The Romanticist


i am learning to shine
without casting shadows

so that when the rain falls
and you are up to your hips
in pessimism 

you wont doubt me
as i say
that my light
in you

we fight this war too


it isn’t easy
to stare at bloody
faces trying to breathe
but no body cares
when souls are torn

blood sells
and so does


ive learnt to hold my tongue
amongst crowds of people
talking about how
my homeland should be run
for i am unable to speak

the lumps in my throat
are too large
to allow the words
safe passage
to my tongue


i tell people
my father is syrian
and they reply with
"I’m sorry"
i nod and smile
yet i want to scream

something deep
within my aching soul
is brewing 


i watch reruns
of al sarab
because i miss the way
the words roll off
bassam qusa’s tongue
in the most natural


my Facebook newsfeed
is filled with statuses
about freedom
for the oppressed
so why do we al feel
like our shrieks 
need to be caged up
hidden by smiles
involving only
a pair of crescent shaped


i am not allowed
to articulate opinions
in respect to sham
if they do not agree
with the general population
of arabs in my country

although i know 
not of one
who had ever heard 
of dimashq
before the civil war
broke out


i linger on
in old arab coffee shops
not half as authentic
as they claim to be
for the smell of bonn
mixed with spices
reminds me
of playing shadde
in ahwet el rawda 


an afghani refugee
tells me
that sacrifices need
to be made
so that we may 
move forward
even in Afghanistan

so why is he here
in Australia
urging youth
to fight
in Syria


i don’t like to socialise
when everyone 
wants me to say something
that affirms their beliefs
to be true

because their truth
and my truth
are not the same
the only difference
is that no body
wants to listen
to mine


he told me
my opinion was 
not relevant
because mum
is Lebanese 
but he doesn’t even
what watan means


sham only lives on
in the hearts of 
its lovers
yet she is dying slowly
at the hands 
of freedom talkers

choosing to use words
as weapons 
instead of guns


silence kills you
the loss of blood

and a cut through 
the soul
is more painful
than a destruction
of flesh


children cry
from beneath
mountains of 
but the camera men
dont help

death sells


i have no tittle
for my rimsh
is not asmarani
and i dont fit in
to the world of you

call me what you like
i lost my arab identity
before it was formed

i have been defined
by a western world
who accepts me
for my ivory skin
and my coloured eyes
but nothing else
nothing more

i hope someday 
you will realise
that arab is not a look
but a soul

i dont think you will

i sing along to
nassam 3layna el hawa
and hope 
that maybe
ill find my name
between the words

i am
and will forever be
at war

in good time

for the anon who fantasises about marrying the girl he loves after college and a getting a good job, if she’ll let him. Hope it does your story justice


you throw your head back 
because that is what you always do
when its spring and the flowers
find their way out of the snow
to brighten up your world


i often  hope
that you will wait until I’m ready
to earn your love properly
before my memory withers away
and melts into nothing
leaving not even an indentation 
on your memory


i dont think i can find
words worthy of your description 
and sometimes i try
to conjure articulations 
that fall only slightly short
of encapsulating your grace
but its never enough


i tell people that you are 
the nicest person i know
and i never fail to remind them
that i needn’t bother 
with exaggerations or compliments
because you really are


i wish i could marry you now
but somehow intuition tells me
that it wouldn’t be the greatest
of ideas and so i wonder
if maybe we can make it work
after i go to college
and earn some money


i want you to never
to have to just make do
or utter the words
"its ok, well settle"
because i haven’t done enough


i know that we are good friends
and that in itself is a beautiful thing
but do you think that maybe
we could be something more?


i fear that time will change us
and that when i come back
i wont be able to find the same girl
i fell in love with
or maybe i wont be the guy
on who you want to spend 
your tenderness


i know its a little absurd
that I’m thinking so far ahead
yet i know that I’m sure
you are the one i yearn for
there aren’t really any questions 
beyond that 
or any doubts
festering in my mind


will you do me the honour
of allowing me
to fight for your affection
so that i may emerge victorious 
in good time?


i promise you 
that i will emerge victorious 
in good time 

hey guys I’m doing an anon series, send me ur stories as anon and ill write a poem for you :)

hend me downs (spoken world)

I received a parcel one day
well, the 18th of September 2013
to be precisely exact
and I could make out the letters




From between the stitches
and the loose string
scattered along
the front

I suppose it took me a while
to pull on the happiness inside
and you watched on in anticipation
as I tried to make it fit

But it didn’t quite look right
hand me downs
hardly do 

I think you must have
been disappointed
because you didn’t have much to say
as you left through the door
the threads of dissatisfaction
drawn upon your face

Somehow you mustn’t have liked the way
settling for less sat on my shoulders
maybe middle- of- nowhere rental property

Wasn’t really my color?
Or perhaps the large bump
that was put there to accommodate for
an emerging pregnancy
didn’t quite fit right

Sometimes, when its late
and everyone else has gone to bed
I sit and think
-imagine it in my mind
perhaps if I had tucked it in here
it would have looked right
made the shoulders wider perhaps
so I wouldn’t quite be settling
since the horizons had been made wider

I wonder if maybe I had died it blue
the blue of limitless ambitions
reaching for the sky
or detailed it with stones
that resembled the stars
that had always shone in my eyes

Or it may have been better
if I had disassembled it altogether
started from scratch
perhaps a new happiness uniquely mine
sewed with the threads of me
would have been more appropriate

Because I cant quite seem
to remove it from my mind
that the letters




Where engraved into the backbone
and right across the tags
where intuition said
that maybe something else
perhaps my name
should have gone 

But my name was never Hend  
and that happiness was not remotely mine
for mine would have been lined
with wonderment and dreaming
bewilderment as waves kissed the sand
and stars graced the sky
come nightfall

The skirt would have been larger
puffier perhaps
to fit beneath it the whole world
and whatever needed discovering
mine would have been gold trimmed
with no more detailing than it needed
worn with a stethoscope
to compensate for the hollow bump
that now exists
in the dress you haul over your shoulder

Hoping that number three
wont need to make adjustments

But we both know
that hand me downs aren’t that great
and that Cinderella’s slipper
was made only for Cinderella
and not for snow white
I just hope you figure that out
before another package arrives
on someone else’s doorstep
with the letters




Barely decipherable
knitted into the front
with the hand me down happiness inside
bound to need a few little adjustments
or many not so small
that you refuse

To allow