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.
OUT OF PRINT
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,
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.