A Date With the Moon

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi (لهب عاصف الجندي)


Last night I had a date with the moon.
I arrived early.
A small knoll by a high perimeter fence
topped with barbed wire.
“Prohibited.  Do Not Enter” sign
in red letters, hung on chain links.
In front of me, Texas Highway 281.
Beyond, airport runways graying
in faded evening light.

I sat waiting on hard thirsty earth.
Patches of spring grasses.
A few drooping wildflowers.
I squinted in the strong breeze
to keep dust out of my eyes.
Images of rebels on the road to Tripoli
seeped into my head.
They were battling a sandstorm
and killer mercenaries.
Fumes from passing traffic
drifted warm into my nostrils.
Tires hissing and growling along.
Oddly sweet.
Cries of the wounded in Dara’a and Hama
Teargas-choked gasps.
People screaming:

Little by little sky darkened.
Lights shimmered brighter in the haze
of landing jet engines.
My anxious gaze scanned eastward
over runways and fields.
Neighborhoods settling down
for evening’s meal.

Out there
where horizon fades
between heaven and land,
moon warily emerged
bathed in crimson shades.

Boldly climbed.

Set night on fire.



Lahab Assef Al-Jundi please see author’s biographical information in his additional works, and on the Author’s Page.

If the Planet Were Covered with Wildflowers

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi(لهب عاصف الجندي)


If the planet were covered with wildflowers,
and someone dies a cruel death in China,
all the blooms would disappear.
A space of darkness would fill their place.
A time of sorrow.

Have you ever drank from eternity’s cup?
Eternity has never tasted so good.

Why would I wake up with a  wildflower-
covered world, death in China, and eternity?
Only my dreaming-self knows!

All poetry is assembled from letters of an alphabet.
All these diverse faces are two eyes, two lips and a nose.
Everything we ever knew or will know
can be told with ones and zeros.
You still think creation is that complicated?

My heart is covered with wildflowers.
I think I will go back to sleep and grow some more.
This world could render me arid with blowing winds
if I did not drink and drink,

Pour thunderstorms of blue grief…




إذا كان كوكبنا مغطى بالأزهار البريه



إذا كان كوكبنا مغطى بالأزهار البريه،
وماتَ أحدُّ بقسوة في الصين،
تختفي كل الزهور.
وَيملأ فضاءٌ من الظلمة مكانهم.
وقتٌ للحزن.

هل سبق لك أن شربت من كأس الخلود؟
طعم الخلود أطيب من أي وقت مضى.
لماذا أستيقظ والأزهار البرية

تغطي العالم، وموتٌ في الصين، والخلود؟

فقط…  ذاتي الحالمه تعرف.

كلُ الشعر مكونٌ من أحرف أبجدية.
كلُ الوجوه المتنوعة…عينان وشفتان وأنف.
كلُ شيء عرفناه أو سنعرفه
يمكن أن يُروى بالآحاد والأصفار.
مازلتَ تعتقد أن الخلق عملية معقده؟

قلبي مغطى بالأزهار البرية.
أظن أني سأعود للنوم وأزرع أكثر.
سيجعلني هذا العالم قاحلاً مع هبوب الريح
إذا لم أشرب وأشرب،

وأُسكب عواصف رعدية من الحزن الأزرق…





Photo by Melanie Rush Davis


Lahab Assef Al Jundi (لهب عاصف الجندي) was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria.  He published his first collection A Long Way in 1985. Assef’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many Anthologies including: In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets, edited by Robert Bonazzi, Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye. He currently resides in San Antonio, Texas, with wife Sara and two cockatiels Yoda and Princes.