The Compulsory Reasons

Mohammed al-Maghout

Whenever freedom rained down anywhere in the world,
Arab regimes rush out to cover their people with umbrellas,
fearing that they would "catch cold."

Why would the Arabs appear to cling to everything and anything?
Are they about to drown?

Everything around us is cracking and collapsing.
Where are the ruins?
Did they sell them already?

All are collapsing,
and all want to shore up each other.

Whenever two Arabs meet,
intelligence services make a third.

With your hands trembling,
you cannot hit any target.

Whatever sky they circle,
the Arab clouds and the Arab planes
war with each other and their surroundings,
like all Arab communities on earth.

Martyrs fall on the sidewalks,
while the despots march in the roads

And any Arab unity
lies in the mass graves.

When the people have nearly ceased to believe in anything,
their leaders have become the pious faithful!!

This Poem appeared in Al Jadid Vol. 9 Issue no. 44 (Summer 2003)
Translated from the Arabic by the late Noel Abdulahad

"The Compulsory Reasons" is an excerpt from a longer poem by Mohammed al-Maghout in '”Sayyaf al-zuhur”  (Flower Cutter), published by Dar al-Mada, Damascus, 2001


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