The fog-wigged attic-woman’s sane smile
Distorted with furious, futile rage;
Bends clouds into branch-bars to beguile
Their cruelly twisting arms from her cage.
The yellow moon by the grey cloud mountain
Underlined with a deft hook, loop and flair;
Before a cloud-owl on a branch fountain
Retreats into a visage worn with care.
The gaol-tree spreads spreads spreads and flies away;
Locked in battle for the blue sun-bringer;
To mesh with a new cloud-jailer’s keen sway
Now only the trailing roots still linger.
For all the beings of the sky know blue
Is not the colour of the world’s own shell:
But an ocean-murmur shivering through
Three ragged ghazals and a villanelle.
Hibah Shabkhez is a writer, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, a teacher of French as a foreign language, and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in The Mojave Heart Review, Third Wednesday, Brine, and a number of other literary magazines. Studying life, languages and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her. “One’s identity as a woman is part of everything one is, even if one cannot always articulate just how.”