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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: 19-Feb-2012 at 18:45
Mayakovsky "Cloud in Trousers part IV"

Maria! Maria! Maria!
Let me in, Maria!
I can't suffer the streets!
You won't?
You'd rather wait
until my cheeks cave in,
until, pawed by everyone,
I arrive,
stale,
toothlessly mumbling
that today I am
"amazingly honest."

Maria,
as you see my shoulders droop.

In the streets
men will prick the blubber of four-story craws,
thrust out their little eyes,
worn in forty years of wear and tear to snigger
at my champing
again! on the hard crust of yesterday's caress.

Rain has drowned the sidewalks in sobs;
the puddle-prisoned rougue,
all drenched, licks the corpse of the streets by cobbles clobbered,
but on his grizzled eyelashes yes!
on the eyelashes of frosted icicles,
tears gush from his eyes yes! from the drooping eyes of the drainpipes.

The rain's snout licked all pedestrians;
but fleshy athletes, gleaming, passed by in carriages;
people burst asunder,
gorged to the marrow,
and grease dripped through the cracks;
and the cud of old ground meat,
together with the pulp of chewed bread,
dribbled down in a turbid stream from the carriages.

Maria!
How stuff a gentle word into their fat-bulged ears?
A bird
sings
for alms,
hungry and resonant.
But I am a man, Maria,
a simple man,
coughed up by consumptive night on the dirty hand of the Presnya.

Maria, do you want such a man?
Let me in, Maria!
With shuddering fingers I shall grip the doorbell's iron throat!

Maria!

The paddocks of the streets run wild.
The fingers of the mob mark my neck.

Open up!

I'm hurt!

Look -my eyes are stuck
with ladies' hatpins!

You've let me in.

Darling!
Don't be alarmed
if a mountain of women with sweating bellies
squats on my bovine shoulders through life I drag
millions of vast pure loves
and a million million of foul little lovekins.
Don't be afraid
if once again
in the inclemency of betrayal,
I'll cling to thousands of pretty faces "that love Mayakovsky!" for this is the dynasty
of queens who have ascended the heart of a madman.

Maria, come closer!

Whether in unclothed shame
or shudders of apprehension,
do yield me the unwithered beauty of your lips:
my heart and I have never got as far as May,
and in my expended life
there is only a hundredth April.

Maria!
The poet sings sonnets to Tiana,
but I
am all flesh,
a man every bit I simply ask for your body
as Christians pray:
"Give us this day
our daily bread!"

Maria - give!

Maria!
I fear to forget your name
as a poet fears to forget some word
sprung in the torment of the night,
mighty as god himself.

Your body
I shall cherish and love
as a soldier,
amputated by war,
unwanted
and friendless,
cherishes his last remaining leg.

Maria you won't have me?
you won't have me!
The once again,
darkly and dully,
my heart I shall take,
with tears besprinkled,
and carry it,
like a dog
carries
to its kennel
a paw which a train ran over.

With the heart's blood I gladden the road,
and flowering it sticks to the dusty tunic.
The sun, like Salome,
will dance a thousand times
round the earth - the Baptist's head.

And when my quantity of years
has finished its dance,
a million bloodstains will lie spread
on the path to my father's house.

I shall clamber out
filthy (from sleeping in ditches);
I'll stand at his side
and, bending,
shall speak in his ear:

"Listen, mister god!
Isn't it tedious
to dip your puffy eyes
every day into a jelly of cloud?
Let us¡ªwhy not start a merry-go-round
on the tree of what is good and evil!
Omnipresent, you will be in each cupboard,
and with such wines we'll grace the table
than even frowning Apostle Peter
will want to step out in the ki-ka-pou.
In Eden again we'll lodge little Eves:
command-
and this very night, for you,
from the boulevards, I'll round up
all the most beautiful girls.

Would you like that?

You would not?

You shake your head, curlylocks?
You're frowning, grey brows?
You believe
this
creature with wings behind you
knows what love is?

