"Three Poems, Mahmoud Darwish"

Created: Tuesday, 12 August 2008 Written by TEX LUMBAGO
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OK I never heard of him until he died.
And I have shamelessly filched these from "The Angry Arab", but I liked them anyway.
So here they are...
A Short Vacation
I thought that I died on Saturday
I said: I must stipulate something in my will
I did not find anything
I said: I have to invite a friend
to tell him that I am dead,
but I did not find anyone
I said: I must go to my grave
to fill it, but I did not find the way
and my grave remained empty
I said: I must do what I must:
write the last line on shades,
but the water spilled onto the letter
I said: I must do something
here and now,
but I did not find an act worthy of a dead man

I screamed: This death has no meaning!
absurdity and chaos in the senses
I will not believe that I have died a full death
perhaps I am in between?
perhaps I am a retired dead man
spending his short vacation in life!

The Mercy Bullet
I am jealous of the horse. When his leg is broken and he feels the insult of his inability to attack and retreat in the wind,
they treat him with the mercy bullet. As for me, if something is broken in me- physical or moral- I ask that a professional killer be found, even if he is one of my enemies. I will pay him his fees and the bullet’s cost. I will kiss his hand and the gun. And If I can write, I will praise him with a precious poem, whose rhyme and meter he will choose!

With shyness
With shyness, I look at the beggar’s cup
With shyness, I listen to an old song on a scratched record
With shyness, I smell the scent of a rose that is not mine
With shyness, I scratch a body part
With shyness, I use my five senses
With shyness, I succumb to my sixth sense
With shyness, I live as if I am the guest of a gypsy
who is about to depart!

From Athar al-Farasha: Yawmiyyat (The Butterfly Effect: A Diary) Riyad El-Rayyes, 2008.
Translated by Sinan Antoon