Adonis Diaries

Trailing a butterfly by Mahmoud Darwish. Part 2

Posted on: August 3, 2016

Trailing a butterfly by Mahmoud Darwish (Part 2, December 30, 2008)

Hope is neither matter nor a concept. It is a talent

What…Why all that?

He is walking alone, having a short discussion with himself.  He is uttering words that are not meant to mean anything “What… Why is all that?”

He does not mean to complain or even to inquire; the nonsense sentence is not meant to starting a tempo that could aid for a youthful walk.

As he repeats “What…Why all that” he feels that he is in company.  The passerby does not believe that he is a lunatic; he is probably a poet receiving revelations from Satan.

He didn’t know why he recalled Genghis Khan; maybe he saw a white horse without a saddle, flying over a destroyed building in the valley.

An old man was pissing by an eucalyptus tree; the ascending young girls from the valley laughed at him and threw pistachios at him.

Two strangers

He looks up and sees a shining star.  He looks down and sees his grave in the valley.

He looks at a beautiful woman who does not notice him.  He looks in the mirror and a stranger looking like him is reflected to him

We arrived late

There is a precarious stage we label “maturity”; we are neither optimist nor pessimist.

We are past passion, longing, and recalling the opposite names of things.

We are too confused between forms and contents.

We acquired the habit of pondering before speaking.  We adopted the style of physicians inspecting a wound.

We try to remember the past and wonder “How many mistakes have we committed? Have we reached wisdom a tad late?”

We are not sure from where the wind is blowing; what is the benefit if someone is still waiting for us by the foot of the mountain to share a prayer for our safe journey?

We are neither optimist nor pessimist; just a tad late.

We wish the lad was a tree

An ancient poet said “I wished the lad was a rock”.  It would have been more appropriate if he wished the lad to be a tree.

A big tree cares for the smaller one; it prolongs its shadow and sends a bird, now and then, to keep company.

No tree violates its neighboring tree, and never mocks it if it does not bear fruit.

When a tree is transformed into a boat it learns to swim; when shaped in a door it keeps the secrets, when a desk it teaches the poet never to become a logger.

A tree stands respectful to passersby; it bends lightly with majesty to the winds.  I wish the lad was a tree.

The talent of hope

Whenever he thought of hope he felt tired and bored. He invented a tricky illusion and said “Now, how can I measure a mirage?”

He rummaged through his documents and dusty files of who he was before his invention.

He could not find any copy where he might have noted down, events of fast beating heart and carelessness.

He could not find a trace of standing in the rain for no reason.

Each time he thinks of hope the distance widens between a heavy body and a heart inflicted with wisdom.

He opened a window and saw two cats playing with a puppy dog.  He said: “hope is not the opposite of abjectness; maybe it is faith in a God who is careless; a God who let us rely on our individual talents to pierce through the cloud.”

He said : “Hope is neither matter nor a concept. It is a talent”.

He swallowed a pill for blood pressure; he forgot to query Hope…he felt some kind of happiness of unknown source.

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