I too am an angel; I was one
with a sugar lamb's eye I gazed;
but I'll give no more presents to mares
of ornamental vases made of tortured Sevres.
Almighty, you concocted a pair of hands,
arranged
for everyone to have a head:
but why didn't you see to it
that one could without torture
kiss, and kiss and kiss?!

I though you a great big god almighty,
but you're a dunce, a minute little godlet.
Watch me stoop
and reach for the shoemaker's knife
in my boot.

Swindlers with wings,
huddle in heaven!
Ruffle your feathers in shuddering flight!
I'll rip you open, reeking of incense,
wide open from here to Alaska!

Let me in!

You can't stop me.
I may be wrong
or right,
but I'm as calm as I can be.
Look¡
again they've beheaded the stars,
and the sky is bloody with carnage!

Hey, you!
Heaven!
Off with your hat!
I am coming!

Not a sound.

The universe sleeps,
its huge paw curled
upon a star-infested ear.


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2012 at 20:30
Mayakovsky:

Call To Account!

 The drum of war thunders and thunders.
It calls: thrust iron into the living.
From every country
slave after slave
are thrown onto bayonet steel.
For the sake of what?
The earth shivers
hungry
and stripped.
Mankind is vapourised in a blood bath
only so
someone
somewhere
can get hold of Albania.
Human gangs bound in malice,
blow after blow strikes the world
only for
someone’s vessels
to pass without charge
through the Bosporus.
Soon
the world
won’t have a rib intact.
And its soul will be pulled out.
And trampled down
only for someone,
to lay
their hands on
Mesopotamia.
Why does
a boot
crush the Earth — fissured and rough?
What is above the battles’ sky -
Freedom?
God?
Money!
When will you stand to your full height,
you,
giving them your life?
When will you hurl a question to their faces:
Why are we fighting?



Edited by Don Quixote - 20-Feb-2012 at 20:30
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2012 at 02:27
Al Mutannabi- "A Young Soul":

A young soul in my ageing body plays, Though time’s sharp blades my weary visage raze.

***

Hard biter in a toothless mouth is she, The will may wane, but she a winner stays.

***

Spare me to win glory’s forbidden prize, Glory in hardship, sloth in comfort lies.

***

Em’nence is not with cheap comfort bought, Hear the honey gath’rers bee-stung cries

***

No indolent dreaming dawdler am I, Nor am content, while riches I descry.

***

Life’s heaving tides of woe shall spare me not, Unless I, its unblocked courses defy

***

Softly do town girls their faces adorn, But Bedu are from garish colours shorn.

***

Town beauty is with pampered softness sought, The Bedu are with unsought beauty born.

***

Grave harm have lovers to themselves done, Loving, ere understanding life begun.

***

They, with with’ered and wasted souls, After vile, though pretty-faced creatures run.

***

Beauti’ful women, as experienced men know, Are but darkness wrapped in dazzling light aglow.

***

A life of friv’lous youth and worried age, Its futile course to futile death will flow

***

When my hands from brimming cups weakly shook, I awoke, ere sense my wined mind forsook.

***

Shunning choice wines, as rich as purest gold, I, of spring showers silv’ry draught partook.

***

Secrets I keep no companion can discern, Nor to it can wine its potent way burn.

***

Soft women I have for an hour, and then, Deserts I roam, never more to return.

***

Courage to reason second place must take, For valour should not balanced judgment shake.

***

But if both in a hard soul united are, Then Glory’s realms their own demesne shall make.

***

Defiantly live, or in honour die, Midst slashing blades and banners flapping high

***

Rage is best dispatched by lances’ points, and Spearing spiteful chests shall their spite deny.

***

Face with cool, carefree calm life’s caretorn climes, As long as your soul with its body chimes.

***

Your joys of yore have passed beyond recall, And sadness can summon not bygone times.

***

A charger’s saddle is an exalted throne, The best companions are books alone.

***

Without hardship everyone would prevail, The generous are poor, and courage kills its own.

***

One’s ill-conduct brooding mistrust will breed, For dark thoughts on darker suspicions feed.

***

Sland’ring friends with what foes have slandered one, Thus in black nights of doubt one’s life will lead.

