Imperious despot, insolent in strife, Lover of ruin, enemy of life! You mock the anguish of an impotent land Whose people’s blood has stained your tyrant hand, And desecrate the magic of this earth, sowing your thorns, to bring despair to birth,
Patience! Let not the Spring delude you now, The morning light, the skies’ unclouded brow; Fear gathers in the broad horizon’s murk Where winds are rising, and deep thunders lurk; When the weak weeps, receive him not with scorn— Who soweth thorns, shall not his flesh be torn?
Wait! Where you thought to reap the lives of men, The flowers of hope, never to bloom again, Where you have soaked the furrows’ heart with blood, Drenched them with tears, until they overflowed, A gale of flame shall suddenly consume, A bloody torrent sweep you to your doom!
We present this work in honor of the Tunisian holiday, Martyrs’ Day.
Do not fill their voices with smoky air because shut mouths of despair are blocking their spit, their revived viruses, their weaknesses to tell the story when the noise of a rolling stone is swearing at god. Shall I, at least, say that memory is decayed that history is dismayed; that past is dead deeds and mythological dates are the land’s seeds as the sheep have forgotten about the wolf’s teeth clacking? Shall I say that Eternity means not a Calvin Klein’s perfume but looms above their hats and doom denying all celebrity? Or will you forget someday that trees have their leaves to be lost over heartless pebbles and frost? I have learnt from history that dam-builders will be forever damned. When the water will rise with the people’s tears, it will spare none. Shall I tell about a woman’s cry amid sounds and swear-words? Or loudly my voice will tell of female shapes whose bodies have been displaced for time and space in fashion magazines? Can I turn on a TV pretending to re-appropriate history or will its waves bring about voiceless shouts? Now, when writing is fired by scientific neutrality that cries: “I AM THE WORLD!” Can I, at last, see purged tongues laying down their sandals and feet with no chance even to cheat or tell what their hearts hide? Will I be hanged when they will understand?
I know what the sea tells the desert And the words of high palm trees through gesturing The sound of the sands praising when water flows The fear of the spikes harvested them scythes of strangers And the thirsty seed reveals to me If he gets high, he is free And if the wind whispers in the wide open I realized her grandfather’s shiver In the ecstasy of the passions I know what was silenced from the sighs of the mute when it complains to me about the burden it bears And the blame of the dead The disillusions of the alive It is the heartbreak of History The most glorious names And it went on to pick up the tracks In the desperation of darkness
I asked a gardener He said: the plant… the plant of light I asked a woodcutter He said: the tree… the tree of light I asked a farmer He said: the flower… the flower of light I asked a poet He said: the word… the word of light I asked a lover She said: the kiss… the kiss of light
I asked them all The scoundrels didn’t tell me about a leaf that falls every day on the head of one of us No one told me about the shiver and the plants of the other world where there exists the smooth stone of eternity What kind of idiots are these people? Their leaves fall every day on my head while I am rocking them to their last resting place.