Jan 14, 2018


Apathy is a painful indifference

A lack of caring that eats away at you like a swarm of ghost maggots

Like a tree that shed all its leaves in autumn, I woke up caring for nothing

I don’t belong to anything in this world, nothing belongs to me

I’m so far from everything

A Godless hell, a phantom guilt beyond wrongdoing and right doing

People, like lifeless mannequins, I expect nothing from

My heart, a locked cold damp basement, I’ve lost they key to

The dreams that once hung from my laden branches, ripe, and heavy

fell to the ground, bruised, worm infested apples

the memory of living for a dream lingers, a faint nostalgic scent

I wish my apathy would let me laugh, I wish it would make me cry

Instead of floating aimlessly in this emotional limbo,

A starless, moonless sky,

A sunless day,

A laborious, eventless week, without rest.  

Jan 4, 2018

On being sick

The illness starts small. A familiar aching in my bones and joints, the heavy, uneasy movements, the itchy scratchy feeling in my throat, a numbness in my ears and nose.

My temperature rises, the perpetual sneezing is so powerful, every sneeze shakes my whole body violently. My brain slowly turns into goo. I can’t focus on anything, my sight is hazy, as if I’m looking through several thick unwashed windows

Every step is a swaying clumsy effort. I throw myself in bed and surrender. This is exactly where the virus wants me to be. Here, it can attack me, fully, with zero resistance, it can take over me entirely. Rid me from all my energy, and vitality. And brutally, savagely torture me. I take two paracetamols at a time, hoping for some. kind. of. relief, any relief, temporary relief, but in vain.

An earsplitting alarm has gone off in my mind, screaming shrilly SHUT DOWN, COMPLETE SHUT DOWN, ALL SIGNALS AND FUNCTIONS OFF. My joints and bones turn into stone, there’s a vicious creature gnawing at my skin. I can’t feel comfortable no matter what position I’m in; I lie down, and feel like I’m being choked to death. I sit up, and crumble into pieces from the effort of trying to keep my head up. I try the fetal position, but there’s a rusty hand saw cutting through my back. The small of my back is being sawn-off my torso.

Under the cover everything in me is burning, a suffocating, oppressive heat. I pull the cover off, and I’m shivering, with cold sweat dripping off my forehead. I say something like please, my voice tiny and pathetic, and with two hundred rhinos pounding from my left ear, through my head, to my right ear. I can barely hear myself howl with pain.

My mind reels, unstoppable, vomiting images, like a poisoned stomach needing to empty itself clean. Painful memory, after lashing painful memory; remember this awful thing? Look at this dreaded memory. Oh! remember that? That was the worst. All I needed was for my mind to stop. To just be quiet, and stop remembering the most painful, most horrible things. But no! the fucker kept going! Picking at badly sewn wounds, throwing salt on throbbing cuts and bruises. I wondered why it hadn’t run out of fuel yet? Shouldn’t it be tired by now? Shouldn’t lack of food, and plenty of sedatives bring it to a halt?

The pain, almost a separate living thing now. Slithering like a fat snake inside my body, too big to crawl smoothly, it pushes my bones apart, destroying me on the inside, breaking everything in its way. My heart is a massive overworked, overheated machine, pulsing so fast, trying to keep up with the unimaginable damage. I want to hold on to some small hope, that the worst is over, but there’s no end in sight.

At this point breathing is an overwhelming effort. My eyelids will not stay open, but closing my eyes means seeing the most chaotic, most disturbing, most unbelievable (and yet believable) images, sounds, and scenes, my sick brain can conjure. I never knew how creative my mind can be, when churning-up so many different scenarios in which I die in the end. The classic falling off a cliff, the horrendous car accidents, the cobra bites, the dying of thirst in the wilderness of an endless desert.

On the third day, emptying a fourth box of tissues, I’m convinced that this is not simply a runny nose. No, it can’t be. A runny nose would have run dry by now. This incessant stream of nasal mucus, I became convinced, is my brain. It has deteriorated into this disgusting liquid, and is now coming out of my nose. Which also explains why I still don’t have any of my cognitive skills.