***

Fie’ry rashness may as valour be seen, And nervous anger may cowardice mean.

***

Arms are carried by people everywhere, But not all claws are lion’s, nor as keen.

***

Cowards see vapid impotence as sense, Such is treacherous villainy’s defense.

***

Each of valour’s divers forms enriches, But valiant wisdom is of worth immense.

***

Our dead we mourn, though we very well know, That but Vanity they leave ere they go.

***

Reflection upon life’s hard course shall teach, ‘Tis one to die as be slain by a foe.

***

Shoreless you would be of you were a sea. If rain, earth unable to contain ye.

***

Country and people of you I could warn, Of that which only Noah could foresee.

***

Misfortune’s arrows do upon me rain, Countless arrowheads does my heart sustain.

***

As more shafts at my studded heart fly, Steel upon Steel shatters the hardy twain.

***

At times in Bedu tents a home I find, Often, home is atop the camel’s hind,

***

My body a target for the brigand’s lance, To scorching heat my aching face unbind.

***

Though a noble lady and highly born, ‘Tis your unfeminine wisdom we mourn.

***

True spirit is from softer self distilled, As potent wine from sweeter grapes is drawn.

***




Edited by Don Quixote - 23-Feb-2012 at 02:33
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2012 at 23:40
Imru-Ul-Quais:

Stop, oh my friends, let us pause to weep over the remembrance of my beloved.

Here was her abode on the edge of the sandy desert between Dakhool and Howmal.

***

The traces of her encampment are not wholly obliterated even now;

For when the Sonth wind blows the sand over them the North wind sweeps it away.

***

The courtyards and enclosures of the old home have become desolate;

The dung of the wild deer lies there thick as the seeds of pepper.

***

On the morning of our separation it was as if I stood in the gardens of our tribe,

Amid the acacia-shrubs where my eyes were blinded with tears by the smart

from the bursting pods of colocynth.

***

As I lament thus in the place made desolate, my friends stop their camels;

They cry to me "Do not die of grief; bear this sorrow patiently."

***

Nay, the cure of my sorrow must come from gushing tears.

Yet, is there any hope that this desolation can bring me solace ?

***

So, before ever I met Unaizah, did I mourn for two others;

My fate had been the same with Ummul-Huwairith and her

neighbor Ummul-Rahab in Masal.

***

Fair were they also, diffusing the odor of musk as they moved,

Like the soft zephyr bringing with it the scent of the clove.

***

Thus the tears flowed down on my breast, remembering days of love;

The tears wetted even my sword-belt, so tender was my love.

***

Behold how many pleasant days have I spent with fair women;

Especially do I remember the day at the pool of Darat-i-Julju1.

***

On that day I killed my riding camel for food for the maidens:

How merry was their dividing my camel's trappings to be carried on their camels.

***

It is a wonder, a riddle, that the camel being saddled was yet unsaddled!

A wonder also was the slaughterer, so heedless of self in his costly gift!

***

Then the maidens commenced throwing the camel's fesh into the kettle;

The fat was woven with the lean like loose fringes of white twisted silk.

***

On that day I entered the howdah, the camel's howdah of Unaizah!

And she protested, saying, "Woe to you, you will force me to travel on foot."

***

She repulsed me, while the howdah was swaying with us;

She said, "You are galling my camel, Oh Imru-ul-Quais, so dismount."

***

Then I said, "Drive him on! Let his reins go loose, while you turn to me.

Think not of the camel and our weight on him. Let us be happy.

***

"Many a beautiful woman like you, Oh Unaizah, have I visited at night;

I have won her thought to me, even from her children have I won her."

***

There was another day when I walked with her behind the sandhills,

But she put aside my entreaties and swore an oath of virginity.

***

Oh, Unaizah, gently, put aside some of this coquetry.

If you have, indeed, made up your mind to cut off friendship with me, then do it kindly or gently.

***

Has anything deceived you about me, that your love is killing, me,

And that verily as often as you order my heart, it will do what you order?

***

And if any one of my habits has caused you annoyance,

Then put away my heart from your heart, and it will be put away.

