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Saturday, December 31, 2016

A MONKEY FOLLOWING A MONKEY

1
A solitary light / a shadow in solitude
do not ask for an imprint on the body
do not ask for a trace of the tongue
2
Taming a stallion is nothing less than crowning the Queen
You demand that grain of wheat found under the throne –
I demand she who bears the mace
3
No inscription to denote, no relic to possess
only the ability to distil the hunch of survival
We were not passers-by – we did not live in vain:
With this hand I touch,
listening to the psalm of pulsation
intuiting the lesson of eternity
4
The secret vessels are riddled with cries and spells
The wine urn
shrouds itself in solemnity
The candles’ tongues gutter on the ceiling
inflaming the heart of the suitor
who highjacks the root of fertility with a song on the verge of extinction
5
This river never mingled with the river
Ever since boats were invented, fishing and the preparation of fish,
and the fruitful bounty of plenty was harvested,
since channels were cut and dredged
this river is Blood, stained with the tincture of history
a land inherited by vengeance
a woman helplessly roaming and roaring in a cave
Was I there – there and then?

 AL-SIDDIQ AR-RADDI

A Monkey at the Window

I
The little boy, playing in bed
while his wounded mother cooks,
is throwing little words and circles
out of the window.
She smiles
(the whole world lights up)
he chatters excitedly - What can he see?
There's a monkey at the window -
behind the door!
But he is falling
into darkness.
And though he never raises a cry
he holds up his claws - this dark
stormy
boy.
II
She never taught him how to cry only how to sing.
Happy in herself - just as she wished to be -
she taught him endless space and vastness
and she calls him: Open-hearted.
Behind him a mountain of metaphors
in front a river a mouthful of night
and a train of caravans calling him away.
(Where is that thread
that fire
the skill?)
III
Running - down an alleyway
he splashes cooking oil all over his shorts this boy!
He wets himself
with laughter
running through Eternity -
through this alleyway
this pack of dogs
the conspiracies of fate!
IV
The solid front door remembers the hand that made it -
You are the key -
and the creak of the universe — it's your sole secret
You lean your dreams and future against it.
For its sake you endure the woodworms
gnawing through your heart
the reek of damp
the hammering of enemies and relatives.
(Long is the absence of light
that paints things awake -
Long is the presence of paint!)
You come home exhausted — from wherever you've been
the wind at your side — just as you wished
toyed with by traumas.
Once he made necklaces from seashells
colouring them with his own fairytales
once he made friends with strange frogs
- and all the while she's watching him
from behind the door /from out the window
(when she runs to pick him up
he will not raise
a cry!)
V
In the forest the lonely one knows all the voices
beckoned by the eyes of loved ones
their songs are luring her
with their tender fingers
and her own translucent solitude.
She sits in silence
close to every thing
brewing tea
stirring the porridge.
In the garden
of a strange home her home
she welcomes the pots and pans
to the sounds of morning.
Scrubbing everything in its proper place
one eye on the radio
that calls her to those distant sands
the desert.
But her colour flow like a river
so she can sing….
And that boy?
………. ………….
In a green forest
or a red forest
or a desert
now who calls him to Eternity?

AL-SIDDIQ AR-RADDI

A Body

The body of a bird in your mouth

breathing songs.
Raw light spills from your eyes,
utterly naked. 
You must breach the horizon, once,
in order to wake up.
You must open window after window.
You must support the walls.
I let alphabets cling to me
as I climb the thread of language
between myself and the world.
I muster crowds in my mouth:
suspended between language and the world,
between the world and the alphabets.
I let my head
listen to the myth,
to all sides praising each other.
And I shout at the winds from the top of a mountain.
Why does my tongue tell me to climb this far?
What is the distance between my voice and my longing?
What is there?
A body transcending my body.
A body exiled by desire.
A body sheltered by the wind.

SIDDIQ AL-RABBI 

EVERYTHING!

Let the wind blow from a fisherman's mouth,
from the span of a sail to the shell of a boat,
unlocking the mouth of the river -
So, shout, drowning man, when you founder
in treacherous waters
At dawn, the river embarks in silence
Riverbanks glean suns from the scales of dead fish
Jostled by eddies, the aroma of flotsam and jetsam
bakes in the shade
Becalmed, a breeze freights the stillness
Sails lazily unfurl
They sail all night from afar,
ploughing the river with ritual persistence,
staring darkness straight in the eye
You set sail at dawn,
infused with the tincture of a heart
that had beached your whole life ashore
And yet, another beloved
is offering you heaven on earth in her glance,
demanding only the perfection of poetry - everything!

SIDDIQ AL-RADDI

There Was a Time When I Loved Alone

There was a time when I loved alone
Without dream or friend

There was a time when your love was untrue
When I endured such torment that

I don't remember anything now but
There was a river ... or a villa ...

You confused my heart so much
That love shrank to a riddle

Yet had I been the slightest bit disloyal
You would almost have taken my life

Time is like the snakes
Devouring jasmine in my courtyard

Who can I tell, this sad evening
How bright the line of fate once was on my hand?


NOSHI GILLANI