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.

Who sees you?

i write2
I write in darkness,
So you may see me in light.

Alas, no one sees me in plainness of day,
But at night, in full site.


She got it fairly right, sort of, not really.

“…. you show everything in your work,
…..but nothing in real life”

I agree, somewhat. I’ve tried, many a time,
but people don’t see me in real life.

They read me though, yes, they read me.
My hand, they see my hand.

“…there’s different ways of seeing”, she said.

Ah yes, and none of those ways work for me

So I’ll stick to writing in darkness.

I’ve purposely hidden in the shadows, never divulging my lust for the written word in person to people I grew up with, yet here I am in a world of strangers, and you have pieces of me that the closest people around me don’t have.

People don’t know what to do when you give them something heavy to hold.
That’s why I choose not to offload it to them, makes life so much easier.

I don’t want anyone in my vicinity to ever look at me in disdain. It happened once and I was mortified at how someone can use a vulnerability against me with such raw spite.
Never again.


Nightwriter – 29

nightwrighter series 29

And do you know what dew is?
But a droplet that escapes the breath of the night,
after being intoxicated from the drunkenness of lovers it
hosts, it is but the hangover stain left on the trees
leaves in the
morning, to etch moss tattoos on it’s branches.

Today I drove through suburbs I used to play in and grew up in during my teenage years.

As I got out of the car at one of the stops I was taken by the sound of trees rustling. They rustled differently. Their sound was familiar, I’d recognise it even if I were seas away.

They smelt different, of wattle and gum, of red bush and other Australian natives, I could smell them all.

Here I am, an Australian born ethnic, bathing in the glory of the only land I could honestly call home despite my strong ancestral inclinations to the far eastern desert sands, despite my ironic longing to go there.

I had a moment with eyes lowered to the ground to give rise to my ears and nose instead. I continued to listen to the different way the trees brushed each other, with each brush, a rubbing off of the aforementioned fragrances.

I smelt those fragrances as well as the water droplets from lawn sprinklers, in mid air being caught in the winds tango with the trees, a pot love mixed with the fresh cut grass and the dew left from last nights encounter. Even the cicadas sang a different tune, one of contentment and love, no matter the sweltering heat.

I smelt it and heard it all, and at that moment I thought about dew, what an unappreciated beauty. Suddenly my mind was flooded with interpreting it accordingly as the fragrant exhalation of mystic drunkenness of the night, a salty moisture from the pangs of separation the night releases as the embrace of lovers wanes, cradling itself in sorrow until the next evening.


Nightwriter – 28

nightwrighter series 28

The intimacy of Leila (the night)
Is that she makes you, your own drug.

It’s not hard to be light in her presence. That’s how she elevates you.
Whilst you bathe in her presence, finding your grace, little do you know she has taken all the darkness of the world, she has silenced being, she has quietened dreary souls so that she can assist the callers, the un-settlers, the displeased, the warriors of their souls, the desperate and despaired, she has taken them all into her fold and given them the ability to shine, provided the setting so The Lord can descend to the lowest heaven and say to his Angels,

‘Who is calling on Me, so that I may answer their call.’

And you carry on, obsessed with the night, your prayers answered, souls burden lifted, a lighter being and you’re not even aware of who you were calling on.


Nightwriter – 27

nightwrighter series 27


It’s been a while my dear, have you stoked the fire well?
I’ve been cold in the day’s rays,
Not my dwelling place,  
I’ve missed your spell.

Warm me in your embrace,
Enhance me,
Muscles trace,
Sinew strengthen with vigour,
Throw out the wine and the liquor.
I’m drunk on you, you’re my elixir.


I’ve been aching at nights trying to get your attention,
I call your name, waiting for even a mention.
What is this high horsed-ness, this apprehension,
Of ignoring, turning away and non acceptance.

Nightwriter – 26



Half awake, half asleep – eyes flutter

Usually conversant – tongue stutter

Can’t bring it to surface – mind clutter

Try as I may – complete and utter

Emptiness tonight – lack of words to mutter


Some nights she leaves me with nothing to say.
Those are the nights there is more to hear.
Silence for masters has always been the way
To draw the pupil closer, bring them near.


Nightwriter – 22

nightwrighter series 22


Today she woke me a violent waking.

She was displeased with me. I pretend to not know that she’s displeased, I’m trying to live by maxims I regurgitate to people.

So I didn’t want to be anything but kind with her, despite her displeasure with me, my skin has taken a beating for a very long time in the most literal sense, one more wont hurt.

I know fire hardens iron and steel, so I’ll let her bellows be, until my skin is glowing golden and she’s bemused by her reflection.


I’m at that stage in my life where I can let punches roll off my shoulders, slip punches, duck and weave and use slight footwork manoeuvres to just get out of harms way. Before I’d meet you with a resilient opposition, I’d be the crazier one without a cap to my crazy. My will would defeat yours without fail, every time. Turn up the heat, that’s ok, just like diesel, I get better the hotter I run.
But nowadays, those small defensive movements are enough to wear you out as you swing and miss. I’m not a target so you can’t hit me.

Your arms will eventually tire

your breath expire

and you’ll blow out your fire

then you can have me whole

Once you retire.

Nightwriter – 21

nightwrighter series 21


It’s invitation only.

You will be denied passage

If you show up without the requisite invite,



She simply wont take you if you come uncommitted. You must be serious with her if you want to reap her rewards.
This love affair is no ordinary affair. She’s not afraid of the consequences, it’s you who’s afraid and she will not accept your fear for too much longer. She has work to do, others to help. You’re but one of her loves, one of her helpless. She will just as easily have forgotten you ever existed should you show signs of uncertainty.
She is generous enough to allow you to be in her company, don’t waste your chances.