Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘poem

This Stranger in the coffin

“The Stranger”. Poem by late Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish

This person was a stranger to me

I had no idea what she could have done before
I saw a coffin, people in mourning
I walked with her, (the masses of mourners?)
Her head low, in an important respect attitude
She was walking ahead of me.
I found no opportunity to ask her my well-composed questions
“Who is in the coffin? How this late person died? How it lived?”
Of the many ways people died from,
I can vouch for one that I experienced
“Living badly”
Note: The mourners have been strangers in Palestine since 1948, the establishment of colonial implant of Israel

Take off your cloths, I have to talk to You

“Toutes les lettres d’amour sont ridicules”

Note:  Attached a video in 3 languages, including Portuguese (superbement) par Maria de Medeiros

By Gerard Dappelo, Feb, 15, 2018

Elles ne seraient pas des lettres d’amour si elles n’étaient pas Ridicules.
Moi aussi en mon temps j’ai écrit des lettres d’amour,
Comme les autres Ridicules.
Les lettres d’amour, si amour il y a,
Sont fatalement Ridicules.
Mais, tout bien compté,
Il n’y a guère que ceux qui jamais N’ont écrit de lettres d’amour
Qui sont Ridicules.
Ah, retrouver le temps où j’écrivais
A mon insu Des lettres d’amour
Ridicules …
La vérité c’est qu’aujourd’hui
Ce sont mes souvenirs
De ces lettres d’amour
Qui sont Ridicules.
(Tous les mots malaisément accentués, (proparoxytoniques*)
Comme les sentiments excessivement singuliers (paroxystiques)
Sont naturellement Ridicules.)
Álvaro de Campos, in “Poemas” . Hétéronyme de Fernando Pessoa

Sur Internet, il est facile de trouver des modèles tout prêts de lettres d’amour

Naturellement, elles sont ridicules. Parfois très ridicules !
Trois extraits :

En te voyant, mon cœur s’est emballé comme un moteur de course…

  • De t’avoir touché, mes mains tremblent comme des ailes de papillon de nuit dans la brise du soir…
  • Ma respiration est coupée, j’étouffe, je meurs, j’agonise. Un mot de toi et je ressuscite…

De beaux SMS anonymes sur le compte Instagram “Amours solitaires”

  • Si tu savais à quel point je t’aime, tu t’enfuirais
  • Déshabille-toi, j’ai à te parler.

Didn’t George looked like you?

George Floyd #

René Philombe wrote in 1977.

The man who looks like you,

.. Why ask me
If I’m from Africa
If I’m from America
If I’m from Asia
If I’m from Europe

Why ask me
The length of my nose
The thickness of my mouth
The color of my skin
What about the name of my gods?

I’m not black
I’m not a red one
I’m not a white man
I’m not a yellow

Because I am a man
The man of all heaven
The man of all time
The man who looks like you!

I liked my relatives, us

I Like Nous (Written on Nov. 2002)

I need nous (“we” in French), of yesteryears,

Together, an extended family.

Living close to one another

And hopping on a bus for a tour of Lebanon

At a moment notice,

 

I liked nous, children and growing up.

Way before we became professionals,

Married with children

Scattered in the five corners of the world.

 

I am cozy within my new nous;

Of a newer generation:

A very restricted family

Of a new generation who abhors extended families.

 

A new generation who gets busy when called upon to be visited

By an older generation.

Some hide in the attic finishing a much delayed project

A few are locked in the computer room,

Riveted to a stupid monitor.

 

I woke up at 4 am in the morning, read a book for an hour

And I went back to bed.

 

I’m now dreaming.

I read the title of this poem and its first “stanza in my dream.

I remember in my dream, the four of us cousins sitting around a table,

Jihad, Hassib, Nassif and I.

 

It was morning in a well lit room, pretty untidy;

I think we were sitting in the kitchen.

Jihad was reading a newspaper, sipping his cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette.

Hassib was at the other side of the rectangular white table, a pipe helping his readings.

He was restless, acting unperturbed, aloof, and English.

Nassif was cheerful, carefree, not self-centered, an uncharacteristic Nassif.

Nassif is reading in silence, on a white napkin, a piece of poem.

 

A napkin like the one used in Pizza Huts.

Nassif might have guessed the poem was meant to Hassib and written by me.

Nassif handed Hassib the poem who faked to be unconcerned.

