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Hajar Mahfoodh

Hajar Mahfoodh is a modern artist and poet. She attained her MA from Bowling Green States University, Ohio, USA. Her full-time job as an English Lecturer did not stop her from expressing her passionate attachment to arts and poetry. She is interested in experimental poetry in both visual and written forms. Currently, Hajar is pursuing her Ph.D. in Literature at the University of Surrey.



KFC Work


His fall rose to filthy ham

Rotten in core

Rotten in lore.

His words have endless wards,

Wars,

And a lot of work

In a KFC box.

His work smells

As foul as fast food

With lovely colours

Full of lies

Full of spies

Like the work of a KFC box.

With him,

Work can be jerk,

Or choking a serene hymn;

Work reveal the fatty part

Beneath his sin,

The sin that hides a lot of hate

A muddy mouth with hypocrisy

And death.

Wonder how sin and work come together?

A sin devours work

With lots of sounds,

Not sound;

The crispy work of KFC

Is prey of sin,

Is prey of the ugly akin;

This man

Is only a crispy work of KFC,

A sin

Full of roaring sounds

Muting his defeat

Of sound

But bound to his work

In a KFC junk –



Notes:

1. Transliterating (Arabic): work = thigh; the drum of a cooked chicken; sin = tooth or age; ham: wandering in loss.

2. The poem tries to delve into the character of Donald Trump as an unfit American president who “looks” like an American president but does not make one in both his physical and metaphysical presence.




Reem

Reem trotted on the beer’s walls,

Attracted the flies,

And the ants,

Created an army

of Jade.

Where the sun sets

Where the sun rush rain and bullets.

Reem, the flies and ants, combat a serene Elf

Of saints.

Reem inside the brain

Brings rain

Or matter insane.

Reem does not have Beauty,

Nor hides a lovely deer,

Nor does dare

Sing or ring

Prayers and hymns with Kohl and Shawls.

Reem is plural of boiling ores,

Reem is foam and glimmer

Of a Saffron storm in a mug,

In a shack pub –

Of insane dreams of a mad world

A world of an angel

A world of so many demons.

Reem is just a dummy plural

Foam that does not have a birth

Nor a date.

Reem is lost where the sun rises

Where the sun cannot shine,

Where the sun cannot incline,

Where the sun is not mine,

Or yours.

Reem is lost in a forest of ash,

Reem is lost in the world of cash.

Reem is our compass to reach beauty,

Reem is

A deer

A home.


Notes:

1. Reem in slang English means attractive.

2. Transliteration: deer/dare: abbey; Reem: deer or foam; Ash: a Persian dish; home: them; beauty: my home; beer: a well; Elf: one thousand; shack: doubt and uncertainty; rush: sprinkle or spray a liquid; insane: human (Levantine accent).

3. Reem here are the bubbles of beer; the poem here try to depict ideas of a drunk person whose ideas are bewildered confusing but also articulating a miserable life in the Levant that has been seeking peace (the symbols for peace are the deer and Reem).




Rush Matter


In 2020,

Matter can be mute not sound,

With an evil germ.

Matter with germ together rush,

With drops from the sky of the door,

nor heaven or hell.

Hell begins many questions,

And blasphemy.

Dangerous to home in the faraway lands,

Where “schaffen” is not Dutch,

Nor English.

Where it heals and cures.

Schaffen beauty at home,

Of a Sufi mad mourner,

creating faith

from Hell.

Matter and germ together rush

Into the depths of beer,

With Joseph lost,

Or perhaps found in holy bits of Sheer.



Notes:

1. Transliterations in Arabic: Sheer: poetry; Hell: Used for rhetorical questions for an answer of yes-no; beauty: home; beer: well; Matter: rain; rush: sprinkle water; germ: a pun in Arabic that means guilt, crime, or space germs.

Schaffen (in Dutch it means create and establish): cure and heal.

2. The poem portrays the absurd missile attacks in the Middle East at the dawn of 2020.




US and we

Beauty sinks in dust,

Snaffled in rust,

Lust.

Quietly rises to the grave,

With Dave,

And Dove,

Since the difference between consonants creates US.

Race of alms,

Race of graves,

Misery… and dark is what we save.

Beauty is home,

But home is US.

In ancient tongues of the East

Home is us,

But never US and we are the same

In English,

Or ‘oui’ in French,

We cannot always say yes,

Or we,

Since we and US are master and slave,

Since we and US are not Dove, or love,

But Dave.

Since US is a lie

Of deaths and graves,

To all your and my beauty,

Home.

Notes:

1. Transliterations in Arabic: Beauty = home; Home = us; alm[s]: pain.

2. Dave stands for the American greedy capitalist waging war in the East.

3. I tried to play some puns on words that have the same sound but different meanings in Arabic and English, and only one French. But, the intention is to create a mourning song of loss that can have some different interpretations.

4. Free Verse.






Pamenar Press runs series of workshops and readings based in London, Tehran, and Toronto. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated about our events and publications.

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