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Editor's Note



Three Poems

by Weam Namou

Love, Justice, and Turtle Soup

A Native American man with long hair
walked into my place of business one day
and verbally handed me a recipe,
though I did not cook at the time –
and now that I do cook, I doubt
I could follow the instructions he gave to me,
though I’ll never forget the recipe.

He said, nonchalantly:
“If you want to make homemade turtle soup, you have to be careful and you must wait..
You'd want to catch a sea turtle because you get thirty or more pounds of meat from it - depending on weight. You need help too. A couple of men would do, to place the turtle inside a garbage barrel filled with fresh water. Close the lid and leave it there to starve.
It sounds brutal, I know, but there's no other way to do it if you want to have homemade turtle soup. Sea turtles can live up to a hundred years, so it takes a while for them to die. If someone tried to slaughter them, they'd release a poison into their system that would kill anyone who ate from it. One must therefore keep the area surrounding the garbage barrel quiet so the turtle doesn't think it has been caught by anyone but itself….
Turtles have a bad memory and will forget they were trapped.”

People trap each other like that and call it love.

Elephants, on the other hand, don't forget.
If someone tried to hurt them, they come back in a hundred years to step on them.

People avenge each other like that and call it justice.

The Sky is Brown

My hair is white
from the sand
that burns my eyes
if I don’t wear glasses.

The water kept in tanks
is scorching hot due to the
120 degree temperatures
all summer long. 

The water from
the well is bitter and salty
and needs boiling prior to

Last time it rained
was nine months ago,
the time it takes for a woman
to carry full term.

Weather is so bad here
it makes me want to vomit.

Baghdad is not the same.
One never sees a star
Sky is dark brown
No gardens
Just tensions

I came here to interpret for the U.S. Army.
The economy at home is bad.
The pay here is good.
I could die at any minute.

What Stands Between Us

A book.
Yes, a book – two to be exact – of differences and similarities.
The Bible and the Quran
Followers of each are offended by the other
They try to prove their points and in the midst of their dispute,
they scream and shout
Like children, even worse to be exact.

Unlike children, they are happy to say they are
without doubts and fears,
that they do not need an adult qualified enough
to put an end to their tantrums and stupidities,
to stop them from hurting each other with words
and throwing bombs or grenades,
an adult who would help them comprehend that
the playground of Earth is open for the public
not only certain religions, genders and nationalities.

Don’t hit, share!” parents teach their kids,
while leaders of nations not only hit,
they kill.

Weam Namou, born in Baghdad as a minority Christian, came to America at ten. The author of three novels and the co-founder and president of IAA (Iraqi Artists Association), Namou received her BA in Speech Communication from Wayne State University, and later studied poetry in Prague and screenwriting at MPI (Motion Picture Institute of Michigan). She reports for several local newspapers and is working on a feature film, “Green Card Wedding.” Namou has been interviewed by more than 90 radio stations and has given several poetry readings. Her articles, essays and poetry have appeared in such publications such as World Literature Today, Mizna, Acumen Literary Journal, PoetsAgainstWar.com, Verbage.com, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Language and Culture, Danse Macabre, Gargoyle, Gloom Cupboard and Lettre Sauvage, Mascara Literary Review, River Poets Journal, and Silenced Press.

Copyright 2010, Weam Namou. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.