Mihyar songs - ADONIS

Thenation press servecis
2009-02-13 | Since 11 Year

for
RUTH

Who has, like me, undergone
the transformations of the lover,
and shared with me
the love of Adonis
and the trances and agonies
of translating his poetry.

Kamal

NOT A STAR

Neither a star,
nor a prophetús inspiration,
nor a face praying to the moon,
is Mihyar.

Here he comes
like a pagan spear,
invading the land of letters,
bleeding
and raising to the sun
his bleeding.

Here he is,
wearing the nakedness of stone
and praying to the caves.

Here he is,
cuddling the light Earth.

A VOICE

Mihyar is a face
betrayed by its lovers.
Mihyar is bells
without chiming.
Mihyar is inscribed upon the faces,
a song which visits us secretly
on white, exiled roads.

Mihyar is bells of wanderers
in this Galilean land.

A VISION / 1

Put on the mask of burnt wood,
O, Babel of fire and mysteries.
I await the god who comes
draped in flames,
adorned with pearls
stolen from oysters
out of the lung of the sea.
I await the god who feels perplexed,
rages, weeps, bows and glows .

Your face, O, Mihyar,
heralds the coming god.

A KING IS MIHYAR

A king is Mihyar.
A king -
the dream is his palace
and gardens of fire.
And today,
a dying voice complained about him
to words.

A king is Mihyar.
In the kingdom of the wind he lives,
and in the land of mysteries he reigns.

THE ADORING ROCK

The wandering is over,
and the road
is an adoring rock.

Here we are,
burying the corpse of the day,
draped in the winds of tragedy.

But tomorrow we shall shake
the trunks of the forest of palms.
And tomorrow we shall wash
the body of the slender god
with the blood of the thunderbolt,
and construct the tenuous lines
between our eyelids and the road.

THE TWO CORPSES

I buried in your subservient entrails,
in the head, the hands and eyes,
a minaret;
I buried two corpses,
the Earth and the sky.

O, tribe,
O, womb of wasps,
and mill of the wind.

TRAVELLING

Travelling,
but staying still.
O, sun,
how do I attain the skill
of your footsteps ?

I SAID UNTO YOU

I said unto you:
I listened to the seas
reading to me their verses
I listened to the bells
slumbering inside the oyster shells.
I said unto you:
I sang my songs
at Satan's wedding
and the feast of the fable.
I said unto you:
I beheld,
in the rain of history
and the glow of the distance
a fairy and a dwelling.

Because I sail in my eyes,
I said unto you, I beheld
everything
in the first step of the distance.

ADAM

Adam whispered to me
in a husky sigh, in silence and moaning:
"I'm not the father of the world,
I havenút glimpsed Paradise.
Take me to the Lord."

THE PRESENCE

I open a door unto the Earth
and set ablaze the fire of presence,
in the clouds intersecting
or trailing one another,
in the ocean and its infatuated waves,
in the mountains and their forests,
and in the rocks,
creating for the pregnant nights
a homeland
in the ashes of the roots,
in the fields of songs,
in the thunder and thunderbolts,
and feeding to the fires
the mummies of the ages.

DEATH

We die unless we create the gods.
We die unless we murder the gods.
O, kingdom of the bewildered rock.

A LAND OF NO RETURN

Even if you return, O, Odysseus;
even if spaces close around you,
and the guide is burnt to ashes
in your bereaved face
or your friendly terror,
you will remain a history of wandering,
you will remain in a land of no promise,
you will remain in a land of no return.

Even if you return,
O, Odysseus.

THE FLOOD / 1

Mihyar sang cried acquitted prayed indicted,
blessed the face of madness,
dissolved in his voice
the wounds of the ages,
desired his voice to be
a flood,
and a flood it was.

THE TREE OF FIRE

A family of leaves is sitting near the spring,
wounding the land of tears
and reading to the water
the book of fire.

My family didnút await my arrival.
It departed.
No fire is left, no traces.

A ROAD

O, road which refuses to begin,
we are a face that has beheld
and loved daylight and presence.
There was a god in our land
but we abandoned him
since he distanced himself
from us.
Behind him we burnt
the temple of wax and the sacrifices.
And out of absence
we forged an idol of dust
and stoned him with the presence,
with the road which almost began.
O, road which refuses to begin.

NO WORDS BETWEEN US

Will the sands clear away from our eyelashes?
Will the torrents cleanse the land of husks?
Disintegrate and burn, O, seeds;
no words are left between us ,
no echo.
And the bridges have crumbled
before the roads.

A HOMELAND

To faces which wither under the mask of melancholy,
I bow.
To roads on which I forgot my tears,
to a father who died as green as a cloud
with a sail upon his face,
I bow
And to a child who is sold
in order to pray and polish shoes,
(in my country, we all pray and polish shoes),
and to rocks upon which I carved with my hunger
that they were lightning and rain
rolling under my eyelids,
and to a house whose soil I carried in my wanderings,
I bow.