***

And your two eyes do not flow with tears, except to strike me with arrows in my broken heart.

Many a fair one, whose tent can not be sought by others, have I enjoyed playing with.

***

I passed by the sentries on watch near her, and a people desirous of killing me;

If they could conceal my murder, being unable to assail me openly.

***

I passed by these people at a time, when the Pleiades appeared in the heavens,

As the appearance of the gems in the spaces in the ornamented girdle, set with pearls and gems.

***

Then she said to me, "I swear by God, you have no excuse for your wild life;

I cannot expect that your erring habits will ever be removed from your nature."

***

I went out with her; she walking, and drawing behind us, over our footmarks,

The skirts of an embroidered woolen garment, to erase the footprints.

***

Then when we had crossed the enclosure of the tribe,

The middle of the open plain, with its sandy undulations and sandllills, we sought.

***

I drew the tow side-locks of her head toward me; and she leant toward me;

She was slender of waist, and full in the ankle.

***

Thin-waisted, white-skinned, slender of body,

Her breast shining polished like a mirror.

***

In complexion she is like the first egg of the ostrich---white, mixed with yellow.

Pure water, unsullied by the descent of many people in it, has nourished her.

***

She turns away, and shows her smooth cheek, forbidding with a glancing eye,

Like that of a wild animal, with young, in the desert of Wajrah.

***

And she shows a neck like the neck of a white deer;

It is neither disproportionate when she raises it, nor unornamented.

***

And a perfect head of hair which, when loosened, adorns her back,

Black, very dark-colored, thick like a date-cluster on a heavily laden date-tree.

***

Her curls creep upward to the top of her head;

And the plaits are lost in the twisted hair, and the hair falling loose.

***

And she meets me with a slender waist, thin as the twisted leathern nose-rein of a camel.

Her form is like the stem of a palm-tree bending over from the weight of its fruit.

***

In the morning, when she wakes, the particles of musk are lying over her bed.

She sleeps much in the morning; she does not need to gird her waist with a working dress.

***

She gives with thin fingers, not thick, as if they were the worms of the desert of Zabi,

In the evening she brightens the darkness, as if she were the light-tower of a monk.

***

Toward one like her, the wise man gazes incessantly, lovingly.

She is well proportioned in height between the wearer of a long dress and of a short frock.

***

The follies of men cease with youth, but my heart does not cease to love you.

Many bitter counselors have warned me of the disaster of your love, but I turned away from them.

***

Many a night has let down its curtains around me amid deep grief,

It has whelmed me as a wave of the sea to try me with sorrow.

***

Then I said to the night, as slowly his huge bulk passed over me,

As his breast, his loins, his buttocks weighed on me and then passed afar,

***

"Oh long night, dawn will come, but will be no brighter without my love.

You are a wonder, with stars held up as by ropes of hemp to a solid rock."

***

At other times, I have filled a leather water-bag of my people and entered the desert,

And trod its empty wastes while the wolf howled like a gambler whose family starves.

***

I said to the wolf, "You gather as little wealth, as little prosperity as I.

What either of us gains he gives away. So do we remain thin."

***

Early in the morning, while the birds were still nesting, I mounted my steed.

Well-bred was he, long-bodied, outstripping the wild beasts in speed,

***

Swift to attack, to flee, to turn, yet firm as a rock swept down by the torrent,

Bay-colored, and so smooth the saddle slips from him, as the rain from a smooth stone,

***

Thin but full of life, fire boils within him like the snorting of a boiling kettle;

He continues at full gallop when other horses are dragging their feet in the dust for weariness.

***

A boy would be blown from his back, and even the strong rider loses his garments.

Fast is my steed as a top when a child has spun it well.

***

He has the flanks of a buck, the legs of an ostrich, and the gallop of a wolf.

From behind, his thick tail hides the space between his thighs, and almost sweeps the ground.

***

When he stands before the house, his back looks like the huge grinding-stone there.

The blood of many leaders of herds is in him, thick as the juice of henna in combed white hair.

