. Rhymeless in Manama My UK friend said, “Rhyme is old, you need to venture free and bold.” My Turkish friend said, “Rhyme's a must, a rhymeless bard deserves no trust.” But I found out I needn't choose I better leave it to my Muse: she knows this poem needs to rhyme with measured phonemes set to time. It seems to be a modern curse: the spread of bland and fractured verse. . . Pacing in the Park Twelve years ago, or thereabouts And add some months, more give than take I walked in circles in the park And puffed on cigs without a break. I thought upon exams and grades For did I fail? – what utter ache! My eye was cold, my heart was bold My whole career was put at stake. With numbers dancing in a whirl My head was full of digits still. A text came in: I did alright, My work at last had fit the bill. Oh joy of joys, oh merry leaps Oh lease on life, begone the gloom! My back now straight, with merry gait Apocalypse no longer loomed. And now, I’m back in that green park I’d rather let those shadows lie I hear my kids call from afar They drown my thoughts in joyful cries. . . Wael Almahdi is a poet from the island of Bahrain. He has been a dentist for 12 years. He has also worked in English Arabic translation for 20 years. His poem “Rain” is slated to appear in the print edition of Arablit Quarterly. He can read a number of languages including Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, French, and Esperanto.