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Words From a Young Night

Poem No.: 105 النص العربي: لا يوجد


1

We are not an island,

except to whoever sees us from the sea.

2

Wine in half the cup,

the other half was not empty;

it was lost in ecstasy

3

To write

is to breathe unused air.

4

They delighted in sleeping

because of the treasures it lay

between their eyes.

5

I write about love

the way a child draws his impressions of

adulthood.

6

An impossible dream

is kinder than a rampant delusion.

7

The curtain on the window

is an orderly more powerful

than his sultan.

8

A vessel between water and fire,

an enticement for flames.

9

He counted his friends to me

on the fingers of his hand.

Then I realized

that his hand had no fingers.

10

To rule
To dissent

Both seek to grant prosperity to the people

under one power.

11

I am not free to accept.

I am free only to oppose.

12

I see the wind playing with the banner

of this place,

while people go without air.

13

A space crowded with answers.

Everyone is singed with answers.

Answers in every comer,

and in everything

there are questions.

14

He wants to apologize,

not because he was an enemy

but because he revealed himself as one.

15

Pigs are useful too.

They sing about the garbage bins.

16

She is like a state.

She puts on her make-up

and talks to her mirror,

and never listens to people.

17

All this night

is not enough for my dreams.

18

Everyday

we do nothing but confirm the futility

that has been impossible to detect.

19

Usually

I let my memory graze on its own…

To forget the wound and remember the knife.

20

The future

is said to be the opposite of the past,

and we are in an endless present.

21

I have many secrets.

I stud them in my poems

and I toss them in the air of language.

Someone has to expose them.

22

This person I do not know

and who does not know me,

why is he so late in arriving

leaving me

to the loneliness of the sidewalk.

23

The children grind their teeth,

and grind with their hearts.

24

Night,

you are not alone.

There are countless other hermits.

25

I look at them;

they are ready to change their stances

by simply shuffling their shoes.

26

They meet to dialogue

and they exchange points of view

the way they exchange masks.

27

Silence...

is a flagrant accommodation of folly.

28

You will not convince him with words

if he is not convinced by reality.

29

Before you sleep

place a rose on your chest.

30

What is the difference..

between someone blind

and someone who does not want to see.

31

The clicking of my chains fills the place,

I,

who claim freedom.

32

My lip trembles now before a word...

My lip is defeated.

33

Be prepared... the past is coming.

______________

Translated by Khaled Mattawa From Naqd aL-Amal. Dar aL-Kunooz al-Adabiya, Beirut 1998


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