Some writings just happen. They’re meant to wind their way through the pen. This poem is one such pieces, there are no pre-thoughts or prompts for it. Of all my poems, this one’s very close to my heart.
It has been a prized possession, from the moment it was conceived to the months I carried it in my notebook when traveling across continents. Until one day, I placed it in my hand and read it aloud from the notebook to a small room with strangers, an artist and a cup of tea.
As the words gently fell like the Parisian snow outside, I fulfilled a promise I made years ago: that one day, I’d return to this cozy bookstore across the Notre Dame, but as a poet. And as that day arrived, I read my poem on a winter afternoon in a room, filled with strangers and a standing ovation and applause that still echoes in my heart.
An existence coiled around a void
Trespassing lines of fleeting happiness
Happiness anchored in time
A moment passes
Never to be retrieved in a vast ocean sea
Too dark in the deepest depths
Too far to reach
A moment that passed
Between you and me
Alia AlShamsi is an Emirati-Italian former photojournalist and university adjunct faculty. She published her first book Alayah with a publishing grant from Dubai Culture and Art Authority, and a second book Night/Day, which is one of the first three Silent Books published in the country, an initiative launched by UAE Board on Books for Young People. She has since moved into poetry and continues to write in both English and Arabic. Follow Alia @AliaAlShamsi.
Illustration by Alia Al Shamsi