Category Archives: Poetry

“Show me,” she asked

The girl with Venus’ hair
Her locks locked and lain fallow

So many Things she’d like to know

Tries not to escape reality too much
Where will she go?

Heaven under her heart
Holding her breath high over the questions

Mercy me, all she wanted
Was in a simple prayer
That she uttered under an infinite sky

Show me,
Show me what they meant
Show me which heaven
Is under their hearts
Show me, so that I may understand

Oh, the seasons pass
What was it all coming to now?

Treading
Tracks
Trail

In the end

Some stay
Some go

Fractions of some hearts remain
And others are blown away.

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Tonight’s Tale.

Tonight, I will tell you a nonexistent fairy tale of a flightless bird.

The bird wanted so badly to fly, to spread his wings and come undone – vulnerabilities and all.

For as long as he could, he never compromised on his desires. His dreams were real and his reality was his dream. He flew, whether those around him realized it or not. He flew.

But one day he had to break bread and stand still – he was reminded of the open sky while the blockades (impostors!) were stubbornly in his way.

Not going anywhere.

The impostors had wings, had the magic, and more than anything, they had written the fairy tale themselves. They were the authors of their own fate! Yet, they refused to raise up their wings (which they believed to be banausic) to the sun and be gently carried away by the wind come what may.

They ignored fate’s calling.

They couldn’t handle being alone in their self imposed handicap, either. So – they blocked our bird. Why should he fly and love, when they thought it was too difficult for any bird to do? Surely he must be stopped.

Our bird ceased dreaming/living.

This is when liberty bird became flightless.

naked
true
flightless.

ما لي رحيم في شكوتي

“ما لي رحيم في شكوتي”
only you,
my grand arab dream

how far away you seem to me
yet how close you are to my heart
which yearns for your tenderness
and your strength
i call out to you
as i call out to a lover who has abandoned me
and millions along with my weak heart
you are a lover desired by so many
yet to none have you returned that love
at least, since centuries ago

you decided to hide away in the dark
you are now like a legend on our tongues
you left
for so long
as if you never graced us
lately you have been tempting us
or is it
mocking us, in pure ignorance of our plight
or maybe you’re just teaching us a lesson

we attempt (in vain)
to capture your dark honey eyes
and attract you back
we changed, can’t you see
we have learned
won’t you please return?

what are we obliged to do
– show us –
for you to come back?

this punishment is too prolonged for our thirsty souls.

Copyright © 2011 [Wafa Ben Hassine]. All Rights Reserved.

El Sur

EL SUR
de Jorge Luis Borges, b. 1899

Desde uno de tus patios haber mirado
las antiguas estrellas,
desde el banco de
la sombra haber mirado
esas luces dispersas
que mi ignorancia no ha aprendido a nombrar
ni a ordenar en contelaciones,
haber sentido el circulo del agua
en el secreto aljibe,
el olor del jazmin y la madreselva,
el silencio del pájaro dormido,
el arco del zanguán, la hemedad
–esas cosas, acaso, son el poema.

THE SOUTH
by Jorge Luis Borges, b. 1899

To have watched from one of your patios
the ancient stars,
from the bench of shadow to have watched
those scattered lights
that my ignorance has learned no names for
nor their places in constellations,
to have heard the note of water
in the cistern,
known the scent of jasmine and honeysuckle,
the silence of the sleeping bird,
the arch of the entrance, the damp
–these things perhaps are the poem.