***

As I rode him we saw a flock of wild sheep, the ewes like maidens in long-trailing robes;

They turned for flight, but already he had passed the leaders before they could scatter.

***

He outran a bull and a cow and killed them both, and they were made ready for cooking;

Yet he did not even sweat so as to need washing.

***

We returned at evening, and the eye could scarcely realize his beauty

For, when gazing at one part, the eye was drawn away by the perfection of another part.

***

He stood all night with his saddle and bridle on him,

He stood all night while I gazed at him admiring, and did not rest in his stable.

***

But come, my friends, as we stand here mourning, do you see the lightning ?

See its glittering, like the flash of two moving hands, amid the thick gathering clouds.

***

Its glory shines like the lamps of a monk when he has dipped their wicks thick in oil.

I sat down with my companions and watched the lightning and the coming storm.

***

So wide-spread was the rain that its right end seemed over Quatan,

Yet we could see its left end pouring down on Satar, and beyond that over Yazbul.

***

So mighty was the storm that it hurled upon their faces the huge kanahbul trees,

The spray of it drove the wild goats down from the hills of Quanan.

***

In the gardens of Taimaa not a date-tree was left standing,

Nor a building, except those strengthened with heavy stones.

***

The mountain, at the first downpour of the rain, looked like a

giant of our people draped in a striped cloak.

The peak of Mujaimir in the flood and rush of debris looked

like a whirling spindle.

***

The clouds poured forth their gift on the desert of Ghabeet, >till it blossomed

As though a Yemani merchant were spreading out all the rich clothes from his trunks,

***

As though the little birds of the valley of Jiwaa awakened in the morning

And burst forth in song after a morning draught of old, pure, spiced wine.

***

As though all the wild beasts had been covered with sand and mud, like the onion's root-bulbs.

They were drowned and lost in the depths of the desert at evening.

__________________

* The Mu'allaqat ("Hanged" or "Suspended") were poetry composed by several pre-Islamic Arab poets including Imru-ul-Quais, Antar, and Zuhair. They were called the "Suspended" because they were said to have hung on the walls of the Kabah.


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2012 at 02:18
Addoud al-Jabiri

He's satisfied with a pinch of salt on his daily bread
with a little of you at night
with a short night
with you asleep on dream's shoulder
with a brief dream
with you walking on sleep's shore
with a light sleep
that sways between the keening of the nai
and the clanging of goat bells
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2012 at 00:17

Al-Saddik al-Raddic

A Body

The body of a bird in your mouth
breathing songs.
Raw light spills from your eyes,
utterly naked. 

You must breach the horizon, once,
in order to wake up.
You must open window after window.
You must support the walls.
 
I let alphabets cling to me
as I climb the thread of language
between myself and the world.
I muster crowds in my mouth:
suspended between language and the world,
between the world and the alphabets.

I let my head
listen to the myth,
to all sides praising each other.
And I shout at the winds from the top of a mountain.

Why does my tongue tell me to climb this far?
What is the distance between my voice and my longing?
What is there?

A body transcending my body.
A body exiled by desire.
A body sheltered by the wind.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2012 at 19:49
Abboud al-Jabiri:

Belongings

I want to change everything:
the crippled chair
and the rug lolling its tongue across the tiles.
I want to change the rug
because it stretches its tongue across the tiles
and the chair
because it is crippled.
I will try,
I said,
I have my reasons -
and you can wait
to see how the house turns out
when that chair has gone
and the rug, crawling in the dust,
has deserted the tiles.
I will try,
I said,
but I don't know
if that chair
would wear sackcloth and ashes
and plead with me
to stay.
And I don't know if the rug will ever stop
bothering the cracks -
so I must find a wise man to guide me
because I want to change everything
I want to kick out this routine
and free my hands to do my will.
I must rearrange everything
and all my possessions
are nothing but poems waiting to be read -
a crippled chair
and a joke of a rug.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Feb-2012 at 22:17
Al Saddic Al-Raddi

Poetry - may you be a green body.
May you be a language
in which I wander
with my wings and my self.
Be the inspiration of my tongue,
so that I may pasture
the tribes of my voice - though they are silent.

