-who gave birth to this

who gave birth to this

she must have hated him,
for giving her me.
bashful youth,
how did you bring yourself sir,
to be with her?

she must have hated him,
for pausing her life,
with new life.

she must have grown to love me,
new poetry,
a book of folded pages,
a shelf keep.

still she must of hated him,
cervix to bosom lamentations,
that feeling is awfully familiar.

Who is worthy of the hate,
or do I love them both regardless,
just by default,
the expected thing?

Reconciliation of detachment,
is a haunting thing.
combing the contradictions,
palpating for a pulse,
colour, love and hate blind.

The night – by Jamile El dahabi Zeytoun (mum)

night jez
When the night adorns itself in the coloured robe,
The virgin maidens and the queens of hearts bow to him.

The moon begs, “Can I not be your intimate companion?”
The stars whisper, “We are the ones who have threaded the silken,
and have embroided for it the black cloak,
and have spread upon it,
vastly, a thousand colours upon colours.”

The night answers,
“Release me to my tranquillity and solitude,
for in my black cloak,
the dreams of the virgins and queens take rest,
and in my tranquillity is my rest ever after”

Written by Jamile El dahabi Zeytoun, my mother.

She wrote this in Arabic, and I have translated it.

I will post the Arabic for those inclined.

Are you as confused as I am?


From my father, I inherited a back.

From my mother, I inherited mercy.

From God, I inherited confusion.

How can I be merciful to a man that knows
nothing but toil?

How can I be strong towards a woman that is
as tender as an autumn leaf?

For God, thank you for the confusion, the only
thing that helped me make sense.


Ode to Mother

I say it like March,
But stretched like the skin on her belly she canvassed me with.
Rolling R, like the rolling I did inside of her,
Breaking the insides of her,
Pushing the very fibre of her.
Nine months is a long time,
To live inside someone and not drink from their sap.
I find myself more of her loins than his,
Sorry Dad, the dice just rolled that way,
Or your seed couldn’t fight her current.
She must have been waiting all those years,
To prick the canvas of me with odes of poetry.
Burst water, into light, gushing streams penetrating sight,
I know, I was a bit of a fight.
But look at your fruit, you pruned me right.
She mustered her fetish for books,
In subconscious anticipation for her first son,
At nineteen, her first one,
What have you done?
Thrown into the belly of the beast,
The beauty of you,
Me being the beast,
And your beauty, coursed through.
Endless verse and endless prose,
And you couldn’t resist giving me your nose.
So I wouldn’t forget where to look,
Bang smack between my eyes,
Always a reminder of you,
I like that narcissist touch,
Subtle, all the better to sniff out the leeches, put up my guard,
Hang on, that’s not you,
You’re heart is way to frail to be on guard from people,
That’s me, my heart even frailer,
So I protected it by learning how to fend off anyone,
With blinding fury if I needed to,
All the while, you begged me,
“Don’t hit anyone, please, I know your hands can be destruction”,
And every single damn time, in my ears your words rang true.
And even though I learned the fighting arts,
It was only for deflection.
Here I sit with a wall so high,
But contained, poised, and able to fly,
Words, carry my wings wherever they want to go,
The prayers of love over each meal you blow.
But with you, down come the gates,
Nourished nine months, still going at thirty eight.
Thanks for nearly forty years of seeing me,
But the way I like it, unspoken, softly, silently.

My opus of poetry


Dear child,
You are my opus of poetry.


I wish I was a woman.

Nine months of poetry I would write to last your lifetime.

I’d cook and feed myself with my own hands blowing a prayer over each meal.

I’d read every book of prose, love and of God I could find.

I’d worship, fallen in prostration, yet dancing in elation, weeping for everything inside me to transfer to you.

From milk I would give you for as long as you suckle,

To stare at you in forty years and say,

He is, she is,
My opus of poetry.

When your mother is a closet poet


If I was the poorest soul on the face of this earth and had
to choose between a satchel of millions of dollars and of
what happened this morning I would burn the dollars to
light my path , throw the ashes in the air, and with a
magic spell they turn into stars that shine inside everyone’s
-Mother of W.E.

So at thirty eight, you discover your mother has skills!
Pretty nifty keeping it under wraps for fifty seven years.
She wrote that to me because she was happy about something I did.
Blew me away. I guess word obsession definitely traces back through her lineage

Vulnerable Beautiful


I loved you……
When you were battered and wounded,
Scarred and traumatised,
Ignorant and alone,
What do you think I feel for you now,
That you’ve created a home,
Raised children on your own,
Threaded buttons of love,
Seamed souls and lives sewn,
The art of motherhood honed.
I see nothing,
But a woman on a throne,
Confident, tenacious,
Able to stand alone,
Ready to tear a man with her teeth,
Suck life out of his bones.

And in the end, wasn’t it all worth it?
The pain of travelling,
The blisters of repetitiveness,
The wearing of your sternum,
As you heave yet another breath.
The thinning of being,
The reduction of self,
The realisation of other,
The becoming of mother,
The purified lover,
The shelter,
The cover,
My smother.


Love for cheapskates


People who say ‘My love doesn’t cost a thing’, are ignorant of the currency used.
People who say ‘Love is free’, are cheapskates who offer a poor product, unrefined, poor in construction, bad quality.
People who say ‘All you need is love’, are peasants of the artistry of life.
People who ‘Bathe in love’, are stench ridden with hypocrisy and haven’t been blessed with the other fragrances of living.
People who sorrow and wallow in the ‘Throes of love’, are void of ever living through it. They have contained love to a being, to a finite mortal speck of flesh in the grand scheme of all things worldly, cosmic, spiritual.


Love is far removed from the prattling of poets.

It lives in the actions of the selfless.

It is a mothers rush to clean a dirty diaper.

It is in her sacrifice to milk her bosom dry, because the babies well being is more important than hers.

It is in a child’s reluctance to let their parent die without dignity.

It is their reciprocity in cleaning them when they are too elderly to notice their dysfunctional bowels.

It is in the fathers blood being spilled on the conveyor belt of labour, so his children can have buttons on their shirts, soles on their feet.

It is in his bowel cancer because he ate comfort food for forty years to curtail the stress hormones he didn’t know are swimming in his bloodstream.

It is in the students labour into the early hours when life forms are dead, just to understand one trigonometry question so he can present it the next day with pride.

It is in the teachers secret tears in the lunch room when the hurtful insults of her heedless students are not retaliated to because she feels their pain yet still wants to give them one idea to carry with them in their life.

It is in the employers oversight to your lacklustre performance for the last twenty years because they know you have five mouths to feed.

Most of all it is in the soil you’ll be buried in that doesn’t spit you back out for your vile arrogance and ignorance all your life.
Instead it embraces you, swallows you whole and makes you a part of it, allows you to fertilise the earth for a flower to grow, so that flower can be picked by an ignorant lover to present to his first heart throb, so we can one day tell him, that’s not fucking love.