Ghazal of Two Lovers

Sam Hamod


She said,

if I could

I would embroider you

into my heart


He replied, yes,

and the thread

the thread would come from mine


She said,

if I could

I would weave you

into my breath


He said, yes

you are already

within my breath,

without you, I could not breathe


She said,

if I could

I would take you

into my blood


He replied, yes,

I am already

in your blood

and, as well, yours is mine


She said,

if that is the case

then your are mine

I am yours


Yes, he said,

it is true,

we are one

the same blood, breath and heart



See Author’s complete bio on the Home Page and in the Author’s page.




Sam Hamod


You run your
hand     just so
very slowly
over the dark sewn fabric of this
Bedouin dress – you feel
three thousand years rough up
against the color of your
skin      against the colors of your
memory          you tell me
“When I wear this dress
I always come out
red”      and I,
looking at the
rustle in you, say
“You must look good
all red”         and the
brightness of your
hair       is lit up by the shine of
your eyes        so predictable
a beauty    but your laughter
always surprising
and new
like this
dress     so many
in the making
with so many hidden     desert places
so many deep crevices
in the heart






Sam Hamod – please see author’s full bio on the home page, in additional works, and on the author’s page.

Waves At Isla Negra

Sam Hamod

            (por Pablo Neruda)


always there are the waves
at Isla Negra,
unless you understand the
motion of rocks
as they stir
against the pounding surf,
you will never understand
the motion of
loving a place
or a woman,
each moves
in her own way, undulating
like willows
high up
on cliffs as they extend
their branches downward,
enticing you
as do the waves
at Isla Negra,
so many colours,
so many rhythms,
so many songs
and unheard
known only in the heart



Sam Hamod has his PhD. from The Writers’ Workshop of the University of Iowa and has taught in the Workshop; he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, has published 10 books of poems, and has appeared in dozens of anthologies in the U.S. and abroad.  He has also taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Princeton, Michigan, Wisconsin, Howard and overseas as well. His most recent books were, JUST LOVE POEMS FOR YOU (2006), Ishmael Reed Pub. Co/Contemporary Poetry Press and THE ARAB POEMS, THE MUSLIM POEMS (2000), Contemporary Poetry Press/Cedar Creek; he has two more books of poems under contract and his memoirs as well. He has won many awards over the years, and in addition has read with such poets as Kinnell, Ginsberg, Merwin, Wright, Knight, Baraka and others, and has had praise from Neruda, Borges and such American poets as Ishmael Reed, James Wright, Dick Hugo, Jack Marshall, Amiri Baraka and E. Ethelbert Miller among others.




Faiz Ahmed Faiz with Translation by Shadab Zeest Hashmi


Speak out
for your lips are not slaves
Speak out
for your tongue is yours yet
And body strong yet
Speak out
     Your life
        is still yours

At the blacksmith’s
How swift the flame
          how red the iron
Locks are slackening their jaws
Fetters are dropping to the ground
Speak out
This meager time is enough
Before death snatches your body
                                              your tongue

For truth is alive yet
        Speak your heart out!









Faiz Ahmed Faiz was one of the greatest of Pakistani poets in the 20th century. He spent his life as a writer working for the good of Pakistan and its people, often being so critical of the  prevailing governments that he was imprisoned for many years.







Shadab Zeest Hashmi’s poetry has appeared in various publications including Poetry International, Hubbub, New Millenuem Writings, Nimrod and  The Bitter Oleander. Her work has also been published online in The Courtland Review as well as other places. She is the author of the newly released book of poems The Baker of Tarifa.