Sleepless
and alone, I see
you will not be
a green body.
You were neither
a good master, to be bought,
nor the muse.
My longed for delirium, my memory.



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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2012 at 00:24
Al-Saddic al-Raddi

Everything

Let the wind blow from a fisherman's mouth,
from the span of a sail to the shell of a boat,
unlocking the mouth of the river -
So, shout, drowning man, when you founder
in treacherous waters

At dawn, the river embarks in silence
Riverbanks glean suns from the scales of dead fish
Jostled by eddies, the aroma of flotsam and jetsam
bakes in the shade

Becalmed, a breeze freights the stillness
Sails lazily unfurl

They sail all night from afar,
ploughing the river with ritual persistence,
staring darkness straight in the eye

You set sail at dawn,
infused with the tincture of a heart
that had beached your whole life ashore

And yet, another beloved
is offering you heaven on earth in her glance,
demanding only the perfection of poetry - everything!


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2012 at 23:39
Abboud al-Jabiri

Fading

Imagine
where this dove will go
when her wings turn grey
when her call grows old.
Will she turn to the mirrors of young sparrows
to slide into delusion,
or will a deaf window offer her a perch to sing?
How will she apologise to a traveller
wanting to stroke her feathers
when the flock scatters?
How will she strut through the courtyard
or impress the grass?
Will she look for a kind boy
to grind her a grain of wheat
or an old flame
to relight ageing passions?
Perhaps she will divide her sadness
between a window and a metal cage.
Perhaps she'll become a professional mourner
at the funerals of birds.
Imagine
where this dove will go
when the trees donate her their lowest branch
and when neighbours are indifferent to her past.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Mar-2012 at 02:49
Al-Saddic al-Raddi

Garden Statues

Between the last night
and the first night...
      a lake of tranquility...
.... ....

Leave that glass of memory to memory -
let its essence transmute all these nights into gold

Leave the voice of Ali Farka Toure
soaring
through the silvered light of that room,
a room inlaid with the jewels of minutes and hours

Leave your hands lost in the fleeting characters of a
keyboard

Leave that wooden rocking-horse
the old teddy-bear propped on a chair
the neighbouring gardens

Leave the sun still toying with the sky at eight in the evening

Leave the window open
on a morning arrayed with morning
Leave that flower labouring to consume you

Leave the peacock emblazoned on a field of beauty

Leave.... .... ....

Whatever little time is left
will never return...

These jewels cannot return
Thirst will not be slaked by the distant glimpse of a sail

And when you left
you were burnished,
you were consumed and yet complete,
you were fashioned from mother-of-pearl

Then, suddenly, once again,
you were downcast in clay

Weekdays returned, empty handed
Routine returned

And silence reigned



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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Mar-2012 at 23:31
Al Saddic Al-Radddi

Horizon

You will always carry on working
for as long as the sun rises to flush the streets
of the treasonous night studded with treachery
riming the cobblestones and trash

You will always walk through the crowd absent-minded
head up
looking down on those who look down on you
with their perfidious smiles

Every day the same streets
you murmur/sing out your greetings
meeting everyone you've ever known
making songs with their steps
pinning their hopes to the walls[1]

You show them the secret of the day
and they do the rest
they leave until sunrise
clasping your gifts in their hands

The walls are worn with affection
girls' windowsills graced with apologies and songs
and on your mouth is a radiant smile
a longing to get home after work
before the sun rises again
before they come back from the horizon of martyrdom[2]



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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Mar-2012 at 21:24
Fatena al-Charra

I Reveal Myself

Descendant of raiders who landed on the beaches,
heir to the woman who unmanned Samson,
I am the daughter of waves and of memory,
a fresh shoot from ancient stock.

When I open my arms, the universe sets forth.
When I smile, honey wells from my virgin lips.
I take a step and the earth loses its balance.
In my laugh, earthquakes resound,
and volcanoes spurt from seven tectonic plates.

The child of frivolity and modesty,
I am the daughter of depravity and purity,
the progeny of black and white.

