I woke up this morning

and asked the bird if it feels
trapped by its song, by its language
being known only as melody.
Its eloquent speech ‘my home
is endless and dying’ reduced to piping
notes, a shrill ringtone. I am
talking to myself. The birds are gone.
This is the problem of poetry.
We siren our warnings and the world
drowns to the sound of our beautiful
voices. I would not want it any other way.
I love a good dirge. And I am tired of being
told to claim my joy. What am I to do
with happiness? Where on earth
can happiness reside? An astonishing number
of my family are dead. An astonishing
number of my family are alive.
I woke up for this morning song.


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Omar Sakr

Omar Sakr is the author of two acclaimed poetry collections, These Wild Houses (Cordite, 2017) and The Lost Arabs (UQP, 2019) which won the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry. His debut novel, Son of Sin (2022) is out now.

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