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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: 05-Apr-2012 at 00:44
Mohamed al-Hasan Hummaid

Uncle Abdul Rackeem

First thing
in the morning
he rushes through his prayers,
muttering and mumbling,
listing all the saints,
fiddling with his prayer beads
staring at the ground,
troubled, muttering to himself,
then glancing at the sky -
up there
a few clouds
and many distant stars
Summertime
She never said, 'Good morning',
or asked if he slept well;
she never stroked his hair;
she never blew him a kiss,
a kiss from the depths of her heart -
nothing like the old days,
the good days.
Actually, she wasn't there:
she was in the stables
saddling the donkey
or milking the goats
for morning tea.
The birds had not begun
when Uncle Abdur-Raheem
reluctantly leaves home.
At the waterfront he meets
the other labourers;
some are from Ajjiref,
some are from the mountains.
'How's it going?' he asks;
he banters with them -
they wind him up,
but Uncle Abdur-Raheem
doesn't take the bait;
people round here
never get worked up:
get angry with who?
get angry about what?
Here, they're all friends,
like one big family;
even if they're not related
they're all in the same boat;
'Whatever happens', they say,
'long may you live, my friend;
have hope, despite it all.'
Uncle Abdur-Raheem
you were a farmer once upon a time,
free to fall asleep and
free to get up when you liked;
no clocking in
no timed lunch-breaks,
watering your fields on moonlit nights
planting under the stars.
But time is a wheel that never stops
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2012 at 01:25
Al Saddiq al Raddi - from "Weaving a World"

An Image

From the dark spaces of memory
I emerged, rising through a pinprick of light
in the gloom, on all sides the falling
bodies of dead song-birds: these trees
that cast no shadow on their own reflections - I
fashioned them, forging, hammering, working the metal.
And so I found myself, in the wind, fully fledged…
Who
will keep clear a road for me, care
about the solitary journey
I make, torch in hand, in search of home,
or stride towards this body when it's
blackening in the blazing desert heat?


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Apr-2012 at 03:28
Al Saddiq al Raddi - from "Weaving a World"

Lost
Out of reach, stripped bare, orphaned,
betrayed by the secret fires
that October ignited,
I set about searching, searching
for a consoling guide like the moon: for a woman
also stripped bare, in a distant field,
whose fingers might cradle, whose body
might shelter, whose breast
might nurture this aching for home.
Further,
I had somehow to hide
the frail, blood-stained shoots of April
inside me; I had to allow the crimson night-sky
its majesty; I had
to learn how to stain
the space of the present
with what seeps from a forgotten wound.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Apr-2012 at 02:41
Al Saddiq al Raddi - from "Weaving a World"

Another Time
Feeling my way through an inner forest, I practised
the art of self-possession: at times my own jokes
had me laughing out loud.
From the dense air
that surrounded me I gathered
the tears that stitch no shroud.
I bequeath to strangers all
I had to say, and the touch of my loves; the cell
or cave of my retreat is the shape of my soul.
What am I there? The light that floats
or the wound that streams or the dark
itself? Can words name it? What am I there?
To walk through day and night, both in time, and on it…
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Apr-2012 at 02:31
Al Saddiq al Raddi, from the "Weaving a World"

Weaving
Swaying beneath the ceiling, silent, brooding
on ancestors, all the time longing
to hear
his blood sing -
or for someone to take and guide
his fingers, and sing songs that refute dying…
he likes to think that those who spin
and weave won't die alone. Slowly
he removes a leg from the wall.
Others may live alone, but not spiders as patient,
as industrious as he is.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-May-2012 at 02:05
Al Saddiq al Raddi, from the "Weaving a World"
Close Up
How beautifully you offered
me the moon, as I caressed
away your tears, and you, alight
with love, thrust
at my vitals with a kitchen knife.
Was I here or there?
How one we were!

Edited by Don Quixote - 08-May-2012 at 02:06
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2012 at 23:00
Al Saddiq al Raddi, from the "Weaving a World"
Longing
I got undressed.
I was beyond hunger, obsessed
with the mystery of you.
How, why should I
conceal my longing with senseless
fig-leaves? While I
was naked, you were immortal.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Aug-2012 at 04:46
Al Saddiq al Raddi, from "Weaving a World
Dream

Dream
Poem - may you be green
and alive, a world
through which I wander aloft
on wings, with my whole
being. Inspire my tongue
until the tribes that inhabit my voice,
long silent, are fed again.
Poem - alone and sleepless,
I find you are neither green
nor alive, nor a kind master
nor a muse-figure, but an addictive
fusion of delirium and memory!
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Aug-2012 at 15:08
Kipling:

As the Bell Clinks

As I left the Halls at Lumley, rose the vision of a comely
Maid last season worshipped dumbly, watched with fervor from afar;
And I wondered idly, blindly, if the maid would greet me kindly.
That was all -- the rest was settled by the clinking tonga-bar.
Yea, my life and hers were coupled by the tonga coupling-bar.

