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What is this, your Baghdad - you ask me

(Remembering Ahlam)

In the thick of the night,
rough mechanics, death events,
were unexpected.

In the thick of the night,
emotions trickled away from stone,
there were no voyages to extreme planets,
each with its taste of matter and dust.

Crisp were the nights at that home
in “New Baghdad” of my now lost city.
In those nights, all motherly,
my hope for tomorrow’s meetings
with gentle people was ripped off.

I trampled a desire of the now distant girl.
But what if her offspring trap me
in their ambush and put a bullet in my head;
would that be customary execution

or children, unknowingly, killing their father?

Yielding to the dizzying rotation of her empty days,
she had me abandoned in an attic -
an ancient photo in sepia.


Anwar Al-Ghassani
Jacó, Saturday, February 7, 2004
------------------------------------------
* New Baghdad: a Baghdad suburb.


... In The Wonderful Summer Of My Sweet Berlin ...


Iraqi poets Anwar Al-Ghassani (l.) Mouayed Al-Rawi (r.), and Sargon Boulus (on the opposite side of the red table), at our favorite Café Sociale in Berlin. We have been friends since our teenage years in Kirkuk. The days of our recent meeting in Berlin (July-August 2007) were, as always when we meet, days of light and warmth, humor and laughter, and lively conversations, rich in intellectual substance, creative ideas, experience and knowledge. For me, it was wonderful and an honor to be with my dears Mouayed and Sargon, two warm and intelligent personalities, two great poets. With the passing of the years, the bond that emerged at physical and mythical Kirkuk has grown in strength. Our friendship has become finer, warmer, richer and more elegant, imbedded in affinity, harmony, affection, sympathy and respect. Few things in life are so joyous, beautiful, amusing, intense and serene as the days when we meet.
                                                                                                                           (Photos: S. Boulus & A. Al-Ghassani, Thursday, August 2, 2007)

Book Of Love And Veneration
(A Sample of Poems)
After writing the first few poems, this collection started
to have its own life, independent of me, the person who is writing it.
The collection will be "writing itself"
until it has some 40-50 poems around December 2007, four months from now.
That would be the point to finish this part 1 of this Book of Love And Veneration.
No power in the world, not even me, can stop this collection from reaching its final destination.
What happens after that? Will there be a Part 2 or a continuation? I don´t know.

A note of caution: these are drafts at different maturity stages.
You may encounter errors and some half-baked stuff. I am still working on them.

Writing & Editing Status: the collection was started on July 31, 2007, and will be completed around December 2007.

Publication Status: the collection will be published by BookSurge.com, an Amazon.com company, as book-on-demand.
Translation: no translation plans at this point in time.

Sequential Order of Poems: chronological.

Comments


Sample of Poems from the new collection "Book of Love and Veneration", currently in production process.

With these poems, I am wandering out of time and abandoning, at least temporarily, the so-called "Hyperpoetry" and "Hypepoetry". In my attempt to express love and veneration for a pristine being, I am adopting a more lineal approach and returning to archaic forms of prayers and hymns, particularly those of my Mesopotamian ancestors.

Prayer - 1: The Reward

Goddess! Your dawning face
is my recovered breath and horizon.
Shipwrecked and stranded,
I was in for a lifelong wait;
your appearance now
is reward and compensation
for my nightmarish life.

With refreshing decent look,
select perfume, faintly painted lips,
dark hair, pigmented orange and red,
you dashed into my landscape,
removed away dead tissue
and brought me fields and trees.

Irreversible, my attraction to you.
I am a star maneuvering to land on your island.

Oh, goddess, after ages of separation and loss,
since our pristine time, never lived through,
everything is now at hand, apparently effortlessly obtained,
yet, there it is, the trace of blood we left behind.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Flowing In The Tram

Casually dressed, unconcerned,
carefree in this world.
I am flowing in the tram,
flowing and flowing
on my way to meet friends.
As if in Kirkuk, decades ago,
my feet are light,
hitting the hot dust of the road.

Oh, I have changed.
But she is still here,
just over there, not faraway;
I shall reach the afternoon
and at the cozy café,
she will arrive.

Tomorrow is the separation.
But, ah, suppress this image
of you being led to execution.
Keep flowing, flowing, flowing in the tram.

She will leave and much later come again.
See, the sun is shining
on this valuable planet
whose probabilities keep us alive,
gaining, losing and re-gaining.
This macabre feast,
where plans are born and then decay.
She will come,
and carefree your days will again be;
keep flowing, then, flowing, flowing,
keep flowing in the tram.

Berlin, Saturday, August 04, 2007

Quasi Portrait

The descending semi-darkness
has a region of light.
It replaces the discourse and colors
of the dayís yesterday.

Binding the head with black
is disguising the day in its past.

All summer months are watery,
demanding evening presence.
But at what places and times?
At the originals,
not those of the risk taker.

Face and body are a memory
at an ancient seaside.
The cloth with the body inside
was brought from miles away
by the quarreling selves
.

Berlin, Sunday, August 5, 2007

Hermeneutics

When my soul saw you,
it sighted its abandoned home.
When my hands touched your hands,
they devoted themselves
to the creation of your garden.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Distance - 2


We are two fusing points in virtual space;
points, if separated, would vanish.
I have no recognition for distance,
the negation of our fusion.