A final roar grips me. Like the ferocious arms of a Greek God, shaking me; Enough! Have you had enough? And throws my body, lifeless, like a slab of unformed clay, on the cold marble top of a pottery maker’s table. Neglected, and piled up.

My arms and legs are huge sleeping animals. Tired, and hardly breathing, as if after a long, and wild thrashing. I don’t want to move them, I don’t want to wake them. They will want me to do things, drink water, get out of bed, go to the toilet. And I just can’t.

I lie there, unmoving. Knowing that if I was by a seashore, I would let the waves take me, drag me away, into sea. Silently, gently be taken, and swallowed up entirely by the ocean. This is what I imagine the ocean to be. A God. A great God. When tranquil, and calm, the ocean is the most magnificent, most breathtaking vision. Unfathomable, mysterious and all knowing. But when angry and provoked, the dark, furious, rising waves, hurl a strong, healthy body against the black jagged rocks, break the skull, shatter the spine, and regurgitate tattered flesh, as flimsy as wet, torn up tissue paper, letting it silently wash up to shore, without apology, or regret.

I open my irritable, red rimmed eyes. Even the faintest light of dawn, coming through my bedroom curtain hurts them. I sigh. This new year feels so old.

Dec 26, 2017

عندما لا نستطيع التعبير عن ما يؤلمنا

أتتناثر في روحك الكلمات؟ كالأوراق المتساقطة بعد أن هزّت الرياح أغصانها

أيبعثرك اللّوم؟ أتتفتح حولك عباراتهم اللاسعة كالزهور السّامة

أتتقلّب بداخلك الفصول؟ أتتأرجح بين الموت في جليد بلادتهم، أو الاحتراق في جحيم جهلهم

أتشعر كالأمواج الهائجة المنطلقة كالثيران الناطحة، فقط لتتكسر وتتلاشى عند أصابع أرجلهم

أتتعالى دقّات قلبك إلى حد الصياح، حتى تُصم من شدّة تدفّق الدماء في رأسك

أتنام؟ أتنام؟ عندما يفجعك قبح هذا العالم، ولا يتبقى لديك سلاح سوى أن تغمض عيناك اللتان تيبّستا من كثرة البكاء

أتحاول تقطيع صور المشردين، الموتى، المعذبين، المهاجرين الذين يعيشون في مخيّلتك، بالمشرط الذي كنت تقص به صور أبطال طفولتك

أتلوّح فأساً ثقيلاً يميناً وشمالاً، تريد تحطيم جدران أحزانك، وأنت تعلم أنه لا سماء وراء كل هذا الظلام

أتتوسّل للقدر، للأيام، للدهر، أتخاطب الهواء.. أتتمسك بضحكة صادقة أطلقتها يوماً خالية من المجاملة و النفاق، كالغريق الذي يتمسك بقطعة خشب مثقوبة

أتمزقك ابتسامتك التي تواجه بها الوحش العملاق الذي يجثم على صدرك، كما يمزّق البرق الليل

أيصعقك ضعفك؟ أيسكتك خوفك؟ أينقش الخذلان على جلدك بإبرة من نار؟ أتتفجر همومك فيك كالبراكين؟  

