Visionary Eulogy

In honor of the Moroccan holiday, Allegiance Day, we present this work by one of Morocco’s great contemporary writers.

Amina El Bakouri
b. 1969



It happens that my soul quivers before your wavelike presence
So in evenings not like these evenings
My mature blossoms start budding…
It happens that towards you
Sweeping nostalgia transports me
So to your lantern-lit boulevards I rush
Seeking, amid daybreak variegations,
My grief-stricken voice…
When it laid for your veins’ itinerary,
Plans from erring poems
And moons


I am no object of desire of yours…
The blades of my soul
Are overladen with racemes of light.
Smeared with the mysterious darkness from the glow of words
My hands confiscate my days
glaring with ink
that flows painfully opaque
on the breast of dreams…
Horror-stricken, I drink at the lofty heights
Whose marine dew blessings surround me
With vows of nothingness
And wild goats of whiteness…
The sky’s fibres testify
To my disobedience
And my disengagement from the sin of original disclosure…
From the pain that lurks
Behind the white sun
And the musical minaret of speech.


Remember I was obedient to your deep kisses
My nights were not only ash
I would gaze at your mysterious face
preoccupied as it was with the stars’ movement
And embellished with strange songs
And poems.
Let me for a while
Comb the night’s chest
With the cooing of words…
I soar as high as the swings of your wild soul
To secretly overview the splendor of distant lands
And light a moon in the universal ink-pot
Let me, from your large, beautiful eyes, extract
The honey of the stars
And sip the nectar of your lisp
Secretly filling the carafe
Like the virgin of the dormant tribes!


Suppose you are a mutilated idea
Floating in the kingdom of Air
Arranged by coincidence
To redeem yourself from hell fire…
Suppose your dreams have, forever, forsaken you
When, all at once you dreamed them
With no prior notice or time limit…
Suppose Lorca offered you
The wild mint of paper
On a furious civil war night
Will the wild mint then
Have the self-same malice of beautiful roses
On the coffin of jasmin?
Suppose Al Khanssa’
Tore up grievously the bosom of her femininty
And the eagles of her anguish fell to pieces as did Sakhr, her brother.
Will the distressed bands of sand
Send forth the same inevitable wailing
When the pigeon coos in tears
mending the patches of pain?


Rarely did I whisper my erotic poems to you…
A single eyelash twitch suffices
To awaken the soul from its slumber…
To distress a flock of sand-grouses in their nests
To open the gate of probability
Towards a mutilated poem
That might wail, but never come…
Or thus whoop the falling nights!
My own night was not enough
As I stared at the same glare fading slowly into
The blossoms of speech…
Perplexed larvae ripped up on the loom of
My own killing letters.
Marble thirst beat me
With a feeble whip.
I aimed thus the spark of nostagia at your secret water…
O disdainful passer-by
Let our words fall like hail
On the jujube trees of time
Let us by means of water
Pay allegiance to the metaphor therein
So that poetry exalts in us…
Let us see the dead sea off towards its own exile
Let us wait a little…
Tell me
Why are poets first to die?


Do not torture me anymore
I do not carry Diogenes’ lamp in daylight
But I may come to you
On the morrow of a dark windy day
To present a succulent laudation
That makes you shake all over
I may, with true intuition, trap you into a dilemma
And stir the fire of your open wakefulness
Or in my transparent boudoir
Shield you from the straits
Of extreme redolence
When the female
Of awesome,
Erring fields
Clothes herself in Sheba’s stars.
Believe me. The glass sheets
And the dew of poetry may tell lies
Amid the uproar of slammed doors.
The dazzle of glass may fool us
Like the body’s intuition
When an illusory vision
Blinds eyesight!
O passer-by
The words’ encounter has long been rare
The heat has fallen
You have long enough deceived my pain
Do not cure me with feverish silence…
The echo of water has reached the shelter of the soul
And this very night, screened by my surmise,
Adorned by my insomnia
Has sailed far away into the distance
I have but on very rare occasions whispered my repulsion.
So tell me
Why does poetry not come smoothly anymore…
Why does it not resemble truth and light anymore?


A fire fiercer than the glow
Of passionate hearts
Erupts volcano-like into the ribs of words
Awakening the ecstacy of quickly receding
I am no inexperienced marine woman
To be fooled by a water poem…
Or am I to blame for feeling thirsty?
So why does the choke betray
The water drinker?
Or am I to blame for profound fascination?
So why does water flow downwards
All the time?


“The only good that looks like gold is… the road”
So said uncle Boulos
Once, one fleeting dawn.
Verses are ablaze on your pernicious head.
Trees now border your long foggy path.
I am not yours through any kind of belonging
And I have but unwillingly
Appointed you a guardian of my solemn pledges.
So… proceed in your visions.
The way of poetry is rather long…
Proceed adventurously… opening your arms to the wind
To the virginity of the land
The road will not mistake you
When it sees you coming far away like a cross or a martyr
The road will not mistake you
The road will not mistake you!

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