Sabah Carrim: Poetry (Western Voices 2021)

Bio: Sabah Carrim has authored two novels, Humeirah and Semi-Apes, both set in Mauritius where she was born.

Her short stories have been shortlisted in various international competitions such as the Bristol Short Story Prize, AfroYoung Adult Competition, Not-So-Normal-Narrators Contest, Small Islands Anthology Contest, and the Gabriele Rico Challenge for Creative Nonfiction.

She’s also an academic with a PhD in Genocide Studies, and is currently recipient of the W. Morgan and Lou Claire Rose Scholarship in Texas State University for a MFA in Creative Writing in the United States of America.




The mirror doesn’t show much of a

difference—although there is one, a silent decay


like meat that’s stood on the kitchen counter for days—meat

that’s dehydrated


that’s how we appear as we age.


Everyone interesting and passionate, and most importantly      alive

is henceforth ten years younger—or more


and you wonder where your contemporaries are.


They’re in their homes, washing dishes, cleaning

the mess of their children and their

partners, soaking whole grained oat meal

for breakfast on the morrow


They’re doing the accounts, counting the number of months

before the loan’s paid, so they can figure out when it’s

safe to get a new one

to secure them in their old age


They’re going to bed early, setting their alarms to wake up

on time

to swallow their oat meal and beat the traffic jam


while you’re sitting here, looking in the mirror, looking

at the distant sea

and the distant horizon, pondering on these

eternal wheels we’re caught up in


pondering on these dreary and boring lives you’ve avoided

that always seemed both—attractive and repulsive


Have you ever engaged in conversation with the sea?


Have you heard it roar and lash out at you in anger

especially in the middle of the night

as if

the sun it had swallowed

was rebelling from within its stomach

(it seems because the lights went out)


Have you heard the sea roar and lash out at you

with the crescented moon just atop

and a few stars dotting the side

all peeking through the leaves of a coconut tree

and staring at you


Have you had to soothe the sea with your words

and watched and heard it tone down

and felt consoled that an unruly child could be calmed by you


Have you ever had to play music to the sea

and synchronised its rhythm and beat to the

ebb and flow of the splashes on the shore


and as you turned to go back to your room

heard its complaints its lamentations all too soon


Broken Things


At certain junctures of our lives


after the analysis, after the diagnosis


of the problem

arises the need to gather courage


to undo things that aren’t right

to do things that have to be set right

to unplug oneself from a broken system

to revert, recede, restitute

to do to act


to stop thinking that     it could have been worse

when    it could have been better


—but people usually falter at this stage


one would think that everyone has a threshold for the pain

they can endure—but no,


ultimately most of us

                                                            end up




                      broken things

1 comment :

  1. Such finery and wisdom! Lamentations of the sea, broken things. Excellent verses.


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