“Twelve Sharingan Eyes” by Hibah Shabkhez

[On Twaalf Spreuken by Pieter Brugel the Elder]

Behold a recipe for the ruin we all embrace,
Who fuse fire and water into sublime grace.
Behold twelve sharingan-eyes staring back at me,
Each holding a jutsu, a savage piece of folly
In the sea screened from the sun to be all mine.

Do we not thus chug our way through upon a fife,
Perched precariously twixt sense and madness?
Belling cats left and right we chase after the net,
Deserting the brick walls only to defy the moon,
Our blue cloaks fluttering upon the flickering life
Of the soul-choking truth that runs through them yet.

Unheard, unheeded, we sob, we murmur, we croon,
Clinging to true lies as into the rotting-calf-well of sadness,
We shovel our bruised roses freshly trampled by swine.



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 The Mojave Heart Review, Third Wednesday, Brine, Petrichor, Remembered Arts, 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.

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