Happy 2012! I have a special love for years divisible by four, and now that I look back, they have tended to bring significant breakthroughs in my life. 2000 was my first trip abroad. 2004 was when I moved to Ramallah. 2008 was when I started writing my book, Fast Times in Palestine. Who knows what 2012 will bring?

A book was recently recommended to me called Writing the Life Poetic, and just reading some of the Amazon reviews of it was inspiring. I had a sudden impulse to share some of the poetry I’ve written over the years.

It’s not meant to be “published” in the “editor frowning at it” sort of way. Poems simply arrive sometimes, and I can only write them down. I’m happy to share them, but I feel if I gave any thought to impressing critics, the whole thing would evaporate.

Last year, a few months after I finished Fast Times, I published five more books as eBooks. You can find them here (Kindle) and here (Smashwords). One of them is called The Brimming Void, a collection of a couple dozen poems I’ve written over the years. It’s cheap on Amazon.

Here’s one of the poems, as a sample.

Rum Night

A barren moon
reflects
a barren earth.

The silvery sky
mocks my best attempts
at reverence.

Elsewhere life rages.

Here it is subtle,
hushed,
as if in the presence
of divinity.

The mountains
may once have been
high as the Himalayas;
after a billion years
of seas and wind,
they are sculpted
down to unfathomable
stone hearts –
cathedral islands
in a sea of silken sand.

Reflections echo
each other
in the brimming void
of nature’s holy sanctuary.
Silent gratitude
is drawn from my soul;
the night needs me
like I need it.

The breeze
– neither warm nor cool –
makes me feel
like I’m not here
on this impossible planet
whose atmosphere
I suddenly
fail to see
and fail to feel.

There is nothing
between me
and the stars.

Wadi Rum, Summer ’03

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And here’s a poem I’ve previously shared with only one friend:

Diamond Poem

The whole reason
we love emeralds
is because they reminds us
dimly
of sunlight
through trees.

The whole reason
we love sapphires
is because they remind us
dimly
of the bottomless
living sea.

The whole reason
we love diamonds
is because they reminds us
dimly
of a rainbow
in a waterfall.

The whole reason
we love garnets
is because they remind us
of the sunset
through a glass of wine.

Enjoy this boundless new year…

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