Skipping Stones


Stone Garden, Kazuyuki Ohtsu

by Yahia Lababidi

Poetic Ideal: a language scrubbed clean by silences.

If we listen, the air is heavy with poems, ripe for plucking.

Branches are roots, too, in the sky.

Perhaps it is not poetry that purifies the language of the tribe, but Silence.

The true poet, or mystic, is not too proud to admit that, in matters great and small, they cannot proceed until they receive further instructions.

One never becomes a poet, except when they are writing a poem.


Dark Room

Awoke, with an unseen
reel of dream film
I’d found wandering

And, now wondering
where does one develop
such unreal pictures?


Love in the digital age: I hang on your every tweet.

There’s nothing virtual about connection.

Virtual world, real emotions in real time.

Social media:  the art of living out loud.

Most of us lead double lives, nowadays, online.

Social media might make us feel less lonely, but it also makes it more difficult to be alone.

A watched tweet is never retweeted.



Perhaps, we are negotiating
not just with one, but always two
-who share the same soil, it is true-
one who lives, another who is dying

A shift in balance begins to take place
once a love of silence is confessed
its roots run deep, its shade a world
and her fruits impossible to forget

From the first, we surrender something
and, gradually, consent to be emptied
transfixed by so much soundless music
drunk and sated through lipless mouths

What use to name this silent master
preparing us for dying or the Divine
(I’m not sure there is a difference)
but know in embracing it, we let go.


How modulated the voice of the hours – from dawn’s tremulous hope to dusk’s winsome ache…

The great whale hunt of the spirit life is also pursued in dreams.

The play of ideas is eternal. We merely shuffle onstage, and off, to introduce them to one another.

Fear of ridicule keeps us mediocre.

We can easily become prisoners of certain memories; remember, there’s freedom in forgetting.

How the present and future are always shuffling the cards called past.

This is the symbolic life, the previous and the next are the real.

Cover photograph by Baz Masters

About the Author:

Yahia Lababidi is a Pushcart-nominated poet, and the author of three books: Signposts to Elsewhere (aphorisms) Trial by Ink (essays) and Fever Dreams (poetry). Most recently, Lababidi collaborated on a collection of literary dialogues, titled: The Artist as Mystic. For more information, please visit his website