Saturday, January 24, 2009

"They claimed that it was a morning"

Palestine Chronicle photo.

"They claimed that it was a morning."

by Lebanese poet Shawqi Bazi`
(translated by As'ad AbuKhalil)

I will talk to you about Ayman.
About the splendid joy of the forests
in his eyes
about the magic of his hands
If the river of the earth were to flee
he would hide them between his fingers
I will talk to you about Ayman,
about a moon over which the trees fight
about its forgotten blood
so it falls in forgetfulness
about a child running after butterflies
about a dagger
in the farthest
of valleys
They claimed that `Iziyyah was not a village
that it was an oleander flower
that it opens every morning the window of flowers
and that it grows leaves before
the rising of the Arab trees
with one sun and two springs
and it opens with thunderstorms
the underground water reserves
When Jaffa would be besieged by the enemies
when its green was stolen by the other summer
it would borrow green from the trees of `Iziyyah
they claimed `Iziyyah was not a village
it was magic
emerging from under the water springs
and opening the mornings
and it had two children:
and the closed fire in the womb of volcano
they claimed it was a morning
they claimed it was sand
and winds crawling behind the dead
suffocating but not by smoke
The child went to sing
to blood sprouting under the wing
of a swallow in the wind
and he gives as gifts
two irises to the children of Palestine
and a tobacco plant
flowering in the wounds of
the southerners
and he sings:
"the sun is far
but I shall sneak the sun shape
and pick it
and the sea is far
but my father shall chase the sea waves
and my mother will sew two dresses for me
and cloth me when `id comes,
Ayman sang
to the high cypress over the water
and he sang for the birds of water
he prayed to grow up
to be able to see the end of the trees
and the end of the rivers
and he sang for the sleeping grass
in the rain
On the horizon, there are enemy birds
there are black birds on the horizon
there is blood and thunderstorms on the horizon
the sun is coming back
it fell near a pine tree
a sad tear fell over the cheek
a sun that was running after
tomorrow's morning fell down
Don't run, run
Don't run, run
The child carried his white butterfly
and he aimed
at the first plane...
and he was hit
he aimed at the sun and it did not fall
he aimed at the sea and it did not fall
he aimed at the earth...and he died
The trees cried
The cypress tree cried in secret
Narcissus cried in public squares
the river tolled the bells that
are forgotten in the dreams
the earth wore the graves of martyrs
And it came...
To watch Ayman as he slept
And the river walked toward him,
and the sea walked toward him,
and the Arab nation walked toward him,
we walked toward his steps
he was fleeing southward,
carrying his corpse and migrating
toward borders
running after borders
running after borders
he shall cross flowers and blood
and dams
they claimed that it was a morning
they claimed it was sand
and the blood of a child flowed
on the rocks to be drank by valleys
And it shall emerge one morning
to give us beads as gifts
and anemone
*A child of four who was martyred during Israeli jets' bombing of the village of `Iziyyah in South Lebanon [in 1978 before Hamas and Hizbullah were born].

As'ad AbuKhalil explains:

"This poem is sung beautifully by Marcel Khalifah. I translated it this morning. The last section was very tough emotionally for me to translate: when Ayman died."


Merche Pallarés said...

Very moving poem... and regarding the hate e-mail you received, doesn't surprise me because A LOT of people are VERY brainwashed. The other day I bumped into a Jewish (from New York but who has lived in Ibiza for the past forty years...)friend, we stopped and talked for a while. When I mentioned the Israeli massacre she almost went berserk! Saying Palestinians were terrorists, that she was very happy at what Israel had done and so on and so forth. I tried to make her "see the light" but to no avail. She's nearly eighty years old and when I saw that it was impossible to change her point of view, we decided not to talk any further. As I say, the change can only come from young, well-educated, liberal, intellectual Jews.
Very interesting the link on Jewish anti-Israeli invasion. Hugs, M.

northshorewoman said...

can you imagine how beautiful and moving this poem is in its original Arabic language? How many more Aymans will there be? How many more tears to be shed?
Why is Ayman's death a legitimate price to pay in the minds of people like the elderly Jewish American now-living-in-Spain woman whose path you crossed?

What if her neighbour was an elderly Palestinian woman? Would she be so quick to condemn her to death simply because she is Palestinian? What racism allows this? What social relations allow this racism in an elderly Jewish woman to continue?

In the evening yesterday I read some of the testimonies that are being collected of the destruction and deaths and injuries in Gaza. One man recounted the bulldozing to death of his 87 year old mother.

I will post excerpts from that article next, which is written by .

Merche Pallarés said...

Remember this elderly Jewish woman from New York has been brainwashed for many, many years and, like many, thinks that everything Israel does is perfect, however, what I find worse is that she didn't want to listen to the other side's arguments which I was trying to expose. She closed up like a snail hiding in its shell. Unfortunately, with this type of persons there is nothing much one can do... Hugs, M.

northshorewoman said...

I agree. Closing one's mind with a snap to not allow in more ideas, is worse. We can understand the socializing into racism, what is inexcusable is the access to see differently but the determination not to know.