Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Love Song and Other Poems – Hibah Shabkhez

Mar 15, 2022 | Poetry | 1 comment

Curtain Flowers Look Real In The Sun
They quiver in tune with your eyelashes.
   In the shadows of birds on the slashes
And sills, curtain flowers run amok and rife
Inside your drifting gaze transfixed by their strife
   Against the threads of destiny’s sashes.

Catch each rose like a new word that smashes,
   Drives chisels of sense into your stashes
Of rusted brain. Let the flowers be a knife: 
   They quiver in tune.

Agelast and nillionaire, let flashes
   Of these delirious chirping dashes
By fabric birds drift past sunset. As they fife
Made-up pleas for real nectar, recall to life
The rich laughter of youth. The dream crashes:
   They quiver in tune.


Guilt-Free Chocolate
Writing poems is guilt-free chocolate
  I gobble until I choke, with a high
More whole and potent than sugar.

  Writing poems is math homework done late,
Or indeed never; is scrunched notes that fly
  Through a giggling, half-sleeping class.

  Writing poems is a mirror of fate
That holds no terrors, only truth; where my
  Eyes rest, uncringing, on myself.

Love Song
Grey patches for a giant quilt
  Scatter across the blue,
Waiting for us. But we are built
  To look on-, not sky-, ward,
Nor at feet on the bridge music
  Is building from drizzle.

Disdained, the grey drifters grow sick
  With rage, and so torment
The green. In pendulous beauty,
  Droplets cling for dear life
To the leaves, who defy duty
  To sing instead of love:

Of tethering, hobbling, crippling
   Love that rots like disease.


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 Black Bough, Zin Daily, London Grip, The Madrigal, Acropolis Journal, Lucent Dreaming, 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. Linktree:


1 Comment

  1. lewis chamness

    Wonderful! Thanks so much.


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