A Vision

Saadi Youssef

This Iraq will reach the ends of the graveyard.
It will bury its sons in open country
Generation after generation,
And it will forgive its despot…
It will not be the Iraq that once held the name.
And the larks will not sing.
So walk – if you wish – a long time.
And call - if you wish - on all the world’s angels,
And all its demons.
Call on the bulls of Assyria
And the wetly gryphons…
Call them
And through the haze of phantoms
Watch for miracles to emerge
From clouds of incense.
- Amman, 1997
Translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa.
This poem appeared in Al Jadid Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 25, Fall 1998.
Copyright © 1998 AL JADID MAGAZINE