Saturday, September 24, 2016


From behind the window pane
Is a TV screen
Beyond which
Are fish swimming
Almost linearly
Without each seemingly looking
At one another.
A man a little ways from me
Sipping coffee and spewing nicotine
Is hitting keys with one finger
On his mini screen.
I too take a drag from my hookah
And exhale a smoke screen.
Fog from the mountain
Is descending.
Humility settles on my lenses
Half thoughts behind my eyes
Are forming in the shade of the evening
And no one and nothing is looking.
Hold on. I think I have received an imaginary note
On the screen on my retina.
How nearly exciting
It’s all cool, calm and serene
For hours on end
With water bubbles from here or there
Or elsewhere not seen
Periodically rising.
Dawn is imminent
Seasonal clouds are approaching
And the mind’s eye, the screens, and the fish
Now vanish into nothing.

Ali H. Raddaoui

 Sept. 23, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016


I keep them simple, my pleasures
Without pretense or endeavor
I untie my shoe laces
Get rid of my socks
Place my plates on the gravel
So the Salalah night breeze
Destresses my nerve ends.
My employer doesn’t know
I am drinking tea with thyme
And feeling a drizzle on my arms
And watching the low-lying clouds
As they wrap us from up there
Without fretting for a second or an hour
About the little things of the morning hours
The misgivings of the afternoon
And the impatient evening rush hour.
I feel free not to tip the waiter
To the tune of 18%
Our eyes meet and we smile.
I holler like crazy
In the din of the youth throwing dice
And ordering chicken masala,
Cream with saffron and mango juice
The city lights flicker in the misty evening
And the evening lingers
And dabbles with the drizzle
And the drizzle dabbles with my tea
And thyme grows in my backyard
And baby mangoes sprout all around
And their roots curl up
To drink straight from the skies.

Ali H. Raddaoui