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Diary of a Palestinian Wound

Poem No.: 65 النص العربي: لا يوجد


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.

***

Before June we were not fledgeling doves

so our love did not wither in bondage.

Sister, these twenty years

our work was not to write poems

but to be fighting.

***

The shadow that descends over your eyes

-demon of a God

who came out of the month of June

to wrap around our heads the sun-

his color is martyrdom

the taste of prayer.

How well he kills, how well he resurrects!

***

The night that began in your eyes-

in my soul it was a long night's end:

Here and now we keep company

on the road of our return

from the age of drought.

***

And we came to know what makes the voice of the nightingale

a dagger shining in the face of the invaders.

We came to know what makes the silence of the graveyard

a festival...orchards of life.

***

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.


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