Tag Archives: Poetry

Fairouz, Edith, Nina: “That Bird Sings Only when she’s Unhappy”

My mother doesn’t listen to Fairouz
“It reminds me of the war”, she says.
On the radio, bombs outside,
“Li Beirut” melting on our window sills,
A splinter in our worn hearts.
The smell of sweat, bread and Jasmine,
“Li Beirut”.

“Si tu meurs, que tu sois loin de moi
Peu m’importe, si tu m’aimes
Car moi je mourrai aussi… »

A Hymn to Love, she has sung
On stage, holding a handkerchief
And her heart in her hand.
Her love had just died
On a plane from New York.
She heard, sang,
They clapped, wept,
She left, fainted.
And I,
I sit and listen
To Hymne a l’Amour.

A voice, like pouring wine
Words that you lick off your fingertips.
Brown sugar
Melting in tea.
Toasted castanea, hot in your hands.
Don’t smoke in bed.


Zombies at School and other Poetic Devices

“Miiiiiss, I hate writing poems!!!”
That’s the general response of most of the boys in my 7th grade classes whenever I tell them to write a poem. Every time we cover a new concept (figures of speech, free verse poetry, haikus…), I let my students write a poem to demonstrate their understanding of it.

Today, I was reviewing plot elements and the famous “plot triangle” with my students. After drawing the triangle, and after a few random comments on how two students were dared to eat grass and dirt during the school trip they had earlier in the day, I asked my students to draw a big triangle with the following beginning: “It was another normal day at school…”.

This is the plot of one of my students:

Exposition: It was another normal day at school
Rising Action 1: Suddenly, zombies came out of the ground
Rising Action 2: The teachers ran away, scared
Rising Action 3: The zombies ate all the doughnuts in the cafeteria
Climax: The zombies ate all the footballs
Falling Action 1: Kassem came with his machine gun
Falling Action 2: He killed all the zombies
Falling Action 3: The teachers came back
Resolution: We all wrote a poem about zombies in English class


My reply: BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

‘Origami Pathology’

I usually don’t post my poetry, but thought I’d make an exception this time.

Origami Pathology

Cut, fold, throw

Straight to Origami hell

Cut the lines

Make the wings

Shape the tail.

It can’t fly though.

“Origami Mami, tell me why I can’t fly”

“Paper wings won’t get you far

Stay and just giggle

At my ghastly scissors

Because you won’t get far

My Origami baby

Just sit

And be pretty

While I look witty

Making an itsy


Origami birdy.”

I can fold them and put little hidden messages

In the corners of their wings.

Messages of strength

And peace

And freedom

And power.

And send them to third world cities in disguise

Past the frontiers that scare us so

Past the leaders we despise,

Signed by Origami hero.

The third world cities will be surprised

At my bold and rebellious sabotage.

They will call the press,

Alert the media,

Prepare the army for my terrorist attacks.

And I’ll be dubbed Origami Kamikaze,

Dropping paper bombs on an unaware third world city.

They’ll put me away,

Have a shrink evaluate me,

A doctor will check my eyes and pulse

All the while looking excessively repulsed

At my Origami-making hands.

They will lock me,

Kick me,

Starve me,

Then take a picture of me,

Looking like a skeletal cave person

With eyes sinking in

And ribs sticking out.

Then I will die.

And they will make an example of me:

“This is what happens when you get the deadly,

Tragic case

Of Origami Pathology.”

Written by Dima Matta

Photos by Dima Matta