All these are my homeland-
Not Damascus.

KING OF THE WINDS

My banner is an end.
It neither fraternises
nor meets half-way.
An end are my songs.

Here I am,
amassing the flowers,
alerting the trees,
erecting the sky as a colonnade,
loving , living and getting born
in my words.

Here I am,
gathering the butterflies
under the morningús banner,
nurturing the fruits,
and dwelling with rain
in the clouds and their bells,
in the seas.

Here I am,
sailing the stars
and anchoring them,
and crowning myself
king of the winds.

THE EARTH

How often you have said:
ôI have my other homeland,¤
and your eyes filled with tears,
and your palms filled with the lightning
of its approaching regions.

Have your eyes ever known
that the land recognises
every single passer- by
save your own footsteps,
wherever they cried or rejoiced,
here, as you sang, or there?

Have your eyes ever known
that the land is but one:
dried of udder and entrails?

Have your eyes come to know
that the land is ignorant
of the rites of rejection?

Have your eyes realised
that you are the very land?

THE END OF THE WORLD

The possible concerns me not,
be it painful or delightful.
For in my hymns I invent
a gospel of my own,
and seek a refuge
for a world that commences
at the frontiers of the world.

THE LITTLE TIME / 1

The illusive mirage is ours
and the blind days.
And ours is the corpse of the guide,
we, the generation of the Ark,
the offspring of this little Time.
The peaceful seas,
the seas that chant
the elegies of wandering,
have handed us to the wilderness.

We, the generation of the endless dialogue
between our ruins and the Lord.

THE COLOUR OF THE WATER

Your colour is the colour of water,
O, body of words,
when water is leaven
or a thunderbolt or fire-

And water blazed,
became a thunderbolt,
became leaven and fire
and water lilies
which ask about my pillow
and fall asleep.

O, river of words,
journey with me for a couple of days,
a couple of weeks,
in the leaven of mysteries
to pick up the seas or explore the oysters.
Let us rain rubies and ebony
to learn that magic
is a black fairy
who loves nobody except the sea.

Journey with me,
emerging here and vanishing there.
And ask with me,
O, river of words,
about the shells which die to become
a red cloud
cascading its rain;
about an island
which walks or flies.

And ask with me,
O, river of words,
about a star captive
in the water nets,
carrying under its breasts
my last days.

And ask with me,
O, river of words,
about a stone from which water flows,
about a wave from which rocks are born,
about the animal of musk,
and a dove of light.

And descend with me
to the nets of darkness
at the bottom
where broken Time lies.

And let words be
a poem that wears
the face of the sea.

THE WINDS OF MADNESS

The chariots of light have rusted;
so has the knight.

And here I am,
arriving from yonder,
from the land of barren roots,
my horse is a withering bud
and a siege is my road.

Why do you stare in mockery?
Escape, escape,
for I come from yonder,
wearing the body of crime,
unleashing unto you
the winds of madness.

DAYLIGHT

Daylight attires us
in its ancient gowns,
lamenting us here,
lamenting us there,
opening its chest to defeat
and drawing the sign of the angel
upon our dismembered limbs
and footsteps.

TREACHERY

O, bliss of treason-
O, world which stretches in my footsteps
as an abyss and pools of fire-
O, ancient corpse-
O, world which I betrayed
and still betray.

I am that drowning figure
whose eyelids pray
to the roar of the waters.
And I am that god
who blesses the land of crime.

I am a traitor,
I sell my life
to the Satanic path.

I am the lord of treachery.

THE FLOOD / 2

Go, pigeon, go.
We do not want you to return.
They have surrendered their flesh to the rocks,
and I - here I am
sliding towards the deepest point,
entangled in the Arkús sails.
Our flood is a planet
that does not revolve,
ravaging and ancient-
In it we might scent
the god of buried centuries.

So, go, pigeon, go.
We do not want you to return.

FAREWELL

We bade you farewell years ago,
we bade you the repenting elegy,
O, halo of dead angels,
O, language of fugitive locusts.

The words are packed with mud.
The words have adorned themselves
with labour pains.

Our absent wombs return to us.
And here are the rains, here are the floods.
O, language of debris and ruins,
O, halo of dead angels.

THE LUMINOUS WINDS

The winds that extinguish-
the luminous winds-
are still behind us,
slow coming.

We and the terror are on the road,
and between us
are the Barada and the Euphrates.
How long we have borne them
in our wilderness
as banners of dust and laurel,
whispering them as our prayers,
the Barada and the Euphrates.

And the winds that extinguish-
the luminous winds-
are still behind us,
slow coming.

