The Crash of Verses

Rafik Romdhani

This week welcomes the release of Rafik Romdhani’s second poetry collection, The Crash of Verses. A hearty congratulations to this exemplary wordsmith on his newest release! Working with the author in developing his manuscript to present digital and print editions to the public was a pleasure.

The book is available to purchase via this universal link.
Early reviews have been shared on Goodreads, which have been excellent so far (and well deserved). If you pick up the book, please consider leaving an honest review on your prefered platform. These are incredibly valuable to other readers and independent creators alike.

About Rafik Romdhani

Rafik Romdhani was born to Salah Romdhani and Mbarka Romdhani in Rakada Kairouan, Tunisia in 1981. He grew up on a large farm, where like many Tunisian children, he undertook years of heavy, back-breaking work. He is a poet by nature and an English teacher by profession. He studied English Language and Literature in the Faculty of Arts, University of Kairouan and started teaching in 2006 in Tunisia. From 2012 he taught English in the Sultanate of Oman before returning to work again in Tunisian schools in 2016.

Romdhani began writing poetry in 2000. His influences include Charles Baudelaire, Herbert Zbiginiew, T. S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Seamus Heaney, and Sghaier Aouled Ahmed. His debut collection, Dance of the Metaphors, released in 2021, represents an authentic outpouring of his long-suppressed desire to share his poetry with a wider audience. His second collection, The Crash of Verses, hits global audiences in 2022.

Romdhani’s work tackles themes from his observations of nature, politics, culture, society and humanity. His prose is exquisitely conceived and presented in a form as elegantly classical as it is strikingly modern. In his prose, readers are guaranteed a journey never to be forgotten.

Your Heaven is a Lie

A Poem

The poignant print
Has pressed itself
Upon my cerebrum
Sepia ink bleeding
The cells we share
Scream in anguish
Silenced, winded
Controlled by them
Another whisper
Her Faint voice 
Only heads his own.
Him
There’s always
A him
First under
Their skins
Like they belonged
To him
And each after
Many faces
The same demon
Chancers
Gypsies
Faux gentlemen
Had his way
Abusing bodies
Manipulating minds
Like no crime
Captive strangled
His God-given right
Blind eyes
Sightless
Mindless
The perverse
Protected
It’s the mad
Talking
No one hears
Gibberish
Gobbledygook
Drivel
Swept under
Bulging rug
Give it a wide-berth
The unstable
Weave weathers
Fraying weakening 
The boards
Beneath creak
Like her voice
Cognitive dissonance
Ignorant until
It’s too late…
Another coffin
How many now?
Hold hands
Ersatz repentance
Hypocrisy reigning
Sins of the
Self-righteous
Self-proclaimed 
Unchallenged patriarch
The worst of them
Self-made god(s)
Bitten tongues
My open eyes
See through
The shoddy charade
That he parades
With every dial
Every smile 
Clink of glass
The heart haemorrhages
In silent solitude
There’s no truce
With these
Truths
Your Heaven is
A lie and your
Hell awaits
When you
Fucking die.

