Bread Poem by Mahmoud Darwish


Rating: 5.0

From early dusk the day was inscrutable
The sun shows up, lazy as usual
A mineral ash, eastward, blocks the horizon. . .
In the veins of clouds
In household pipes
The water was hard. . .
A desperate autumn in the life of Beirut
Death spread from the palace
to the radio to the salesman of sex
To the vegetable market
What is it wakes you now?
Exactly five o'clock
And thirty people killed
Go back to sleep
It is a time of death and a time of fire
Ibrahim was a painter
He painted water
He was a deck for lilies to grow on
And terrible if woken up at dawn
But his children were spun of lilac and sunlight
They wanted milk and a loaf of bread
Inscrutable day. My face
A telegram made of wheat in a field of bullets
What is it wakes you now
Exactly five o'clock
And thirty people killed
Bread never had this taste before
This blood this whispering texture this grand apprehension complete essence this voice this time this colour this art this human energy this secret this magic this unique movement from the cavern of origin to
the gang war to the tragedy of Beirut
At exactly five o'clock
Who was dying?
Into his hands Ibrahim took the last color
Color of the secrets in the elements
A painter and a rebel he painted
A land teeming with people, oak trees, and war
Ocean waves, working people, street vendors, countryside
And he paints
In the miracle of bread

(Written for Ibrahim Marzouk, a painter, killed on the morning of Wednesday, October 8, 1975, as he was buying bread at a Beirut bakery, one of many victims of the Lebanese civil war.)
Sylvaonyema Uba 18 May 2017

In the miracle of bread. A well articulated poem. SYLVA

1 0 Reply
Brian Jani 04 July 2014

Wow this is the best poem ive come across today.well layed down

1 0 Reply
Tom Allport 18 May 2017

a very sad poem of the reality some people still have to live with............ the consequences of WAR? ............well written

0 0 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 18 May 2017

In the veins of clouds..... thanks for posting.....

0 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 18 May 2017

Lazy as usual! Thanks for sharing.

0 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 05 March 2022

A poignant verse written with clarity of thought and mind. Congrats on being selected as POD.

0 0 Reply
Orbiam Simon 13 December 2019

Definitely it's the miracle of bread, and this Bread brought me to tears.

0 0 Reply
Tamara Beryl Latham 18 November 2019

Thanks for an insightful poem that was well-penned. : -)

0 0 Reply
Rajnish Manga 18 May 2017

Exactly five o'clock And thirty people killed Bread never had this taste before This blood this whispering texture this grand apprehension....// A spine-chilling and heart-rending reportage covering a tragic moment of mindless violence and carnage of 1975 in Beirut. Thanks.

0 0 Reply
Glen Kappy 18 May 2017

Inscrutable day this phrase, even if it weren't repeated, resonates. and the poem as a whole, describing ordinary people and ordinary things (which i guess most of us enjoy casually) , reminds us with a stab of the ongoing tragedy of beirut and lebanon. -gk

0 0 Reply
Error Success