Hibah Shabkhez – Poems – 6

Name Place Animal Thing
by Hibah Shabkhez

The first volleys are gifs, cannon thunder
For our e-march towards shared moments. Next,
We shall tussle with the borrowed grimaces
And quirky grins of random emojis. 

Now we wait to see who shall first blunder
Into words, yield to the desire to text
Instead of waging war with false faces.
Then we’ll call to resume hostilities.

We’ll snap and snarl and jeer, go on mocking
Each other and all the world. Happiness
Is still forbidden treasure, like playing
Whispered word-games in quilt-tented darkness.

Quench Thus Your Grief 

Enter her old kitchen where laughter grew
From milk-moustaches, long after childhood 
Had gone west with its toy-plane dogfights, true
To the tick-tocking of the now-still clocks
When you hear the news.

Even moonlight cannot turn the rust white
That comes from a decade’s imprisonment.
Look at the knotted-up swing on the right,
Remember how its silver used to blanch,
When you hear the news.

Before I can pick out more action-words,
I have four languages, four worlds to appease
So I’ll glide meaning into stray adverbs 
You can cut away like the rinds of cheese
When you hear the news.


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 Wellington Street Review, Black Bough, Nine Muses, Borrowed Solace, Ligeia, Cordite Poetry, 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 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hibahshabkhezsarusaihiryu/ Instagram: @shabkhez_hibah