The Illusion

By Moayed al-Rawi

The home we used to live in had become a cave

     smells like garlic

     covered with lime and dirt

The wind that enters our home is humid

     sticks to the body

     and the water is putrid, stinks, full of  poisonous  bubbles.

That's what you said to me

     But my home is not the place

Where the grouse can take refuge

     there not only she dies but the soul too.

Thus we were expelled from our homes,

     from the house that glowed with life,

     dominated by mothers' love

We were driven by the rivers

    to their deep streams

We return to where we started, to the rock

     when the river lost control of its course

     to be crucified next to the spring.

We see the wind choked inside the well

     unable to find the shadow of a tree at noon

     seeking protection from heat

We had become pawns, manipulated by Satan

     driving us to suffering,

     filling our hands with burning sands in hot summer.

We are the angels

     deprived of light

     repressed,

     damned.

Our faces have wounds,

     injuries of old time

     showing the painful tattoos of many places

     we were forced to leave

     once and for ever.

Translated from the Arabic by Noel Abdulahad

Moayed al-Rawi is a prominent Iraqi author, essayist, poet who lives in Germany.

This poem appeared in Al Jadid, Vol. 10, no. 49 (Fall 2004)

Copyright (c) 2004 by Al Jadid


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