Adonis Diaries

“Trailing a butterfly”: late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish

Posted on: August 2, 2016

“Trailing a butterfly” by late Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish (Part 3, December 30, 2008)

Routine in Gaza

Low atmospheric pressure; a north-western wind; rain drops, and a wrinkled gray sea is the background.  Autumn clouds (a euphemism, symbolic term for coming massacres);

30 fallen martyrs today in north Gaza. Two women died in a demonstration demanding their share of rights.

Autumn clouds on a clear sunny day destroyed an entire family of 17 members under the debris of their home.  This unusual life is pretty much routine in Gaza.

People can still wish a good morning if they survived a fighter jet bomb: They resume their routine of burying the martyrs.

The people in Gaza are never sure to return to a standing home as the tanks and bulldozers surround the area. People of Gaza wish to be foxes to have safe heaven in grottos but there are none.

We are asking that the devils agree for a short truth to bury the dead.

(Gaza is surrounded by unfriendly States of Israel and Egypt of Mubarak)

A rifle and a “kafane” (shroud)

“Nobody will defeat me; I will not subdue anyone” said a masked security man.  He fired his gun into air and said “the bullet will zoom in on its enemy”.

The masked man is jobless and on a rampage for his private war:  There is no peace to defend and die for.

The man with the rifle was hungry; he fired one more (rashak) in the air hoping that a clump of grapes from heaven would fall to him.

If peace is an interlude between two wars, the dead should have the right to vote: they would certainly vote for an Army General as leader.

(Most of Israel’s PMs are Army Generals)

If we wanted

We will be a people, if we want, when we realize that we are no angels, that evil is not the specialty of the “others”.

We will become a people when we desist of saying a prayer to the “Sacred Nation”, everytime a poor fellow finds something to eat for supper.

We will become a people when we can curse the Sultan and the valet of the Sultan without retribution;

When we forget what the tribe has ordered; when little details are appreciated and valued.

We can be a people when the police protect whores being beaten on the streets; when mixed marriage is a civil law.

We will be a people when we respect the just, the right, and the error, and the wrong.

The law of fear

The killer looks at the ghost of the murdered, not in his eyes, without remorse.  He tells the mobs “Do not blame me: I was just scared

A few interpreted the sentence as the right to kill in self-defense.  A few shared their opinions saying “Justice is the overflow of the generosity of power”. 

Others said “Wouldn’t this murdered individual have a name in other nations?”

The mob paid their condolence to the killer but when a foreigner wondered “But what is the reason for killing a baby?”

The mob replied “Because one day this baby will grow up and then we will fear him”

But why kill the mother?  The mob said “Because she will raise a memory“.

The mob shouted in unison “Fear and not justice is the foundation for authority

Over my heart I walked (The poet had serious heart ailment)

As if my heart is a road, a street pavement, or air;

I walked over my heart.

My heart said to me: “Your question is tiring me; where to go when there is no land, no sky, and you always obey me”

I replied “Revolt against me, run, run; there is nothing behind us but the past“.

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