Monday, March 15, 2010


For a person to lose possessions may not mean much, especially if that person hasn’t got much to lose, to start with. Loss of significant others, on the other hand, is not the easiest of predicaments to deal with. Despite the many good things of life, like nurturing hope, sometimes, you wake up one morning to find out that that hope has slipped away, and all you have to retrieve it is to capture an image of what it was before it made itself conspicuous by its absence.


Whoever it was
That broke into my universe
Through a window in my digs
That was let loose
As a matter of practice!
Three months ago
I brought a coleus
Sang to it, watered it,
And placed its pot on the edge
Of the window
So it captures dawn
And the passing of day
And the chirp of the nightingale.
I tucked a note
With a street address
Was it a palm, was it an olive
Was it a cedar or a citrus?
My mind went blank
As I arrived from a night’s trip.
I all but tripped
On the debris of my coleus:
Is roots were naked
Its leaves asphyxiated
Its soil scattered
And the pot shattered
On the ground
So hard was the thud
Below the window;
The note was gone
With the wind.
The ink of the address
Was withering
The postmaster
Wouldn’t know
The zip code or the street
Or the district or the town.
Sender’s address was blotted
Beyond recognition.
Standing on the verge of sanity,
I was grateful
The burglar hadn’t done much
Beyond wreaking havoc
On my plant.
Ali H. Raddaoui Spring 2010


Anonymous said...

I am no stranger to poetry, both British and American, and I assert that these poems should be taught at our English departments in our universities.
Bravo and please do write more.

Ali H. Raddaoui said...


Your encourgement is very much appreciated. In all honesty, I am humbled by it! I think the secret to learning the tools of the 'poetic' trade is, as you aptly put, to 'write more'. Having written more intensely over the past few months than I have for a few years, I find composing has become somewhat easier. I could almost write about the little things of life without straining so much. Stop writing though for a while, and this takes its toll on the engine, if you allow the image, or on the muse, if we want to be traditional about it.

Thanks again for your kind words; I will try to live up to them.