'Au Revoir, Cendrillon' & 'Daydreams of Tinsel': Two Poems by Hibah Shabkhez


‘Au revoir, Cendrillon. Now you

Have real carriages with silk-and-gold

Trappings, and grand rooms with a view

Brighter than the attics of old

You have no more need of me. Let

The wind take me to a lorn child

Crouched over cinders, who can get

No real warmth from the fire’s wild

Roaring. Weave into the basket

You send the echoes of your own

Joys.’ Thus creak I, the wood-casket

Of the pumpkin carriage now grown

Into a centre-piece to grace

Shelves. I still yearn for misery

To leaven, for a child's bright face

To dream a little dream of me.



On the linen crinkled into sea-froth

Crisped by the deep glint of a wooden shore

The rosary of date-beads lurches, wroth

To slide tamely over the hands that store

In its cells myriad lonely whispers.

The ocean of wrinkled cloth ’neath the hands

Rustles soft laments for the fading grace

There lingering still, awaiting time's sands

Tranquilly, like the wistful smiling face

That would still give the lie to the blisters

Festering in its folds of peeling skin

And in the chipped coal-specked brown of the beads;

The eyes find their revolt reflected in

These whittled remains of force-barrened seeds,

And dim in the rush of understanding

That floods now with trembling the aged frame:

Of how nevermore is better and worse

Than never, since within it the selfsame

Having had is become blessing and curse

In this last limbo on death's wood landing


Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, 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 Black Bough, Protean, Ideate, Songs of Eretz, Sparks of Calliope, The Dawntreader 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. Find her on her blog: hibahshabkhezxicc.wordpress.com/, on Twitter: @hibahshabkhez, on Facebook: www.facebook.com/hibahshabkhezsarusaihiryu/, or on Instagram: @shabkhez_hibah.

27 views0 comments