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A Poem a Day

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A Poem a Day
    Posted: 16-Mar-2012 at 11:42
Khaled Abdallah

Seeds in Flight

An ancient woman, who has lived all seasons,
wanders the earth gathering camomile.

Each flower in her apron is a star,
her apron is the sky. When she reaches the house,

she strews them to dry like shells on a beach -
to bring good luck, to whisper the future.

In the sun her tattoo glistens, a star glints
in her golden earring, the camomile dries.

Her hand, hennaed with god's names,
spun the wool of the flock, embroidered

the wedding clothes, gathers the dried flowers.
But next season, when the future arrived,

it silenced the whispers. She was buried with her ancestors.
And yet as if by chance, as if by magic, as if by a miracle

the camomile grows each season behind the house.
Many seeds have flown. These seeds remain.


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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2012 at 16:56

Lament for the Makars
William Dunbar - circa 1500(ish)

I THAT in heill was and gladnèss
Am trublit now with great sickness
And feblit with infirmitie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


Our plesance here is all vain glory,
This fals world is but transitory,
The flesh is bruckle, the Feynd is slee:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

The state of man does change and vary,
Now sound, now sick, now blyth, now sary,
Now dansand mirry, now like to die:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


No state in Erd here standis sicker;
As with the wynd wavis the wicker
So wannis this world's vanitie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Unto the Death gois all Estatis,
Princis, Prelatis, and Potestatis,
Baith rich and poor of all degree:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He takis the knichtis in to the field
Enarmit under helm and scheild;
Victor he is at all mellie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


That strong unmerciful tyrandTakis,
on the motheris breast sowkand,
The babe full of benignitie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


He takis the campion in the stour,
The captain closit in the tour,
The lady in bour full of bewtie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


He spairis no lord for his piscence,
Na clerk for his intelligence;
His awful straik may no man flee:—Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Art-magicianis and astrologgis,
Rethoris, logicianis, and theologgis,
Them helpis no conclusionis slee:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

In medecine the most practicianis,
Leechis, surrigianis, and physicianis,
Themself from Death may not supplee:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.



I see that makaris amang the lave
Playis here their padyanis, syne gois to grave;
Sparit is nocht their facultie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


He has done petuously devour
The noble Chaucer, of makaris flour,
The Monk of Bury, and Gower, all three:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

The good Sir Hew of Eglintoun,
Ettrick, Heriot, and Wintoun,
He has tane out of this sweetierie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


That scorpion fell has done infeck
Maister John Clerk, and James Afflek,
Fra ballat-making and tragedie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Holland and Barbour he has berevit;
Alas! that he not with us levit
Sir Mungo Lockart of the Lee:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


Clerk of Tranent eke he has tane,
That made the anteris of Gawaine;
Sir Gilbert Hay endit has he:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He has Blind Harry and Sandy Traill
Slain with his schour of mortal hail,
Quhilk Patrick Johnstoun might nought flee:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


He has reft Merseir his endite,
That did in luve so lively write,
So short, so quick, of sentence hie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

He has tane Rowll of Aberdene,
And gentill Rowll of Corstorphine;
Two better fallowis did no man see:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

In Dunfermline he has tane Broun
With Maister Robert Henrysoun;
Sir John the Ross enbrast has he:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

And he has now tane, last of a,
Good gentil Stobo and Quintin Shaw,
Of quhom all wichtis hes pitie:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


Good Maister Walter Kennedy
In point of Death lies verily;
Great ruth it were that so suld be:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Sen he has all my brether tane,
He will naught let me live alane;
Of force I man his next prey be:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.

Since for the Death remeid is none,
Best is that we for Death dispone,
After our death that live may we:—
Timor Mortis conturbat me.


For money you did what guns could not do.........
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2012 at 17:43
This poem seriously challenged my Late Middle English reading abilities, but it was well worthedSmile; thank you, Chookie.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2012 at 23:06
Saddic al-Raddi

Record

King of the distant cries
Companion of screaming and silence -
Who saw you?