The tip of my finger taps the stars off track.
If I close my eyes,
darkness eclipses the world, until my eyelids lift
bathing it in gold.
And when I toss back my hair
the universe shivers in recognition.

I am today and I am tomorrow.
Crowned queen on the throne of space.
A blink, and fields foam green with wheat.
I am wheat itself. I am green.
The first harvest.
The last.




Edited by Don Quixote - 06-Mar-2012 at 21:26
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Mar-2012 at 18:29
Al Saddik al-Raddi

In The Company of Michelangelo

I

The kings who have gone
left us the remains of their forgettable names —like Aleece or Kush

They left us their peculiar crowns
shards of skeletons
fish-heads
unpronounceable words
kohl-sticks
commandments
and eulogies graven in stone

Yet I left you radiant,
resplendent, wherever your throne sets downLive blood in mortal veins -
truly you are unforgettable

II

You accompany me
to the gates of ancient Rome
reaching the ends of perfection
as you envisage grace threading each tender aperture
as you envisage the faultless line, and the perfect circle

Let us be brothers in stone
hand in hand
fingers entwined —
and then,
on the threshold of a bar
we clink our glasses
as you add the last touch
to a face already dreaming its history

III

Which of us is the key?
Your door or mine?

IV

Silence is bliss
Life is bliss
Creation is bliss

Even though his chair is empty
even though he is gone
darkness is ablaze
with the presence of his embrace
               V

What is the key?


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2012 at 14:24
Al-Saddiq al-Raddi

Lamps

In the water
in silence at your side
in a fire that draws us close
I drift -
and only you can call me

. . . . . . . . . .
A bird enters spring
like a lance
Your eyes flash their secrets
A kiss grazes the rainbow
The rain rains

But the streets are empty of my friends
Lamps are extinguished
in the far-flung houses
and the lost heart echoes in its lonely chamber

You give your blessings to those who depart
and leave the rest to fate



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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Mar-2012 at 20:37
Mbarka Mint al Barra

Message from a Martyr

Fire your bullets -- our hearts are already ablaze
       In this land, grief wells up from my distress
Fire your bullets -- you villain -- for I
       Won't play at murder or run away
My blood fertilises and refreshes this land
       And plants a promising generation that is fully conscious
Limbs grow from seeds of shrapnel
       Hands are formed and crowns spring
That bet this land will always be their home --
       In every corner they stand their ground
Wherever I am, this land is my passion
       Nostalgia is fused with this timeless love
I don't care if there are explosions
       I don't mind the annihilating thunder


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Mar-2012 at 21:46
 Fatena al-Gharra

Movements

1

Lust is a mad adventure -
a struggle in the streets

2

Escape is a waltz with the clouds,
steps that vanish on the feathers of a dove

3

The sound of the sea: an accursed city
And the moon laughs mockingly
Water alone knows the secret of drowning
and the wave is master of improvisation

4

The streets are barefoot
Rain turns wild

5

Gossip all the time
unless we drain it
from our blood

6

Adrenaline overwhelms us
when we're impaled by desire

7

Can you unveil my palm
without a kiss
or a bomb?

 8

Tap... tap... tap...
From now on, no gates
to this city


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Mar-2012 at 00:26
Al Saddiq al-Raddi

Before you start reading,
put down your pen:
consider the ink,
how it comprehends bleeding

Learn
from the distant horizon
and from narrowing eyes
the expansiveness of vision
and the treachery of hands

Do not blame me - do not blame anyone -
if you die before you read on
before blood is understood


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Mar-2012 at 12:59
Al Saddic al-Raddi

Prelude

Walls climb the ivy
And Khartoum, poised on its unamputated foot
Singing
Will the Nile ever escape into sleep?
We were the most loving of lovers, children trickling from us
- What name do you give me?
- I call you Presence of Earth
Come closer then
- What will be the taste of grief?
- …………………..
And we parted!

