By S. K
Fri, 11, 23

Just pour some more water and swallow your misery ... Nothing should give it away ...



Let’s give the earth sufficient time to recite

the whole truth ...

The whole truth about us.

The whole truth about you.

In tombs you build

the dead lie sleeping.

Over bridges you

file the newly slain.

There are spirits who light up the night like fireflies.

There are spirits who come at dawn to sip tea with you,

as peaceful as the day your guns mowed them down.

O, you who are guests in our land,

please leave a few chairs empty

for your hosts to sit and ponder

the conditions for peace

in your treaty with the dead.

Excerpt from “Speech of the Red Indian”

by Mahmoud Darwish

loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Snowflakes and silence

By Abid Agha

A cup of coffee sits before me,

Dark and aromatic foam on top,

But the chair across from me remains empty.

Soft notes of Kenny G play gently,

Stirring emotions, leaving me lonely.

December’s cold gusts blow outside,

Snowflakes fall, covering the street,

Tapping against the café’s window,

Blurring the glow of swinging street lamps,

Creating a smoky, dampened scene.

Suddenly, I recall your words,

You once said, as December gusts blow,

When snowflakes kiss your face, fast and slow,

Wait for me at Café Prague,

I shall return,

Join me for a cup of coffee,

Feel the gentle touch of snowflakes.

The wind howls, the snowflakes dance,

Pounding against the restaurant’s glass,

But you don’t appear, the chair is bare,

My eyes locked on the doorway there,

Hope fading with each passing glance.

Picture perfect

By Amna Ameer

The plates are always placed in sets

The quarter on the right

And the deep dish on the left

Each spoon and fork

Must be no less than a dozen

The food must be simmering

And the bread must be round

The whole table should be spotless

And there shouldn’t be a scratch

All smiles should be present

And all pleasantries queued

It should all be picture perfect

No tear should leave a trace

No worry should surface

The ones that are forbidden to speak

Should be left for the gate keepers to keep

The truth must never be seeked

Under the rug must lay every insecurity

There’s no place to talk about hypocrisy

Just pour some more water and swallow your misery

Nothing should give it away

How you’ve wanted to leave this place

But you see death approaching

And you watch its shadow lurking

So you see what is happening

The garden has been ambushed

And no flower buds here

The one who stays must let go of feelings

Only then can they keep this image alive

No one will dry your tears

Or wonder why when they mention death

You no longer cry

Compiled by SK