Three Poems

Ghada Samman

A Rebellious Owl

Why do I write? Perhaps because my alphabet

Avenges itself against the oppressors

Who try to shine their shoes with my inkwell

And this blue wine that just spilled upon my paper

Seems to me the alphabet’s blood


Lisa Suhair Mujaj

In the Old City, grocers scoop rice and wheat
From huge burlap sacks, pour grain into deep brass scales,
measure anise and cardamom and thyme.

When sun slips into the pans it's swept up
without charge, the way you don't pay for the fragrance
of coffee, zaatar's bright swirl of sumac.

Not like the mass of sorrow 
weighting the air beneath the odor of cumin,
that tips the scales in every reckoning.

This poem appeared in Al Jadid, Vol. 3, no. 12 (October 1996)

Copyright (c) 1996 by Al Jadid

A Visit

Moayed al-Rawi

When sleep weighs heavy on my eyelids, every morning,
A mysterious bird comes to knock
on my closed windows and pulled down shutters

The Illusion

Moayed al-Rawi

The home we used to live in had become a cave

     smells like garlic

     covered with lime and dirt

The wind that enters our home is humid

     sticks to the body

     and the water is putrid, stinks, full of  poisonous  bubbles.

That's what you said to me


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