A tombstone from tears of words (dedicated to the soul of my mother, may God bless her soil)
Translated by: Freeyad Ibrahim
Now I have one more reason
to not betray my homeland:
the quilt of its thick soil
in which my mother wrapped herself
in her grave yesterday!
Only the ax of death
can pull out the trees by their roots
With a single strike
Before her departure,
I was alive sentenced to death
After her parting
I've become dead sentenced to life.
Why have you departed?
Before you gave birth to to me, O! my mother
are there no other stairs save death
in order to ascend towards the Kingdom of God
In the marketplace of Adelaide
My kind friends have found
All the requirements needed for the council of solace:
Black textile.. Quranic verses for the walls..
Arabic coffee.. (dilla) s - coffee pitchers, and the beakers..
buchuur, incense, and misk, the musk,
Except for one thing I lack yet:
A cup of tears - even one to hire
Whereby I may restore the wetness
To the clay of my eyes
Which are impending dryness
No gun-carriage had carried her coffin,
Nor a funeral march had been played for her..
My rustic country mother doesn't like to hear the cannons' thunder.
Not only because it scares the sparrows,
Because it reminds her of the oratorical ‘speeches of the leaders'
Who have destroyed homeland..and displaced me...
Her coffin a taxicab had carried,
Escorted by the eyes of the poor
And of the sparrows
And by plenty of orphans
led by my artificial legged brother
And two widowed sisters
The living beings are sleeping on the ground
And the dead underneath it..
The difference between them: the bed-place
And the kind of cushions and covers!
Her last wishes were:
I'd be the one who the eyelids of her Tomb shall shut
My last dreams were
She might close my eyelids with her own hands
Both of us failed to fulfill
a slight desire
Ye, the passerby: one moment please..
Would you take a memorial photo of me?
with the air first
and with myself next
then a collective one:
me together with sorrow and solitude
And another one of my mother sleeping in my heart
Glorious You are my God
Is it true that the torments of hellfire
Could be fiercer than the agony I suffer?
When it proved impossible to see off my mother
if only the postman of The Hereafter
Had put the letter in my life's mailbox
And not upon my mother's pillow!
My brothers, cover her with a thick quilt of dust
Lest she should hear my wailing
while I am screaming in the wilderness
Like a bitten child: 'I want my mother'
then she is going to cry
You all whom I have angered once
Good friends..the mad ones..greengrocers,
students, the chalk- colleagues and exile sidewalks:
Send me please your telephone numbers..
Because I want to apologize to you
Before I go to sleep
In my mother's bosom
And you, barbarians
Girdled with dynamites..and the car bomb drivers
And the bearers of cleavers and daggers
Suffice it be to explosions, no more clamour
My mother doesn't like noises
My goodhearted mother fears death no more
But she is worried about
for fear of the metallic sharp shards
And about the pulpit bukhuur, incense,
Because of the fires' smoke
When I visit my mother
I'll strew over her tomb lots of wheat
My mother likes sparrows
She wakes up at their chirps..
And from her ablution water
Fills the clay vessel under the date palm of the house
Then scatters wheat with yellow corn
When I was yet a little lad
She was taking me to the market with her
And into the houses of our neighbors
And to the Imams
She did take me too
When she was visiting the shrines loaded with the scanty votive offers
Even when I was on the threshold of grief,
She won't travel except I was with her
So why did she travel alone to the Heavens
Because she is ashamed of my own sins
Where can I ever find a mother like her?
helping me washing my sins,
By means of her prayers' kawthar*
when she spreads the prayer's rug
O my dear precious friends
Don't ask God to fill my plate with the bread of good health
Nor my mug with the euphoric pure water
Because I am now in need of
the patience of the desert sands against thirst
and the endurance of a mountain mule
and the dullness of a sheep
Translated from Arabic: by Freyad Hugo