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Lazhar Bouazzi Dec 2016
Autumn leaves
would do
for remembrance,
Perhaps,
more than words,
or a  plaintive air
Of a yellow guitar;
a rain,
a wine-dark wind  
spraying last summer's
fragrance.
Ah! Your absence!

Your white,
present, absence 
unshields
my metaphor!

© LazharBouazzi, December 7, 2016
Lazhar Bouazzi Apr 2016
After so long a journey
The traveler needed rest
So he picked one of two trees -
That was in his eye the best.

Getting off his “Clio”*
He stepped on a flower
Whose color had braved alone
The asphalt of the highway.

From his car he moved away
And faced a trench gaping gray
Which he was unable to cross
To where the water-spring was.

He yelled into the ditch
Trying to get an answer
Only his echo returned
For want of a transfer

Then a scarlet sand rose,
pulled by the small man’s toes,
Jumped right under his nose
Into the chasm with no bottom.

Back to the tree he returned
But the whole site was now ferned -
Rhizomes wherever he turned:
Underground, too, were now the
badlands.

(c) Lazhar Bouazzi, April, 2016
* "Clio" is a French car made by the firm "Renault." My son's got one. "Besides, "Clio" happens to be the muse of history in Greek mythology; some mythological accounts assign to her the role of the muse of lyre playing too. She is a daughter of Zeus - like all the muses.
Lazhar Bouazzi May 2016
“Rain for my words,”
Cried the poet.
But the rain would not acquiesce;
For she dreaded a languagekiss.

© LazharBouazzi, Carthage - Tunisia, May 14, 2016
Lazhar Bouazzi Oct 2018
“A little bit of rain on my words,”
Cried the poet.
But the rain would not acquiesce
For she dreaded a languagekiss.

© LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi Aug 2016
“Rain for my words!”
Cried the poet.
But the rain would
Not acquiesce.
For she dreaded
Lnguage Judaskiss.

(c) LazharBouazzi, May 14, 2016; revised, August 2, 2016
Lazhar Bouazzi Jul 2016
I
A hungry black-backed gull,
ready for the ****,
circled over a school of sardines.
II
Beyond the black-backed gull,
an old boat stood still,
waiting for a place in the harbor.
III
At the top of the hill –
in the back -
rose a lighthouse and a mosque
Who,
through their small windows
Gazed at the aquatic scene.

(c) LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi Sep 2017
Hell hurled and hissed
And clenched her fist
Around the city.

O wind
Dig a pool in my wrist
And in the womb of August
Mark an ode to thunder.

© LazharBouazzi, September 17, 2017
The addressee is the wind of inspiration.
Lazhar Bouazzi Jun 2017
A crimson boat waives
the flow of the waves
as a blonde figure craves
an infernal sun.

Next to the maiden
and the dandy-fella,
blossoms a vermillion
umbrella
whose role was to play
a timid cellar
for two red apples
and one apricot
the blonde damsel
could have brought
to quench her burning  
want
of the lustful monster.

Closing her ice-blue eyes,
the fair woman,
her sinful inspiration
did summon
to come carve
on her body so sullen
the orange vision
of the new Benzart bridge.

© LazharBouazzi, Carthage, TUNISA


*"Benzart" is the Tunisian name for “Biserta” or “Bizerte”- a beach town on the northern coast of Tunisia.
Lazhar Bouazzi Jun 2016
A crimson boat waives
The flow of the waves
As a blonde damsel craves
An infernal sun.

Next to the maid and the dandy-fella -
Blossoms a vermillion umbrella
Whose washed out shadow - a pallid cellar
For two green apples and one apricot
The blonde damsel on the way had bought
To quench her want of the lustful monster.

Closing her ice-blue eyes, the fair woman,
Her sinful inspiration did summon
To come carve on her navel so sullen
A blue picture of the new Benzart bridge.

