Archive for the ‘ Poetry ’ Category

Jack Gilbert: The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart

Seldom do poems leave me wanting more. If this had been a thousand pages long, I would’ve wanted more. “My love is a hundred pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what my body wants to say to your body.” My Lord, this is beauty in its most refined form. This will be my pillar of love; the melancholy of it, the void it leaves, just as love often does. I am speechless. Oh, my. My, oh, my.

The Forgotten Dialect Of The Heart

How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind’s labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not laguage but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.

At Night

Listen to: We Can’t Be Friends – Poor Colour Palette

A sun melting into a blue sea
Love; through hearts it seeps

Blue; the color of his eyes
Her heart; a war he could not fight

Tension escalating with fear
Silence, for they could no longer hear

Distance between them defied
Yet hearts can bear no lies

Winter escaping through tears
Moments treasured for years

Her lips curve a smile
His hopes rupture in denial

Emotions framed in veneers
No love, no heartbreak, nothing dear

Coldness puts out his fire
Killed was his desire

In memory of those who died during the Hama Massacre.

In memory of those who died during the Hama Massacre. It saddens me to share a birthday with such a dreaded event that took away thousands of my people’s lives. Today, I celebrate courage and honor-ship of my people. Today is a reason to rise in pride, not wallow in tears.  

Listen to: No audio. To the sound of martyrs, for they whisper.

You, who stole my country’s bread,
You, who killed my people,
Take me instead,
For you I have scarified my neck,
You, who tore down my signs,
You, who filled my land with mines,
Come to me,
Endanger me,
Leave them and just come,

You, who laughs at the blood streams of martyrs,
You, who dismantles the bodies of the dead,
Let them rest in peace and just come,
Rip my heart instead,
Tear down my dreams and rest,
You, who stole my country in bed,
Would you like some tea with that?
Perhaps a lemon squeeze in jest,

You, who promised and lied,
Will you ever leave undone?
You, who thousands at his own hands died,
You never seem to come,
Yet behind children caskets you hide,

You, whose heart in stone is engraved,
Would you please not disturb their shallow graves?
Come if you choose to be late,
Control whoever you may,
Untouchable is fate.

On your knees, yet you stand,
posing behind a brave man,
Crimson stained hands,
Nationless land,
Must you not understand?

You have not come,
And I shall not bow,
As long as I live,
As ever as I am dead,
I will not bow
I will not bow


Listen to: Ólafur Arnalds – Near Light (via Fabrizio Paterlini)

Cars carelessly carry cattle corn


Falling steeper

And steeper

Magic cut by heartless reapers.


Hearts tossed around like dart

Faces fade further than far

Haunted becomes the cattle car

Hush, shish, and shush,

Do not rush, push, or crush,


“Hold me tight,” she murmurs,




The clock missed the last tock


“Evade me from guilt,” she heaves

Autumn trees have no leaves

Stitch her heart into weaves

Sway her to the music of trees

Bring your knife and start to cleave


Salvage her remains for hope,

Unshackle her hands from your rope,

Leaves a distance, she has learned how to cope,

Unchain her from your yoke,

Save her from fate’s joke


Creep closer from behind

Listen to wind chimes

Surrender to nature’s rhyme

Let your souls together intertwine

Seek solitude, break every line


Hush, shish, and shush,

Do not rush, push, or crush,

Lick your lips like mush

Feel the power of a touch

Absorb the fluids, let them gush


Feed the crave with emotion,

Her tenderness casted as a potion,

Kiss her relish to submission,

Twist your limbs to her devotion,

Unease this hidden tension


Make no sound,

Cry no tears,

Twirl round and round,

Fear no fears,

The moment is yet to be found


Arms rested on shoulders,

Bare shoulders grow warmer,

Tall toes tingle in tremors,

Passion storms veins in thunder,

The mind ceases to wonder,


Hush, shish, and shush,

End of thought.

Mahmoud Darwish: Nothing Impresses me. (لا شيء يعجبني)

Mahmoud Darwish is a Palestine poet. I will not spend my time explaining who he is because he does not need introductions (غني عن التعريف). My passion towards the Arabic language is one I cannot foster well because of a weakness from me. I started writing poetry in English at the age of 11, yet wrote only a few Arabic ones (that don’t really register as poems) in my late 16s.

My post is not about my Arabic, or Darwish, or my early adolescent years. It is about this poem.  I roughly translated the poem so non-arabic speakers (if any) reading this blog understand the context. However, the English translation does not do it justice, for it is far too beautiful in Arabic to ever reach that level of profoundness in any other language.

