Friday, 12 October 2018


The names of pain have raced, through the roads.

In Yemen

the blood kept pouring from all pores.

when the powerful harked back to

the ceremonial sword dance, the kingdom's allies

came out in force for the dance

What waltzing feet, what peace skitters to hide

In the lavish royal hall,

on the orb

their splayed fingers flicker through

the hundred thousand dead

The zealots applaud, another crackling war

They believe, it could be beautiful

It can take the shape of a handsome cheat and a chancer

or the shape of a pole dancer

whose endless pleasure is in warping-around

the burnt bones of the Yemenis

© Khaloud Al-Muttalibi

Khaloud Al-Muttalibi is a poet and translator. Her poetry has been published in a number of literary magazines and journals, including After the Pause, The Glasgow Review of Books,The Paragon,Ygdrasil and Ink Sweat & Tears.