Wednesday, March 1, 2023





This is how slavery began

The day dealers sold her

On board “The Phillis” she rested

Shackled for months

In Stone forts

To be transported

To what they called

The New Land…


Along the journey, she was puzzled

On her own


No kin, no brighter skin

But bitterness of being thrown

In a mysterious world

Full of enigmas and cryptic clues

But agony of being thrown

In the arms of the unknown

With a broken shin


Pale with fear

What a dreadful atmosphere!

Heart thumping, fingers shivering

Head nodding

Look! Darkness marries loss

Once the Atlantic Masters did cross


With smothered voice

Jesus! Hear me, I beg thou

Release this flock of sheep

Squeezed we are thus

Awaken us from sleep

Zipporah, free us

So must Jethro

Where to go?

Imprisoned, enslaved mercilessly

I have been squeamish

About history of servitude

Utter subjugation, forced labor

Due time to abolish

We are Christians too

Brothers, siblings and even neighbor…


Tasty Murder


The Bohemian Corporal starts playing the fool

Language is his sweet tool

Crypted messages, he shall convey.

Grasps not, he, the challenge.

The odor of blood is a substitute for fortified food

Ruling is worth killing

Pinned in the Reich

The Ashkenaz souls; the shoah to display.

He’d always say:

“We are peoples                                      

you are peoples”


Paves the bay to that dark day

When innocent men, sentenced to death

When many, burnt alive

When much wealth loves the rich solely

Of one direction the train has,

The der Führer is convinced deeply…


Wanting To Live


As Isabel inquiries about the days she spent alone,

Wanting to know why things happened when she was

Too coy.

Why the subservient dog gave up, not barking anymore

She opened the wardrobe, obsessed by the pursuit of joy

Wanting to live, not one might annoy


Sad sensation of an approaching departure

Isabel waits and waits,

A hundred years elapsed

Lying to a self, she was

Mild tears tear up her curious mind

Pretense seizes her love for an instant rupture


Glamour, power blurs her way

A unique island, a gift

On a sweetest birthday,

Knowing not that life is worth selling

Thinking of a more civilized creature


Isabel wants to live

To obscure mortal rumors

To pepper the years with icing sugar

Chilled cheesecake tastes hot,

Though the lips are swollen.

All she awaits creeps into

A pinch of cumin

Cumulating an acute account

Of the castrated bodies of the Medusa

Like a circumscribed boy

In ancient times

She wants to live

In an arena

A wooden cave, she dwells in

Surrounded by an intimate ferocity

Animosity calls her on the spot

Desiring, a secret treasure, to give

Isabel knows well, sister Serena

The woman, writing dots

… Leaving vacant pages,

But who will fill them in?

Who dares that?


Isabel wants to live

The rosy bed embellishes that black view

Deserted it becomes

Not the one to forgive

Assembling the far crew


She needs to make her troubled sleep

Be defined anew  

As a sordid cigarette

Whose flame flies

She spends most of the seasons

Flapping vaguely

Though her agony is deep


Many times she reassesses herself

Has grasped the meaning of burying the past,

Treading on foes in full blast

Of summer heat,

Isabel crushes ashes

And feeds the starving with red meat


Still-born, Isabel wants not to die

Abandons Tramadol pills

Destroys tablets

Evacuates doctors’ phone calls

Laughs out loud, smiles and sings

A daring dance shakes those white walls

The body does fly

Like a red riding kite.


My Pen


Pen is power

Behind the shades, obscurity dissipates

Dawn is getting nearer and nearer

Time to write

             Virgin papers are there,

awaiting the ink

To be spilled, it will be

A poem has to be written

            Now I sat on a chair, the window is open

A bird is tweeting

I heard him say

Never succumb, never give up

Keep on writing,

It is reserved for You.

My voice comes out of a deep well

From long torpor it has awakened

A poem has to be written

             Words are now crammed, flowing nonstop

Pouring out decades of silence

Now I can write

No one can quell my voice

No one can thwart me

No one can oppress me

I am the one whose words

Are mightier than swords

I possess words

Words are made for me

The war is launched

I am the warrior

A poem has been written

It bespeaks that I do exist

The pen is the weapon a woman holds

Fighting like a knight to obliterate oppression

To efface ignorance is my mission

The witch is now burning out of the flames of her pen

She is a survivor.  Triumphant she becomes

A poem has been written …




That small cop

Caught the ‘gentle giant’,

The coy boy

In dark garments,

Thought the gate to triumph

Passes by the show,

Selfying the missionary moment

Turned the cow boy into a vampire

A nasty nymph

That little cop

Knew not what this dark spot

Was capable to do

The harbinger of the pop

Seized the best shot


Not the first

Won’t be the last

Discriminated against, in States,

Where unity dissipates

“I can’t breathe!”

Three words have crossed borders,

Penetrated hearts before minds

Shook hands

Not sterile,

Traversed contaminated suburbs

Still wearing the surgical mask,

The words have become a rallying point

Because they were true

Now you can breathe

As the Heavenly law

Has darkened your killer’s face

Whose psychosis is infantile,

Chastened your blackened race


Not the first

Can’t be the last

Change won’t take place

Racism, for some,

Runs like poison in a snake’s tongue

Devastates cities during hurricanes

Plays the fool like a well-known clown,

Winning the election while doing much wrong,

Spreads like the Spanish flu,

Wiping out millions

Not wearing the tissue

Your color, not the counterfeit $20 bill

Is the issue


Not the first

Can’t be the last

Your sane journey to the endless breath

Knelt on

The shocking scene

Of your death.

So, breathe there, our ‘gentle giant’

It is for free



Your wealth.


Neither the first

Nor the last


The ‘Orange Julius,

Taken to the underground bunker,

Entrapped like a visible enemy

While the Black devoured

The Wild Rice

Even in a white House

‘Trample thin skin’ was itching

To exercise his dim thumb,

Smelling the approaching downfall

Of a damned dace.




Dr. ANISSA SBOUI: A University teacher and poet, living in Sousse, Tunisia. The writer of three volumes: Transcend (2018), Rebirth (2019) and Number One (2020), The Co-Avid Breath (2021) and Hurricane (2022). Her poems featured in Writing in a Woman’s Voice, The Writers’ Club, Galaxy: International Multidisciplinary Research Journal, Dumpster Fire Press, Medusa’s Kitchen and The 2020 Annual by the Elizabeth River Writers.

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