© LazharBouazzi, Carthage, June 5, 2016


*"Benzart" is the Tunisian name for “Biserta” or “Bizerte”  - a beach town on the northern coast of Tunisia.
Lazhar Bouazzi Mar 2017
A crimson boat waives
the flow of the waves
as a blonde damsel craves
an infernal sun.

Next to the maiden
and the dandy-fella,
blossoms a vermillion
umbrella
whose washed out shadow
played the shady cellar
for two green apples
and one apricot
the blonde damsel hungrily
had bought
to quench her own fiery
want
of the lustful monster.

Closing her ice-blue eyes,
the fair woman,
her sinful inspiration
did she summon
to come carve
on her body so sullen
a scarlet picture
of the new Benzart bridge.

© LazharBouazzi, Carthage, TUNISA


*"Benzart" is the Tunisian name for “Biserta” or “Bizerte”- a beach town on the northern coast of Tunisia.
Lazhar Bouazzi Jun 2016
How did the Greek Pundit mark
The middle of a storyline
If time, space, and self are handmade,
If language is borderline,
If a lover knows not what love is,
And if a poem’s writer is its first line?

© LazharBouazzi, June 3, 2016
Lazhar Bouazzi May 2016
Poets are lonesome cactus vendors
In whose palms grow hurtful ascenders
From having to peel colored wonders
To those who dread thorny fruits - the dwellers -
With too many cores inside.

© LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi Jul 2017
I
In the cold silence of the area
Rose a lonesome cafeteria,
Outside of it hooded forms -
Scaly horns -
Perched on white, plastic chairs
Like fifteen owls on a wire.
II
A grey-green bird in the distance
Sang a three-note song with insistence.
He sang on not to the white folks
But to the cold he tried to coax.
He sang to a spot desolate -
Sure thing, he sang to punctuate it.
©LazharBouazzi, July, 2017
The whole of stanza one is a true story. On the way to my home town, Kasserine, I did see the scene involving about fifteen hooded people sitting outside a café with their backs against the wall, apparently waiting for sunset and the cannonball that would announce the break of the fast in Ramadhan.
Stanza II (with the bird) is pure poetic invention.
Lazhar Bouazzi Apr 2018
'Twixt the sandy dunes of words
And the shimmering darkness
Of ink
I riot with my forked tongue
As a snake would do among
The unlettered stones of a
Sunny graveyard.

© LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi Jan 2017
A rugged sidewalk cried hard by the way-side;
Its cracks could not hold their grey tears anymore.

A puny man pushed a red cart in the tide
Down a darkling, narrow street in Salammbô.

He gasped behind his overladen chariot,
As he hurried toward the “Sunday Market.”

His merkabah bore many a lost gadget
Which he had found buried in the quicksand;

Among them a fountain pen and a helmet,
A pair of eyeglasses, and a trumpet.

I wondered, gazing at the small man’s wet face:
Will this worn-out scene ever reach the market?

© LazharBouazzi
*Salammbô is a neighborhood in Carthage, Tunisia.
Lazhar Bouazzi Mar 2017
A rugged sidewalk cried hard by the way-side;
Its fissures could not hold their tears anymore.
A puny man pushed a red cart in the tide
Down a darkling, narrow street in Salammbô.*
He mumbled to the waves on his way to the market
As he gasped behind his laden chariot.

His merkabah bore many a lost things
Which he had found buried in the quicksand.
Among them a fountain pen and a helmet,
A pair of eyeglasses, and a trumpet.
I wondered, gazing at the old man’s washed face:
"Will this worn-out scene ever reach the marketplace?"
© LazharBouazzi
*Salammbô is a neighborhood in Carthage, TUN.
Lazhar Bouazzi Jan 2018
What is it that he celebrates today,
The oncoming of the frost or the passing of time?

Beneath his feet the water
Scintillates with a flame liquid -
Silver -
A transmutation of fire
Fuelled by the tears of his mother,
In whose waves he sailed to Sicily.

Bayreuth, Germany, looked like a frozen Sahara
With the local colors, and a pale-blue train
He had taken in Rome, at the "Stazione Termini.”