Who saw the blood on your roads?
Who prepared the watch and the spectacle of fear? 
Who built the walls and threw a guard around them?
Who made the world die in the space of a word?

Memories of cities - fall
Expectations - fall
Histories of forgery - fall



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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2012 at 19:52
Al Saddiq al-Raddi

Some of Them Live With You

Some of them meet you
in the dark corners of the world
Some remain hidden

Some harbor revenge
or plot their escape
as they gallop down the valley of the wind
 
Some linger at the foot of a mountain
exposed to the elements
 
Some owned your heart
Some slaughtered it
Some stripped you naked

Some: me and you




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  Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2012 at 16:13

Roch the wind in the clear days dawin'
Blaws the cloods heelster gowdy ow'r the bay
But there's mair nor a roch wind blawin'
Through the great glen o' the warld the day.
It's a thocht that will gar oor rottans
A' they rogues that gang gallus fresh and gay
Tak the road an' seek ither loanins
For their ill ploys tae sport an' play

Nae mair will the bonnie callants

Mairch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw,
Nor wee weans frae pit-heid an' clachan
Mourn the ships sailing doon the Broomielaw.
Broken families in lands we've herriet
Will curse Scotland the Brave nae mair, nae mair.
Black and white, ane til ither mairriet
Mak' the vile barracks o' their masters bare.

So come all ye at hame wi' freedom
Never heed whit the hoodies croak for doom
In your hoose a' the bairns o' Adam
Can find breid, barley bree an' painted room.
When MacLean meets wi's freens in Springburn
A' the roses an' geans will turn tae bloom
And a black boy frae yont Nyanga
Dings the fell gallows o' the burghers doon.


Hamish Henderson
For money you did what guns could not do.........
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2012 at 18:48
Originally posted by Chookie

Roch the wind in the clear days dawin'
Blaws the cloods heelster gowdy ow'r the bay
But there's mair nor a roch wind blawin'
Through the great glen o' the warld the day.
It's a thocht that will gar oor rottans
A' they rogues that gang gallus fresh and gay
Tak the road an' seek ither loanins
For their ill ploys tae sport an' play

Nae mair will the bonnie callants

Mairch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw,
Nor wee weans frae pit-heid an' clachan
Mourn the ships sailing doon the Broomielaw.
Broken families in lands we've herriet
Will curse Scotland the Brave nae mair, nae mair.
Black and white, ane til ither mairriet
Mak' the vile barracks o' their masters bare.

So come all ye at hame wi' freedom
Never heed whit the hoodies croak for doom
In your hoose a' the bairns o' Adam
Can find breid, barley bree an' painted room.
When MacLean meets wi's freens in Springburn
A' the roses an' geans will turn tae bloom
And a black boy frae yont Nyanga
Dings the fell gallows o' the burghers doon.


Hamish Henderson

Chookie, I think understood most of the poem, but what do those expressions mean:
"It's a thocht that will gar oor rottans"
" frae pit-heid an' clachan"
"Dings the fell gallows o' the burghers doon."
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2012 at 18:52
Al Saddiq al-Raddi

Site of longing and explosion
bleeding from exhaustion and diligence,
from all the circles and constraints
all the markers and borders
fixed in this bastard world

I wrench beauty from ugliness
and fall prey to possibility
In the knot of temptation
the possible is jettisoned

I am nothing but a digger of graves
The dead are abandoned
beneath the roof of their loved ones
They turn pale keeping watch
over those not yet dead

A nightmare that would end
is a nightmare that would begin


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2012 at 02:40
Muhammad al-Fayturi

The Sorrows of The Black City

When night casts its net of shadows over the streets of the city
shrouding it in grief,
you can still see them —
slumped in silence, staring at the cracks.
And you think they are calm,
but you're wrong — they're on fire!

