2 poems by Yahia Lababidi

Yahia Lababidi

What is the Desert?

It’s forgetfulness
of trivia
and noise:

the city
or ego

of essences:

and G_d.

It’s the stormy story of the sea
recollected in tranquility

death and birth and death
and transformation—

a gift granted only
to the patient
who surrender.


Strange aches in quarantine
for our phantom limbs:
others and nature.

memories, longings
waking hours & dreams blend
with the daze of the weak

outer and inner are unclear
--this overcast sky
or that hangover

With no end in sight
beginnings called into question:
did we, always, live this way?

Wait, did you hear that;
are those birds chirping
or am I going mad?

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Yahia Lababidi, an Egyptian of Palestinian background, is the author, most recently, of Learning to Pray (Kelsay Books, 2021) a collection of spiritual aphorisms and poems as well as Desert Songs (Rowayat, 2022) a bilingual—English/Arabic—poetry collection and photographic account of mystical experiences in the desert.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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