She: her body was carved in Napoli
He: his hair was planted in Carthage,
But both sought another knowledge
In Tübingen or perhaps in Konstanz.

She said, “I would sail from here to there,
Like you did from where you were,

But I would lose the rattle of your absence,
And that would be what makes all the difference”!
© LazharBouazzi, January 27, 2018
Lazhar Bouazzi Dec 2016
When he’s alone in the night,
In the absence of the light
And the presence of the sight,
There, begins the tearing blight:
Dark veiling dark, light veiling light.

(What am I doing?
Poetry-dwelling
In these dunes of salt
With five syllables?)

When he's alone in the night
In the half-presence of the light
There, begins the specular fight –
The scarlet mutiny within.

© LazharBouazzi, December 12, 2016
Lazhar Bouazzi Jun 2018
When I die – if I ever do -
Bury me in a garden, if you
Have guts;
Or in a vineyard, with a trellis,
For I will not drink from torrents
And mythic Greek rivers.
© LazharBouazzi, 24 June, 2018
Lazhar Bouazzi Oct 2018
The Don knew well
That the hell
He raised
Was not on the mill
That  sobbed on the hill.

So with his quill,
He dug a tunnel
In his encampment.

©LazharBouazzi, 10 September, 2018
Lazhar Bouazzi May 2019
The Don knew well
That the hell
He should raise
Would not be on the mill
That  sobbed on the hill.

So with his quill,
He dug a tunnel
In his encampment.

©LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi Oct 2016
My hungry lips started to talk
To her lips in language hungry,
And my tongue began to unlock
The well of  her language sundry
Necking her North African mounds;
Halting at her salving shell pink
To sip and sup her winy words,
And faint and wake and rise and sink
In the waking sleep of the tongues
Of her fire
To pen my un–Sufi desire
To die in the dunes of her body.

© LazharBouazzi, October 20,  2016
Lazhar Bouazzi Sep 2017
My hungry lips started to talk
To your lips in language hungry,
As my tongue began to unlock
The well of  your  language sundry,
Necking your North African mounds;
Halting at your salving shell pink,
To sip and sup your winy words
And faint and wake and rise and sink
In the waking sleep of the tongues
Of your fire
To pen my un–Sufi desire
And die in the dunes of your body.

© LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi Oct 2018
My hungry lips commenced to talk
To your lips in language hungry,
As my tongue began to unlock
The well of  your  language sundry,

Necking your North African mounds,
Halting at your salving shell pink,
To sip and sup your winy words
And faint and wake and rise and sink

In the waking sleep of  your fire
To pen my Sufi desire,
And die in the dunes of your body.

© LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi Apr 2016
I love you
so much
despite  
the
countless
sediments
of  knowledge
that were
bestowed
on us
by the victims
of their own
ignorance,
whom I
rarely curse
but oftentimes
weep.

© Lazhar Bouazzi, Carthage, April 13, 2016
Lazhar Bouazzi May 2016
Being a novice
in poetry
he knows how to color
an old tree,
a sky in the winter,
an ocean,
or even a dancing
emotion.

But pleading
with the wind
to come
and sing
the sparkling
thunder
that tears the ,
weeping dome
asunder,
is a different tale –
altogether.

(c) LazharBouazzi, May 7, 2016
Lazhar Bouazzi Aug 2016
I saw two butterflies in the alley,
between the new well and the orange tree;
With the shade of the tree they seemed to dally
to tease the sun who, without them cannot be.
I overheard two blackbirds when I looked up:
“Why can’t we tease the shade like the butterflies?”
Said the maid-bird, pretending an orange to sup.

And before she could even realize,
The darkbird spread his long wing over her thighs.
In the throbbing blue flakes of the sky she cries
& she cries & moans & she moans & she cries
unlike a Buddhist.


