Caledoniyya

Poetry Corner: Diary of a Palestinian Wound

Read each verse.

Mull it.

Savor it.

And the sheer poetic beauty shall unfurl and irrepressibly astound.

For Fadwa Tuqan

We do not need to be reminded:

Mount Carmel is in us and on our eyelashes the grass of Galilee.

Do not say: If we could run to her like a river.

Do not say it:

We and our country are one flesh and bone.

***

You sang your poems, I saw the balconies

desert their walls

the city square extending to the midriff of the mountain:

It was not music we heard.

It was not the color of words we saw:

A million heroes were in the room.

***

This land absorbs the skins of martyrs.

This land promises wheat and stars.

Worship it!

We are its salt and its water.

We are its wound, but a wound that fights.

***

Sister, there are tears in my throat

and there is fire in my eyes:

I am free.

No more shall I protest at the Sultan’s Gate.

All who have died, all who shall die at the Gate of Day

have embraced me, have made of me a weapon.

***

Ah my intractable wound!

My country is not a suitcase

I am not a traveler

I am the lover and the land is the beloved.

***
The archaeologist is busy analyzing stones.

In the rubble of legends he searches for his own eyes

to show

that I am a sightless vagrant on the road

with not one letter in civilization’s alphabet.

Meanwhile in my own time I plant my trees.

I sing of my love.

***

It is time for me to exchange the word for the deed

Time to prove my love for the land and for the nightingale:

For in this age the weapon devours the guitar

And in the mirror I have been fading more and more

Since at my back a tree began to grow.

Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008)

This is now tacked to both my office and home wall, to remind of the sheer beauty that can be rendered by the mere pen and mind.

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This entry was posted on March 1, 2010 by in Bookwormery, Culture, Palestine and tagged , , , , .
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