(1949 - 1997)

1.  Prelude
2.  Infantia
3.  German Summer
4.  Berlin-Schönefeld
5.  Warnemünde
6.  Nienhagen
7.  Straußberg
8.  Berlin-Karolinenhof Fuchshaus
9.  Buckow
10. Leipzig
11. Großer Stechlinsee
12. Hiddensee
13. Der Darß
14. Güstrow - Barlach
15. Absolution

The following are excerpts from the poem.
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Your are lost in virtual terrain,
and I only have words
to send out
as recovery probes.

The slice of bread
you left untouched,
is a booby-trap.

Dressed in white,
on a halcyon summer day,
you loiter,
in a sunny marble hall,
towards a blind balcony.

Encased in stone,
your energy is sapped,
no flights, no leaf or branch;
your milk is wasted.

Banned under frosty sky,
You embark on a voyage in dark silk.

Within the destructible memory,
in a labyrinth of black winds,
you hear your body screaming.

A rush of light --
the blue sea,
a bright shore, peeping out
through apertures in the winds.

Flames collapse within flames --
The white night dawns;
Butterflies tear the net and escape;
your muted cry is fading --
matt silence on gray waters.



Berlin-Karolinenhof Fuchshaus

It survived bombardments
and perishable summers --

Unrevivable gramophone --
noises of gatherings and banquets.
Subdued voices during births.
Aroma of clothes and furniture.
Spiced cold air.
Voices, ensnared in the library,
and in nearby pine woods.

The market effervescence is over
and youth is spent.
Light expanding in clothes
fluttering in the wind.
Strawberries -- their last awakening.

Sitting close to your skin,
your hand takes refuge
in my horrified hand.
Love is relishable,
when destructive to itself.

Coffee-and-cake afternoons;
we transcended in persons
who went away with our fragments.
We lost track of the larger tribe.
A residue of joy remained
the resurrection of the Indian bamboo
after the rainy spring;
joy at its departure in autumn;
at our inoffensive negligence,
of birds deprived of cherries.

Pain in the morning --
impels flesh to procreation.

Pain of sleep --
of meaningful lunch,
of juice diluted with soda water.
Pain we adore and loathe,
our secure knowledge.



Shaded road --
poppies glowing
in the umbrage of garden shadows.

They return from their adventure
to spiced liqueurs in the country house;
wipe dust from cups and plates,
and exchange annual news.

We feed each other --
love is feeding.
Enveloped in dryness,
we long to be nowhere.




They dropped their tears
in the hermetically sealed skin of night;
and shoals of herring spawned in the sea.

Places never reveal their essence --
Caustic landscapes are they,
uncompromising if revisited;
A second stay, we now know,
is a last encounter.

Yet we have traveled so long
to distract our souls.
The sea is cold and the air is dark.
Here, glaciers left behind stones and sand;
bombers roared in the night,
and waves slapped the sky.

All these innocent things around,
the airmen, the sailors from inland harbours,
are splashes on the surface of the sea.


Anwar Al-Ghassani
November 1997- October 1998