In memory of my dear friend Muhammad Alhawaj, who died of Coronavirus while studying in Saint Petersburg.


This urban maze! no friendly face,

A sprawl of blocks, the viral spread.

Struck down you were, thrown off, defaced

The final room, a whaft of dread.


Your memories, dreams, a list of needs;

Ambition yearns, and plans on hold.

A book of signs, a verse of creed,

Devoid of sense, unmoving, cold.


My tears are but a sign in vain,

A foggy morn, a muted no.

A veteran’s yes to well known pain,

Esthetic takes, a stricken oh.


In olden times their sweetened bane:

A life deferred in heaven’s vault.

The soul, though, knows the earthy plane

As resting place in ofrock and salt.


Wael Almahdi (2020).



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