Poetry in Arabic & Translations
With “Departing Midian” I have shared all of my past poetry in English. I would like to now start sharing my past Arabic poems, both in their original and in translation. I hope my readers will enjoy them, despite their occasional unfamiliar references …
A day will come when this heart — the child into which you breathed your very soul — a day will come when she will stand, a blessed tree in the gardens of your past, dancing to the breeze of a spring night — circles of green, tranquil, bright. A day will come when you will observe this and realize that the years of your servitude are finally over, that you have suddenly departed Midian. And it is time.
You walked in wearing sandals Inside where you freed your hair and unravelled my pride you asked ‘Can you see the gates of Damascus the shrines of Konya an Andalusian bride? Can you see the universe expand into the circuits of my mind?’ And I followed you inside You sizzled like sulphur you steamed like rain you made love like a sunset and you came like a tide. And I I followed you inside.
At a diner near Nye, where no one has heard of cancer, and everyone sleeps drinking Templeton Rye, you are sitting across from me. Your shadows arrive like vagabonds, they whistle, they blow. Your hands conceal a furnace, your tongue tastes of cinnamon snow. Yet, I have learned that there’s a price for each invitation and an avalanche awaiting every sin. But my pockets are finally empty and my cuff-links are made of tin.
Breaking the fall
They mourn you in Damascus, as you speak to me over the phone. You move beneath the wind, and your words now glow with the colours of your throne. In your death you have finally found the voice that eluded you here – Remind him to lock his door, always…
how to heal a poet
from seven northern lochs this water has been fetched it arrives in a summer cloud you pour it over my skin the temperature isn’t gentle but your hand always is the pain radiates into my head reminding me of structures I shouldn’t have designed and clots I shouldn’t have bled and I do I do understand it isn’t easy to heal a poet addicted to sand
With a latte in my hand and my feet resting on Phoenician sand I contemplate how I, the unworthy Lazarus, how I will explain to you that this time I really did feel you as you moved through my wounded cells. Your petals arrived at night as though to mock the mind that put me to sleep, swearing death had arrived. To you, who have healed this wound, I promise never again will I walk away from this this field of midnight petals.