The Tall Lighthouse
Abdul Jamal

Abdul Jamal Abdul Jamal's poetry is uncluttered and deceptively simple. He writes with studied economy with a voice that is clear and resonant, exploring the complexities of conflict, loss and longing.


above zanzibar


Jamal is a skilful storyteller, richly describing and reflecting on personal, colourful memories with a beautiful sense of pace and drama.

                                                                                            Chris Beaton, Happenstance


Boyhood friends from above zanzibar    


Sometime after our balls dropped,

we were what, eleven or twelve,

always at each other’s homes

engrossed in Meccano sets

or chewing sour mangoes

that made our eyes pucker

with their green astringency.


And then we fought,

                              over what

I can’t remember now. 


But I do recall

how our feelings disentangled

and we stopped speaking and went

our separate ways, making new friends.


I was told a shuttlecock knocked out your eye,

they put a dry glassy one in its place.


Sometimes guilt quivers beneath the surface.


Nothing to do with me

serves you right -

you stopped being my friend


and though I didn't quite believe it,

you went overseas forever, and I . . .


I never heard from you again.





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