LoveSick

Thrice fallen
Sickening ‘love’
Love because
There’s no
Other word.
Senseless unhinging;
The soul’s
Unwelcome apprentice
Staggering eclipsing
Penumbra of logic
Piercing passions
Affection infatuation
Desires yearning
For more than 
Mere skin.
Oh, the skin…
I can taste
Your salt
Remnant thoughts
Linger quiver
Each baptism 
Triggered by
Scent — drowning
Flooding my 
Nostrils and
Unsuspecting brain
As if
She were
Credulous.
That kiss
Staggering surprising
Rattling knees
The gliding
Purple satin
Caressing
Hardening nipples
His scent
Intoxication annihilation 
The thorn in my heart
Dousing my 
Spent body
Invading tuberous-spores
Washing winds
Of ‘love’
Over goose-bumped
Prickled skin
Soaking my
Soul in
Heady wine
Must touch
Every part
Of you
Feel you move
From the 
Inside
Sink teeth
Lick clean
The elixir
Of your
Delicious dermis
Worship at
Your voice
Wince,
Quiver,
Shiver
Melt with
Your touch
Deep dive
The waters
Of those
Eyes
Cliches spin
The broken
Record of
Human need
Mine
Greed for
Contact
Every inch
Of fabled
Chaos Chords
Intensely tethered
Holding me
Hostage
In bondage
Abundant
In my
Gullible heart
To the rest, stone.
Each of
You ferment
Within me
Blending a
Fine concoction
My own
Special cask.
Exclusive reclusive.
Did you
Know of
My love
Like that
Superseding rejection
Deflection, lies
Your love’s
Demise
How even
Now, and
At the
end of
Each of
Our times;
All time
I'd share
My deathbed
With All
Of you
Thrice over
As one
I'd welcome
Your wives
And embrace 
Them with 
The love
That’s always
Been more
Than I
Can handle
Coursing through
The nucleus 
Of every cell
I’d open
The damn
For your
Sweet loves
Rippling it 
Out; a
Tsunami blanket
Of eternity
In each
Of your
Arms of
Ages
Covered, devoured
The love
That never
Dies…
Except for
Those times
That mine
saw it
Vanish from 
Your eyes.
It still
Lives here…
The apparition
Of yours
To my
Widowed love
Caressing my
bones until
They are
Crumbs of
History
Dust on
The wind.
Unseen like
That word
Again…
Love.
I’ve opened 
My legs
Danced with 
Tongues
Split open
Veins
And my
(Death) bed
Would lay
Open for 
You to
Fill.
Welcome mat
Gormless Gullible
Obsessively loyal
Lovesick heart.

Undertow City

Strolling through the city of ghosts
Mine and others
Life lessening; remnants many
The only commodities exponentially growing
The less-ness and the dead
Faces curl by, mighty and mellow
Jesting jesters
Secret stalkers
Smooth and lined
Chiselling the face of ages
Charcoal sketches in a dusty book
My neck cranes from the tarmac
To sandstone stretching skyward
Behind blacked shades I hasten a look
Faces carved into stone statues
Corrosion of time changes their masks
And I see you there
Dancing among the gargoyles
Faces I’ve known
Faces I’ve kissed
Faces long dismissed
Echoes of ancient conversations
Undertows hidden behind music
Soothing ears and fears with every pluck and stroke
Muffling hyper consternation
Rapid beats in the throat
Lost words imprint the atmosphere
Bare toes curl into the black cracked pavement
They keep remaking it
Covering the splits
The old tracks; spectre paths
Undertows ripple underfoot
Soon only remnants shall remain
Ruptured
I’m one of them; a mere echo
In this Undertow City.

Reluctant Reaper

Rolling rumbling tumbling of the muscle
Steadfast working out the dead

Waiting through waves
Expulsion from womb to world; inner-outer dimension switch

Existence given visibility
Life unviable; dead tangible

The ticking clock veiled agony; pulse-quickening within the neck
Swimming through minutes in viscous shards; stark, exposed in wait

A sudden burst to cemetery-serene-silence
Shock of expectations met, tension swells and pops within the void

Her body expelled, revealed
Limp, still, disturbingly perfect

Few eyes lay upon her — none with such desperate thirst as the child-loss-mother
Tattooing details to memory
Cerebral and uterine imprints
Memories outlived instantaneously

Tiny fingers, toes, torso, fused eyes, jaw, ears…
All except the beating of the heart
Virgin lungs void of air in this, her death hours stare

My pathetic heart beats so hard it chokes the throat
The muscle has pried itself from within its cage, making way up to swell in the gullet

Don’t take her away…
Emotion sickness swells drowning from the inside
Even dead, she’s still the baby; even dead, she’s my baby, still

Must give her honour of life…somehow
Gemini mother; creator, reluctant reaper

Now her death feeds life
Entangled in root tendrils within the earth
Forever reaching within and upward

The true heart of something that doesn’t have to beat
Her cycles visibly viable

Bleary eyes can’t always see their praise of stars
Despair wracked the heart for a time

Peace isn’t only for the dead…

She sways in the wind now; dancing grace
Energy shared, scattered through leaves and bellies of beasts
She worms and she soars through them

Not the life imagined; energy shifted, realigned
Heart-wrenching, gut-punching beautiful

Death Born Still — Lives

© Natasha Sinclair 2020

Written on reflection during ‘The Wave of Light’ 15th October 2020.