When darkness raises its statues of marble
on the streets of the city
then smashes them in fury
then the city will lead all the people
down the spiral staircase of the night
into the deep distant past.
The past with its ambergris shores
is dreaming of memories
too deeply to be roused.
And inside everyone something begins to stir —
a fresh wall made of clay,
stuck with diamonds and desires.
When night sleeps and day wakes
raising its candles in the dark
peace ebbs back to its home in the grave.
At that, the heart of the city
turns futile and wretched —
it is an oven at noon, a lamp for the blind.
Like ancient Africa, the city is truly
an old woman veiled in frankincense,
a great pit of fire, the horn of a ram,
an amulet of old prayers, a night full of mirrors,
the dance of black women, naked,
shouting their black joy.
This coma of sins was kept alive by the master,
ships filled with slave girls,
with musk, ivory and saffron —
gifts, all without joy, despatched by the winds of all ages
to the white man of our time
to the master of all time.
A plantation stretches out in imagination
to clothe the naked, to loosen their clothes,
flowing like its ancestors through the veins of life,
dyeing the water, and dyeing God's face,
its sorrows on every mouth
breeding tyrants and iron and slaves,
breeding chains, every day breeding some new horror….

And yet, on the streets of the city,
when night constructs
its barriers of black stone — they stretch out their hands,
in silence, to the balconies of the future.
They are locked-up cries
in a locked-up land.
Their memories are stab-wounds.
Their faces are sad, like the faces of the blind.
Look, there they are,
heads slumped in silence. And you think they are calm.
But you're wrong. Truth is, they're on fire….


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2012 at 17:12
Al Saddiq al Raddi

Song

Facing down wind in a dust-storm
wrapped up in his cloak
and wearing a hat that can’t make him vanish —

this skinny man
scans the horizon
gathering — but not quite yet — flowers
until the moment you meet

(… but stuck in this narrow alleyway
among mountains of rubbish
he longs to lift up his beak
unfurl his wings
and take flight…)


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Mar-2012 at 13:22
Adbullah al Ryami

Speed

I take things lightly
that perhaps are heavy.
For example, I know I'm the gap between two pavements,
yet I cross it as fast as I can — why?
And because I take risks with my voice,
I trip on air.
And the first bead of sweat that trickles down my forehead
drowns me.
I take things lightly
that I know to be heavy.
This is the truth.
Yet I am nothing but an illusion —
a lantern
lost in a forest.
And whoever comes across these words
will find a large stone.
You can easily
throw it in my face.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Mar-2012 at 22:04
Al Saddiq al Raddi

Sympathy

I wince
whenever your name comes up
All ears, I seal my lips
keeping your secret a secret

(... Your mouth is ripe with desire
your eyes brim with tenderness
your body trembles as it calls... )

Anyone who mentions you cuts me to the quick,
and so I come to you in the heat of the noon
to whisper the story of dawn

You...
You...
My only creed!


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Mar-2012 at 01:20
Fatena al-Garra

The Lost Button

This morning, the shop windows look drab.
People hurry straight past the gaudy dresses.
Mirrors lined-up on the pavement wait for reflections.
The streets still deserted,
the sticky palms of passers-by are lined with sleep.
Then a solitary shirt
gapes wide open on the path -
what cast you in front of these mirrors?
Morning lifts from the heavy eyes of those wandering
            aimlessly.
Only the shirt knows their face.
Only the shirt -
yet their only pleasure is bargaining.
The shirt shivers in anticipation,
longing for someone who cares nothing for prices,
who knows nothing of sucking the desire from a button,
a button half-hidden, stitched to a label, lost in the folds
            of cloth:
the button touches itself and lets out a sigh of relief.
It was when her hand moved across the window
that she found this lost button.
Alert, lost in thought, she forgets the strangers passing
            her by.
She flushes with tenderness, with the secret aftermath
            of desire,
dazzling the window.