YOU HAVE NO CHOICE

What? Then you destroy the face of the Earth
and carve for it another face.

What? Then you have no choice
but the path of fire
and the hell of rejection,
when the Earth is no more
than a guillotine or a god.

TODAY I HAVE MY LANGUAGE

I have destroyed my kingdom,
destroyed my throne, my courts and colonnades.
And, borne over my lung,
I roamed in quest,
teaching the seas my rains, granting them
my fire and incense-burner,
and writing the time to come
on my lips.

And today I have my language,
my frontiers, my land and indelible mark,
and I have my peoples,
who nurture me on their uncertainty
and find their light
in my ruins and wings.

PRAYER

O, Phoenix, I pray
that you remain in the ashes,
that you donút glimpse the light or rise.

We've neither experienced your night
nor sailed across the darkness.

O, Phoenix, I pray
that the magic die,
that our rendezvous be in
the fire and the ashes.

O, Phoenix, I pray
that madness be our guide.

A VISION / 2

I glimpse among subservient books
in the yellow dome
a punctured city flying.
I glimpse walls of silk
and a murdered star
in a green bottle floating.
I glimpse a statue of tears,
of the clay of dismembered limbs,
of grovelling
in the presence of a prince.

BETWEEN YOUR EYES AND MINE

When I drown my eyes in your eyes,
I glimpse the deepest dawning
and see the ancient times;
I see what I do not comprehend
and feel the universe flowing
between your eyes and mine.

DIALOGUE

Who are you? Whom do you choose, O, Mihyar?
Wherever you go, there is God or Satanús abyss-
an abyss coming, an abyss going.
And the world is choice.

I choose neither God nor Satan.
Each is a wall.
Each closes my eyes.
Why replace one wall by another,
when my perplexity is the perplexity of the light-giving,
the perplexity of the all-knowing?

AN ELEGY FOR AL-HALLAJ

Your green poisonous plume,
your plume whose veins are filled with flames,
with the star rising from Baghdad,
is our history and imminent resurrection
in our land-in our repeated death.

Time lay upon your hands.
And the fire in your eyes
is sweeping, reaching the sky.

O, star rising from Baghdad,
laden with poetry and new birth,
O, poisonous green plume.

Nothing is left
for those coming from afar
with the echo and death and ice
in this land of resurrection.
Nothing is left but you and the presence.
O, you the language of Galilean thunder
in this land of discarded skins.

You, poet of the roots and mysteries.

THE FALL

I live between the plague and the fire
with my language,
with these speechless worlds.

I live in heaven and gardens of apples,
in the first ecstasy and despair,
between the hands of Eve -
Lord of that accursed Tree,
and lord of the fruits.

I live between the clouds and sparks,
in a stone that grows and grows,
in a book that teaches
the secrets and the Fall.

A STONE

I worship this peaceful stone
in whose countenance I see
my face
and my lost poetry.

THE LANGUAGE OF SIN

I burn my inheritance, I say :
"My land is virgin, and no graves in my youth. "
I transcend both God and Satan;
(my path goes beyond the paths of God and Satan).

I go across in my book,
in the procession of the luminous thunderbolt,
the procession of the green thunderbolt,
shouting :
¤After me, thereús no Paradise, no Fall¤
and abolishing the language of sin.

ORPHEUS

A lover rolling in the darkness of Hell
like a stone, I am.
But I shine.
I have a date with the priestesses
in the bed of the ancient god.
My words are tempests that rattle life,
and sparks are my songs.
I am a language for a god to come,
I am the sorcerer of dust.

THE ONLY EARTH

I dwell in these wandering words,
my face a companion to my face,
and my face is my path,
in your name, O, land of mine
which grows longer and longer,
bewitched and forlorn;
in your name, O, death,
my friend.

THE DAMS

Always dawn is read and repeated.
Always these caves beneath the skin.
Always these dams and debris,
and these almshouses.
Always these cemeteries under the eyelashes,
these dismembered limbs, these victims
of your songs,
where there is no land in your face,
no dance, no birth.

Always the abortion in your veins.
You have a star in the husk,
a legacy in the rock,
and in daylight a homeland.
O, prince of emptiness,
O, language in which
winds and dimensions
become hollow.

A GOD WHO LOVES HIS SUFFERING

To the god tearing in my footsteps,
I, the accursed Mihyar,
raise the dead as offerings
and say the prayer of wounded wolves.

But the graves yawning inside my words
have hugged my songs
with a god who lifts the stones
from over us;
a god who loves his suffering
and blesses even Hell;
a god who prays my prayers,
and returns to the face of life
its lost innocence.

TO SISYPHUS

I vowed to write upon water,
I vowed to bear with Sisyphus
his speechless rock.

