Adonis Diaries

Archive for August 19th, 2020

Gilgamesh confronting the Storm

This mythic Face Off 

These Face off have been going on since antiquity in our region

Important note: This is a liberal translation of an epic poem by late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout.

It was written over 30 years ago; way before Desert Storm on Iraq in 1991, as if a premonition.

And No, the Eagle does not represent a symbol to any State or tribe, religion, or any culture.

Excellent poets perceive invariants in human history and rephrase them in indelible images.

 

Epic story of Storm attacking Old Eagle

Waiting for the storm to hit

How could anyone cope with a storm?

What could you do in a desert storm?

 

Where is the storm?

It is on the horizon, hesitating;

A tramp at the hotel entrance.

 

Old eagle, maybe the last of his species,

Lonely, quiet, waiting for the storm;

A chauffeur waiting for his master.

 

Old eagle is tired of tasting occasional serene clouds;

An old chef tasting the remains of a banquet.

 

Queen storm is taking her time in front of the mirror.

Old eagle is ready to chase out the storm up front.

 

What could he do with a worn out beak?

A Decrepit beak and deformed from frequent shattering to pieces on rocks.

How could old eagle hurry to meet the storm?

A tottering bicycle crossing river bed?

 

For years, the white feathers of Eagle have been dirty;

Dirtier than an old waiter’s apron.

 

A gentle breeze nudging old eagle from rock to rock,

From plain to plain;

A bored old soldier in a camp

Anxious for his last battle, confronting a fly.

 

A soothing breeze floated over old eagle;

He fluttered, a youth touched by the first girl.

Old eagle heaves a sigh; he is reminiscing youth

 

Strong wings spanning the valley, glittering with sweat.

Tiny birds, out of breath, trailing valiantly behind,

Mobs running after the King’s horse,

 

Chants hoarse, hallelujah feeble.

Old eagle is dozing, in the scorching sun;

Epoch stretching out.

 

Suddenly, the universe blackened;

The world is still;

So still that the silence created religions out of fear;

 

Old eagle’s tail is waving.

Old eagle is hopping in circle;

A baby lamb welcoming its mother.

 

The storm thundered and hastened;

An ice skater showing off.

 

Old eagle is whispering an old victory song;

An eagle fallen off mountain tops,

A bride with no pendants and no cries.

 

Old eagle opened his old beak and retreated

In respect of his old master and teacher.

 

Old eagle is spinning amid his broken plumes,

His shouts clacking like rifle bullets

A mass of blood proudly lecturing

On the art of thirsting and ripping apart enemies.

 

The storm danced around old eagle and sneaked away.

Old eagle is mad; he is jumping cat-like;

A frightened baby stumbling for the door knob;

A drunkard coming back in the bar

Kicked out a hundred times and coming back.

 

Old eagle is wailing like a baby.

The storm lost steam on the sea-shore,

Medals and crowns scattered.

The bludgeoned face of a boxer;

A drunk washing his face.

 

Mighty storm is aching:

It recollects that a tiny creature fought to death.

Mighty storm is sprawled on the beach:

A monstrous tent shrinking to a headgear;

Tears dropping in eagle’s shape.

Note: After approving another half a dozen of my poems I sent this unpoetic voice site the following poem: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/puny-avatar-why-in-the-name-of-god/

It was approved and then immediately the site “suspended” me without providing reasons.

It is to be noted that the site never presented any constraints beforehand for joining or the kind of poems “satisfactory” to their “ideology”.

 

What are your strongest Passions?

There are passions and passions: There are induced passions, cultured passions, strong individual passions…

There are the “power to be” kinds of strong passions, and there are abstract passions that ideologies, religions, and customs would like you to incarnate for a “homogeneous community stability“.

All those institutions want to select for you the kinds of passions that are appropriate to your well being and development.

Our individual strong passions might change with age, lack of opportunities, energy deficiencies, and unplanned decisions.

Our strong passions that are the trademark of our successes and passion for life might be buried under less powerful passions, to satisfy our need to fitting within a community.

Most probably, periods of depressions, feeling of failure, and a life wasted could be the consequences of unhealthy behaviors of supposedly tamed strong passions that we failed to take full advantage of their beneficial potency, or buried deep during childhood.

Individual strong passions  do not ask why they exist, you don’t need to answer why;.

Otherwise, it is not in the category of strong passions.

Passion asks how and what.

it is  NOT a general notion but a very specific want.  It is not “I want to make plenty of money” but how I want to generate plenty of money.

It is not “I want a villa” but what kind of a villa, the design of particular rooms, kitchen, or garden.

It is not “I want a car” but details of your dream car.

