Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category


Use your bodies

January 29, 2011

Use your bodies
not for a flame
but for a movement
raise your voices stark
from cracking throats
drown archaic concrete to the ground
let all the filth of oppressed years
and starving bellies
in the sea nearby swell
to rise in tides
that will topple dictators’ fists
and raise their sullen brows.
An elite few living
in golden castles
in masked denial
in crude indifference
heaven awaits for a reckoning.
The streets are bleeding today
rocks at the ready
bare arms and empty hands
the will is stronger than reason
a spark all you need
to see the dawn.


Beirut Intersection

August 14, 2010

He said it made him sad
the old fashioned flute
sharp elegy at the breath
exhaled to mourning
and the vendor on the street
selling sadness for a dollar.
All around people are walking
on inconstant pavements
their soles of feet now charcoal
battle ridden and exhaust smudged
thankfully though always to be
in the latest à la mode
florescent Italian sandals
which are really made in some
plastic producing dingy factory in Lebanon.

All along,
the afternoon summer swamp
of tourists, beggars, suntanned posers
foreign languages at every tongue
I miss Arabic.
A man further away
primeval groans
from a thirsty dry throat
implores cars entwined in traffic
to make way
clear the road
frantic and almost insane
he gestures
black leather bag caught
between his arm and damp waist
his striped shirt
tame and office like
he lunges again defaming
the people with no conscience
to move out of the way
confusion filters through on the intersection
where he stands
causing apathetic tourists and ray bans
to stop and turn their heads in raw obedience
at the expression of reality
at the uncontrolled tone of voice
which rises and breaks
like the salt water on Raouche
like nerves being played with a taught violin bow.
Intrusion of undiluted emotions
in the upper lip sweat of day
between the car exhausts and yawns
traffic eases from afternoon orange
to blue of night.

His child is sick
immobile in a car caught between
indifference and concrete
at the beginning of the standstill street
tauntingly 50 meters away
from the city’s best hospital
the wailing man’s
grey face, cigarette lips, arms motioning
when the car carrying his own pained body
passes next to him
hurry he says, now silent and only motioning.
The battered red car speeds down the road
and he with his black leather bag
collected higher into his chest with a gripping churn
he runs down the street
a man of 48
shameless in his pain
and his unhindered love he runs
on the uneven asphalt
awkward and panting
his body now seeming frail as it
juggles the weight of worry and age
he runs
while many of us in the city
stand around and watch.

August 14, 2010



July 9, 2010

Light switch
the window lets the afternoon in
beige curtains unhinged
in disdain
couch sinks under my weight
refrigerator hums itself cold
A/C falls silent.
My body bending towards paper
free time
the non-action
in daylight
distant highway moans
screech past the bedsheets.
Your breath darling
would ease my nothingness
your presence
I pray for
in my unholy church
imagined mosque
a prayer for your comfort
for the jagged numbers
and now fading light
that you come to me
when the movement falls still
to whisper all is nothing
when your body and mine are wrapped tight
the meanings forgotten
and thinking’s sorrow forever erased.

By Sarah Snowneil Ali


Love poem in cliché minor

June 15, 2010

I haven’t been fair
to our love
my darling
when I say that
all that can be said about love
has passed
in words
clichéd now for years.
To speak softly
of your hand
chest and legs
as though no one has seen
what I see
would only put me
to Neruda’s shame.
But your pout
so serious as you drive
is mine, I think
to steal
your accent
and the way you reverse
your “j” and “g”
and the way “sandwich” comes
with a clenching of your jaw
lower teeth exposed
upper lip upturned
and your eyes always in those
playful moments
to my lips lowered
in your coy boyishness.
I want to brush your hair
fix your collar
lift your sweater
squeeze your temple
with a kiss designed to mark you
speeding as we are on these
reconstructed spirally streets.
I haven’t been fair
because I didn’t mention
your smile
when I become a little girl
or the way your silence
speaks to me
more than all the artificial talk and moan
enveloping me at every
corner plane
cramped space
elevator cube and noose
and perhaps it’s futile
to describe what can only
instinctively be felt on a
dusty cloudy afternoon
sitting by you in the car
trying to mould a love
poem that hasn’t been written,
I told you darling,
I haven’t been fair.



April 26, 2010

5 dollar lollipop
Thigh high birthmark
Cellulite beige creases
Mini shorts
tiny skirt
See through is the new black
3 dollar water
Take it
Scorch it on your open palm
Obey the sun
Sweat your souls
To vapor
Iced coffee to cool
Blended shaken
To a core vacant
Diamonds for eye lashes
Plastic for noses
Cartilage curve
Wide porcelain forehead
Botox in the blender
Caramalize your hearts
Look away from construction workers
Brown skin is the new black skin.
250 dollars one month’s paycheck
for blue overalls’ slavery.
Indifference is hell.

By Sarah Snowneil Ali
March, 2010