The demise of the Age of Chivalry
brought one meritorious outcome in its wake:
it spared many steeds gory battlefields,
a martyrdom in political intrigues.
The expiration of the Colosseum’s feasts
spared starved lions and encaged beasts
the task of mutilating soldiers, slaves, and saints
which nourished in spectators the murderous streak.
The cessation of hounding and sportive wild game
would spare many bears, many fowls, and deer
a death dictated by a pernicious gene
that ancestors had passed to uneducated offspring.
Where is the aesthetic of decking one’s wall
with the head of a lion or that of a boar,
with the spiral horns of an antelope,
an odor of death permeating one’s home?
Their departure hour
exudes crude terror.
My muscles twitch.
My lips convulse with horror.
The theme is always violence
and the outcome is always sour.
Impersonating a hero from an inspiring cartoon,
one kid inflicts on bushes a heretic’s doom.
An arena of sticks heralds a combat
to be followed by empty-bottle missiles.
Two boys enact their domestic disease
on a pavement weary with wrestling feats.
Others fill stockings with reliable stones
to be hurled at stray dogs who in their hiding moan.
A volley of obscenities is surely to print
the respect of bullies on novice-kids.
My nausea at men watering the walls
is daily flavored by children’s brawls.
For How Long?
You’ve tampered with my morns, my noons,
I was too good to be left alone,
so bound to be doomed.
You’ve meddled in my affairs until
I nearly fell off the precipice,
so how can you now rectify your wrongs,
retrieve my youth, my verve, my glance?
You’ve hammered your nails into my plans
thwarted my hopes, twisted my lance.
You’ve chipped and fissured my waxing moon
but for how long?
[A reading of a painting by Nawwar Morelli]
When he has undressed her with a knife,
the most scintillating of freckles meets his eyes
on a very torpid summer’s night.
The fingers that hold her lustrous skin
would flush the maiden’s silky sheen,
seducing the palate with a luscious stream.
The lips that pout would slake his thirst.
A stray lock of hair titillates his nerves.
He bites into flesh that yields its sap.
To seep into the arteries of sandy shores,
to bounce off the platforms of cliffs and oars,
to submerge the mind with heaving sea-lore,
to reshape the fate that one’s ship draws,
to seduce each surfboard that craves to soar.
About the Author:
Susie Gharib is a graduate of the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland) with a Ph.D. Her doctoral thesis, entitled Stylistic and Thematic Reassessment of The Trespasser, is a critical study of the work of D.H. Lawrence. Since 1996, she has been lecturing in Syria. She self-published four collections of poetry (My Love in Red, The Alpine Glow, Resonate and Kareem) and a collection of short stories (Bare Blades). She is a lover of Nature and enjoys swimming.