The HyperTexts

Olfa Drid

Olfa Drid (Olfa Philo) is an English teacher, a PhD scholar and a committed poetess and thinker from Tunisia. Her passion is meditation of the ailments and aches of the human race and her utmost target of writing is not art for art’s sake but to trigger thoughts, question taken-for-granted facts, shake her readers’ hearts and uplift their souls. Her poems have appeared in print and online reviews such as The Poet Sanctuary (2009), The Voices Project (March 2014), The Sirens Call (April 2014), Taj Mahal Review (June 2014), The Haiku Journal (June 2014), S/tick Review (July 2014), Three Line Poetry (November 2014) and The Recusant Journal (November 2014). She is an ex-international volleyball player and is also gifted in design and interior decoration.

"I want to make it clear again for everyone that I’m a committed female poetess whose objective is to voice the silenced stories of females, to shed light on some so-to-speak taboo topics and to unveil some wrong deeds and behaviors present in our society. I’m not here to write poems about the sexy lips, breasts and thighs of women or about the beauty of nature for the sake of nature as many poets do. I’m not here either to write poems from the perspective of men because men’s voices are already loud and deafening and they don't need a woman to speak on their behalf! I’m here to be the spokeswoman of the harassed, fooled, aggressed, ignored, disrespected, objectified, marginalized and betrayed women, whose voices are silenced for many reasons. I'm here too to resurrect some dead hearts and souls, to provoke thoughts and to promote some ethical values disappearing from our society. If some men don’t like my poems and my themes and think that being published in international reviews is a matter of chance, they can just 'dislike' me or 'hate' me, even though these options are not present in this virtual space but they are present in everyone's heart."

Here is an extract from the acknowledgement page of Olfa Drid's recently published book (Un)jailed, a collection of poetry​: "I would like to express my gratitude to all the real and virtual persons whose hearts have beaten for mine when reading my poems and whose minds fused orgasmically with mine when I tickled theirs. So heartfelt thanks go to: Mike Burch, the volunteer mentor and humane poet and editor of the online HyperTexts journal for presenting me as a featured poet in his spotlight rubric and for publishing all the poems I wrote about the Palestinian cause." You can preview and purchase the book by clicking the hyperlinked book title.

Daring is the writer who queries the taboo,
gives voice to the unvoiced,
speaks the unspeakable,
personifies the abstract and metaphysical,
words the 'unwordable',
unchains words from their definitions
and makes readers think of the unthinkable.


Honesty is assassinated by travesty,
O please grant me euthanasia!

Loyalty is suffocated by fake royalty,
O please grant me euthanasia!

Shyness is kidnapped by slyness, 
O please grant me euthanasia!

Trust is raped by lust,
O please grant me euthanasia!

The adulterer is protected 
as the rogue is in vogue, 
O please grant me euthanasia!

The heart migrated from the chest 
to look for a safer & cleaner nest,
O please grant me euthanasia!

We've created a mess 
'cause of webcam, GPS & IP address,
O please grant me euthanasia!

The wise is "crazified" 
and the crazy is "deified",
O please grant me euthanasia!

The air has become obscene,
O please let me quit the scene!


in my mouth, my tongue is
how to compete with lies and vain speech?
in my head, my brain is
too many shallow minds to teach
in my chest, my heart is
too many black hearts to bleach
in my face, my worth is
all other talents ‘him’ impeach
the ‘golden’ cage? my life is
kids, kitchen & bed, the rest out of reach!
in my body, my soul is
needs to break free and my bones breach
in/on earth, my body is
for F R E E D O M
how long shall i screech?

Neither a pair of eyes to
bewitch some male
nor a pair of legs to display
for sale
I’m a vivid heart,
a transcending soul
to tickle your brain
your senses hail.

