Archive for the ‘Litterature’ Category

Prophet and commercials

March 9, 2013

(To Rodriguez: As if his songs were written today)

He’s pained and starved

But his eyes were clear

His heart whispered in the crowd’s ear

Words of beauty, words of truth

Not from the scriptures

But from every table and every street.

The truth was sweet, a pretty sight

… But just for the night.

The morning after

They woke up in fear

They looked in the mirror

His words weighed heavy

The make up disappeared

They felt nauseous

They downed more pills

The tv flicked on:

“The DOW was up

Jenny got pregnant

Snooki lost weight”

His words were drowned

Safely fizzled away

Commercials won

Yet another day


Again and again, for the first time…

February 23, 2013

When you’re here, I wish you never leave

When you’re away,

My calendar feels cruel and cold

Til we meet again,

For the first time

We kiss  again,

For the first time,

We melt in a hug,

The road unfolds

The  yellow leaves fall,

Then, life starts again!

Gold Zombies

July 28, 2011

You cannot eat gold when hungry,

Nor drink strung pearls when thirsty.

                     From “The Clay“, a poem by the Lebanese American poet Elia Abu Madi reminding the self-glorifying rich that they actually share more than what they think with the layman.

Little did he know!

Even a poet’s imagination falls short of appreciating how outrageously decadent humans can be.

From $1000 bagels to $25000 Frozen Haute Chocolate Sundaes,  infusing 23-karate and 24-karate edible gold  leaves into food is giving a whole different meaning to rich taste.

What is next? Drinking strung pearls when they’re thirsty?

In a recent article in Huffington Post, Christopher Cocca suggested that “[The] Church could end poverty, scarcity, sickness and famine without a dime from the rest of the world.”

Yeah dream on! I mean how are then Christian nations  going to pay for their $25000 Frozen Haute Chocolate Sundae?

As far as our poet is concerned, may be Abu Madi can take solace in this:  In  Manhattan, a gold serving restaurant got a dose of poetic justice when the health department had to close the store as the mice somehow developed an expensive  taste for the shiny metal leaves


Town without “Borders”

April 25, 2011

There is something missing when we go for a night out in town these days.

The crowd looks as lively and animated as ever, mind you,  but the mood in the big open strip mall feels somber. Stores are still vibrant, especially the “pay-day loan” stores that are sprawling faster than the speed of the sinking economy.

But somehow I feel I am in a barren land.

No longer can I sip my cup of brewed beans and wonder about the mysteries of the universe and its inhabitants while curled with a book in the cozy leather chair.

No longer can the  vibe of the music from a new  prophet  lift my soul to new heights and luscious sights. 

No longer do I meet the lit eyes of a crowd hungry for a piece of knowledge about one thing or another or watch the joy in the eyes of  kids getting their first taste of the nectar flowing from fairy tales in garden of books.

Atlas has shrugged….  Borders has closed its doors in this town. And it feels like a forced break up with a soul mate.


Confessions–Part 1

March 28, 2011

Your innermost self is really who you are. The outside noise could be overwhelming. The inner voice can easily fall on deaf ears. And this could whither the soul.

Caring about my friends as much as caring about myself has been my cherished pleasure and pride. I love sharing their joy and getting immersed in their sorrow.

That sharing, however, could  inadvertently conflate your space and theirs. The things you love and enjoy suddenly become what they must love and enjoy.  With the best of intentions, extreme love might insidiously give way to selfishness. Insensitivity and overconfidence  all could drown your soul.

A recent  trip has given me a wake up call–nothing can help me look within, redress my life, and appreciate its essence and the beauty of true love and friendship like traveling can. It redirected my compass. My spiritual ears are back listening to my inner voice. And I have now a fire wall more adept at filtering out the outside noise.


Prophetic words from a great Tunisian poet

February 1, 2011

I’d like to announce my exhilaration and pride at what has been going on in the Middle-East. I am teetering on the edges of tears and redemption.

From Tunisia to Egypt and from Lebanon to Jordan and Yemen. Change is in the air. And it smells sweeter than my first love.

