Poetry set by Jad Abdul Ellah Dandashi

We have received the following submission from Jad Dandashi, a young American writer. Jad is currently a 1st year student at the Texas A&M Health Science Centre College of Medicine. He also plays in The Measure Of, a “dark and ambient” metal band from Austin, Texas.

Below is a collection of eight untitled poems by Jad. We love how the writer frequently connects both natural and manmade materials, such as mold and doors, to the human form within his work.

Read below:


Lest I fall asleep, unanswered

With questioning procession;

Burden always seems to fall

Upon burdened eyes.

And witnessing such deluge as this,

Inquiry lends itself to majesty,

Yet royalty escapes me, nonetheless.

Beckoning serves not a purpose,

Or purpose enough as memory serves.

I know better now,

In so much as I know that I knew nothing at all then.

Instead I stand agape in hollow holes,

Hallowed in passing by such woes

So great and so few.

The body is not what I lack,

For I see the forest in the trees.

It is the trees that elude me so

Whilst my head rests on foliage,

So generously misplaced as the sea.


I had sewn my skin to the roots of a flower in hopes of letting them keep me.

They asked my reasons for bearing no fruit to gaze upon.

My reasons were my own, and my place is not a home.

My place is not with what pierces through the gravel to speak to the sun;

I would know not what to ask.

My place is not to sway with the wind as she makes her way;

I would know not where she would take me.

My place is not with the moon as she thieves her glory from the sun;

I would know not how to console her precious imperfections.

No, my place is not a home.

I belong where the roots anchor deeper to desperation and closer to Earth.

Nonetheless, they continued to pick me from the ground to ask of me my fruit;

They could not warrant the merit of such roots.

And when they saw my toiled skin weave so close they wondered where my place could be.

Once they had fled, I buried myself over and again;

This time deeper into the soil from whence I had sewn my skin to the roots of a flower in hopes of letting them keep me.


I have grown accustomed to closing doors,

Leaving my skin to rest with paths in the floor

Where it grows with the grain and my spine exposed,

And the curvature mirrors the pine and the mold.

One seldom forgets the smell of the room,

And never remembers how the flowers would bloom.

Yet they always forget to remember the skin

They left at the door when they first walked in.


Ask me to whisper who I am;

I shall tell you who I was

And I how I lived

A story that goes

Up until the soil reclaimed my bones

And I how I began again

From the soil, unto

Roots beget roots

There is no flowering for the sake of petals

For loss is a burdensome atlas

So we bloom for the sun

Who we will never know

Who we will never touch

And even if we could,

It would be only to rust

And one winter,

Our petals will fall

Without a word

Without a whisper

The soil takes us

Petals and all


I keep a fortune in feathers resting upon my back

But what use are they

If I know not a way

To make them wings from wax

And even if I could fashion them, in a sense,

From what rope and twine I find astray,

The wind was never an eager host

Thus, the soil’s fondness would pull me close

Where the rats would finally have their say


Trace yourself back

And find your composure.

Lay down, dear.

The forest for the trees;

Aloft among their roots

And through the glass.

Once over and again,

And the forest for the trees.

You lament over their bark.

Yet this parchment holds not the will to keep ink,

And your lines were to be meager in their ways

So as to hold the trees in contempt.

But their branches will continue to sway,

And ink does not flow as the rivers do

Day by day.


I would say all was well.

I could say I was dreaming.

But I am struggling to know

If I am really half afloat

Or if this is what they meant…

…by sinking

The day we pulled anchor,

We wandered the seabed;

For water has been known to dispute voids quite readily.

And ever since you formed nothing but pictures on the walls,

Parts of me are polaroid’s

and passages

They say ships are safe at anchor, and not to stray far from shore.

But I have always known that is not what ships are built for.

All that has been left to me is what I will never have:

Everything I was meant to always miss, regardless of the past.

All the sudden, in a fashion,

I have lost bearing of safe and sound.

And somewhere between my ardor and rapture,

I have found a place in the ground.


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