I vowed to stay with Sisyphus
suffering the fevers and the sparks,
and seeking in blind eyes
a last plume
that writes for autumn and grass
the poem of dust.

I vowed to live with Sisyphus.

THE FACE OF A WOMAN

I dwell in the face of a woman
who dwells in a wave
flung by the tide
to a shore that has lost its harbour
in its shells.

I live in the face of a woman
who murders me ,
who desires to be
a dead beacon
in my blood sailing
to the very end of madness.

THE ROAD

The road is a woman
who places the palm of the traveller
in the palm of the lover,
and fills the palm of the lover
with yearning and its shells-
a woman,
a dream turned by a woman
into a boat as narrow as a wing
wearing the rose of the winds
and forsaking its harbour.

THE MANúS SONG

Sideways
I saw your face
engraved on the trunk of a palm tree;
and saw the sun
black in your hands.
So I mounted my yearning
towards the palms
carrying the night in a basket,
carrying the city,
and scattering myself
around your eyes,
exploring my face.
I saw your face
as hungry as a child.
I surrounded it with amulets,
and over it
I crumbled
like a succulent jasmine.

THE WOMANúS SONG

Sideways
I saw your face
aged and snatched by days and sorrows.
It came to me embracing
its green bottles,
hurrying up the last supper.
Each bottle was a gulf,
the wedding of a gulf and a boat
in which days and shores
sank,
and sea gulls explored their past,
and the sailor
explored his future days.

Your face came to me so hungry;
I spread out my adoration
for it
a loaf and a glass and a bed.
I opened the doors for the sun and the winds,
and shared with your face
the last supper.

A SCENE

The thunderbolt
interrogates the stone,
puts the sky on trial,
puts every thing on trial.

The thunderbolt
bathes in my eyes.
And the days
drop in my hands
like ripened fruits.

THE ROCK

I am contented with what you desire:
my songs are my bread,
and my words are my kingdom.
O, rock, weigh heavily upon my steps.
Iúve carried you like dawn on my shoulders
and drawn you as a vision upon my countenance.

THE ANCIENT HOMELAND

I surrendered to the rocks and the echoes
my banners with their stifled voices.
I surrendered them to the fortress of dust,
to the dignity of rejection and defeat.

Nothing remains for me except you-
O, mysteries,
O, my ancient homeland.

THE LANTERN

In the midday sun
he carries his lantern,
searching for a human soul.
No sand in his eyes,
wearing the sandals of dust.
He walks in a barrel,
his hands are his quilt.

-And you, what?
-I have no eyes.
Between me and my brothers rises Cain.
Between me and the Other roars the flood.

When night and daylight fall asleep,
I steal by the blood-thirsty butcher.
I walk-
dust walking behind me-
but I carry no lantern.

ODYSSEUS

- ô Who are you? From what peaks have you descended,
O, virgin language, which only you understand.
Whatús your name ? What banner
have you carried or discarded¤?

Asks Alkenos,
desiring to unveil the face of the dead man.
She asks from what peaks I have descended,
asks about my name-
My name is Odysseus.
I come from a land with no bounds,
carried on peopleús backs.
I was lost here, was lost there,
with my verses.
And here I am,
in the terror and withering,
knowing neither how to stay
nor how to return.

THE FEATHER OF THE CROW

1.

Coming with no flowers, coming without fields,
I have nothing in the sands or the winds,
nothing in the morning's majesty,
except youthful blood
which flows with the sky .
And in my prophetic forehead
the Earth is an endless flock of birds.

Coming without seasons,
coming with neither flowers nor fields,
with a fountain of dust in my eyes,
I feed on my eyes.
I live, driving my life in waiting
for an ark which sinks to the bottom
as if dreaming or wandering,
or going never to return.

2.

In the cancer of silence, under siege,
I write my verses on the earth
with the feather of a crow.
I know; there is no light upon my eyelids,
nothing but the wisdom of dust.
I crouch with daylight in the coffee shop
with the wood of the chair
and the discarded cigarette butts.
I sit in waiting
for my forgotten rendezvous.

3.

I want to kneel down, to pray
to the broken-winged owl,
to the embers of the winds.
I want to pray
to the bewildered star in the sky,
to death, to the plague.
I want to burn in my incense
my white days, my songs and notebooks,
my ink and ink pot.
I want to pray
to anything that knows no prayer.

4.

Beirut didn't rise in my path,
Beirut didn't bloom.
And here are my fields.
Beirut didn't fruit.
And here is the spring of sand and locusts
filling my fields.

Alone without flowers or seasons;
alone with fruits.
From the setting of the sun to its rising,
I cross Beirut, but see it not,
inhabit Beirut and see it not.
Alone with love and fruits,
together with daylight, we go
migrating to another city.

 

SELECTED AND TRANSLATED by  KAMALA BU - DEEB



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