Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Too much too soon

Did I reveal
Too much too soon
Safe and comfortable
I felt immune
To nonsense
And mind games 
To make-believe
And withholding

On my best behavior
When I gathered
I could be much more
Myself, dear friend
Will you still like me then?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How long is now

How long is now
This moment
Will last a lifetime

How long is now
My body endures the hours

But my mind took a halt

As soon as I entered the hall
I stopped minding the clock.

I shut my eyes
The goosebumps never lie

I awake in paradise
The soul dancing to the bass.

I lose myself 
As much as find

Exactly who I am.

The music becomes 
My second skin
I look around and
You too, have the same discipline

How long is now

We are infinite in this crowd 

Then, I will remember your smile
Your heart sounds just like mine in Berghain.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Make words, not love.

I take your mind to bed
Any opinion
You ever had,
Stark naked.

I start fondling
Your musings;
I envision
Your thoughts on my skin.

Your ideas enter me;
I feel myself
From all the talking.

All my dreams flow
You, too, are close --
Baby, let me swallow
Any last word.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Autumn is a sturdy man
Eager to take your clothes off
What a mess he will leave on the floor

Some dignity hanging on
For as long as possible
But he gets bolder by the day
Complacent to stay.

Autumn is a coy woman
Eager to wear the colors of desire
What a sight she leaves for the beholder

Some courage to resist
As you blow her a kiss
But before she succumbs
She is promised a firework.

Autumn is a seductive game
Here to devour her right away
While for her, withholding is foreplay

His approach is raw
She delays her fall
She wanted it to last
But he came too fast.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I pray for you

Eyes do not meet
But I still see
Lips are sealed
But still I speak.

I listen to
Your quiet voice
And I inhale
Your scent long gone.

I pray for you
Each night I do
I cannot touch you
But I am holding you.

Friday, October 16, 2015

That is what poets do

That is what poets do

They romanticize pain
They idealize the torment

There is solace in darkness
Which they craft to enlighten;

Lure with words
The forlorn is adorned
Guilt is charming
Mistakes rewarding

That part that is revolting
The best line in their poems.

That is what poets do

They embellish heartbreak
To cement the heartache

But as soon as they leave their paper
and scenic thoughts captivated readers

Life can no longer render
The adequate metaphor
Agony is agony;

There is no substitute for it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My journey

In the spring of 1999, my mother took me on a weekend to Paris to visit a dear friend of hers. I was only thirteen at that time and though most of that stay is a blur, one of the things I do remember is the conversation he and my mother held about the Trans-Siberian. I did not know a thing about Russia at that time, let alone what traveling across it actually involved. All I can recall is how our friend's eyes sparkled when he talked about his time on the train and simultaneously, generating the kind of perfect smile on my face. Then, as he noticed me trying to sneak into the discussion, completely intrigued, he took a good look at me and said: "Dear, this is a journey you have to take one day. You are the type." 

Little did I know that this heart-to-heart would impact my life... permanently. It could have been an idea, it could have been just a suggestion; but it was impossible to put to rest. Not at thirteen, and surely not at any given time in the years that followed. His words echoed in my heart like the cry of a wolf lingers on a night of full moon. And the more I learned about the world -- the more I saw of the world; the more I was assured that the Trans-Siberian was the type of journey for me. The only question was not if -- but when I could pull it off.

The Trans-Siberian, though at the top of my list, was nevertheless stuck on hold. Truth be told, I believe that I intentionally visited other places first because with time, it had morphed into a monster of a dream that I preferred to look forward to than an actual plan that had to be realized. A part of me always thought of it as my Everest in terms of travels -- and there was something comforting about making it a highlight that was not one just yet. In fairness, there were a few attempts in the past: the last one was in 2010 when my father and I were just a click away from booking tickets. However, the trip had to be cancelled due to unfortunate circumstances. I was disappointed of course; but not entirely crushed. The eerie feeling that it was not the best time quite yet persisted. Looking back, I am relieved that my previous efforts failed because there could not have been a better year than 2015. On the eve of my 30th birthday,  I figured -- or I recognized -- that the time to embark on this long-awaited journey was now at last. Not only on a purely logistics basis, not only because I found the ideal traveling partners to share the adventure with; but as trite as this might sound, I was ready. Dare I say that everything fell into place this year, and I could not have been any more ready. Currently at the biggest crossroad of my life, I am bidding farewell to a 10-year roller-coaster ride and just about to get on board a new one. In every respect, my present entails being suspended between the past and the future; so the Trans-Siberian would be the epitome of this transition. And rightfully so, because that is what the Trans-Siberian is, a journey of transition.

