Of his life practically nothing is known except that his chief poem concerns an incident in the wars between the Lakhmids and the Ghassanids. Even the date of this is doubtful, but it is generally referred to the period after the middle of the 6th century. His poetic description of ostriches is said to have been famous among the Arabs. His diwan consists of three qasidas (elegies) and eleven fragments. Asma'i considered three of the poems genuine.
The poems were ed by Albert Socin with Latin translation as Die Gedichte des 'Alkama Alfahl (Leipzig, 1867), and are contained in Wilhelm Ahlwardt's The Diwans of the six ancient Arabic Poets (London, 1870); cf. Ahlwardt's Bemerkungen über die Echtheit der alten arabischen Gedichte (Greifswald, 1872), pp. 65–71 and 146–168.