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‘On sanity as you age’ and other poems by Ilhem Issaoui

By: Ilhem Issaoui

On sanity as you age

a bit of sanity as you age would do you good, they tell
It builds a house and a future
and gives some weight to your gossamery existence
I close my door
only to wear her again
and feel the gelid gelid skin
on me transparent, I can see the verdant veins
and the dream that the day ends
I whisper in her ears, it did
and they all, all faces
ended their mummery
they all transient
and only me who is here
in front of a new verdant tree
rejoicing the appricity
and the opaque cloudland
as clouds are gathering each other
as if dandelions had invaded the sky
only triumph’s quietude I hearken


On the omnipresence of offence

all we do these days is offending
everyone is offended
although no offense is meant
and all we ever wanted
was an end to this amarulent quietude
between four walls
that have the colour of pallour
one befriends his own self
mudlarking relief
in the crooning of birds
before the old wake
to disperse such momentous glee
the heart yearns for a friend
and a talk with no end
but others offend
a woman will lend you no ear
she prepares for her wedding
impatiently yearning to leave the talk
and commence her own journey
a man will ask for your hand,
not to say flesh
your secrets, never tell him
he will leave soon
They all fail to read what is inside
and we are poor inside
dead inside
amidst such nauseating macabre of silence
while all we ever asked for was a friend


A beguiler of time

like old old radios
with a voice that tells of complexities unsolved over ages
they do not want to hear
they talk
they ruminate their talks when they have nothing to talk about
and you are compelled to feel remourse
for a thing that cannot be undone
all I have is a room and dreams asleep
at times they perform a danse macabre
on the corpses that were once theirs
It took me years
to fathom
I was taught to never leave home
because I am a butterfly to be kept between the pages of some pulverulent biology book or a French dictionary
I once dreamt of learning by hard
someone has to inherit the old radio
and someone else is a mere beguiler of time


Ilhem Issaoui is a Tunisian researcher, poet, and translator. She has been published in many countries including the US, the UK, Canada, and India in print and online. She is in the process of publishing her second poetry collection.

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