Yousef el Qedra (translated by Yasmin Snounu, Edward Morin, and George Khoury)

Embroidered with Hail

In the beginning, he exalted himself
above the sinful act of eating the fruit.
Then he was burned by trees and frolicking
girls, causing his name and the blueness
of his soul to bleed.  He searched for prophecy
carved into fire.  So he was devoured
by rivers flowing toward their destination,
and he was satisfied by a line
on a skewed wall that was told by a
story in a book neglected by time.

And he was walking in the night of a story
like a murderer searching for faces,
wrapped up with dust desiring silence.
He mounted the stairs of alertness
within a sleeping dream; he slept in
the gardens of attentive wakefulness.
He was anesthetized by the veins
of countries that lost their pulses,
and his pulse started beating with names
of women he had created from dates;
their soul is grapes, and their house is flutes
made of soughs. He drew his colors like a
sword and went into illusive wars
with whiteness and illusion.  He didn’t
survive, so steadfastness wouldn’t embrace him,
but he escaped to train the street always to forgive.

A doe in the forest of speech snatched him,
stripped him of answers, and dressed him
in runes made of questions; she passed through
his veins slowly and wove from his alienation
a city for dance and temptation.
She carved on his alienation
poems of water, and from his character
traits she sewed a jacket embroidered
with smooth hail.

One evening on the balcony
of words, he saw the body of darkness
running naked, chased by the idea
that’s scared of itself, so he sought shelter
in the open pages of a book.

January, 2011



مطرّزةً بالبَرَدِ

في البدء، ارتفع عن خطيئة الفاكهة، ثم اكتوى بالشجر والصبايا، نازفاً اسمه وكثيراً من زرقةِ روحه، فتّش عن نبؤةِ محفورةٍ في النار، فالتهمتْهُ الأنهارُ الذاهبة إلى رجاءاتها، واكتفى بسطرٍ على حائطٍ مائلٍ أخبرتْ عنه قصةٌ في كتابٍ أهملتْهُ الأيامْ.

وكانَ يمشي في ليلِ الحكايةِ كقاتلْ، يبحثُ عن وجوهٍ غلّفها غبارٌ يشتهي السكونْ، اعتلى أدراجَ اليقظةِ في حلمٍ نائمٍ، ونامَ في حدائق الصحوِ المتنبّه، خدّرته عروقُ البلادِ التي فقدتْ نبضها، وصار ينبضُ بأسماءِ اللواتي خلقهنَّ من تمرِ وروحهنَّ عنب وبيتهنَّ ناياتٍ من شهقاتْ. استلَّ ألوانَهُ سيفاً وخاضَ حروباً وهميةً مع البياضِ والوهمْ، لم ينجُ لئلا تحضنْهُ الصلابةُ، ونجا حتى يدرّبُ الطريقُ على العفوِ دائماً.

التقطتْهُ ظبيةٌ في غابةِ الكلام، جرَّدته من الاجاباتِ وألبستْهُ تعاويذ من الأسئلة، مشت في عروقِهِ على مهلٍ وغزلتْ من غربتِهِ مدينةً للرقصِ وللغواية، نقشتْ على عزلتِهِ قصائد من ماء، ومن ملامحِهِ حاكتْ سُترةً مطرّزةً بالبَرَدِ الناعِمْ.

وذاتَ مساءٍ، ومن على شرفةِ المفرداتْ، رأى جسدَ العتمةِ يركضُ عارياً تلاحقُهُ الفكرةُ المفجوعةُ بذاتها، فاحتمى بدفتي كتابْ

2011 yraunaJ