"When it Rains" by Assem Bazzi

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by Assem Bazzi

28 July 2020 | 19:06

Source: by Annahar

  • by Assem Bazzi
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 28 July 2020 | 19:06

Assem Bazzi portrait by Omar Sfeir. (Photo courtesy of Assem Bazzi)

This poem is part of Carpe Diem’s online submissions program and was selected for publication by the Carpe Diem team.


When it Rains


As it rains in my city

I think of many things

I think of stray dogs, cats, and beggar-kids

Of posters, flags, and banners of leaders and martyrs being chewed up and degraded

Of the still preserved graffiti on concrete walls

Of unattended graves, neighboring corpses, and plants being watered

Of school kids with superheroes and princesses on their umbrellas

Of their parents with black ones


-A flood of Umbrellas-


I think of vans and cabs

Cursing the surge in traffic


I think of small men

In big cars

Splashing bystanders


I think of those waiting

Outside the makeshift bakery

Hungry for cheap-oiled mankoushi


I think of the coming exploding springs from mountaintops

Of cigarette buds being washed down the drains

Of the couple seeking shelter

Of the need for new boots

Of underpaid construction workers

Of the 2 women…

Staying in the warmth of their bed

Putting life on hold


I think of the homeless under the bridges

Being cold, thankful, and spiteful


I think of my streets and their bars

Becoming cozier


I think of her

In her café

Drawing during her cigarette break


I think of the rodents

Drowning in the sewers


I think of my Mother cursing the cold

As my Father basks in it


I think of my city’s laments

As the countryside rejoices


I think of how the cigarette and drink

Become more alluring


I think of Noah, Gilgamesh, and their fears

Of Robert Plant and his prophetic warning of the Levee breaking

Of weather men’s excitement and weather women’s skirts

Of Charlie Chaplin’s tear

Of the playground’s emptiness

Of indoor childhood and homework

Of army men positioned and on patrol

Of patching up my old hobo trench coat

Of the war between pedestrians

Of the lack of Sun and Moon

Of pathetic fallacies and the coming Apocalypse

Of tumbling skyscrapers

Of acid

Of children inhaling chemicals

Of unattended trash-filled streets leaking into cribs

Of lawyer’s briefcase getting wet


I think of “Singing in the Rain”

By Kelly and Kubrick


I think

Of shivering bones and adrenaline

Of sickness and defying it

Of stubbornness and writing

I think of Billie Holiday


I think of the hundreds on their balconies

Shielded by their thick curtain and warm tea


I think of walking…

Till my feet tire

Till my back aches

Till I am drenched and no longer thirsty


I think of being alive.


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Assem Bazzi is a Lebanese poet who has been contributing to the Beirut poetry performance scene since the summer of 2011. Apart from performing in street corners, local bars and the occasional theater stages, he has participated in numerous poetry performance events including ones curated by The Poetry Pot, Poetic License, and Haven for Artists. Bazzi is also a founding member of el-Yafta poetry circle. He has contributed to the literary travel guide book “Beirut Guide for Beirutis” and has published his poetry in the literary and art journal “Rusted Radishes”.

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Welcome to Carpe Diem, Annahar's new literary section featuring poetry- old and new, published or hidden within the nooks of unveiled pages of Lebanese writers. We welcome all contributions with the caveat that the section hopes to see rawness and authenticity in thought and emotion. Please send inquiries to Carpe Diem editor [email protected]

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