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Ahmad Al-Zatar

Poem No.: 85 :


For two hands, of stone and of thyme

I dedicate this song.. For Ahmad, forgotten between two butterflies

The clouds are gone and have left me homeless, and

The mountains have flung their mantles and concealed me

..From the oozing old wound to the contours of the land I descend, and

The year marked the separation of the sea from the cities of ash, and

I was alone

Again alone

O alone? And Ahmad

Between two bullets was the exile of the sea

A camp grows and gives birth to fighters and to thyme

And an arm becomes strong in forgetfulness

Memory comes from trains that have left and

Platforms that are empty of welcome and of jasmine

In cars, in the landscape of the sea, in the intimate nights of prison cells

In quick liaisons and in the search for truth was

The discovery of self

In every thing, Ahmad found his opposite

For twenty years he was asking

For twenty years he was wandering

For twenty years, and for moments only, his mother gave him birth

In a vessel of banana leaves

And departed

He seeks an identity and is struck by the volcano

The clouds are gone and have left me homeless, and

The mountains have flung their mantles and concealed me

I am Ahmad the Arab, he said

I am the bullets, the oranges and the memory

__________

(Translated by Tania Nasir for publication in Ulf Thomas Mobergs 1998 exhibit catalogue: Palestinian Art, published in Stockholm by Cinclus)


(adab.com)


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