                                                                            MAGNETIC woman

                                                                      magnetic woman
                                                       walking down the street
                                                 turning heads
                                         blowing minds
                             blocking  traffic
making hearts beat…

for her
            some displayed their cars
                              and offered her rides
                                        others displayed their
                                                   financial muscles and castles,
                                                            others couldn’t help
                                                   singing her praises
                                         others with their
                              pants down tempted
            her expectations
to rise!

but …

when she turned
                 a blind eye on them
                                they felt belittled
                                            and darted her ears
                                with insults
                 blasphemies and
illicit words...

disgusted by
                   their incorrigible HEAT
                                  by their awful offers unfit
                                                  she carried on her way
                                  her head held HIGH
                  laughing secretly
at their ‘shit’!

wondering about:
                  the  frailty of those so–to-speak
                                     ‘proud’ lions at her sight
                                                     turning into sheep
                                                             about the domestic cats
                                all of a sudden into wolves
                 about those barking dogs
hungry for her ‘meat’...

she knew she had such
                       power to have them
                                         all under her feet
                                                 but just had pity
                                       for those mere
                         ‘puppets’ with neither
souls nor wit…

had they perceived the
                     beating diamond
                                   she’s housing inside,
                                             they would have been
                                                          dazzled by its light and
                                                                   recovered reason and insight…
                                                                          they would have been ashamed of
                                                                   the inert diamonds of
                                                          their  trivial trade...
                                           they would have been
                                  ashamed of being unable
                     to hit their target…
ashamed of reducing  themselves to

B  E  A  S  T  S …


barren land,
fruitless trees,
wingless birds,
eclipsed sun,
miniscule corpses,
entombed hopes,
decapitated present,
castrated future
death's specter
putrid territories
global silence…

Dead Life

Hey you, hurrying off to the doctor in case of flu or toothache,
what if you suffered like the people of Gaza from a chronic heartache?

Hey you, your kids have a lot of toys to play with and change their moods,
but kids like them in Gaza are being robbed of their innocent moments of childhood!

Hey you, your kids are lucky enjoying food, shelter and comfy beds,
but parents in Gaza are traumatized by their kids' exploded stomachs and heads!

Hey you, you're showing off your new brand-name clothes to your peers?
For their lifelong 'red uniforms', kids of Gaza are drenched in tears!

Hey you, you're complaining every now and then about a lack of fun?
What if your ears were deafened by the noise of rockets and guns!

Hey you, you shout and swear if your kids fall or bleed somewhere?
People of Gaza have been bleeding in silence for decades, as if No one does care!

Hey you, you feel humiliated if you don't celebrate your birthday every year with friends, candles and a cake?
People of Gaza have only wakes and are burning candles daily for their land's sake!

Hey you, you listen to music to calm down and release your stress?
People of Gaza have no other melody but the melancholic lyric of death!

Hey you, you're enraged because your lover didn't call you on the phone?
People of Gaza can only express their displeasure with a stone!

Hey you, you're reluctant to see horrible pictures of atrocities and scattered body parts?
Will you survive a minute if your eyes witness your family members literally falling apart?

Hey you, you're enjoying beer, marijuana and secret dating on Twitter and Facebook?
Did you also swallow all the anesthetizing pills and poisoned hooks?

Hey you, you're hypnotized by the wide range of drama, thriller, soccer and porn TV channels?
Why don't you become a pioneer in launching soul-uplifting, intelligence-boosting and peace-promoting panels?

Hey you, do you feel frustrated when you miss a party or a famous star's show?
What if you lived a life where the sun never rises to melt the years of snow?

Hey you over there, proud of having two feet not four,
What makes you feel superior,
if your brain is (b)locked,
your tongue is tied and
your heart is congealed to the core?

The Oppressed

go mad
you're seen as

claim to be
victims of plunder

become toads
sleep in the road
commit foolish blunders
you're perceived as
a herd

When hearts burst asunder &
stones dwell in the Rulers' chests,
all your endeavors
for Justice are


absurd are your governments
absurd are your parliaments
absurd are your ministries
absurd are your armed forces

when schools and hospitals
become targets of bombardment...

fake are your constitutions
fake  are your courts
fake are your lawyers
fake are your judges

when justice turns into a chimera …

useless are your peace conferences
useless are your gatherings
useless are your agreements
useless are your treaties

when human blood is still shed...

vain are your speeches
vain are your TV shows
vain are your tirades
vain are your masquerades
vain is your 'barking'

when tough actions are
forever postponed...

futile is your education
futile is your knowledge
futile is your culture
futile is your civilization
futile is your evolution

when your hearts are frozen...

undeserved are your titles
undeserved are your salaries
undeserved are your statuses
underserved is your wealth

when your souls are dead...

unfair is your existence
unfair are your lives on earth
when Animal Rights are
much more protective &
effective than
Human Rights…

