Monthly Archives: February 2015

In a Bay off old Muharraq

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This poem was submitted to Lucid Rhythms – an online magazine – and when he accepted it, that was the first time I began to hope that there were still venues that would accept ‘rhyming’ and metric poems.

I don’t know the journey that the genre has taken ever since I last studied it, but in my humble – and not so elevated opinion – any art that needs excessive analysing and interpreting and that can’t or doesn’t connect with people is somewhere missing the point.

In a bay off old Muharraq

Lies an ancient wooden Sambuk

That still goes out on moonless nights

Searching for th’ eternal light

And the master of the Sambuk

Who’s the master of that Sambuk?

A ghost, a wraith, a memory

Singing songs like Fidjeri.

 

And who is it that sits beside him?

Playing on the double hand drum?

Drumming on the mirwas lightly

While the Sambuk skips so spritely

Across the waves out to the sea

Recalling ancient memory?

Why he too is a distant past

That’s lost forever, lost alas!

 

And what is it they hope to find

Tossed along by wind and mind?

Why it’s the lulu treasured pearl

‘Durrat’ more prized than any girl.

And so the divers scythe the waves

Seeking what we all so crave

To bury hatred, soothe the pain

So we can all be one again.

 

And all who live upon this isle

Wherever he or she may come from

Join together, hug and smile

And truly say, “Salaam alaikum.”

 

Note: Fidjeri is an old Arabian Gulf/ Khaleeji pearl divers’ song, mirwas is the double handed drum that pearl divers used on their dhows (like the Sambuk) the lulu is the word for pearl in Arabic and Durrat is a particularly highly prized pearl. Muharraq is the second major island of the archipelago that constitutes the Kingdom of Bahrain. The poem is not political but expresses the desire to recreate a more friendly unified time in Bahrain. Salaam alaikum means ‘peace be upon you’.

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A Chai Affair

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by Omar Ahmed AlKhulaqi

 

When my lady prepares her tea,

I hear the boiling water spewing,

And like the cup, it streams in me,

The steamed herb of my undoing.

With her wand in circles I go,

Stirring and stirring me down to my soul,

Anticlockwise, suspending time,

I surrender to her design.

 

Snapping back at the wand’s clink-clink !

The hypnosis ends as she blinks,

I gaze at this spirit of sort,

Our eyes commune where words fall short,

She hands me the potion that scents her hair,

Her chai! O such an intimate affair,

My senses rippling, eager to erupt,

A whiff of my soul, brewed inside a cup.

– Oak

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Intimations of old age

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Natural-Ways-To-Cure-Headache-Hot-Cup-of-TeaWhile going through some old papers, like many a writer, I find fragments of things I’ve written over the years, mostly poems, sometimes stories, and sometimes rants. This one is in a melancholy mood, reminding me of my first nostalgic recognition that time was catching up with me and could soon run out.

 

 

 

“Grow old along with me,”  you said

Sipping tea, aromatic with bergamot

Steam rising like a ghost,

I smiled,

Ready to join you on that journey

 

We ran across

Piano keys playing seconds

Racing up and down the scale

The assonances picked up

Wedding rings and kisses

Children

Sharps and flats.

 

The melody of spring time

Chased by summer’s desertification

Of our lives

That

And the first grey hair in my mirror.

 

Forgotten by the time autumn

Had ripened our fruit

Sent dandelion children

Floating on the breeze

 

Again I fill your cup of tea

Just one now, no sugar

Still bergamot flavoured

With steam

Escaping like warm breath

At the start of winter’s chill.