RANDOM HANDSHAKES - ALI H. RADDAOUI

Saturday, May 12, 2018

FOREST FIRE


Like sap oozing through the strictures

Of green offshoots to burgeon here and there

Into flower, foliage or Fruit,

Wild fire sweeps through crannies of the jungle

To quench thirst of a richly textured

Soil crying for cleansing every once in a while.



Long before the daises are pushed up

Let there be shuddering and cleansing

For a daisy is a daisy for but half a day

Fire is then a mere footnote

In the dog-eared records

Of some long-gone socio-sylvan historian



Ali H. Raddaoui

THE SHAMAL WIND RUFFLES THE LEAVES

The Shamal Wind ruffles the leaves
Of this one palm tree
Gives it a rest and curls on to the next
And the trees and the shrub
And the grass underneath
All sing to the wind
And the winds swings them
To the rhythm of the song
But the wind when it whirls
Doesn't just swing the trees
The fact is that the grove as a mass
Does some more than submit
To the whims of the Wind
It in turn sways the Wind
and has Him recast His course
Through divers sylvan wafts.
Think of it - They do not sing out at will
Nor does He roam out of will.

I sat through this spring day
Under a Najd palm tree
I sang through the Wind
And the Wind sang through me
And through the Najd palm trees.

Ali H. Raddaoui

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

IT AIN'T AS COLD AS YOU'VE BEEN TOLD

On the other side of the hedge
It ain’t as cold as you’ve been told
Shrubs chirp
Thrushes hum
Grass grows, comes and goes
Olive groves at this time
lie low with their goods
Ants and antelopes
Tread along with the two-legged
On the sidewalk
Not in a hurry to stockpile
And report
By the hour, every hour
Or clock out of the shop
And go home
Cook an omelet
And eat online
With a chance acquaintance
Whose friendship you transacted
The other evening
On the commute home.
On the other side of the hedge
There is reason to believe
This season will be back
The tide ebbs and flows
Underground water shrinks
And restocks
Regrets to walk back
A memory of time too far gone
To come back.
Altitudes, pyramids
Hierarchies and mountain tops
Recalibrate
And water, untroubled,
Passes beneath the bridge.

Ali H. Raddaoui

Monday, April 17, 2017

IMELDA


Imelda, forcibly married to a welder

Had feelings so hard

She morphed into her very own husband.



Ali H. Raddaoui. Salalah, Oman, April 17, 2017

Saturday, December 3, 2016

SOMETHING THERE IS THAT DRAWS ME YONDER

Something there is that draws me yonder
Beyond lunch and tea, dinner in the veranda
And the clamor of supper, the frying of eggs
With oil at midnight, and the bells of the morning
Ushering me yet again into another day in heaven.
What it is I can only wonder;
I shall comb for  answers and ponder
Their curves each against the other for years on end.
For, truth be told, mine here is a world of order
Straight, nifty, almost too spick and span
For the type of character I am, with nothing the matter,
Almost conformant to the world order.
From my promontory on the ivory tower
I have peeked many a time into the skyline
Beyond ramparts, halls, citadels, fences and walls.
My mind’s eye traverses the slabs of concrete
Bypasses bridges, quarters and blocks
Asphalted roads, overpasses,
And the finishings of sidewalks
Alleyways, highways, and the haze beyond
To fly and to land I know not where
Still nowhere.

****

Ali H. Raddaoui
12/03/2016 

Friday, November 25, 2016

THE EBB OF THE FLOW

This mass of water
On the west-side border
Has been our Godfather
Three, four, score years or more
So far back as we can remember
I do recall, it was only yesterday
Our granddad in his last hour
Motioning we never ever
As much as dare to start to picture
To break asunder
Our merger with the water
For he’s our protector
From the whims of the Vandals and the Visigoths
Across the water
Over our dominions
Here and yonder
His wings hover
He’s for sure
Our bread provider
Our raison d’être together
Our day-to-day oxygen
And our number one friend
In our hour of need.
And this is our hour of need
And now all Water does is to recede
His flow bathes no more
Our cliffs and shores
Nor has His ebb in His retreat
Taken leave of our dad
Out of protocol
Or merely in honor
Of our just gone by
Golden jubilee. 

Ali H. Raddaoui

Friday, October 14, 2016

THE LAST CALL

Listen to me brother
Lend me your ears
The hour of truth is drawing near
And protocol can go to hell
I got to share my fears,
Like they are with you
Here in my inner heart
I am using my last back channel
There may be many an eavesdropper
But I don’t care one iota
And it probably doesn’t matter to you
That I utter or do not utter what I utter
And you likely know before hand
The call I mean to deliver
Heart to heart, without interpreter
Listen to me, if you care
I am speaking to you
From behind closed doors
Maybe for the last time ever
I want to say in confidence
If I may
Like we have for scores of years
Please, please, por favor, señor
Though your response will likely be “No more”
I take a chance anyhow
For this maybe my last chance
The afternoon hours are behind us
And quite frankly,
Evening has overtaken me
You know we’re well-nigh brothers
We’ve shared bed and bread
As brother with brother would
We suckled the same udder
And the cord that fed us both
Digs deep into the womb of our mother
And I have shared my everything with you
So far as I remember
Gold, land, space, water, what have you
I want us bonded as brother to brother for good
For the good and the bad
But you’re leaving me
In my darkest hour
I thought we’d always walk together
Forever, hand in hand
I will wait for you
My elder brother
To change your mind
For after all is said and done
And is nearly gone, there is no one to turn to
Other than you

Only you, my brother.