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The Sea has its Transformations ... Make Way

Poem No.: 110 النص العربي: لا يوجد

Whoever saw a sea so narrow

narrow narrow

like the pupil of an eye

I mean - who

I have seen

and it's narrowing still

hardly space enough for the sputter of a strange gull

small fish can find no space in which to make a turn


Turn the discourse around

Language alone discards the images and disperses them

It is not me

language alone

So the sea invades the alleys

tinier than the gurgle of snails

as they suffocate


Hardly enough of it to make a hat

for the island, solitary, standing

in the cold

The solitary island remains

head bare and alone

The wind dispatches news to it

the storm, which is coatless, does not arrive



We don't have enough of it to make a shirt

for a child

Smaller than a handkerchief waving goodbye

A narrow sea like this

what am I to do with it?


A sea that has claws and is fiercer than

a bird betrayed

He who knows the tiny narrow sea

has the right to set sail for weeping

for the island is bigger than the sea

the sea


Bigger, bigger

more spacious and glorious

open to the heavens and to names

and to secrets not to be revealed

and the sea is narrower than books and prison cells

more constricted than the meetings

between a prisoner and his wife


Is the sea a harbor?

Is it a peg for the tribal tent?

The teardrop of a land ringed by desert?

And where do the ships go?

How do they cast off

with the travelers, the messages

the sails and the ancient fishes?


A sea?

It doesn't even wash over the first letter of the word

It doesn't even wake the mountain up

Funeral feasts have no special place in it


Its messages are kept by it

Its messages are meant for it alone

What close-fisted sea is this?

It doesn't come to rescue the drowning man

It doesn't hear or see

A tongue but it doesn't understand languages


Turn the discourse around

Let the sea reject


make it rise up

Give it a spaciousness

and a plentitude of shores.


Translated by

Lena jayyusi

and Cbristopber


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