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Mar-2012 at 00:29
Abdullah al Ryami

The Speaking Hour

Your image
Here

Fluttering like a stolen shirt
And I am in your hands
A painting not yet completed
The artist died on his way to me

After all these years
I grow like grass following a storm

I am the grapes of fault
And you the vine
We haven't pressed enough to last the night
The night that forgot to close its eyes
The hanging lamps swing against the dark
And the knot that binds us is an ancient tree
We warm ourselves with its wood
I see the scars of my voice on your back
And darkness surrounds us like a white eagle
who left an egg on my windowsill

Like a clock hung on the horizon
When I looked at you
I understood how late it was
And when I wet my finger the first time
In your navel
My head turned a full circle
You were my neck

My fingers made kites
I blew on my hands
And the wind was blown
I hunt the Cork Oak
Through the sea of nights
I have been drinking a long time
No one came after me
Except afloat

Choose winter
And the rain is on me
Pour me a glass
And purse your lips
We almost got drunk
The night is before us
Many paint the morning
On our backs
Too meagre for two bodies

I am the grapes of fault
And you fill me as blood fills 
A fresh wound
The mirror is behind you
As you comb your hair
In the white of my eyes


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2012 at 00:11
Al Saddic al Raddi - this is a poem made out of several parts, I'll put 1-2 parts a day

Theatre

All these wars
make the world unhomely
make homes rust apart
make you fall asleep, riddled with calamities

All this love
yet loneliness still cuts you to the bone

All this death
just so we can meet -
nothing more?


2
Write
to set the world ablaze
so poetry quickens in your hands
and inflames you with desire

Write, and wipe the slate
Infected by writing
you sweat in agony
from a bedsit
to the street and out into the wild

Write
in full knowledge
of everything that's in your hands
both quill and string at your disposal
Write
certain of what electrifies the body
sure of how to rig the scene


Edited by Don Quixote - 30-Mar-2012 at 00:24
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  Quote Leroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Mar-2012 at 19:02

A Ballade of Suicide

The gallows in my garden, people say,

    Is new and neat and adequately tall;

I tie the noose on in a knowing way

    As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
    But just as all the neighbours–on the wall–

Are drawing a long breath to shout “Hurray!”

    The strangest whim has seized me. . . . After all

I think I will not hang myself to-day.

To-morrow is the time I get my pay–
    My uncle’s sword is hanging in the hall–
I see a little cloud all pink and grey–
    Perhaps the rector’s mother will not call– I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall
That mushrooms could be cooked another way–
    I never read the works of Juvenal–
I think I will not hang myself to-day.
The world will have another washing-day;
    The decadents decay; the pedants pall;
And H.G. Wells has found that children play,
    And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall,
    Rationalists are growing rational–
And through thick woods one finds a stream astray
    So secret that the very sky seems small–
I think I will not hang myself to-day.


ENVOI
    Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal,

The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;

    Even to-day your royal head may fall,

I think I will not hang myself to-day.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Apr-2012 at 00:06
Nice to see you on this thread, Leroy:).
Who is the author of this well-put and amusing poem?
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Apr-2012 at 00:15
Al Saddiq al Raddi

Theater

Aloft
as though lifted on fingertips -
and yet waves have no fingers
Her desire
structures the water -
and yet waves have no structure

In the split second
between crest and collapse
the world is created
and the world is annulled
without end



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  Quote Leroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Apr-2012 at 08:16
G. K. Chesterton. I don't know anything about poetry though. Unless it rhymes I don't even recognize it. Big smile Were your Arabic poems were originally written in rhyme?

I sometimes listen to a guy called Tom O'Bedlam on YouTube. He reads a pretty varied selection of (Western) poetry.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2012 at 03:10
I have no idea how the Arabic ones were written, most lamentably I don't use Arabic... and I have to admit that I had never read Chesterton - I should. There is no need to know anything about poetry - just post random stuff you like - poetry is ocean, one cannot really know it all.

Al Saddiq al Raddi

Totality

Time engulfs you: the past

piles up on a cart or in the street
It winds you
Your glass becomes a weapon

Enduring your dream
you hesitate
between a horse and desire
Plunged into lethargy
you wager fire in the streets

Absolute time: your past -
from the square to the prison
salted with bitterness and doubt







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