There are different routes. The main thing to keep in mind is that whichever one you choose, you will travel across two continents, covering some of the largest lands -- and definitely some of the greatest civilizations -- that the world has ever known. It is plausible to remain in Russia alone if you take the route to Vladivostok; but ultimately, we wished to include Russia, Mongolia and China in our itinerary. Nearly 10,000 km by train -- if one has a difficult time to imagine how much or how long that takes, just consider that from Moscow to Irkutsk, one spends more than three full days in the train, which is what we did.

There is not a single trip I took in the past where getting there was of any importance. For obvious reasons, the only thing that mattered when I traveled was to arrive at the destinationSure, the trip can be fun; you catch up on some reading or watch the movie that you missed at the cinemas, the sceneries can even be majestic; but most times, no matter which vehicle, whether the train, the bus, the car or the plane; it was, in the end, just the means of transportation. The means to the destination. But everything is reversed when you decide to go on the Trans-Siberian. The real tour is getting there. Once people realized how long we were on the train, they asked the same question: "What did you do to kill time?" And it is at that moment that I comprehended why our friend from Paris gushed the way he did.  I had to experience it for myself.  I, now, also knew and loved the answer: the Trans-Siberian allows one to appreciate time fully, not kill it.

Life on the train creates a world of its own: by crossing over to Asia you get to travel through five time-zones in flesh. The most fascinating thing for me was that the clock on the train -- and in the subsequent railway stations -- always kept Moscow time though we were already in the middle of Siberia or on the other side of it. In a nutshell, I never knew what time it was... and that was also the point, it did not matter. We were free. I was as much in touch with the world as I was detached from it in the Trans-Siberian. It was an escape as much as it was home. As rustic as the atmosphere was, the train became everything we needed: our bedroom, our gym, our restaurant, our classroom, our play center, our library, our bar, our living room, and so on and so forth. Besides, the incredible strangers we met promptly became our family: we were from such different paths, but we all shared the same journey. The train, then, had its own tempo: neither slow nor fast -- it was just real. I learned to seize it; and every time I would glance outside the window, it was a startling sensation to always be somewhere but never anywhere concise. The only thing certain was that we were headed East, simply following the sun.

And so once we stopped, the wondrous places we visited crowned the whole adventure. From Europe to Asia, we were handed a bouquet of contrasts. From trying to learn the Cyrillic alphabet to deciphering the countless Chinese characters, from being in awe facing Moscow's magnificent Red Square to exploring the gargantuan Forbidden City of Beijing, from being unique in the middle of nowhere in Irkutsk to feeling squeezed among a billion in the overcrowded streets of Shanghai, from indulging in Russian fine cuisine to tasting lamb in all its forms in Mongolia, from swimming in the Lake Baikal in Siberia to getting engulfed in the beautiful Mongolian steppes, from climbing the one and only Great Wall to enjoying a cosmopolitan in one of Shanghai's best rooftop skyscraper bars, from studying Lenin, Genghis Khan and the Ming Dynasty to devoting a moment to God in orthodox churches and Buddhist temples, from riding horses outside UlaanBaatar to standing on the glass floor on top of the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai... More than anything, the palette of places, peoples and experiences was really as diverse as it can get, and the blend of colors I draw from the trip will be, without a hint of a doubt, one of my proudest accomplishments.

Traveling, aside from writing, has always been a most deep-rooted desire, priority and passion. In fact, both have a tremendous amount in common: I fill a blank page like traveling fills my life. I step outside the box as much as delve into my soul to bathe in the magic of it all. And I have never written as passionately or explored as extensively than during the Trans-Siberian. The longer we were on the road, the more I embraced the trajectory --  physically and metaphorically. In the end, it was an outward journey as much as an inward one. I will forevermore be grateful to have ventured in the Trans-Siberian.  I am blessed to be able to put my own impressions on paper. Finally, with the memory of it still burning in my heart, I can apply the greatest lesson I picked up along the way to my own life. At the end of 2015, I am indeed leaving a part of me behind and ready to forge a new one -- and I am aware that my transition is as important -- if not more important, more momentous, more riveting -- than the destination, like the Trans-Siberian. For wherever the train of life takes me, from now on, I will always, always appreciate the time on the journey. My journey. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Write it down.

