A Poem from Egypt

from The Utopia of Cemeteries

Unpainted walls,
stone filled ground
fragile bones not even able to stand
and my bones are stuck in the middle
I am thinking of a small demonstration
to protest against the angels
who deprived us of the necessary calcium
God is above the ditch extending His shadow over us
and letting us sleep late
A drop of light falls from His hands
A darkened body enters
The drop dries
and we get to know our new colleague
with an open heart.
He gives us cigarettes with extra generosity
We like his voice when he mutters:
“What the hell is happening here?”

Ahmad Yamani, Egypt

from Beruit 39: New Writing from the Arab World, edited by Samuel Shimon, Bloomsbury Press, 2010

I’ve been pouring over anthologies of Arab literature and hope to have some reviews coming up. Meanwhile, I liked this poem from Egypt, or perhaps Spain, where the writer, Ahmad Yamani, born in 1970, is now studying.

One Response to A Poem from Egypt

  1. Risha says:

    A taste of pro democratic poem

    Suppression, I accept not
    – Bhuwan Thapaliya

    I came
    into this world
    not like the river
    but like a drop of water
    and will soon evaporate

    I am only
    a drop of water
    in the majestic ocean
    of nature

    I yearn
    to create
    a vigorous ripple
    of freedom,
    in the eternity of the water

    For I am a man
    of eternal freedom,
    and suppression
    I accept not …
    I will not accept it

    The living God
    within me urges
    me to be free, and to
    march on the road
    of freedom sans any dread

    My heart,
    like Einstein,
    thinks in another dimension
    unknown and unknowable …
    even to my own mind

    And like Goethe,
    looks at things
    in a different manner,
    different than those thinkers
    bestowed with pristine minds

    the gift of God,
    is the inherent right
    of every individual
    in this compressed world

    I will fight
    till the end
    to free the masses
    from the grip of suppression
    and ignite the lamp of freedom

    I will free the masses
    or die in the attempt
    but I will never
    live to see
    the naked dance of repression

    I am not afraid
    of those suppressors,
    nor am I afraid of the death
    that they are planning for me;
    they can kill me but not freedom forever

    My blood boils
    whenever I see the strong ones
    pulverising the lean, and my heart cries
    whenever I see the starving pauper
    in the abattoir of the prosperous butcher

    For me
    a red rose is a red rose
    it is not white
    just because they call it white
    to disguise the ignorant

    They can
    conquer Everest
    but not my spirit
    they can stagnate the river
    but not my impetus

    They can
    take my
    sight away
    but not
    my vision of freedom

    They can
    cut my
    tongue into pieces
    but not
    my voice of freedom

    They can
    stab me with the
    dagger of despotism
    but not impede
    the blood of freedom

    I know
    the road to freedom
    is blocked with obstacles
    but obstacles cause no despair
    if they are encountered with hope

    We must act now
    and not merely
    just look away
    when our freedom
    is threatened from within

    it is better
    to perish without freedom
    than to have a yearn for freedom
    but not the valour to harvest it

    Don’t be a coward …

    Be prepared to receive
    bullets to your chest
    because, in the struggle
    of freedom, tolerance
    of suppression is an offence

    Stand up … stand up

    Gather your courage. Come out
    into the field; let’s march hand in
    hand together, right beneath the
    nose of the suppressors, for the
    emancipation of our freedom

    Let us not forget that …

    The ocean is composed of drops
    of water, and all drops possess
    equal potentials, but only, when
    they mix with other drops do
    they form a powerful bond

    So …

    Listen, my oppressed brothers
    listen, my trodden sisters
    listen … listen
    to the natural desire
    of your ceaseless soul

    do not fear
    trust your soul
    and march ahead
    with a resolute heart
    for the better tomorrow

    And scatter
    the seeds of freedom,
    where does it go?
    it does not matter
    scatter it more with hope

    Welcome the freedom
    welcome it today
    and enjoy it evermore
    but do not use your freedom
    to suppress the people’s soul
    to suppress the people’s soul

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