A famous Comedian

A famous Comedian

Poetry by F. Qaoud

If I were picked from the crowd
by a famous comedian
I’d startle him
By doing a somersault right on the stage.
With anger streaming from my eyes
Without a trace of smile.

And let the clown horse around and bluster,
Because the year when I was born,
Made me believe that all the laughter
Is nothing but a boisterous uproar.

translated by ukranistani

 

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Black guillotine

Black guillotine

“قطعة من “الممثلون

نزار قباني

The actors by Nizar Qabbani (excerpt)

Ever since there is a rule of law in our city
The pirates anchor ships in our ports
While people hide themselves under their beds
Mortified by terror and depression.
Ever since the tears were shed in our city
Those heavy tears that eyelids cannot hold,
Around us everything falls down:
The sun, the stars, the mountains,
The valleys,  night and day,
the sea, the shore, the God, the man.

Ever since the helmets occupied the city
They act like Gods and
Issue orders to their slaves,
And make them satisfy all whims they have.
They squash, they grind, they kill and banish slaves
Who’re owned exclusively by them.

Ever since authority became a kind of prostitution
And our history is turned into a mopping rag,
Since then they change ideas oftentimes like shoes.

Ever since the wind blows solely by decree of Sultan
And grains of wheat in our fields
Don’t sprout if there is no decree.
And drops of water that we drink
Come only by decree of His,
Whole nation has become
A cattle fed in Sultan’s pen,
Our children choke to death in mothers’ wombs,
If they are not miscarried or aborted.
Since then black guillotine falls onto our squares
Disguised as sunlight.

Translated by ukranistani

Haroon ar-Rashid’s lantern

Haroon ar-Rashid’s lantern

قطعة من شعر نزار قباني

The painting of words

Haroon ar-Rashid is tragic and bitter,
You don’t know such bitterness, sweetheart.

It’s as though I’m a lantern, beloved
When I cry no one looks at my tears.

Sex became a painkiller I frequented
But my crisis of sorrow went on.

And my love has become all the same,
Just like leaves in a forest resemble.

I can’t love any ant or a cloud
I’m unable to love even pebble.

I tried worshipping thousands of idols
And I’ve chosen the one of my self

The luck from your lips is useless for problems
That I have in my notes and diwans.

All the ways that we know are obstructed…
That’s where paintings of words
Meet the end.

Translated by ukranistani

Black magic

Black magic

شعر أدونيس

Your color is the color of water
O, body of words.
Since water is yeast or lightning or fire
And water is burning, becoming a lightning,
Becoming this yeast and this flame,
Or a water lily
And asks for my pillow to sleep on.
O, river of words,
Travel with me for two days or two weeks
In the yeast made of secrets
Revealed in the oysters we open, sailing the seas
Raining down with ruby and ebony.
We know this enchantment
Is black magic
That forbids you to love anything but sea.
Travel with me…
Appear and disappear again…
Let us ask the river of words
About the shell that should die for their sake
And make a red cloud out of them,
The island running and flying around,
Let’s ask the river of words about
The star that is trapped
In the watery nets
That she carries under her breasts
Along with last days of my life.
Let us ask the river of words
About a stone from which the water is rising
The wave that gives birth to a rock,
The animal made of musk, and the pigeons of light.
Let us land in the toils of gloom
At the bottom.
Where the broken-down time and the moss of the words
Are the poem that dresses the face of the sea.

Translated by ukranistani

Between the lines

Between the lines

شعر محمود درويش

Those who walk between the vague words,
Take your names and leave.
Take your hours from our time and leave.
Take what you want from the blueness of sea and the sand of memories,
Take what you want from our pictures,
So you know that you don’t know
How a stone from our land can hold the weight of the skies.

Those who walk between the vague words,
You have your sword – we have our blood.
You have your fire and steel – we have our flesh.
You have yet another tank – we have nothing but stones.
You have tear gas– we only have the rain.
Above you and us only air and sky,
So take your share of our blood and leave.
Go to a disco party.
Whereas we should guard the roses on the graves of our fallen.
Whereas we should live how we see fit.

Those who walk between the  vague words,
Take off like road dust and fly wherever you want
But not like insects among us.
For we have our land to plow
Where we grow wheat and water it with our sweat.
You won’t be satisfied with the range of our goods:
The stone and the shame.
Take the past to antiques market if you will
And return the skeleton of hoopoe
On a clay platter as well.
We have that which doesn’t please you – our future in the land that we work in.

Those who walk between the  vague words,
Dump your illusions into a cesspool
And leave.
Return the hand of time to the law of the golden calf
Or to the pulses of revolver’s symphony.
You won’t be satisfied with what we have,
So just leave.

We have something you don’t:
Bleeding homeland of  wounded people,
Homeland fit for oblivion or memory.

Those who walk between the  vague words,
It’s time for you to leave.
Stand wherever you want, just not beside us.
It’s time for you to leave.
Die wherever you want to, just don’t die beside us,
For we have our land to plow
We have our past echoing of pristine life.
We have the present, the present and the future.
Our life and our afterlife reside here.

So get out of our land,
Our sea, our wheat, our salt, our wounds,
Out of everything,
Get out of the words of memory,
O, those who walk between the vague words!

translated by ukranistani

 

 

 

 

 

 

The meaning of belief

The meaning of belief

شعر محمود درويش

You’re forgotten
As though you never existed
Forgotten like a death of a bird,
Like an abandoned church,
Like a fleeting feeling of love,
Like a rose in the snow
You’re forgotten.

I’m on my way
To one whose footsteps are ahead of me,
Who filled my sight with his vision,
To whoever scattered his words over my virtues
To tell his story or to lighten the passage
With a song for whomever follows assumptions.

You’re forgotten
As though you never existed,
As a person, not as a text
Yet forgotten.

I walk in the only possible direction
And perhaps tell a fairy tale of biography.
The words rule over me
Until I rule over them.
Their shapes are mine,
The appearance of truth is,
But the speech I’m going to give
Will fall behind the past of tomorrow.
I’m the master of echoes.
Nothing but marginal note is my throne.
My road is my livelihood.
If someone forgets the outlines of an object,
I shall remind him of senses and feelings.

You’re forgotten
As though you never existed,
Like news, not like a remnant,
Yet forgotten.

I’m on my way to you
Who walks in my footsteps,
Who follows my fairy tales,
Who glorifies in his poetry
Gardens of exile
In the face of his home,
Who’s free of the cult of the yesterday,
Free of my signs and my language.
I believe that I’m free and alive
As long as I am forgotten!

Translated by ukranistani

Democracy in action

Democracy in action

Having published this kind of poetry, a Palestinian author Ashraf Fayad (أشرف فياض) faced the charges for “apostasy” in Saudi Arabia. Indeed a very fancy name for “non-conformism and non-compliance with self-destructing policy of a corrupt government”.

Three laws of homeland

1st  law

Your land is safe for you.
Even during the war
Your country escorts you into new day.
Your country doesn’t complain
While protecting you from the West, its corruption
And your own egoistic tendencies.

2nd law

The power of foreign effect on you
Is a worthless delusion.
It correlates with your madness,
The illusion of choice,
Weather forecast,
Rumbling of cars in a jam,
And blood nicotine level.

3rd law

For every loss
There is someone to blame.
For every void –
Something to fill it with.
Death rate decreases the population number
In the most crowded areas.
Your neighbors rest for eternity
To leave you in eternal peace!

Translated by ukranistani
Download Ashraf’s book to read in arabic