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Sheikha A.


White storks on black pillars – 

he sees floating sculptures of fire 

crawling over crouched walls of a prayer 

home. We break lemons and smear salt

all over his dreams. He carves torches

into nights that hang sleep on brass hooks – 

his blood erodes in viscous stew. 

The light inside the wind drowned 

in a water well; his organs floated

lifeless in the river he had created 

inside his body – calm unfurling 

like wings of a dawn swan. Thin fog 

on the perimeter, he didn’t need to see

till the end of the sky to notice the gate – 

congress of beaks heralding the path maker. 

The stillness of particles when in seizure;

his voice, layers of intangible lucidity.

We hung metal over his arid thoughts  

and made it rain all over his legible omens. 

The shape of wind in the sphere of his life; 

the flickering of light from tombs in the sky, 

the force of ceasing in plasma of his being. 

Northern Arch

This is where storms breathe

with heavy chests; fire-mouth

whispers trigger his ailing body. 

He will know of calm winds;

heat shivers inside his bones – 

synthetic ribbons wrap sky 

in maypole dance. Solar light

spreads like flames of lament. 

He will see the threshold expose – 

night faint into serene embrace.


Snow has nested in his strands – 

voices are getting louder – his last 

stop. This house will set him free 

between waves of dust and mould. 

His gaze never leaves the walls, 

and the sky outside is foaming 

like green skim on ocean sleeves;

the brown sand shapes into hands, 

and fish no longer hiss of abandon. 

Drift corals float on dormant sheets – 

subjects lose definition – light fills 

the dark spaces in his fragile fears.

He has begun reading stars; night 

in full bloom of a burst of colours. 

This house will send him far away.

About the Author: Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in a variety of literary venues, both print and online, including several anthologies by different presses. Recent publications have been Strange Horizons, Pedestal Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Silver Birch Press, Abyss and Apex, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been translated into Spanish, Greek, Albanian, Italian, Arabic, Vietnamese, Polish and Persian. More about her published works can be found at 



ZiN Daily is published by ZVONA i NARI, Cultural Production Cooperative

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ISSN 2459-9379


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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