I don’t know for sure whether all these brave freedom marchers are going to prevail in the end. For I know that Mubarak and his masters in Washington are capable of any atrocity. But it makes me proud and happy to the far edges of tears to see people rising for their rights. 

So even if they don’t prevail, and I have high hope they will, they will have  uprooted the myth  of the invalid Arab street. They will have a brave and proud  legacy of rebirth, again, to pass down to the next generation. They will have shaken these brutal regimes and their masters in the United States of America; the beacon of democracy!

It is appropriate, since this auspicious wave of uprising started in Tunisia, to recite a few lines from the great Tunisian poet, Abu Al-Kassem Al-shabbi, talking about the will of the people:

If people, one day, demand  life

Then destiny must obey

And the night, most certainly, will  clear

And the chains must break


An ode to Mom this new year

January 1, 2011

Your palm heals like the passage of time

At the edges of your voice there resides a  tender God

I have traveled all the roads

Spoken all the tongues

Rode all the galloping suns

The roads lead back to you

For your love is everywhere

The tales spin around you

For your love is in every word

The suns land in your lap

For your love traps the time

A most beautiful gift this season

December 31, 2010

What is the most beautiful gift one could ever receive?

A gift so magical that it doesn’t fade with time. A gift so pretty and grows more beautiful every season. A gift that puts a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and serenity in your day every time you look at it.

I got a call from a beloved friend of mine next to whose house I had bought a small lot mostly, but not entirely, as an investment. He called to tell me about his  gift for me  this season.  “I  planted pine and olive trees all around the lot”, he said. “By the time your house is built here, the trees will have grown beautifully”, he added. “I would love to have you back here during your summers”.

I tried to take all that in: A beloved friend of mine would love to have me as a neighbor so much that he actually planted the land with the most generous and enduring trees as an invitation. What could be more genuine and more beautiful than that?

My eyes watered. How lucky a guy can be (with Sinatra’s permission). I have been speechless all day swimming in magical feelings of true love. That is the most precious and beautiful gift indeed.


Culture vultures?

January 18, 2010

Why do we keep producing people like the CEO’s of Goldman Sacks, J. C. Morgan-Chase, and AIG that have brought the global economy down on its knees and robbed millions of their jobs, lifetime savings, and homes without showing the slightest hint of  any remorse or empathy? Before them, there were the Enron CEO’s , and the S and L scandal people before that.

This doesn’t start and stop at our financial institutions. America keeps producing individuals like president Truman who committed the greatest act of terrorism of all time by nuking  the civilian population in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Robert McNamara who ordered carpet-bombing of a massive peasant population, and Henry Kissinger who was heavily involved in the massacres in Latin America in the seventies.

You may be thinking this is happening within the political and financial spheres. And this is a crule, and cut-throat culture. Think again. It doesn’t get any better when we venture into the American religious arena . It is an amalgam of superstition, ignorance, hatred, and personal status that override the moral high ground. Just listen to comment from  Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham,  Jerry Falwell, and  Jimmy Swaggart about Mohamed, or other people they don’t like.  

These people are not on the fringe of our society. And certainly they are not an aberration. For the most part, they were educated in America’s elite institutions and not in Madrasas in remote Afghani caves. People like that are considered successful models of what the best in our culture can produce.

 Have we ever stopped to look in the mirror? Have we even remotely asked ourselves why every president since WWII has waged a war for one reason or another (except for Jimmy Carter who armed the brutal ruling junta in Burma to the hilt so they could crush the domestic democracy movement)? All that with the full support of our élite media pundits and religious leaders.

One, conceivably,  can mount a defense for a counter argument.  One can even list plenty of individuals that  have been educated in Ivy league schools and have opposed all the atrocities I have mentioned ( people like Ralph Nader and Chris  Hedges). But then the question can be rephrased.  Why aren’t these people at the helm running America? Why do they systematically fail to make much of a dent in public attitude let alone public policy?

If the élite institutions in America produce people who  arguably commit crimes against humanity, and if  “democracy at its best”, as we’re told, can produce such individuals, then the flaw lies deeper than we may like to admit.

This should get any caring person deeply worried.