© LazharBouazzi, Carthage, TUN, August 25, 2016
Lazhar Bouazzi Apr 2017
I saw two butterflies in the alley,
'Twixt the new well and the orange tree;
With the shade of the tree they seemed to dally
To tease the sun who, without them cannot be.
I overheard two blackbirds when I looked up:
“Why can’t we tease the shade like the butterflies?”
Said the maid-bird, pretending an orange to sup.

And before she could even realize,
The blackbird spread his long wing over her thighs.
In the throbbing blue flakes of the sky she cries
& she cries & she moans & she moans & she cries -
Unlike a Buddhist.
Lazhar Bouazzi Jan 2019
Make this want wither,
O Rain!

Dig a brook hither
In my vein,

And plant on either side
Of my pain

A score of dancing
Bluebells.
(C)LazharBouazi
Lazhar Bouazzi Dec 2017
Make this want wither,
O Rain!

Dig a brook hither
In my vein,

And plant on either side
Of my pain -

Swaying thousands
Of bluebells.
LazharBouazzi (December 15, 2017)
Lazhar Bouazzi Aug 2017
The tongues of fire*
Swollowed the leaves
The trees had uttered
To summon the rain.
(c) LazharBouazzi
*the "tongues of fire" ("ألسنة اللّهب") is part of a work of bricolage I sometimes use in my English poems. It consists of subjecting a dead metaphor, a cliché, in Classical Arabic, to a literal English translation and presenting it in such a way that it looks as though it were a new metaphor I invented for the purpose. Another example of this work of bricolage would be the expression "the rain is falling like opened flasks" ("ينزل المطر كأفواه القرب") which is also my literal translation of a very old cliché in Classical Arabic whose equivalent in English would be "it's raining cats and dogs (I might have said this elsewhere).
Lazhar Bouazzi Jan 2018
On a golden bedding
Spread for you by June -
Silken, fresh tedding
Beneath a sluggish noon .
Ah! Your fragrant silhouette
In a blink of my eye!

But we are in the winter
Now,
The time to surrender
To the stories that unfold
Of the children and the old
Adding cold to cold
Around a hearth of clay

As I look through the window pane
I glimpse a scarlet tourist train
Across the scintillating snow
Coloring the leaden no-show
That shut him out from the rainbow.

Oh! Your fragrant silhouette
On a summer wheat show!


© LazharBouazzi, January 21, 2018
Lazhar Bouazzi Jan 2017
I don’t run to poetry
To save my skin;
Quite on the contrary.

I conjure the humming bee
On the blue rosemary tree,
I followed as a carefree
Boy in the backyard,
Only 'cause I’m scared
Of the scarred face
Of metaphor.
© LazharBouazzi, January 24, 2017
Lazhar Bouazzi May 2016
I do not turn to poetry
to rescue me from memory;
on the contrary,
I conjure the red humming bee
on the bluegreen rosemary tree,
I teased when I was a carefree
boy, in the backyard,
only to roll with the punches -
aye, with the punches - of synecdoche.

© LazharBouazzi, May 2016
Lazhar Bouazzi Aug 2016
The first thing I saw early this morning
when I pulled back the blue-sky curtains
was a hectic white and orange butterfly
waving in the fair sun of my garden -
between the enclosed well and the laurel tree.

On the scarlet, bright sidewalk,
two damsels strutted together;
a turquoise skirt wore the one,
a chocolate T-shirt the other.
Jubilant they were together,
for the cadence of their laughter
waved in the air as Tunisian silk.

See?
No harvest did my screen display today -
no mountain range loomed far in the distance -
all that was unraveled were a laughing sidewalk,
and a quivering sun in a small garden.

