Khaloud Al-Muttalibi

There Were No Consoling Words 

The ceiling grew high enough to hang 
its self-harming star, creating
the shapes of far deeper scars 
The questions froze or scuttled away 

to ward off other questions that 

were lashing out

Whatever consoling words were said 
turned into ash

Overfond of Flying

The radiance of their feathers is
 the only truth; and when overhead 
the reflections of it can be seen 
in the rivers' waters
At all seasons, in summer or winter, 

the eagles race over the cities’ fields, 

and keep vigil over the ancient towns

and the green cedar trees 

When the savage hurricane swells 

and slaps with its cluster of burning sand, 

 the oldest bones of earth, the eagles

 amass to pluck it all back 

 and carve a path

 for the women of Bint Jbeil, 

who, with their rice and rose  

petal hands, flank the streets 

to watch with pride, 

the convocation of eagles rise 

to their great altitude and soar

beyond the southern district, 

far off Lebanon

Khaloud Al-Muttalibi is a poet and translator. She resides in the United Kingdom. Her poetry 
has been published internationally by various magazines and journals, including After the Pause, The 
Glasgow Review of Books, Dying Dahlia Review and Poetry24. She enjoys charcoal drawing, reading and 
watching classic British comedy.
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