Featured Poem

The End of Days


A snake with honey-coloured eyes survived and told what had happened:

In our burning fields, Yesterday drew me with the spittle of its mouth on a charred wall, like a blackboard in front of frightened pupils. Thus you saw in me the image of my father, throwing my last pennies into the fountain of death, then sewing the buttons of his oil-green coat in the furrows of mud where you had planted seeds, arranged in the form of words, and they grew and blossomed when light rained down warm as remorse, and again blood was made to flow on the palms of the earth. Canes grew high as poplars and we broke them to roof our refuge, and we jumped over our vein-streams to swim in our first sky. We fertilised our language with our debris. Mountains had become ripe heads for the fists of the sky and the slopes cheeks we ran down like melted ice, and at every point where the disappeared had fallen an unattainable flower sprang up, or a burning matchstick flickered before a schoolboy could close his mouth over it to put out the flame – as he hurries to do his homework on forgetting fear.

We will remember for a long time how we were before this harvest. Each of us will visit his own grave, carrying a whip on his shoulder, or behind his back a sickle or a knife. Time was a game. We bade farewell to our beds that had been smashed by our dreams. Gamblers offered us a moon that crumbled to dust at the touch of our fingers. Rats offered us their eyes as stars. Hunger blazed its suns behind our foreheads. Books we hadn’t read flittered down and landed on our ulcers. Great silences seeped through our bandages. No one uttered a word. The dots and signs with which we ended our lines leapt towards the words sca ered about them, and all meanings changed.

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About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Poet:
Golan Haji
Translator:
Golan Haji, Stephen Watts
Original language:
Arabic
Issue:
2017 Number 2 - A Blossom Shroud

About the author

Original poet

Golan Haji

GOLAN HAJI is a Syrian Kurdish poet and translator who currently lives in France. His most recent poetry collection Autumn Her...

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Translator

Golan Haji

GOLAN HAJI is a Syrian Kurdish poet and translator who currently lives in France. His most recent poetry collection Autumn Her...

» Read more
Stephen Watts

Translator

Stephen Watts

STEPHEN WATTS is a poet, translator and long-time contributor to MPT. He has recently co-translated Golan Haji’s A Tree Whose...

» Read more

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