Spire Without Glory

Heron of sorrow, officer of the plague and traitor of the eclipse, a king made a vow on you to wage war; and since then, you have become guardian of the ruins of the world. Like you, the ... https://emergeliteraryjournal.com/spire-without-glory/

Three CNF Flash Pieces by Hibah Shabkhez

If mangoes and melons and baby sisters have odes of their own, apples deserve a poem. So do apricots, bananas, and younger brothers, those very special extensions of you that are not quite you and never quite yours. They deserve words ... https://vagabondcitylit.com/2021/11/15/three-cnf-flash-pieces-by-hibah-shabkhez/

Seven Is A Beautiful Number

‘I am here to haunt you,’ said the ghost. ‘Hello, ghost,’ said the little girl. ‘Welcome. Meet my other ghost-friends.’  ‘So you are haunted already,’ said the ghost ‘oh dear.’ ‘Why, what’s the matter? There’s always room for a new haunting,’ said the little girl. ‘Oh no,’ said the ghost. ‘I want to be someone’s … Continue reading Seven Is A Beautiful Number

Sıfır Genç Bir Sayı

Fever Dream

A poem by Hibah Shabkhez.

I refuse myself the sweltering swig. All around me they gulp and squirm, while I snicker at the pigeons scampering in the road. When the red light turns green they shall flutter and fly, only to come flocking back behind us, just as we will shuffle hither again tomorrow and wriggle ourselves again into this lurching tin crate. The butterfly alone will not return, that soaring papillion, the farfalla that brushed the glass with its wings and twirled away, like the zero in a counting book squiggled into a corner of the page of one, with nothing to have or to hold, not even a long history. Arigato, mariposa mia, for drifting past us in grace. If you had drawn closer, lingered, I might have remembered the cocoon and the carrion. Daughter of the air, you bring water instead upon your wings, the first…

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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

I Write; Therefore …

‘What are you doing?’ ‘Nothing.’ She yanks down the lid of her laptop, holding on to the thread of her verse, blocking out the voice with her gritted teeth. But it takes the poem with it when it finally goes away. … A shadow over her shoulder. ‘“Shizenadé knelt down among the pomegranate trees and … Continue reading I Write; Therefore …

Asi es la vida

Credo Espoir

written by Hibah Shabkhez


‘O Raven days, dark Raven days of sorrow…’ The line is stuck in my head like a biscuit-commercial jingle and a witch-chaunt rolled into one, and I do not know what to do about it. If I were not half-crazy with guilt, there would be no need to do anything, and it would go away all by itself, like a new song looped for six days and then quasi-forgotten. But I have a conscience trained in the ‘you must do your homework before you can —’ tradition, and it demands that I spend every waking minute on work until every single assignment is done and done and done indeed.

Therefore? nonetheless? most of my deadlines tend to whoosh past with a vengeance. For there are muffled poems inside me that I have not the strength to excavate, and I know the whetted ivory beaks of the…

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Ameno, Ameno, Ameno; Imprisoned Lightning; The Meat-Poison Cliché

Ameno, Ameno, Ameno; Imprisoned Lightning; The Meat-Poison Cliché are up on Impspired


When first I climbed out into to this Land of do-as-you-please, it was an Inkdeath that I would fain have guarded against, for I deemed it quite inevitable: how can the Inkspell fail, thought I, when you spend more of your life within it than without? Lorenzaccio … but it was not so. This land remains the half-dream it always was, a Middle Earth one steps into for adventures, while that Land of the Lost scarce-glimpsed now from the top of the Magic Faraway Tree remains so starkly real, so starkly mine.
Every time I say a ‘Bonjour’ or hear one said to me, a voice at the back of my brain goes something like ‘Tintatintin. Studio 100, Page 97, Exercice 4, Dialogue 1’ … Nothing matters quite so much here, or in quite the same way. People, places – there is a veil of…

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The sun strode briskly towards its zenith as it always did in the fall, something of the warmth of summer emanating from it still. Farmers welcomed it from their fields with hasty glances at the lush verdure it drew from the obscurity of night to glowing, radiant life, women peered at it out of their … Continue reading Earthquake

The Freshly Felled Tree

The tree-branch bobbed past the window, scarcely higher than the sill, its leaves shushing the recalcitrant grass that sprang upright again in its wake. It lurched as it moved onto the path, and idly she wondered if it would unyoke the ragged ridge of bone straining to thrust it up. As the ten-toed spindles upon … Continue reading The Freshly Felled Tree

