Laughter sets aquiver
The cane, sends a shiver
Of anger, pure
As melting gold, that cuts
Through eternal darkness
But it stops. Shuts
Off, with gentling sadness
Into smiles laced with rain.
Tell me again,
How did you learn to flee
Sorrow like a perched thing
Cawing and free?
They kept faith with memory, stayed the same;
While I did change to forge ahead
Queenly Cathy of the bench-shack palace
Where each day my toe I stubbed
Scarlett, proud victor of all the races
In which I came a panting last;
Ellen, the laughing ghost of the graces
To which custom nailed my life’s mast;
Marian who outside class-windows dwelt
To save my aching head from sums;
Anne, who beside the best-lit window knelt
Reading on through the P.T drums;
And Darrell, with her wild temper of flame
That made her all my bullies’ dread
The hardest goodbyes are from friends more real
Than those whose grins are flesh and blood.
Zeroes On The Right
Mellon, ride forth with us on our quest for
True poems to drain the rot from our land.
Poems to treasure like elven-lights or
Zeroes on the right, like the smallest strand
Of cellotape, that needed, heeded thing.
Poems awaited like tomorrow’s toothpaste
To dissolve the debris-prison and free
Our teeth to smile. Poems sweet to the taste,
Fashioned from good words like a good fruit tree,
With the promise of freshness and cleansing.
Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in Zin Daily, Litbreak, Broadkill, Rising Phoenix, Big City Lit, Constellate, Harpy Hybrid, and a number of other literary magazines. Studying life, languages and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her.