Poetry by Omar Sabbagh


Poetry by Omar Sabbagh



Maha Faris Sabbagh


Tall tales were never her forte; that was rum,

And she was too English for that. And yet, wishing


For large round bangles to sing and serenade her ears,

Guilty golden circles, evoking syrup and the miracle


Of a clean-run woman, pure, chaste – but also fired,

Waylaid, littered, at the marketplace of all her desires:


Wondrous, painterly, pointillist… She’s held journeys

In the musky palms of her clay-thick hands, where


The verb to wander’s become the working-metaphor for

The closed minuet of a sound yet sounding, ample


Mind: sharp, seizing, a moonbeam at decorous night –

A white fandango on a blue, on a blue that was just as white…


Gypsy-mother, then – swan and stranger in the svelte and solid sum

Of all your innocence: I stay whole, made, by what you bring.



Summer Heat, Nothing Doing



There is a type of idleness which ill-befits

The true connoisseurs of idleness – lit

As they are by the shade of their idle wits…


In the mad summer heat here: the princely

Vise, squeezing us like motes of salt – sweaty

Finds in a bee-yellowed sunbaked emirate –


Is a sheikh from a different hotter kingdom,

An un-blessed realm where no reins drum

Against the neck and shoulders of some


Dark filly – to slow and steer, to save and sum…

In the gland of tumescent heat: all are put out to stud.

So we mate the AC, and await the slow dread-cold


To drape us, its upstart-regalia – the bold

Awning from the shutters above our heads…

And the cool veil to thank for this – nicely-colored-lead –


Is a verdigris we prefer, beneath the outdoor

Heat we scuttle from: like rats on ratty form…

But our sinking ship’s no wavy sea, no licit door


Of glorious water, to which to dive-in and adore.

The only gate to flee him from this wizardly wake

May be a stable in paradise, a pen; and a pen for a pen’s sake.





Featured Image Credit

30 October 2017