No more violence

Violence has
no color
no religion
no caste
no gender
no race

Violence emanates from
the soulless
the wicked
the rotten
the savage
the cruel
the hostile
the egocentric &
the barbaric,
whose hearts
for mercy and
for the 'Other'
left  no place

Violence is the offspring of evil
evil is the rival of good
good and evil are inherent in
the Jewish
the Christian
the Muslim
the Atheist
the Buddhist
and also in the 'chameleons'
with more than one face

Violence gives birth to
and entails nothing but
an unerasable trace

Violence should be
repudiated and abated
in each corner of the globe
wherever it slyly sneaks
looking  for a permanent
identity and place


Halt to violence !
Halt no bloodshed !
Halt to racism !
Halt to fanaticism !
Halt to terrorism !
Halt to barbarism !
Halt to war!
Let's cure ourselves
from WITHIN and tame this
shameful trait belonging to
the human /inhuman race...


terror …terror … terrorism
who the hell are you ?
who gave you birth ?
who is feeding you?
who is breeding you ?
who is financing you?
when will you drop your mask?

terror… terror… terrorism
who are your unconscious executioners?
the miserable teens?
the hopeless ?
the jobless?
the vagabonds?
the rebels ?
the marginalized?
the ignorant?
the fanatic?

terror … terror … terrorism
to which species do you belong?
to the animal species?
a carnivore?
a predator ?
or a resurrected dinosaur?

what the hell is your target ?
slaughtering ?
exploding heads ?
mutilation ?
vandalism ?
highjacking ?
taking hostages ?
kidnapping ?
bombarding ?
massacre ?

terror… terror… terrorism
what the hell is  your pleasure?
and only
bloodshed ?

terror… terror… terrorism
who are your damned employees ?
robots ?
zombies ?
vampires ?

terror… terror… terrorism
whom are you fooling with
your fake promises of heaven on earth
or in the afterlife?
which religion promises heaven to
ruthless criminals &
heartless murderers of
innocent people &
defenseless kids and women?

terror… terror… terrorism
are you mistaking your atrocities
for unparalleled acts of heroism?

don’t you know that you’re
a stigma of shame for humanity?
that you’re reducing all cultures and
civilizations into mere lies ?
that you’re ridiculizing us before
the honorable Kingdom of Animals ?

don’t you know that that you’re proving
the uselessness of our brains?
the coldness  of our hearts?
the extinction of ethics?
the futility of our evolution?
the inhumanity of our human race?

terror…terror… terrorism
you’re nothing but a Curse
dragging us back to barbarism!

Politicians or magicians?

Vote for us!
Your wishes are
Your dreams are
our ends
We're not obsessed with
each one will get his
We don't yearn to be
to heaven, we are your
We won't strive for
but for your lives to
We won't enjoy
free beer,
we'll rather dry
your tears
We don't plan for
but to erase your
With us, you'll be in
you'll no longer need
marijuana …

Vote for us!
We’ll reduce your working
give you prerogatives and
We’ll better your
you'll no longer write
We’ll ensure justice and
peace &
We’ll give you wings
to fly,
to poverty, wave
good bye!
We’ll even offer you trips to
"L' île Maurice "

Vote for us!
We'll whiten your skins,
beautify your faces,
reduce your wrinkles,
straighten your hairs,
help you lose weight,
find spouses for you,
offer you castles,
resurrect your beloved ones;
or sons

Vote for us!
Only us, you should trust!
Other parties ignore & disgust!
With us, all your wounds shall be
We ARE your


The stain

Do you know that I exist
but still in the mist…

I’m the cradle of war,
the ocean with
no shore…
The womb of futility,
the nexus of unfair
The site of bloodshed,
where people are
The territory
of discrimination,
where frustration
The locus of fear,
where everybody sheds
I’m the one whose
houses are demolished,
where colonization is
never abolished…
I’m the one whose
children are slaughtered,
whose seeds
are blood-watered

I’m the combat zone,
where children are orphaned,
yet nothing is
I’m the arena
of eternal struggle,
where mothers
can never
I’m the one whose
best weapon is a stone,
while bombs
are breaking our
I’m the one whose
present is inhaling her past,
whose sovereignty is
I’m the one with
no fixed frontier,
where everything
is unclear…
I’m the one whose
signifier is undefined
while each sign in
language is
I’m the persecuted land
where buildings turn to
I’m the land of exhibition
of bombs and gas
I’m the land of freeze
where heartbeats everyday
I’m the stain of shame,
for me all hearts all over the world
should have burst into flame
Who’s the one to blame ?
Can you his savageness tame?
Can you his barbarism declaim?
Can you this genocide proclaim?
Can you my freedom reclaim?
Hey, my battle is not a video game!
When shall you exclaim?
I need my borders to frame
give it a final name
this is my sole aim…
all should support my claim…

Do you recognize me now?