Sura

The Nile flows quietly…
Seeping through the city's silence
And the burning sorrows of villages.
Now friends no longer exchange greetings each morning
No longer recognize each other.
Everywhere one sees them, these one-time prophets,
Poverty-stricken, sipping their tea, their tears,
Speechless.
They hide death in their fraying clothes,
And all they can say to our children is: patience.
They fade into the trees, commit suicide
At night, derive from alcohol
Their arguments, embark on futile wars
With their women, give up
Their prayers, then disappear.
Walls climb the ivy
And Khartoum, sitting in a café
Smoking
In the dark you can't tell apart
Muggers from those whose journeys they'd cut short.
We were lovers, looking for our children
Who were breaking into bakeries, stealing fire
From the ovens' throats.
- What name do you give me?
- I call you earth's Fiery Anger
So rise up
- What will be the taste of ashes?
- …………………….
And we parted!

Sura
Fire is the opposite of Water
And Smoke is a memory that prepares us only for ash.
Water is the opposite of Fire
And the waves are like maps, rippling across the land.
And the girl? She is somewhere between this heart and this knife…
City - you're a handful of grains of wheat, tucked
Into the purses of usurers and slave-traders.
And the black men
Are approaching, approaching. River Nile
To what deserts are you taking my reflections? You depart
And I stand among the horses, by your gate,
And my soul would embark on a holy journey too,
For the silence suspended between us
Is a language floating among the ruins of a beautiful, vanished past.
O River Nile, father
Were the trees merely windows reflecting women's sorrows,
Or have your waters shattered their images,
Drowned the history of women,
And painted forever their meadows the colour of poverty?
Poverty invades the children's playgrounds, leaving
Them silent, accursed, their heritage
Only anger and disbelief.
The Nile opens his arms
Speaks to the migrant birds
Falls silent
Reigns
And never sleeps
Never sleeps
The Nile drinks dry the desert's tavern,
Gets drunk on dumps of toxic waste,
Must survive in the city, falling apart
Each night, rising up through its history
And never sleeps
Never sleeps
The drums began with the sun
And its light filtered songs that entered into the pores of the soul.
In the river's shallows boats sheltered from toil and wind.
Now the carnivals of the blacks take fire
And the Nile has burst through the layers of time.
And, see, the kingdom of Maroe appears
And the face of the Nubian lover
Who walks among the sorrows of the waterwheels
Searching for warriors among the horses.
Where does the line of ancestral blood begin
And when does the blood loss reach its climax,
O King Piankhy, enthroned ruler of Kush,
A kingdom unravelling in bitter silence?
Shout at the horses, and let
The waters ready themselves.
Let the maps explode. How can the land be lost
When the future belongs to the Nile?
The Nile knows of the disgrace of cities
That have vanished.
Knows of the old times
Yet never speaks.
It is the Nile…
Generations will pass, and there will always be children
Lingering on its banks,
Waiting
For it all to end.


Edited by Don Quixote - 14-Mar-2012 at 13:06
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2012 at 19:33
Abdullah al-Ryami

Please Don't Give Birth!

No one predicted
the day I was born:
the breast that fed me
was a jug of amnesia spilt by the invaders.
So I throw myself onto my shadow
to save it from the approaching train;
I bare my chest to spears
as if I were a shield carried by my ancestors;
I climb mountain peaks
the way I stroll along the beach,
as if these mountains were my seas,
their caves my seashells, my days.
Now every tree hides a wall
beneath its bark:
the minute I touch it,
I trespass into the property of strangers;
the minute I sit down on a rock,
it sprouts wings and flies off.
Where can I go?
How can I stumble away
when I hang here like the plait
that splits my lover’s back in two?
when God’s name lashes from the minarets
like whips whipping horseflesh?
No one predicted
the day of my birth.
And the river that bore me
has gone to ground
in a yawning expanse of endless land
that I cross without wings.
Like water, when I evaporate, I soar.
Like water, when I fall, I am pure.
Every time I touch this land,
its belly swells:
please don’t give birth
to another Omani,
an Omani who asks me
how long this century has lasted,
an Omani who invites me to his revels
to drink obedience in a cup —
while a rudderless balloon,
like an exclamation, floats across the sky.
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