Submitted by Kyleigh on Thu, 02/25/2016 - 11:50

1. RAK - 2013
Red-gold dunes
With pockets of shadow

Buildings change
Juxtaposing West & Arab
Striped sidewalk and scattered edifices
Boats and water.
So near.

Sweet baby, dear friends
Heart yearning

All in black, painted eyes
Bangs loose and free
Conversation speckled
with words of English
But mostly Arabic

Lights on the water
But bittersweet,
Savoring moments
As time in this land
Runs out.

2. Fujairah - 2007
The van
And the 4-wheel-drive
on track again
after road map confusion

through rocky edifices
up and down
ears are popping
and then comes water
water and beach

sand is hot
but kayaks are coming
and we paddle
around and around
snoopy on his side
in the water
of Fujairah.

3. Al Ain - 2012-2014
The speed limit sign
says 120
And then there’s the warning
of radar at 140
And so we zip along the road

sometimes stopping in the city
sometimes going further
through the border

but this time to a house
past the roundabouts
and the palm trees down
the middle of the road

the city isn’t tall
like the one that I came from
the buildings are old,
nostalgic of Jordan

and then we stop
between a gate
and a broken-down tree
and go into the yard
full of bikes
and chalk
and chairs
and trampoline
the children will be playing soon

the house is hot in March
but freezing in January
how the weather changes
but regardless
the children are loud
and playful and creative
in this city
of Al Ain.

Author's age when written

Sorry for the break in posting! It's been a little hectic over here the last month but it's slowing down a bit now and I've had some more time to write, but haven't found any fitting excerpts from my editing to post yet. So as I prepare for a trip to Dubai, here are some snippets I wrote as I was preparing to leave the UAE in 2014. The years listed with each poem are when the memory came from. Enjoy!


These are great! you used very concrete images, but they conveyed a feeling as well. I enjoyed them.

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Kyleigh, I love these. Especially the first one. (I've always been terribly fond of juxtaposition.) : ) I love how you engage all the senses - the visuals of the red-gold dunes and juxtaposed architecture, the sounds of the languages the people are speaking, the taste of the moments with them. I love the understatement of

Boats and water.
So near.

The mood the poem captures, of savoring your time with people so unique, so obviously dear to you, in a culture and setting you have beautifully described (and yet in so perfectly few words), is palpable.

The others are lovely too - the second one's road maps, rocky edifices, desert, sand, water and beach (a less obvious juxtaposition, of desert and water) are adventurous in a delightfully subtle way. The third one's images - I can almost see the places you describe. I love how it starts foreign and exotic (palm trees, 120 road signs, "nostalgic of Jordan") but ends with such friendly familiarity - bikes, chalk, trampolines, and the playful little children. It makes me feel at home in a world that only a moment ago seemed so different from my own.

Beautiful poems! Thanks for posting them. : )

Thank you, Erin and Hannah! I'm curious to see if any similar word pictures come when we're leaving Japan. It seems to be the easiest way for me to put emotion down on paper.

This set is lovely! Favorite part:
"Lights on the water
But bittersweet,
Savoring moments
As time in this land
Runs out."

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.