It takes about how everyone is not pleased with their lives, what they do, or the people around them. Recently, I have come to the realization that I am not happy. It takes a lot of might to accept such state of mind. I mean really, what is happiness anyway. Whatever it is, I know I am far from reaching it.

Unlike Darwish, I cannot get off the ride, because metaphorically speaking his ride equals fate to me. I cannot stop it, I have no control over it, and I cannot change it. All I can do is pray that it serves me well until I reach my final stop in life.

I will stop the pointless jibber jabber and let you enjoy this very delightful poem, which I will refrain from explaining my own perception to it because the true essence of poetry is: we each understand it the way we feel best.


Poem by Mahmoud Darwish: Nothing Impresses me.

محمود درويش – لا شيء يعجبني

يقول مسافرٌ في الباصِ .. لا شيءَ يُعْجبُني

A passenger on the bus says… nothing impresses me.

لا الراديو  و لا صُحُفُ الصباح , و لا القلاعُ على التلال. أُريد أن أبكي

Not the radio, the morning newspapers, or even fortresses on hills. I long for a weep.

يقول السائقُ: انتظرِ الوصولَ إلى المحطَّةِ, وابْكِ وحدك ما استطعتَ

The bus driver says: Wait until we reach the station, and weep alone as you can.

تقول سيّدةٌ: أَنا أَيضاً. أنا لا شيءَ يُعْجبُني. دَلَلْتُ اُبني على قبري’ فأعْجَبَهُ ونامَ’ ولم يُوَدِّعْني

A lady says: Me too. Nothing impresses me. I spoiled my son upon my grave, he enjoyed it and slept without saying goodbye.

يقول الجامعيُّ: ولا أَنا ‘ لا شيءَ يعجبني. دَرَسْتُ الأركيولوجيا دون أَن أَجِدَ الهُوِيَّةَ في الحجارة. هل أنا حقاً أَنا؟

A university student says: Me neither. Nothing impresses me. I studied archeology without finding an identity in stones. Am I really me?

ويقول جنديٌّ: أَنا أَيضاً. أَنا لا شيءَ يُعْجبُني . أُحاصِرُ دائماً شَبَحاً يُحاصِرُني

A solider says: Me too. Nothing impresses me. I guard a ghost that always haunts me.

يقولُ السائقُ العصبيُّ: ها نحن اقتربنا من محطتنا الأخيرة’ فاستعدوا للنزول…

The angry driver replies: We are close to our last stop, get ready to leave.

فيصرخون: نريدُ ما بَعْدَ المحطَّةِ’ .. فانطلق!

They scream: We want what is beyond the station, so go.

أمَّا أنا فأقولُ: أنْزِلْني هنا . أنا مثلهم لا شيء يعجبني ‘ ولكني تعبتُ من السِّفَرْ

.As for me, I say: Drop me here. I am like them, nothing impresses me. But I am tired from traveling.

The Stranger within us.

Listen to: Luigi Rubino – Nostalgie

There is a stranger walking down my streets;

Turning my sweet serendipity into murky fate

There is a stranger in my home invading my rooms;

Asking me to move tamely across my hallways

There is a stranger lying naked on my bed;

Soaking my pure bed sheets with stained crimson

There is a stranger in my closet searching through my cloth;

Ripping my fabrics and stitching them onto my skin

There is a stranger inhaling my air;

Forcing me to hold my breath for a pleasure of theirs

There is a stranger in my heart rupturing my vein;

Telling me to bleed my way out of my heart

There is a stranger in my womb feeding on my nutrients;

Weakening my body with an unwelcomed murderous stay

There is a stranger roaming in my dreams;

Haunting my consciousness with bereavement

There is a stranger upon us, in between us, and within us;

Thou shan’t leave;

Thou shall destroy;

Thou shall harm;

Thou shall slay;

Thou shall possess;

Thou shall dictate;

Thou shan’t be but not to let us be.

Tick, Tock..

Listen to this: Hawana – Trio Joubran
Tick, Tock..
A tap on a shoulder, slowly;
Arms wrapped, warmly.
Nostalgia softens the heart;
Weak, in the middle of the dark…
The beating of a soul;
De-fragments till the fall…
Lusting Lips blow a kiss;
Miles apart, yet hard to miss…
Hair falling down the shoulders;
Hearts only growing colder…
Waiting for a moment to create;
Blind, walking into fate…
Tick tock, tick tock…
Louder was the clock…