Black Banners


black banners at sunrise    black banners at sunset

black on black are our days and nights

black cars and black-clad men with dark machine guns

riding on the back of black tanks and pickups

firing aimlessly into the darkened sky as if in a bleak wedding

driving on roads lined with rotting corpses

singing a capella like a good choir

stroking cats and taking selfies

black phantoms emerging from the dead of the night

marking houses with exes

fond of cutting hands, arms, and feet

black crows at dusk       black crows at dawn

black on black are our evenings and mornings

the mounds of piled bodies rise in Mosul and Raqqa

higher than the tower of Babel

playing soccer in the barren fields

laughing and shouting

like kids on a school trip

kicking by foot severed heads

disheveled hair    eyes gone    mouths twitching

blood spurting fresh from the kill

the devils are gone now

but we still see black banners in our sleep

black crows when we're awake

in the evening    in the morning

and the time in between




For Sale


Like brand new. Hardly been used.

No visible signs of wear and tear.

In perfect condition inside and out.

Can cook, clean, and wash.

Very pleasing to the eye.

Soft to the touch.

Sometimes it shudders,

but it always works like magic.

More useful than an iPhone,

warmer than an electric blanket in winter.

Shaves off years from your age.

Requires little maintenance.

If performance is erratic,

give it a good kick.

This should do the trick.


Don't miss this unique opportunity.

Serious inquiries only. Sale is final.

No return, no refund.


A mere thirteen years old.

Product of Sinjar.




The Doctor


He was a burly man with a thick moustache,

married a tiny woman and together they had

one, two, three boys ( mashallah).

They lived in a small house with a teeny backyard

where he kept all the animal he had saved.

He looked like a butcher from a distance,

but he was a veterinarian. Everyone knew

 he treated animals and humans alike.

People knew his name, and he gave animals their names.

He had never heard of evolution, creationism, or vegetarianism,

but he avoided meat and was fond of feeding stray cats,

even impure dogs. If someone berated him,

he would shrug his broad shoulders

and replied they were God's creatures as well.

When he once caught his son torturing a small bird,

he slapped him so hard that his large hand

 was imprinted on the boy's cheek for a whole week.

He prayed five times a day and fasted in Ramadan,

but went from house to house rescuing lambs

prepared for slaughter before Adha Eid.

He would never knock on the door of the sitting room

when his wife was entertaining her female friends ―

he barged in, telling the visitors

they didn't need to wear the veil in his presence

because he was a doctor. Stunned,

 they couldn't tell if he meant insult or praise.

When the Islamists swept into the village

at Eid, he was the first one they dragged

to the market place to be slaughtered.



Other Books