For my misty meditation, at the second changing-station,
Suffered sudden dislocation, fled before the tuneless jar
Of a Wagner obbligato, scherzo, doublehand staccato,
Played on either pony's saddle by the clacking tonga-bar --
Played with human speech, I fancied, by the jigging, jolting bar.

"She was sweet," thought I, "last season, but 'twere surely wild unreason
Such tiny hope to freeze on as was offered by my Star,
When she whispered, something sadly: 'I -- we feel your going badly!'"
"And you let the chance escape you?" rapped the rattling tonga-bar.
"What a chance and what an idiot!" clicked the vicious tonga-bar.

Heart of man -- O heart of putty! Had I gone by Kakahutti,
On the old Hill-road and rutty, I had 'scaped that fatal car.
But his fortune each must bide by, so I watched the milestones slide by,
To "You call on Her to-morrow!" -- no fugue with cymbals by the bar --
You must call on Her to-morrow!" -- post-horn gallop by the bar.

Yet a further stage my goal on -- we were whirling down to Solon,
With a double lurch and roll on, best foot foremost, ganz und gar --
"She was very sweet," I hinted. "If a kiss had been imprinted?" --
"'Would ha' saved a world of trouble!" clashed the busy tonga-bar.
"'Been accepted or rejected!" banged and clanged the tonga-bar.

Then a notion wild and daring, 'spite the income tax's paring,
And a hasty thought of sharing -- less than many incomes are,
Made me put a question private, you can guess what I would drive at.
"You must work the sum to prove it," clanked the careless tonga-bar.
"Simple Rule of Two will prove it," lilted back the tonga-bar.

It was under Khyraghaut I mused. "Suppose the maid be haughty --
There are lovers rich -- and forty -- wait some wealthy Avatar?
Answer, monitor untiring, 'twixt the ponies twain perspiring!"
"Faint heart never won fair lady," creaked the straining tonga-bar.
"Can I tell you ere you ask Her?" pounded slow the tonga-bar.

Last, the Tara Devi turning showed the lights of Simla burning,
Lit my little lazy yearning to a fiercer flame by far.
As below the Mall we jingled, through my very heart it tingled --
Did the iterated order of the threshing tonga-bar --
Try your luck -- you can't do better!" twanged the loosened tongar-bar.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2012 at 15:44
Kipling:

"Before a Midnight Breaks in Storm"

              1903

Before a midnight breaks in storm, Or herded sea in wrath, Ye know what wavering gusts inform The greater tempest's path; Till the loosed wind Drive all from mind, Except Distress, which, so will prophets cry, O'ercame them, houseless, from the unhinting sky. Ere rivers league against the land In piratry of flood, Ye know what waters steal and stand Where seldom water stood. Yet who will note, Till fields afloat, And washen carcass and the returning well, Trumpet what these poor heralds strove to tell? Ye know who use the Crystal Ball (To peer by stealth on Doom), The Shade that, shaping first of all, Prepares an empty room. Then doth It pass Like breath from glass, But, on the extorted Vision bowed intent, No man considers why It came or went. Before the years reborn behold Themselves with stranger eye, And the sport-making Gods of old, Like Samson slaying, die, Many shall hear The all-pregnant sphere, Bow to the birth and sweat, but--speech denied-- Sit dumb or--dealt in part--fall weak and wide. Yet instant to fore-shadowed need The eternal balance swings; That winged men, the Fates may breed So soon as Fate hath wings. These shall possess Our littleness, And in the imperial task (as worthy) lay Up our lives' all to piece one giant Day.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2012 at 16:21
Walt Whitman

 Not Heaving from My Ribb’d Breast Only


NOT heaving from my ribb’d breast only; 
Not in sighs at night, in rage, dissatisfied with myself; 
Not in those long-drawn, ill-supprest sighs; 
Not in many an oath and promise broken; 
Not in my wilful and savage soul’s volition;         5
Not in the subtle nourishment of the air; 
Not in this beating and pounding at my temples and wrists; 
Not in the curious systole and diastole within, which will one day cease; 
Not in many a hungry wish, told to the skies only; 
Not in cries, laughter, defiances, thrown from me when alone, far in the wilds;  10
Not in husky pantings through clench’d teeth; 
Not in sounded and resounded words—chattering words, echoes, dead words; 
Not in the murmurs of my dreams while I sleep, 
Nor the other murmurs of these incredible dreams of every day; 
Nor in the limbs and senses of my body, that take you and dismiss you continually—Not there;  15
Not in any or all of them, O adhesiveness! O pulse of my life! 
Need I that you exist and show yourself, any more than in these songs.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Oct-2012 at 02:31
Walt Whitman, from "Sonf of Myself"

30
All truths wait in all things,
They neither hasten their own delivery nor resist it,
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the surgeon,
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
(What is less or more than a touch?)

Logic and sermons never convince,
The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul.

(Only what proves itself to every man and woman is so,
Only what nobody denies is so.)

A minute and a drop of me settle my brain,
I believe the soggy clods shall become lovers and lamps,
And a compend of compends is the meat of a man or woman,
And a summit and flower there is the feeling they have for each other,
And they are to branch boundlessly out of that lesson until it
becomes omnific,
And until one and all shall delight us, and we them.


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