أتغرق؟ أتغرق باسمترار؟

Dec 22, 2017

أنت الوحيد الذي يعرف

قد تكون مشرداً، بالرغم أن لك بيتاً
ووحيداً، وأنت محاطاً بالوجوه والأجساد
قد تكون بلا وطن، رغمَ الأوراق والثبوتياّت
قد تكون صامتاً ساكناً، والكلمات تتزاحم في داخلك، تبعثرك
أنت الوحيد الذي يعرف، لماذا يطلع القمر ناقصاً، بالرغم أنه قد سبق له الاكتمال
أنت الذي تتحاشى صخب النهار وضجيجه، وتأمن لِسكون الظلام وأنينه
تقول أنك لا تعرف لِمَ لا تستطيع الرد على هاتفك الذي يرن.. يرن.. يرن
بالرغم أنهم يبعثون الرسائل: كيف أنت؟ أين أنت؟ لِمَ لا ترد؟
وبمرور الوقت.. تتلاشى الرسائل تدريجياً، وتتبدل لغتها شيئاً فشيئاً، من حميمية إلى ودّية، إلى لامبالية، إلى معاتبة، إلى ساخرة، إلى غاضبة، إلى "لقد خذلتني"، وأخيراً "الوداع"

أنت الوحيد الذي يعرف لماذا لا تستطيع البقاء
لا تملك تفسيراً، لماذا حبهم لك يزعجك، أو كيف أن حبهم لك يزيدهم سمنة، ويزيدك هزال
لن تبوح لهم، أنك لا تستطيع أن تشكرهم، فحبهم لك، ليس إلاّ فوز آخر لهم، وخسارة جديدة لك
أنت الوحيد الذي يعرف أنهم ما أحبوك، إلاّ بحثاً عن سبباً ليحبوا أنفسهم، وأنهم عندما أشاروا لِجمال عينيك، كانوا ينظرون لانعكاس صورهم فيها
أنهم عندما أصرّوا إنهم بحاجة إليك، كانوا يقصدون أنهم بأمس الحاجة لأن تحتاج إليهم
أنت الوحيد الذي يعرف كيف تحملهم بداخلك، كالعصافير المغفلة التي تدخل الأقفاص بإرادتها
أنت الوحيد الذي يعرف شعور الطير الذي يصطدم بالنوافذ، ظناً منه، أنها امتداد للسماء

Dec 19, 2017

12 years ago

Twelve years ago

The most wonderful thing happened to me

I searched and search for a perfect happiness, a happiness without a hole in it, until you came

I told you time and time again that your birthday is the best day of my life

You never cease to amaze me
How so many generations, had to be created, and destroyed so the marvel of you can finally be perfected

It’s hard - I think - for you to perfect your role, hiding your shrewd brilliance under your childlike face, under your perfectly girlish body

I gave you the diary I wrote when you were still in my womb, notes about your birth, stages of your development, and poems I wrote you as I watched you grow, when you started walking, when you first spoke.. and as soon as you read it, you pointed out my misspellings!

In my mind, you’re the only persons whose name resonates with fresh flowers, vibrant rainbows, colourful balloons, warm sandy beaches, and clean air. Somehow, you are the only real person to me 

When mothers talk about how amazing their children are, I think they must be crazy. I know I’ve got the best one. 

Dec 17, 2017

Why did you go?

He came to see me

Asking for a recommendation letter

My ex-student. My wonderful ex-student

Tall, and perfectly built.

His wholesomeness shadowing everything around him

Why did you go? He kept asking

I avoided his intense, intelligent eyes

Like two universes they were. Liquid, glistening and full. Full of

something close to understanding. But I would not believe it.

I looked away from their forceful light, from their terrible darkness.

Pretended to search for a piece of paper, with unsteady hands

How’s your family? I stammered, needing something to say

Under the sky of his stern gaze, the minutes were long

His austere eyes followed me.

I’ll leave the letter with the secretary for you to collect

And everything that could not be said

was compressed. In his soft persistent

Why did you go?

Dec 15, 2017

A Year

Not just a year

Not just 365 sunrises

365 sunsets

Not just four seasons

Not just numerous fallen leaves

But a distance

An in-between

As poignant as that between a poet and her finished work

As sorrowful as the longing birthed in between lovers’ quarrels

Something like a profound trike of the chisel that’s shaping us

We like to believe that we move on, with new faces, our hearts

sheathed in a thicker crust of robust gleaming armor

And nearer to the next finish line, at the first sign of a curled-up leaf

we falter.  

We’ve been here before,

we’ve been here before.

All we’ve done was survive

we never lived.