Painting by Dr Jamal Badwan
by Iqbal Tamimi
When I dozed off
locusts of darkness
invaded my arteries:
blocking the sun,
releasing my paralysis.
Rain-swept fields eroded;
thin, desiccate scraps of parchment thirst scattered;
silence fled to the graveyard.
You were content with
observing the signals flashing
between eyes of salt and
coquettish sugary confections.
circles of hatred,
hovered like buzzards above them.
How could I curtain my window
where distances were separated from the joints of ecstasy
hiding its heavy shadow in suspicion’s bed?
I squeezed the grapes of wild despair
but failed to produce a stream of wine;
nor did my feeble drops manage to wake those
who lay sleeping through the drought.
My cloud passes through each text
Pleading for rain through the cracked clay …
O my poem!
I might be able to pass through a needle’s eye,
shielded by sand.
The word’s giant keeps poking my patience
with his letters’ crooked staff,
trying to dislodge the fortune-teller
from the shoulders of my prayer.
I have been burdened
carrying the pains of water;
this season has not miscarried its winter.
His palm, drenched with melting despair,
calloused by hunger,
informs me …
How can I
redeem the sobbing seasons
and how can I scaffold my martyred sighs?
First published on The Hyper Texts journal of poetry