Poem April 18, 2020
take me to that place where sky and ocean meet — I’ve been missing that place and tonight I will have that dream again — of our Shark with its fins sliced off, bleeding out — my bro died today, he was healthy — my bro survived the war but he did not survive this
Poem April 11, 2020
I, myself, am generally hopeless at riddles; my brain freezes at brainteasers. For instance, I couldn’t get this rhyming riddle someone sent me recently and had to do a quick internet search so I could get on with my day:
I’m the part of the bird that’s not in the sky.
I can swim in the ocean and yet remain dry.
Like the above couplet, today’s poem rhymes. To my mind the answer is easy. (But then, I wrote it.) I’m more interested in making a good poem than a fiendish riddle. I just want the pieces to fit. That’s all art is, in the end, I suppose – getting the pieces to fit.
Poem March 28, 2020
in the third week of the pandemic
schools started closing
workers were sent home
and they started to call the youngsters:
named, of course, for that chat-app
all of them seemed to use
logging in for facetime
completing maths lessons online, dancing
tiktok feeds on loop, clicking in
to instanews, and everyone was asking:
what on earth will become
of whatsapp’s children?
Poem March 21, 2020
we scroll the news
trying to figure out what’s to come
looking at measures placed on other countries
individual freedoms we give up
where will we be a day from now
a week, a month
six months from now?
Poem March 14, 2020
Some lines from Omar Sakr’s poem last Saturday have the flavour of a riddle poem:
Fellow flotsam, what makes a person a
person? The animals are asking.
Friends, what makes a citizen a
citizen? The people are barking.
I keep going back to this poem, circling it. Perhaps many poems have something of the riddle about them. Intimations that are hidden at first but emerge after the reader does some work.
I only have one answer in mind for this month’s poem but perhaps there are more. Good luck.
Poem February 22, 2020
|ADMINISTER||biryani to those
braving the cold and rain
“Aazadi!” the children cry
|APPLY||music to the streets|
|ASSUME||those who are here know the words
a song is not a song unless it’s sung by many
Poem February 15, 2020
Riddles and riddle poems have been around a long, long time in human history. One of the most famous riddles, referred to in Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles in the 5th century BCE, is posed by the Sphinx to Oedipus as he’s on his way to Thebes.
Poem February 8, 2020
The once-white lady dipped her hands
into a faceless mass at the border
she said, I’m the one to give you a face
as if she wasn’t the one who stole it
in the first place, someone must humanise
the mass, the migrant caravan, the babies
as if people can ever be less than people,
where did that idea come from I wonder
but never mind that for now, let us return