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2 Poems by Hibah Shabkhez

Twist and Turn

Inside the dream you have this morning, I

Lie, half-hatched. Cradled by night, you hold my

Truth in sleep. Am I fish-snake, swallowing,

Or mushroom rising out of the abyss?

Wake, wake, that I may twist and turn to be

Neither and both, a dream-mist mellowing

And morphing into new forms you can miss

Ever quite capturing with brush or pen.

Zombies Made To Mesmerise

Yesterday you were all green and grubby

Leavened by the occasional flower

Set against some bland brown tangles of tree

Autumn-stripped and self-effacing; rather

Hideous, even, in some places. Now -

Now the first snow falls, flake by unique flake

And your hitherto listless branches throw

Themselves with zeal into battle. They make

Ledges out of their slender twigs, and try

To catch the snow, as leaf and blossom, earth

And grass are wreathed, made devastatingly

beautiful. Yesterday, you were just plain

Tousled winter gardens, but alive, alive -


Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in Rougarou, Backstory Journal, Porridge Magazine, Boats Against The Current, Samjoko Magazine, Five Minutes, and a number of other literary magazines. Studying life, languages, and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her.  Check out updates on her Linktree: and follow @Twitter X: @hibahshabkhez and on Instagram: @shabkhez_hibah.

EDITOR'S SONG PAIRING: siyahplak — Elsiane - morphing


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