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful country. When they made it – for this country was carved out of the earth like a slice of cake – it became ere long the Land of the Lost. Aileann Faevelt Lhann’shoay! It was never young, this country of thine. The memory of blood was upon … Continue reading Once Upon a Time

Salvaged Clichés

Success is not about having enough but about being enough - enough of a human being, enough of a parent, enough of a friend - to be happy yourself and to make those you love happy. Love is total acceptance, be it of a person, of a thing, or of an idea. Whether you love … Continue reading Salvaged Clichés

À l’éloge de la linguistique

‘Le signifiant n'est qu'un signe choisi arbitrairement, figé par la suite ; le signifié est d’ordre universel’ … voici la première notion linguistique que l’on m’a apprise, dans un monde que j’ai surnommé plus tard ‘La Force’ puisqu’il est devenu la pire des prisons. Un canard, m’a dit-on, est toujours le même animal, qu’on l’appelle canard … Continue reading À l’éloge de la linguistique

Ce que j’ai appris en enseignant le français

Aujourd’hui, je vais tacher de faire une « auto-évaluation formative », en quelque sorte, de ce que j’ai appris (jusqu’à maintenant) en enseignant le français. Ma vie active de professeur a commencé quelques semaines seulement après le présentiel du DUFLE. J’ai assisté à un cours à AFL pendant quelques mois, pour observer et apprendre (le … Continue reading Ce que j’ai appris en enseignant le français

Always The Story Has Power

The story has power. Always the story has power, if it is told with enough faith. The story runs thus. Once upon a time, there was a wretch perched upon a tree that cringed lower into the ground with every passing second, quaking as she watched the ravening wolf below grow ever more fearsome and … Continue reading Always The Story Has Power

For Auld Lang Syne à la 21st Cent

'I never would have written to you, if they had not begged me so very hard not to." Well, praise the Lord for perversity, then! It's been what? Ten years? I guess I ought to have written too, but, you see, no one begged me so very hard not to... I've not laughed so heartily … Continue reading For Auld Lang Syne à la 21st Cent

There is work to be done

- Bestir thee, O broken one, for there is work to be done. - Aye. So I am gathering up all of my selves to do it. - All of thy selves. - All of my selves. All that is left of my mind and my body and my heart - and my soul also. … Continue reading There is work to be done

Mon histoire à moi

Commençons donc par dire une chose nettement : Elle n’est pas belle, cette histoire que je raconte. Si c’est la beauté qu’il vous faut, cherchez d’ailleurs. Je m’appelle Sarusai Hiryu et je vais vous raconter mon histoire à moi. Celle-ci, ce n’est que mon histoire. Mon histoire à moi. Rappelez-vous que l’amour et la haine, en … Continue reading Mon histoire à moi

A Limbo of One

My soul is lost. I can’t find it there anymore… There is a shard of something stuck in my soul. A small piece of petrified, broken-off soul, like a splinter of a shell stuck in a war-wound that will not let it heal. But then, what would you? A soul cannot be probed. It cannot … Continue reading A Limbo of One

You do not see at all…

A guest post by ‘The Frostbitten’ (Ibreez Shabkhez) I don’t care what it looks like to anybody, but I am working. If all you want to do is remind me of the obvious dangers involved, then it would, perhaps, be more appropriate to scream at a mirror- we all have problems… mine ends in a … Continue reading You do not see at all…

Fen of Tales Untold

Wheresoever life blooms still in the Lhann'shoay, the ghosts of unsung sagas hold it close. On the edge of all edges, in the sleet-white scythe that splits the green of the earth from the blueyellow of the sky they dwell, groping for a place beside younger sisters whom Time the Inexorable Sculptor has not yet … Continue reading Fen of Tales Untold

A Feather from a Secret World

Before it can be written as a seamless whole, every snippet of its shadow that can be caught must be pinned to paper. Nakushita. The Land of the Lost…You’re wrong there. Lose yourself it, and you’ll find your way through. But can you do it? Can you trust, you who lie hourly to yourself and … Continue reading A Feather from a Secret World

Hail, O Gentle Reader…

My name is Hibah Shabkhez. I am a writer. Of the young & aspiring type. Bursting with talent and ambition, with stories to tell which will be simply awesome when I’ve finished writing them, but pretty scarce on time to write in, and fairly clueless as to what I’m supposed to do anyway. So I … Continue reading Hail, O Gentle Reader…