“honour thy father”

war tears across my cheek and buries mines within cold crevices

a moustache that trembles with sad rage and swells paths leaking pain

seasons collapse and grey roots sprout

I’m not responsible for watering them



Where the dusty grey overwhelms its presence enough to respect the horizon to birth mountains amongst flesh the taste of spice and floss that finds its way inside us and refuses to quench the ground so I find my ground inside you and you find my lips to share the ocean inside me.

​Syria, No Not That Syria (Lane Cove Literary Awards 2017)

I dream about a certain place. Sometimes I dream about this place constantly and sometimes months would go by before I revisit it. I slip away from the dream state into reality and refuse to open my eyes in hope that I could hold on to this glorified world within my subconscious just a little longer. Slowly features of faces I had just seen become a blur. Buildings I had reconstructed from reality become rubble. All that would stay with me from these dreams was the sensations they had filled me with. For seven years I had been feeling as though Syria was somewhere I once visited in a dream. I missed my home country or background of origin or whatever it was they taught us to call it at school. I was in second grade the first time I was made aware of the distinction between the country one’s parents were from and the country one individual is from.
“Where are you from?” Mrs Gray had asked the class.

“I’m from Syria.” I had answered with confidence when I was addressed.

“But Minney… where were you born?” Her eyes challenged.

“Umm over here… in Australia.” I rubbed my hands on the rough carpet we were sitting on.

“That means you are Australian, Minney.”

In second grade I was taught that I was Australian and that my country of origin was Australia. I loved Australia. It was my home, my family, my friends, the beach, sizzler and everything else involved in the simple life of a seven year old. I didn’t remotely appreciate the way my teacher had dismissed a huge part of my identity. I felt heat rushing into my cheeks and lowered my head to hide my obvious discord. I didn’t spend the rest of my life suffering from an identity crisis, I was content that I was just as Syrian as I was Australian.


Seven years ago things changed. When I wasn’t dreaming I couldn’t even be sure that I Continue reading “​Syria, No Not That Syria (Lane Cove Literary Awards 2017)”

Celebrating Me (Lane Cove Literary Awards)

In 2015 I came across the Lane Cove Literary Awards; a national award based within the Lane Cove Library, Lane Cove, New South Wales (NSW). In it’s second year running, the contest included three categories; Short Story, Theatre Script and Poetry. There was also an additional three sub categories; Lane Cove Resident, Senior Prize and Youth prize. The contest was made attractive by it’s no fee entry as well as it’s generous $6500 prize pool. That year I haphazardly entered a poem and selected the Youth Prize sub category along with my submission. Months passed and I hadn’t heard from the Lane Cove Library Stuff. I wasn’t expecting to but ofcourse I hoped. Shortly before the date of the Award Ceremony, Shortlists were released and my name was no where to be seen.

In 2016 I received an email announcing that the Lane Cove Literary Awards were now open and that entries were being accepted. When I first started submitting my work to contests and publishers I promised my self that I would persevere through rejections and deny any sense of defeat. In 2016 the Theatre Script category was replaced by a Travel Story one. That year I entered submissions into all three categories as well as their Youth Prize Subcategory.

“Congratulations on being included in the Shortlist for the Lane Cove Literary Awards 2016 Market Square Youth Prize.”

Continue reading “Celebrating Me (Lane Cove Literary Awards)”

Severed Ties

One day more is one day less

And O positive keeps flowing between us

Even though words don’t

A hollow negative beating in my throat

Candle lit scents escaping into eachother’s rooms

Clean; white pink black violet I try not to look

My carpet a canvas of swirls 

And my hand full of tangled brown strands

I try not to imagine beratings

Desperation has made me miss

Fairouz & Yansoon

There are awkward moments before and after exchanges. Most times formalities make up three days in a row. Sometimes I hug her a little tighter and I can feel renditions of Fairouz and 90s Najwa Karam seeping through the pores of her cheeks. Most sometimes flecks of dust force their way through my chest and come out the other way. I’m not sure where the hurt is but sometimes it’s everywhere. I can’t remember her when I see her. When she talks about two year old me flushing bills down the toilet the flecks of dust get trapped inside and burst into flames, disappearing right after I recognise her. Somewhere along the turbulence I lost a mother that still says she’ll always love me.

Misplaced Love

You turned off the lights

And I know you shared my wonder

At my mistimed urge for modesty

It wasn’t our first time

But this time you were peeling

The layers away from the inside

Bare shoulders, I embraced the nostalgia

But it didn’t matter anymore

Because I didn’t need to try

So desperately to remember your scent

Aquarius we angered more than just the planets

And you filled all the pores within my skin

With your air that your lips could

Finally part with

And I do remember floating

As the windowless room ached

With light reflected off your sister’s

watching mirror

And that’s how I remember anything else

Obscured through that mirror

That can’t see how

Now parts of you float within

My body of water

That constantly tries to drown itself

Because “I miss you” hurts a little more

After the lips that finally breathed me

Could utter that they hated me too