I’m the globe mystery
I’m the incarnation of misery
I’m the inconsolable
The incomplete
The dispossessed
The disabled
The exhausted
The amputated
The displaced
The raped
The buried alive
The silenced voice
The lingering pain
The open wound
The betrayed beloved…

In a word I’m Palestine
Let me be your ‘Valentine’!

The World Map

Did I whisper in your ear once
when I melt in your arms
that you are my world map
that I'm a regular traveller
and a fervent explorer
that I won't miss any
of your four corners
will land in all your countries
will explore all your caves
will admire all your landscapes
will cope with all your weathers
will survive your scorching sun
will bear your winter frost
will climb all your mountains
will bathe in all your beaches
will dive in all your seas
will taste all your cuisines...


I apologize now
for breaking my promise
for cancelling my journey
because the modern world
turned me into a mindless
and heartless wanderer
took me away from your
labyrinthian map
kept me busy with
other accessible maps
metamorphosed me
into a restless monkey
jumping from one tree to another
looking for 'food' here and there
roaming aimlessly
hanging out willy-nilly
with a distracted mind
mistaking my east for my west
confusing my north with my south
heading left but not right
spinning around after my 'tail'
instead of exploring the/ my/your world …


Olfa Drid is an emerging Tunisian poetess. Her readers have described her as a "towering personality" whose deviation from the trodden path has made of her something of a "wonder woman." But as a child Olfa was a mystery whose silence was generally misunderstood and misinterpreted. Being an introvert, shy and reserved, she was fond of hearing, listening, and observing people around her ... comparing, contrasting, contemplating, enquiring, meditating, cogitating, philosophizing and synthesizing.

Olfa, as a teen nicknamed ‘wild beauty,’ was both envied and desired, something that made her infer that beauty is both a blessing and a curse.

Olfa, the volleyball star, was a polyvalent player and a fierce fighter; she was a defender and a spiker distinguished mainly by her strong smashes and high jumps on one hand, and by her perseverance, determination and fair-play on the other.  Her volleyball talent enabled her to be a member of the Tunisian national team and gave her the opportunity to travel and explore the four corners of the globe and ultimately widen her knowledge, deepen her experience and enrich her vision of life.

Olfa, the schoolgirl, was intelligent, serious, responsible, hard-working but not talkative in class, hence surprising her teachers more than once with her unexpected good grades and high honors at the end of the academic year.

Olfa, the woman is a daydreamer. She is hypersensitive, romantic, spontaneous, altruistic, philanthropic, caring, humble, tolerant, self-reliant, perfectionistic and endowed with psychic powers which enable her to sense people’s hearts and souls.  

As for her education and professional career, her studies were intermittent for enormous reasons. She obtained her university degree in the English Language and Literature in 1995 and embarked on her teaching career at the age of 24. In 2004, she  resumed her studies and received her Master degree in Literature in 2005 and now she is a PhD scholar endeavoring to finish her doctoral dissertation about Toni Morrison's fiction.

As for her journey with words, Olfa the poet was infatuated with language and with the power of words to both kill and heal.  In her life spring, she fell in love first with songs as she used to spend hours listening to music and trying to write down the lyrics of each song on her own. In a later stage, she was introduced to a great number of Arab and Persian poets and philosophers such as Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri, Abu at-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi, Omar Khayyam and Rumi. Later on she made the acquaintance of poets of great renown such as Shakespeare, William Blake, E. E. Cummings, Maya Angelou, Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Frost, to name but a few.

