Dragon Will Soar

In the sunsoaked russet-green hills of Ycenna, in these pretty colinettes with twinkling green slopes cloaked ever so gently by winter, there is a contented exquisiteness of blue-green lakes and rivers the size of a rue. It is a world of plenty, fecund and joyous, in which the promise of ecstasy whimpers and dies unfulfilled. … Continue reading Dragon Will Soar

Two Poems by Hibah Shabkhez


Elbowing Jasmines into Daylight

They lie, of whom no ill may be spoken
Under the rustling groves, past good, past vice;
For they have paid and are paying, broken
Of all their scrabbling, the ultimate price:
Feeding life’s sallies past death’s repulses

Look: each new flower makes its solemn vow
On its crass trek out of each rotting frame:
“By my beauty I will sanctify now
The basenesses that in life did maim
Ever your heart’s first unstained impulses”

Wingspans Relit

Behind my head, downcast and dutiful
Without hindrance from this body or brain
My silhouette is fiercely beautiful
Looming, dancing, leaping with each refrain;

Without crisper truths infringing to spike
The glorious peace in which one would fain
Indulge dreams wild and yet possible, like
Resisting chocolate on days of pain,

Steering your own bike through the open road,
Tossing aside sneers that would else curdle;
Growing larger with…

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Hibah Shabkhez: “Quaint Mournings”


Quaint Mournings

In shivers of pain we paint our nails bright
To conceal the arching, skin-fused beauty
Of translucence that mirrors and pools light
To crunch and strew in shards

As we drift through the deserted doorways
Falling in love with sweet melancholy
That grants us the right to languish and gaze
Inwards, backwards, homewards.

Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, a teacher of French as a foreign language and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in Petrichor, Remembered Arts, Rigorous, Lunate, With Painted Words, The Dawntreader, 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.

Blog: https://hibahshabkhezxicc.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @hibahshabkhez
Instagram: @shabkhez_hibah

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The Redress of Poetry

Seamus Heaney 1939 – 2013 - Oxford Lectures (1995) A capricious and arbitrary analysis of the first of this series of lectures “Heaney discusses and celebrates poetry’s special ability to redress balance and to function as a counter-weight to hostile and oppressive forces in the world” (Book Blurb) The Redress of Poetry sets out, in … Continue reading The Redress of Poetry

The Canterbury Tales: Usborne

Quite the most readable version of the 'Tales I've ever come across, very decidedly not excluding 'Master Chaucer's' own from the list. As such, it makes a very welcome addition to the book-friends of this eternal don't-quite-wanna-be of English literature, who must always peer suspiciously at the original, the cursor winking slyly from the Google … Continue reading The Canterbury Tales: Usborne

The Shadow Upon The Iron Giant

Should something a poet or a writer could have said or done or have been influence your reading of his or her works, especially when the source of all such information is the garbled testimony of people now dead? People you never actually knew, with their own lives and lies? What difference is there between … Continue reading The Shadow Upon The Iron Giant


Starfish-delved daisies her sight-leached eyes weep To hear the note of glee into the hushed voices creep As they strip into whistling dashes her name via WARPING TEASPOONS