Mina el Hosn

April 5, 2017

Endless waves collide
Against the sea-wall along
The promenade, each row
Of palm trees swaying in
The breathy wind coming
In off the Mediterranean.

Though Cyprus lies only
A few miles off-shore, it’s
Shrouded in the haze from
The forgotten ships that
Once lined these docks,
Trading goods from afar.

Beirut stands as it always
Has: ancient and modern,
A thousand languages and
Too many stories to count.
Now, it has become home
For those who have fled.

It may seem a paradise
Steeped in sunlight’s rays,
But these streets will speak
If you are willing to listen.
Voices as old as the waves
Always yearn for the sea.

MSBQ

Surrender

July 6, 2016

The surface of the lake
Looked as placid as glass
As it reflected the late
July noon back at itself.
His parents had said that
They could swim there
As often as they liked,
But each time he waded
Out into the murky green
Waves, his heart told him no.

He recalled, later, how his
Biggest fear had always been
Feeling something alive
On the bottom of the lake,
Limp arms like tentacles
Grasping his legs, dragging
Him down into the darkness.
“Come on out, Timothy,”
His older brother called
From the anchored dock.
He did not want to seem
That he was afraid, so he
Held his breath and leapt.

Looking upwards, the many
Ripples on the surface above
Shimmered endlessly, making
A living sky of gold and green…
As they pulled his body out,
His eyes were still open in
Eternal wonder and awe.

Ninety seconds later,
He coughed up the water
From his desperate lungs.
He would live on. However,
That brief moment of pure
Tranquillity, looking up at
The rainbowed surface,
Would remain with him
To the end of his days.

MSBQ

Standing Water

April 13, 2016

The sea was grey,
So much so that when
You looked, your eyes
Couldn’t quite tell where
The horizon really was.
Compacted wet sand is
Terrific for holding shape,
Each paw print a smudge
That remained long after
Her feet had left the beach.

The air smelled of salt, and
The ebb and flow of waves
Repeated their song like a
Pair of giant watery lungs-
Inhale and exhale.

Every wave brought me
Closer, into the eddies and
Pools between the rocks.
I hear her splash her way
Back to me, whining and
Barking for me to return.
But here is where I’ll stay.

MSBQ

Submerged

June 23, 2014

I feel like Plath’s
Ponderous house;
Not with child, but
Because as you
Wander through me,
I can feel weight shift
Across my floorboards,
Groaning with effort
To forget as you go
From one empty
Room to another.

Dust settles silently,
Tearing the curtain
That kept you at bay.

Despite your best
Efforts, I am here
Still making my own
Decisions, having
Dropped anchor on
Too short a line,
Letting the sea fill
My lungs until they
Burn and I am fully
Submerged.

Vacant and occupied:
Somehow I am both
All at once.

MSBQ