Whenever freedom rains anywhere in the world,
Arab regimes rush to cover people with umbrellas,
fearing that they will “catch cold.”
Why do Arabs apparently cling to anything and everything?
Are they about to drown?
With everything around us cracking and collapsing,
Where lie the ruins?
Did they sell them already?
All face collapse;
all want to shore each other up.
Whenever two Arabs meet,
intelligence services make a third.
With your hands trembling,
you cannot hit any target.
Whatever sky they circle,
Arab clouds and Arab planes
war with each other, and their surroundings,
like all Arab communities on earth.
Martyrs fall on sidewalks,
While despots march in roads.
And any Arab unity
lies in mass graves.
When people have nearly ceased to believe,
their leaders have become the pious faithful!!
Translated from the Arabic by Noel Abdulahad
Mohammed al-Maghout wrote “The Compulsory Reasons” as an excerpt from the longer poem “Sayyaf al-Zuhur” (Flower Cutter), published by Dar al-Mada, Damascus, 2001
This poem appeared in Vol. 9, No. 44, Summer 2003.
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