Note 1.

Oscar Cruz*

the function  of poetry
is rather like the function of the intestine.
not only does it absorb the better part of what’s consumed
but it ejects the faecal matter of what’s felt.
as a result, the emotions
dilate and contract like a sphincter…

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The Corridor.

Fouad Mohammad Fouad*

(A corridor that leads to the operating theatre of a hospital in Aleppo)

The wolf in the corridor –
like a stray soul
in the recovery room
where antiseptics don’t work
and passers-by
only pass by with heads bowed…

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Najwan Darwish*

Confused and drenched

My hands torn attempting to embrace mountains, valleys, plains

And the sea that I loved drowned me over and over

This lover’s body has become a corpse…

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Mostafa Ibrahim*

To know the strength of things, sometimes we need to break them.
To know we want some things, sometimes we need to lose them.
Craving certainty, how many friends did you call liars?
Attaining certainty, you lost your friends.
How many balloons did you burst inflating them beyond their limit?
Discovering that limit, you found regret.

I now know why I burst balloons:
I longed for something never-ending -
or with an end I'd never reach.
Walls that have my back.
Walls that will stay standing, even when I knock them down.
Something certain that, when tested, will not break.

*Mostafa Ibrahim

Born in 1986, Mostafa Ibrahim is considered one of Egypt's most exciting young poets and has been lauded by the country's two leading colloquial poets, Abdel-Rahman Al-Abnudi and the late Ahmed Fuad Negm.

His first collection of poems, Western Union, Haram, came out in January 2011 (just before the 'Arab Spring'). His second collection of poems, Manifesto (2013), sold out in less than six months. One of his poems about the martyrs of the revolution was adapted as a song and became very popular.


Shakila Azizzada*

Whose dying breaths
are sleeping
in your hazel eyes?
What small child's gaze
goes blank at your trigger?
For what young girl,
            her heart in your palm,
            legs bloodied, does your heart beat?…

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Woman of Mint

Fatena Al-Gharra*

She hauls her desire from the anguish of thorns,
whispering: sunlight abides in you.
She is followed by the aroma of a fleeting moment
which she ignites with the perfume of Spring.
Not once does she gasp for breath.
Only wild nettle sates her desire:
his hair alone will make her easy…

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The Yellow Stocking

Masoud Ahmadi*

what is that blessed rain doing
to these late days of July
the Persian silk tree         the black locust tree
that late-blooming fireweed
and this weeping willow
which only just turned a deep green

To windows         rooftops
to words we remember less…

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By: Abdullah al Ryami*


I take things lightly
that perhaps are heavy.
For example, I know I'm the gap between two pavements,
yet I cross it as fast as I can — why?
And because I take risks with my voice,
I trip on air.
And the first bead of sweat that trickles down my forehead
drowns me…

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Hafiz Kheir

Hafiz Kheir was born 1968 in Khartoum Sudan and moved to the UK in 1992. He is a writer translator and a filmmaker a graduate of the Film & Television School at The London Institute (June 2000). He studied drama and theatre from 1982 to 1986 at the Youth Palace Omdurman Sudan.


I saw the angel
and the singing birds slaughtered.
I saw the horse,
the soldiers,
the grieving women,
the dead trees, and other women
inured to screams and wailing…

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All Quiet On The Western Front

By: Erich Maria Remarque

Slowly I take a deep breath and become calmer. Then I hold my breath, whip up the revolver, it cracks, the dog leaps howling to one side, I make for the door of the shed and foll head over heals over one of the scuttering geese.
At full speed I seize it again, and with a swing toss it over the wall and clamber up. No sooner an I on top than the dog is up again as lively as ever and springs at me. Quickly I let myself drop. Ten paces away stands Kat with the goose under his arms. As soon as he sees me we run.
At last we can take a breather.

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By: Jean - Paul Sartre

"I suddenly understood : the cloak! I wanted to stop it. It would have been enough to cough or open the gate. But in my turn I was fascinated by the little girl's face. Her features were drown with fear and her heart must have been beating horribly: yet I could also read something powerful and wicked on that rat like face. It was not curiosity but rather a sort of assured expectation.

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"The Excursion into the Mountains"

By: Franz Kafka

' I don't know', I cried in a toneless voice, 'I really don't know. If nobody comes, then nobody comes. I've done nobody any any harm, nobody ever did me any harm, yet nobody wants to come to my aid. Nobody upon nobody. But that's not it either. Only nobody comes to help me - nobody upon nobody would be fine. I would quite like - and why wouldn't I? - to go on an excursion with a crowd of nobodies.

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Albert Camus - The renegade, or the confused mind-

by A.Camus

This long this long dream, I awaken, but no I am going to die, the dawn is breaking, the first light of day for other living creatures, and for me the inexorable sun, the flies. Who is speaking, no one, the sky does not part, no, no, God does not speak in the desert, then what is the source of this voice saying: “If you consent to die for hatred and power, who will forgive us?” Is it another tongue inside me or still that other one who refuses to die at my feet, repeating:” Courage, courage,courage”? Ah! What if i were mistaken again! fraternal man in other times, last resort, O solitude, do not forsake me! Here, here, who are you, torn apart, mouth bleeding, it is you, sorcerer, the soldiers defeated you, the salt in burning over there, it is you my beloved master! Leave behind that face of hatred, be good now, we were mistaken, we shall begin again, we will rebuild the city of Gods mercy, I want to go home. Yes, help me, that’s it, hold out your hand, give…

A fistful of salt fills the mouth of the babbling slave.

“Exile and the Kingdom”

-from, the renegade, or a confused mind-


Albert Camus

Albert Camus


By: Mahmoud Darwish

They did not recognize me in the shadows

That suck away my color in this Passport

And to them my wound was an exhibit

For a tourist Who loves to collect photographs

They did not recognize me,

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