Monday, August 06, 2007


Adventurers

We betted with our lives,
risked the outcome of contests.
We pledged our lives
on the markets of estranged cities.
We betted on total win or breakdown.

We have escaped with our lives.
Our next bet is not a gamble.
From now on, we shall only bet on each other.


Monday, August 06, 2007


Intermezzo

When you open your hand,
you perceive a spot of light.
That is me: the silence around you.

San José, Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Intense Brilliance

At the point of intense brilliance,
my mind is serene.
My discourse is eloquent and soft.
I am warmly secure.
My pain is absent.
My tomorrow is sunny.

I am ready for forty days of seclusion.
Time to imagine you, day and night,
until we are one in union.
Time to grow and be prepared
to deserve your inclination.

San José, Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Silent Stratum - 1

Within the noise of the world,
I enter the region of silence.
Not the region
where poor death has his realm,
but where elements ferment
to produce life, robust and composed.

I am blessed to witness the births
of all what someday would decay.
Blessed like the innocent sufferer
receiving his absolution,
the one who discovered in his soul
the love he had forgotten long ago.

San José, Monday, September 03, 2007

Silent Stratum - 2

The night and the stars have arrived
at this eroded bare landscape.
Here, concepts are fuzzy,
stripped of glory,
and time is neutral;
nothing can it subtract or add,
for the hand of All-Goodness
had delegated it to ultimate stop.
Nothing will happen
in this dark void,
no interaction and no event.

Only we carry light in our minds,
veneration for each other
and for this landscape, our final home.

San José, Monday, September 03, 2007


Silent Stratum - 3

I am lonely since your arrival.
Visible now is the abyss.

Your smile is pulling away the clouds;
It may even restore health.
Missing are your voice and words.

San Josť, Monday, September 03, 2007

 

Silent Stratum - 4

Silence might become
the language of next meeting.

The terrified soul.
Empty days
in closed drawers.

Life that fled,
left images, offset in gray.

Silence is breathing space
to retrieve us for each other.

Selves, lost in the past
are new love creators.

San Josť, Monday, September 10, 2007


Silent Stratum - 5

Processing words,
I maintain my soul joyous.

At sea, under clouds,
I distract myself from heavy duty,
and aspire to distant light.

Not all words, some
can retrieve your image.
Only select words
can draw your image
in my mind.

How can I recover your person?
Oh, I deny calamity,
and hope we relive our infancy.

San Josť, Monday, September 10, 2007

Remembering While Shrubs Flutter In The Wind - 1

Voice, today´s discovery
in the shadow region.
Like breaths, lives emerge and end.
Senseless beauty relating to death.

A reminiscence of you equals life.
You, donator, elegant, humble power,
equivalent to abstract tones;
resonance of your little feet,
wordless promise,
strolling under the sun.
It is you, doing the day´s work;
transcending in the thick of night
towards unexpected light.

San José, Friday, September 14, 2007

Remembering While Shrubs Flutter In The Wind - 2

I have your replica,
the calming eyes.
The scenery is changing,
always an orange light,
demanding hopefulness.
How can I,
avoiding the beast,
reach your hands?

I use up this hour and the next,
aspiring towards structures:
land, green, leaves and sea.

You are the sea at sea,
up in the clouds, and
down where water is brought into life.

I take you to the open land,
offer you branches,
oh, and images,
of people at feasts,
out in neighbouring field.
There, we are minds in high definition,
prepared to consume our mutual inclination.

San José, Monday, September 17, 2007

The Voice - 1

Alas! No recording of the ancient event.
Hazy history of your voice at the first hour;
no way to retrieve me in the neighbourhood
of your voice along the years
until this instant of vibration,
expansion like water waves,
invisible yet present, co-traveler,
your voice, in trains of the past,
and now in a bus, an errant ship,
at a mini ocean, Braunschweig,
city of broad avenues where your voice is adopted
by the sun, maker of openings, spaces and clean buildings,
giving pretext to the trees to excel and shine.
No tears, no, those were of the darkness,
as we were still in the cold.
With futuristic urge and musicality of words
and air waves being converted to emotions
in our cozy space, your voice, your and my creator,
in the certainty of this stable city,
follows its trajectory to unite our hands.
It expels the torturers as it rejuvenates itself,
replicating all bygone times anew.
I call all lips, eyes and hands
to glorify your voice, reflector of its own brilliance
upon itself, to stay limitlessly juvenile.

San Josť, Wednesday, September 19, 2007

(Poems from the new collection "Book of Love and Veneration")

Comments


My Current Music Hype: Muhammad Abdul Mutalib

Right now, sitting at a Cafe with WLAN connection, in Berlin, in this unusual Berlin summer, I am living through a wonderful music hype with some classics of popular Egyptian music.
I have just downloaded and I am listening to a masterpiece by Muhammad Abdul Mutalib, "Sakin Fi Hay el-Sayyeda" (Living at el-Sayyeda Neighbourhood) - a popular neighbourhood of Cairo.

Want to listen? Click here.


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