Write it down
That thing
You fantasize about.

Write it down
Those words you dare not
Say aloud.

Write it down

Now is the right time to write
When words will not sit tight
When they cannot match
Whatever you hold inside.

Leave it all to feeling
Will give these words meaning

Write it down
What silences your mind
Exactly that
Which makes your dear heart bounce.

It is a wall to climb
And one to knock down

Write it all --
The words do not need to blend
It is then
When feelings make the most sense.

Write it on paper
My love,
The one who will answer

One who can read
Lines that are not poetic.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


This is me,
You see.
Or the whole;
All the same,
You will see.

I am Truth
A version of it;

Any part you will pick

Here is the treat
Every facet
Of this mosaic;
My identity is one and

Whatever you will get
It will be a best self
I am Truth
A version of it;

Take it
Or none of it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


They keep asking me
Did I do anything different
Not one bit
At last he appreciates me.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Same language

These two people
Smile in love 
The same way we do.

A bruised knee
Hurts as much
For a Muslim as for a Jew.

I will laugh
If something is funny
Whether I am Christian or agnostic

And anywhere in the world
The baby will cry
Whenever it is hungry.

Hug your family and friends
Every occasion that you get.

In the end,

God speaks to us all
In the same language.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Red lips

Can I not take

A compliment

Without questioning

Whether he means it

Look into the mirror

See what his eyes believe

Sees me as it is

Red lips he wants to kiss.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Urban Nature

Part I

No words need be spoken
Inhaling loudly,
She is mindful and content.
The only artifice here
A camera in her gear;
This instant in a frame
As wonders engulf her,
She claims.

I stand at the centre,
Swamped by 
The tick of high heels and chatter.
Mindful and composed,
Left aghast
By the mass who walk past.
The right words come up
Binding my feelings to my art.

Part II

Smell the air
Both dig inspiration

Of worldly proportions
Our nature
Do not fit by definition.

Entering each other's realm,
We love to understand.

May this gap 
Be bridged with time
For I am afraid

We do not rhyme.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


I find myself
Visualizing your glasses
When he removes his.

I imagine his crooked tooth
When I see yours
Impeccably aligned.

I learned a new word today,
To the act of tenderly running one's finger through someone's hair.

I grew fond of the act
Long before
Getting hold of the word.

I know not whose I prefer
Now his I adore
But as much as I do yours.

This is a threesome
Torn by emotions
We have history, we share chemistry
I love you
Though I love him too
Cannot think of him
Without thinking of you

This is a threesome
I have come to loathe
But the truth is
I belong to both.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


We meet for afternoon coffee
For this I reckon
I would fancy a waffle with it.

How are you?,
The first sentence of the last conversation about me and you.

While dipping a piece of my waffle
In the whipped cream
I did not order,
I have a thought.

We have never been
More than a side dish;
Like a waffle I would
Every so often ask for.

To sweeten this life
I require more.

I still prefer to take
My coffee black, as plain as my heart.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The smart ass theory

Was that offensive to you?
I was just pointing out
Something obvious.

Oh dear, 
If it were clear
I am sorry to disappoint
It was so smart I missed your point.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Black & White

I have drawn
The lines of your silhouette
My ring finger
Dark from smudging
The shadows behind your head;
I color it now
Where is that brown
Accurate enough
To capture the secrecy in your eyes,
That kind of green
That matches the shirt
You wore; the one I tore that night?
Painting the memory of you
However, the colors I use
Mask your true colors,
My muse.
Because you are black and white
Your rainbows are shades of minimal
There is no space for red
Or opening up for my sake
But I see;
That is a happy face
Listening to the blues
Below the surface.
You are black and white
Would you like some colors, I ask.
Hand over the brush,
Just say the word,
Let me be pastel in your world.