Tuesday, December 7, 2010

About Poetry: The Human Condition

Poetry taps into the human condition through the use of specific sensory stimulants, narratives and metaphors. As such, the more specific the stimulants, narratives and metaphors the MORE relatable it is to the reader and their own lives.

This blog is an attempt to tap into your emotional state and life experience with both narrative and abstract poetry.

Poetry has come a long way over its history. Revolutionary innovations, such as William Shakespeare's breaking of traditional iambic pantameter, are now considered extremely restrictive. Rules about meter, rhyme and punctuation, as well as format in the computer age, are basically non-existent.

Poets are now free to express their work in any way they see fit. The only repercussion that exists is the perception by readers of its quality.

These changes are evident across cultures, as even traditional poetic societies, such as those in the Arab world, are adopting less strict and formulaic guidelines as to what constitutes good poetry.

The number one criteria of good poetry nowadays is its ability to move you, as a reader, into heightened emotional states which trigger the memory of a past event or series of events. I have also made presenting to you material which accomplishes this goal my number one priority.

First and second-person narrative tends to accomplish this better than third-person narrative (although it can be done in third-person). As such, you can expect most, if not all, of the narrative poetry here to be in first or second- person.

Do not confuse the narrator with me, as the poet, because even those poems that reflect actual events in my life contain a narrator who is not me. As long as your comments are appropriate, feel free to contact me at Seifeldeine@gmail.com and I will get back in touch with you, as well as share with all my readers any high quality mail. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Rhythm rolls over your poetry
like green hills roll over your countryside,
wet with words as the grass with the morning dew.

Tend to your stanzas as a shepherd would his flock.

And when the poem reaches maturity, carve it with the precision of a butcher,
but drink only its blood.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Refuge

The barriers kept cars out of the Palestinian neighborhoods,
windows boarded, the balconies crashed down to the sidewalk.
The apartments rose from the ground like ant hills. The Palestinians swarmed
to collect enough to survive.

A girl stood white against the Syrian neighborhood,
her skin mud against her teeth.
With her hijab, she looked like a girl who rose with the sun to pray
fajr. A man, too thin for his years, drank sun-dried lebnae: crust
white on his beard. He shouted orders.

The girl came to me and took my hand.
Men on the block took knives and dug them through the skin of lambs
and twisted until the blood
flooded the street,
the lamb’s eyes frozen
forever in shock.

She led me to her home,
a hummus-covered rug - the dinner table,
the pillows placed on the floor for seats,
the chairs bent at their joints, the old oven
and a hole in the ground at the back.

The girl’s mother sat on the edge of one of the chairs
and rocked its joints looser
and looser.
Water from her eyes wrinkled her skin
and wet her lips,
puckered on her white rosary beads.

The girl took my lira
and then took me into her bed,
weaved straw like a bird’s nest.

A lamb billowed as the butcher slaughtered her.

I finished and walked to the door.
The girl’s mom left her chair and ran her hands,
slick like the pages in the Quran,
over my fingers. She began a prayer:
“Bismee ‘llah ah rahman ah raheem,”
In the name of Allah, the most kind, the most merciful.


The bright desert sun shines down on the tram,
overlooking clay biniya that sit between-
grassy mountains and the sea, cradled like a new-born.
The Mediterranean crashes
against large, rounded boulders like the stomachs of customers
bloated with shawarma and cous cous.

Cars speed through red lights
cruising around al-humra- 
malls, jewelry and clothing stores
 of impenetrable glass.

The other buildings hide in bombed-out clay
and broken stone like the Wailing Wall.
A twelve-year-old janitor
mops up endless sand from the marble floor-
as I grab my hose and puff on arguilay,
wrapping my mouth around smoke rings-
just to prove I can.

Mission Accomplished

The little girl

in front

of the armored

her hands



to the soldier,

“wad you git der,”
he smiled.

Her head

by her arms

her torso

and his hands,


his chest.

In remembrance of:
  William Carlos William's "The Red Wheel Barrow"
 and Coalition Forces in Iraq.

Highland Park Block Party

Mr. Tarka wondered
"Why do wild-eyed girls
with long curly hair
waste days

for the skies
on the Showalters’ trampoline,"
 as he twisted his handle-bar mustache.

He watched the street fill
with ribbon-covered bikes
and the fields fill
with grills and expecting stomachs.

That night, his lights
were on 'til two
as the basketball
kissed the net,
making less noise
than a cricket.

Twelve o’clock heat
roasted my skin
while I headed down
to the pond-
where I saw his baby blue pickup
 drag dirt in its rear
as frogs left wet drops
 on green lillies.

I followed him down
to an empty lot
where he was building a house
with little more
than hammer and nails.

July 4th Carnival

Indulge in caramel apples
and hold its sweet smell

like kindergarten valentines
red, white and blue

on the Carousel.

And all the colors
wash over you
like sprinkles - dipped
in caramel.