Being birthed in silence and therefore pregnant with words for decades, she felt ready finally to unchain her muse and give birth to words in 2009 when she started weaving her present and past emotions and thoughts into poems. Some of her poems were lyrical and rhymed, others were not. Some abide by the classical rules, other challenge these very rules. Indeed poetry in her eyes is "a realm where words are unfettered and released from the manacles of definition. " Poetry is also "the dance floor for rocked and rolled emotions", as she has defined it.  The postmodern experimental trend in poetry also appealed to her since it gives poets a wide scope of freedom to showcase their intelligence and creativity in both form and content. Thus her poems are a mixture of classicism, romanticism, transcendentalism and postmodernism. Her writing style is characterized by her extensive use of metaphors and similes as well as allegories and symbolism.  Sarcasm is one of her rhetorical devices that cannot go by indiscernible to her readers. 

Being a  hyper-sensitive 'humane' being, her style of writing is therefore shaped around the heart mode. Her favorite poetic pattern is the ‘heart-meter’, her verses usually echo the  rhythm of the heart beats... Being an altruist person in her nature and also in her writing, she often steps into the shoes of  a rainbow of people and mainly of women in order to voice their emotional ups and downs and word their thoughts and worries. Olfa is a committed poetess whose passion is meditation at the ailments and aches of the human race and whose utmost target of writing is not art for art’s sake but to provoke thoughts, to question given- for-granted facts and to resurrect the readers’ hearts and uplift their souls. Her poems often shed light on some gender, social and/or ethical issues. For she finds it daring from a female writer in a patriarchal society to query the taboo, to give voice to the unvoiced, to speak the unspeakable, to personify the abstract and metaphysical, to word the 'unwordable',  and to make readers think of the unthinkable.

Having the strong conviction that self-publishing a book reflects the power of money and not the power of words, so she believes that sending one's orphaned poems to compete  with other poets coming from the four corners of the globe is a big challenge for any writer and the safest and wisest path to gain merit, worldwide recognition and readership. For being judged in an unbiased and blind way, power is henceforth given to the WORDS to either spellbind the editors and make them accept to publish the suggested piece or to cause their repulsion and therefore decline it. 

Olfa started writing and sharing her poems in 2009. She wrote many poems and shared them with other poets on and The positive echoes of her difficultly simple poems made her immediately realize the magnetic power of her pen. Her deep poems proved to shake many hearts and souls, to bring tears to many eyes and to leave readers wondering and thinking about her implicit messages. Having her poem ‘Dear daughter’ accepted for publication  in the Poet’s Sanctuary anthology in that same year confirmed her view and strengthened her belief in the magical power of words. But she stopped writing for around three years because of pregnancy and other  personal reasons then resumed writing in 2013 when she hugged again her poetic muse. She has written so far around 60 short poems  between quatrains and haikus and around 50 other longer poems.

2014 seems to be her harvest season. For she had six of her poems published in different reviews such us the Voices, The Sirens Call ezine, Taj Mahal Review, S/tick Review, The Haiku Journal, and Three Line poetry journal.

Apart from poetry, she also wrote a play few years ago entitled “Sublime Revenge’ and decided to self-publish it as an ebook on Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing in 2013.

Olfa Philo is the pen name she chose for herself in order to convey her different philosophy of life and her perception of things with different eyes and from a different angle. It also bespeaks her enchantment with the mystical, the intangible and the metaphysical, which are generally unfathomable by the human mind.

Since every medal has a reverse and since being multi-gifted implies being multi-envied, so she could not be exempted from paying the exorbitant price of these Divine gifts. For these very gifts made her subject to gossip, jealousy, envy, sexual harassment, molestation, objectification, evil eye and black magic spells in addition to identity theft and defamatory acts on social networks.

But after being trapped in a dark tunnel for more than a decade, she succeeded  finally to see light through the magically powerful holy verses of God which filled her heart with calm and serenity and uplifted her tormented soul. Henceforth, she has sought solace in these powerful words of the Divine  as she found in them the best refuge to both heal and shield oneself from all evils. Her play 'Sublime Revenge' was in part  inspired by the holy book.

Likewise, being hurt and shocked by the objectifying gaze of people around her and by their striking blindness to her inner beauty, now she is endeavoring to prove in and through her poems that beautiful women are NOT stupid and that they can be smart, creative, inspiring and even icons of wisdom. In a nutshell, one of her missions as a  female author is to redefine beautiful women as being fit to be poets, thinkers and awakeners and not only actresses, top models and sales hooks.

So for those who want to visit her realm of white magic spells and transcend the physical world,  you can join her Facebook page fan below.

Facebook :

The HyperTexts