The blue of depth is sadness
and the depth of blue-sadness
and a star quivering tears in this space-
Language at the peak of clarity
unfurls the night . . .
Indeed, the moment is wounded by a dream
to finish the questioning, and departs
burdened by the prophets
and the neighing of memories to come.
* * *
The blue of depth is sadness
and the depth of blue-sadness.
and we are nothing but it.
Are we in its mirror,
or is it in ours?
It’s all the same . . .
The silence of my woman is salt on
my voice, bearing the meaning
of the wound, and the name of the river,
but her hands are my two shores.
Her silence is the foot of a turquoise mountain-
How my voice assassinates me at night in its
direction to prayer and recants a martyr
to witness what I don’t see!
Twilight of rose
that forgetfulness wounds-this sadness
my mother is its mother . . . wind at the last flute
spelling the river so we can run-
its willow the child flowing after us
like an echo of the call to prayer.
Oh, mother, I said:
who between us is sadder
you . . . or the river . . . or the lightning
between my hands?
She whispered to me
folding me upon
a moist eyelash:
-After us comes the dove
My voice colored her,
holding the moon back from its time,
two skies bent over in the palms of her hands,
and she urged: Oh, my son,
Sadness began its
first names with us and overflowed
since the desert-
Sand hangs loosely over the memory
and a memory hangs the black
over the humble white
and the white over the widespread black
to watch over embers by the ashes
since trees inscribed poetry and life
in the land’s copy book-
Indeed, from exile to exile-
in between which commentaries on the country have grown longer
since the blood of an East split
to present us Damascus.
And so we summarize the wheat and the wisdom.
Two lines slowly
we repeat creation from the beginning,
not to sleep.
* * *
flutters this night in the sails of
the infinite, or over its masts?
The sand grouse has passed into thought
God passes in sadness,
a distant woman passes,
silence and meaning pass,
and a sail already passed announcing
the journey on a rainy day,
Oh, this soil . . .
who reckons my thoughts?
My daughter’s two eyes echo the
trilling cries of joy at evening.
And a sash of the recitation of clouds-
she can awaken vision
and tears in the eyes of the blind.
She lowers eyelashes more savory
than slumber stealing the bird
between its wings,
and a heart from the hands of my mother,
and shackles from my hands
and she considered the intention of a dream
the sadness smiling a little
as she saw a mother’s downfall
the past following in its wake-
a father-torn down more than ruins
This-his night confounds
the stars-six gallows
from which a tree,
horses, and odes dangle-
Oh, this soil-who but you
begins other than at the end!
Captivity is this which
your spirit conceals . . . and the spring
the lover bathes in . . .
And the distant Iraqi voice
is captured by the shadow pouring forth
This is what the likely captive said-
He saw me casting lots and went on:
-Has the hand of sadness
knocked at your door?
He loosened the binding ties
from memory that shone like silver:
This is my woman, my sorrow-
How often does she come?
How often do I go to it?
Its night is the lightning that awakens
the secrets of prophecies and recites
them like rain-
it was in the beginning and we were it . . .
So name it, then, the playing of music,
and name me string.
I said, you are still on the bank
and the river is flowing.
Be with the river and see the sadness
as god sees it.
His mother is distant behind the balconies
Like a tree discovering the wind
and digging deep into the soul’s soil.
Its cup forgiveness, as far as it goes,
and the flood, insofar as it can,
and poetry its echo.
Its cup is the rain of the inside,
until sinner and saint are equal
in this attire
and the volcano offers him a toast
for the final escape
Tadmor Prison, 1992