(c) LazharBouazzi, April 21, 2016; revised, August 17, 2016
Lazhar Bouazzi Aug 2017
I
The tongues of hell
Swallowed the leaves
The trees had uttered
To summon the rain.
II
(“I will not weep,”
Said the poet
To himself,
“I will repeat.”).
© LazharBouazzi, Carthage, TUNISIA, August 3, 2017
*Ifriquiya is the Arabized name given to the « Province of Africa, » the name the Romans gave  to Carthage (Tunisia)after they had burned it, which became afterwards the name designating the whole continent of Africa.
Lazhar Bouazzi Nov 2017
"I have no quest,
Says the poet,
"I have a struggle."
(c) LazharBouazzi, November 18, 2017
Lazhar Bouazzi Jul 2017
Your golden dunes
I miss.
But please don’t take it
amiss
If today
I ask you to turn
On the other side
So that I can see
Your hot, burning
Soul I crave
to kiss -
With my fountain pen.
© LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi Feb 2017
I do miss
Your golden dunes,

But don’t take it amiss
If today
I ask you to turn
On the other side

So that I can see
Your hot, burning
Soul
I crave to kiss
With my fountain pen.

© LazharBouazzi, February 2, 2017
Lazhar Bouazzi Dec 2017
The yellow rays of the sun fell on the Bower
Like a golden rain
And a bee kissed with the tongue a crimson flower
Like a song refrain
As a silky butterfly sweet as a shower
Poked fun at my pain.
© LazharBouazzi, December 29, 2017
Lazhar Bouazzi May 2016
Speech
can become
touch,
depending on
intonation.

Writing
can become
dance,
depending on
the typewriter.

(c) LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi Mar 2017
I waited for my son
In the airport today.
It was fun.
It was fun crafting
A poem on the run
As I checked faces and
Metaphors - one by one,
Asking them all: “Is a
Poem a loved one -
Like a son -
Or is it just a pun
'On that which is done'*?”

©LazharBouazzi, Carthage, TUN, March 19, 2017
*"on that which is done" is a phrase taken from a passage in the Book of Ecclesiastes: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
Lazhar Bouazzi Jun 2017
The rain falling now
In Carthage -
A nectar
Of rainness -
Is like the grains
Of couscous
Made the day of
Celebration.

In Carthage today
The scent of rain
Is like the sound of
Pain
Memory had lost
To imagination.

© LazharBouazzi, Carthage, TUN, june 30, 2017
*"Makthar" is a town in the North of Tunisia.
Lazhar Bouazzi Dec 2018
I
The rain falling now
In Carthage -
A nectar
Of rainness -
Is like the grains
Of couscous
Made the day of
Celebration.
II
In Carthage now
The scent of rain
Is like the sound of
Pain
Memory has lost
To imagination.

© LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi May 2018
You are the eye
Under whose lids
I bask without
having to ask
“Why should I die?”

And your thighs, ah!
When my eyes
Conjure up your thighs
I become certain
Of one thing:
That the dead will rise again.
LazharBouazzi, May 13, 2018
Lazhar Bouazzi Jul 2018
The citrus tree grows grey with fear
As the fierce wind she could overhear
Reminds her of a fact yet so clear:
That the badlands are not where she belongs.
© LazharBouazzi
Lazhar Bouazzi Jun 2016
My doctor,
who happens to be my own wife,
said I needed a rest from mental activity.
I will comply with her
orders, but I can still read your
Wonderful poems. I hope I will be able
To resume writing soon.
Lazhar.
Lazhar Bouazzi Jan 2017
Please,
Forgive
This counterpoint.

For
loving you now
Is off the point.

Now that the wild
Lilies
Halt in the cities

And build their nests
In the asphalt.

LazharBouazzi, February 1, 2017
Lazhar Bouazzi Apr 2017
Of this verse
The core, the middle,
Is marked on its palm.
No riddle
To be guessed in a lyric
So brittle,
Whose task
Is  to hold in place
The fissured parts
Of a gypsy's fiddle.

LazharBouazzi, April 4, 2017
Lazhar Bouazzi Sep 2016
The moon, a hollow
Saint Jacques shell,
whose kernel
lovers
and language figures
had wasted through the flow
of time,
came
to this eerie pond
a dry vagabond -
now a dweller
of the surface deep.

© LazharBouazzi, Carthage, TUN, September 3, 2016
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