It is not “I want to buy things” but exactly the product that you dreamed to own.

A strong passion is feasible but hardly attainable:  there are particular details that always have to be taken care of, to be redesigned, to be changed.

It is not “I want to be an architect” but what I want that is different in this world, which is compatible with my outlook.

An individual strong passion is NOT an abstract concept of equality, freedom, or justice. It is my individual concept and detailed program to bring about those concepts.

It is not “I want to get married” but the special wedding dress I have in mind, the special ceremony I want to organize.

It is not “I want to have kids” but the special method for upbringing.

A strong passion is hard work that constantly re-designs the minute details that strongly fit my passion of the moment.

I believe that personal reflection is the best alternative for discovering a set of values (most compatible with our strongest passions) to guide our behavior.

However, there are many obstacles for any individual to access his own “ideology” of life.

First, the school system, family upbringing, community customs and traditions are as many diverse implicit ideologies that an individual has to comprehend and sort out.

Second, it presupposes that an individual has reached enough maturity to believe that his reflections can affect the course of events.

Third, it presupposes that the governing institutional systems care about individual opinions and demands, and are ready to examine them seriously.

Fourth, it presupposes that the individual has enough will, energy, education, and perseverance to discover his own set of values and ideological system.

In many moments in life we asked “what is the meaning and purpose in life?”

How about we start from the obvious?

We are a bunch of jumbled passions that drive our life and we ache to re-order our passions and discover the strongest passions that mean most to us.

We want to be discriminated as an individual, not on physical traits but as thinking reflecting persons that have distinct set of passions that we managed to prioritize.

We finally think that we know who we are and what drove our life. Just a wish belief, an illusion, but Not accurate

We want to be at peace with our soul and spirit.

It is no business of anyone if I believe in a God: I reserve mine. All for myself

Have your Gods. One and only or multiple. 

Let the people who need to re-read the Old Books for stories, which are actually happening everyday and everywhere, do what they please: I prefer to read fresh versions, rooted in the current realities.

Truth , or the illusion of it, is uncovered by getting engaged in the reality, with all its miseries, injustices, indignities…

Let people who feel this urge to continually re-interpret the outdated and obsolete notions in Old Books, abstract notions that you’ll never be able to experiment with and that you’ll never comprehend, do what they please: I have this one life to experiment with and a rich reality to investigate, at my reach everyday

The live-forces in society have challenges to tackle, and difficulties to prosecute, while still healthy and full of energy and curiosity…

Fictional abstract notions of the after-life are for the weak-minded and those witnessing serious degradation in their health and mind power…

The live-forces in society need to:

1. Confront injustices on all fronts: Elite rich classes of exploiters, dictators and oligarchies, totalitarian regimes, absolute monarchies…

2. Demand and capture their rights, civil, political, and human dignity…Free preventive health care, retirements, educations, opportunities to all…

3. Shoulder their responsibilities to the common good of communities…

4. Keep practicing their talents and skills that they invested countless time and energy to acquire and enjoy…

5. Keep acquiring comprehensive knowledge in order to make sense of books and be able to write interesting books…

6. Get engaged in social and political laws processes and ensuring transitions to government systems that guarantee free speech, free expression of opinions, free gathering…All the requirements of a Renaissance Age…

This is a one-life shot, and I want to live it. And I want to live what I desire in the living.

Complications, complications…a long string of imaginary complications.

Life is so simple though.

You are born by the fluke of an impossible series of events.

You get to survive to be 5 year-old, a miracle 7 decades ago even in developed nations.

Your mother survived your birth, a miracle 6 decades ago in developed States, after giving birth to half a dozen of “unlucky” babies who didn’t make it among the living…

A couple of suckers of parents think they ought to sacrifice their lives to take care of this “happy happening“, way until he reaches over 50 years, on account that a baby is a baby as long as he looks chubby, roundish, and healthy.

And the parents die.

And you wait the long life expectancy statistics to come true.

And other persons, not your parents, are changing your diapers and cursing: “What’s this piece of shit they threw my way to tend to?

They are exploiting my energy and hard work for naught: For negative results in performance, degeneration by the day…” (Fortunately, you are almost deaf, and if you did hear anything, you are in no position to confront the nurse “argument”)

The result of medications that extend life and destroy its quality

Not an elegant return of the cycle to childhood, by any long shot, with the permanent infirmity you are in…

And ultimately, fodder to worms. And “dust to dust…” and ultimately to boson, this utra tiny particle?

And you say: “How could you be engaged in the common good, if your outlook to life is so down right gloomy?”

And I reply: “A pragmatic demonstration for my respect of other people’s opinions, contrary to mine, in the notion and possibilities in the after life…”?


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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