve decided to study computing,”
and “Today I let myself cry. No other
emotion or positive notion fit to describe
my experience.” In viewing their life,
from so far, each destination – to deliver
parts for cars, the new iPhone, the latest sensation,
becomes an abscess, black and
swelled with missing, love, and emptiness.
Its center of mass is him,
Sipping a stale diner black coffee cup,
washing down the dissolving glazed donut,
looking on the buzzing roadside horizon.
Organic material spreads thin,
and the map of this truckers journey
becomes a pelt of leopard skin.
The more he drives
the more it becomes authentic leopard skin.
The holes grow darker, and the skin ever more thin.
The times are changing.
Soon empty trucks driven by
will carpet the horizon.
Finely crafted leopard pelt
weaved with missing, love, and emptiness
will be replaced,
By the skin of an ocelot-
Sewed together by the automata.
They’re the same but so different.
Organic material spreads thin.
And soon the booths in diners
Perhaps we need to take stock
of what can be made at home
when truckers return, riddled with holes
primed to be filled.
Photo credit: Valeriia Bugaiova
By Leyann Smili
Morning and evening I bow;
I love you, I love you, I utter.
Maybe saying it enough, I’ll eventually
And I’ll breathe through,
And I’ll breathe with.
I’ll take my first breath.
Photo credit: Debby Hudson
The Man Who Stood in the Court of his Lord
What if this time God just stared and watched,
a moment where the fate was decided and destiny had no role to play
The ink dried up
The sun set below the horizon never seeming to rise
The flame of the lantern lost in darkness
What if this time hope was lost, where kindness and humility were nowhere to be found
Feet too broken to carry on the journey
Shoulders out of strength to carry the responsibility
Head too lowered down to be raised high in pride and respect
What if the stars died in the struggle of fighting their own destiny,
not accepting their fate, diminishing within the very belief of free will
Would you have given up?
Would you have stopped fighting?
Would you have stopped living?
For this man still believes that his lord created him with purpose
That though it was created from mere soil,
it was given the spirit to fight and rewrite destiny itself,
it was made out of belief, Love and purity,
it had the spirit to fight
for writing a journey filled with struggles and rejection
For this very creation played the roles of Master and slave,
the very creation that was loved and hated
that was Supported and rejected
that was Accepted and denied
It waits the day it stands in the court of his lord amongst the angels and other
taking his rank, his destiny, his right, his title
as the greatest creation that was ever made
What if this time it made even God come to earth and ask him ‘oh my creation what
is it that you desire?’
and the answer to this question
would be an answer filled with
and most of all Gratitude for what it was given.
Photo credit: Clément M.
By Omar Hassoun
She was as pleasant to look at as the forest,
her smile was like the warmth of the autumn colors,
her eyes reflected
the kindness the sun irradiates to nourish all life.
She controlled the weather,
The sun was shining to make all colors
complement her beautiful dress,
the flowers covered her body like blooming blossom trees,
the fabric accentuated her curves,
she had the right balance of everything.
Her will was great enough to mold the future,
burn misery into ashes,
reduce fear into courage,
she has control over all life.
Next to her,
god was nothing but a mere spectator.
With her delicate hands she decided the cycle of life and death,
She was immune to mankind’s mischiefs.
No matter how big or strong
she always remained unaffected.
She was observant and studious,
she knew that any change in temperature,
any displacement of any creature,
any difference in air composition
could kill one of her precious pets.
That’s why she valued information,
her rigorous time studying reflected
her love, care and kindness for life.
To her, information was a weapon
to protect herself and everyone around her.
She was a Goddess,
She was Mother Nature.
Check out our previous edition from 2019: