Old familiar faces
of people I used to know
-scarred by war and cruelty-
pass by my memory,
I call their names
yearning for an embrace;
they will not look at me
but turn their heads away.


Abi (my father)

Abi, I miss you
where have you gone?
You sit in the chair near me
but it’s not you
an old man with white hair
and frail bones has taken your place
he tries to speak to me –
his lips quiver, he mumbles
his hands sit quietly by his side
when yours would have been
dancing in the air
moving to the music of your words

Till we meet again

Farewell my beloved home,
someday I will return
abode of my happiness – my dignity
solace of my white-haired years
sanctuary of my weary body
will my hand ever turn the key in your door again?
Will my bare feet walk in your fields
sinking into the cool soil once more?
Shall I find the carob tree standing strong
in defiance of the wild winds?
The roses I nurtured against the odds,
the jasmine fluttering in the breeze,
will they be there to welcome me?
the hoopoe at my window- will it remember me?
“I miss you! I miss you,” I cry
The knowing , the belonging
the beauty of the morning lights
the azure of the early nights
I am bereaved, I have lost my home
Uprooted and exiled,
how long must I wander?
How far must I roam?

Spare me

Don’t look at me like that
the pity in your eyes is telling
a fountain of emotional welling
save your brimming tears
for someone else
another person-another place
a different time-another space
glances, steel tipped lances
felling my dignity, spearing my defenses
drops of molten lava
petrifying my calm oasis
leave us alone
don’t intrude on our zone
in our misery /bravery
your zone, the zone of insanity
and prevailing inhumanity
a lexicon of abuse and hatred
pours insults on my head
invades my hearing
besieges my thought
a litany, a heavy ballad
recounting battles fought
thousands of years ago
a sad cacophony of cheers and jeers
as the victor is hailed, the loser derailed
the victor crowned
his name enshrined
carved in marble
etched, burnished
the loser left behind
hemmed in with barbed wire
needles drawing blood
gashing wounds flailed
choked by heating rage
vanquished to an empty page
with no title – no text
no description, no definition
shrunken to a fable
a folktale, a bedtime story
‘once upon a time we had a home’
reality mixed with fiction
a dose of poison inhaled
with every breath taken
from every breath exhaled
in a media production inspired
by a transgressor’s institution
a fellowship of political prostitution
that of ‘war the only option’
the enemy my brothers embraced
reduced my existence
to one word:

the year of sorrows

stretch out your hands to the aeons of time

grasp from them the year of sorrows

keep it within your palms

place it on your breast

feel the heartbeats of the dead

touch the blood that soaks the earth

feel its warmth

hear the cries of your brothers

feel their pain

the crush of death enfolds us

in its embrace we sink into the depth

of an endless night of shadows