 

While I was chatting with Nassif, the “English” surreptitiously read the poem and sets it aside.

Nassif is flipping through reams of computer pages,

Printouts we used ages ago, computer statements inputted on punch cards.

 

Nassif says “This is beautiful” and let me read a few scribbled lines

On one greenish printout.

I said “This is my handwriting. I don’t remember having written these lines”.

 

I was reading the title and the first stanza.

I woke up from my dream.

A sweet dream, sweet nous, of now grown ups.

Note:

Barely meeting altogether, or part of us, once every decades.

Even those living in the same town, we barely meet or visit,

Even before the covid-19 confinement.

During this pandemics, we installed a Whatsapp group to connect every day.

Pretty soon, all overseas cousins disconnected.

 

As I say: the past is a phase to grow up, Not to dwell upon.

You moved forward, keep moving onward.

Just hold your thoughts a few seconds

Once I sneak into your consciousness.

Oh c’mon, where’s your Compassion?

Note: Re-edit of “A Gentle Touch. (Written in 1997 and posted on September 20, 2008)

A Gentle Touch (1997)

Prettier than white dust

You shall never be.

Uglier than a skeleton

You can never be.

 

Toward the scared souls, scared of death,

Scared in living,

Let your stretched hand

Be gentler, your voice softer.

Funny Bliss (1998)

      Twain is a funny guy.

He was frustrated, at fourteen, with his father’s ignorance.

At twenty, how dumb struck he felt

That his father could be such a quick learner.

 

I was thirteen and I wrote in my essay:

“What do I know?” (Que sais-je?”

My old French Jesuit teacher loved it.

He said the French essayist Montaigne used it.

 

At fifty, I said:

I feel I know nothing”.

My thirteen year old niece skewered her eyes and mumbled:

“I am embarrassed, what a loser!”

What are you worried about Becky-Sue?

Becky-Sue (1998)

1.   Are you worried Becky-Sue about the asteroids?

One of them slamming earth any time soon?

I’m not worried.  I’ll still be around.

 

Breathing or not,

Above or underground,

Mostly under for added protection.

2.   Are you worried Becky-Sue of Earthquakes,

Volcanoes, El Nino, tornadoes, tidal waves, ozone depletion?

I’m not worried.  They tend to visit my neighbors.

 

I see them on the TV screen when the President or his Vice

Hovers in choppers

Over the devastated areas.

3.   I am somewhat worried about the toxins

Created by Man, about radioactive materials

Dumped in my backyard.

 

But I already outlived my ancestors

Way before Man meddled with Nature.

4.   I am surely worried, Becky-Sue, of the forced issues:

Women shortening the periods of breastfeeding,

Child rearing age, post pregnancy recovery

 

Because promotion at work matters,

Because equality with the stupid man matters.

5.   We are what we are

Because mothers made the human specie

Grow and stay alive, against all odds, wars and calamities.

 

Because mothers stayed and gathered moss

While men wandered, rolled and rumbled.

6.   Are you worried, Becky-Sue?

I really don’t know you:

Take me to the movie, tonight.

I have no qualms, unless

 

Have No Qualms (2001)

1.   You have no respect for me:

I am poor.  I have no qualms.

 

You find no charms in me:

I am a boor. I have no qualms.

 

You believe I’m slow in the mind:

I am doing my best.  I have no qualms.

 

You think that I’m a loser:

Show me a genuine smile, please.  I have no qualms.

 

2.   You rob my people of their wealth,

You leave them homeless and impoverished,

I have a qualm.

 

You deprive my people of their rights to choices,

To reach the best they can be,

I have a qualm.

 

You trample on my people’s liberties,

To fight, to reclaim their humanity,

I have a qualm.

 

You spread poisonous prejudices of my people,

Though they are as good as your prejudices

I have a qualm.  I do.  I do.

What about your Present, the Moment?

Note: Re-edit of “Grab the Moment. (Written in 2001 and posted on July 1, 2016″

Grab the Moment (2001)

Work hard and day dream hard.

Study hard and sleep hard.

Enjoy the moment harder and harder.

 

What is done mildly is a waste of time.

If nothing for everything,

You drank life to the fullest.

 

If something from nothing,

“Whatever is” is nothing.

Swimming with Rachel

Note: Re-edit  of “Rachel of Bethesda: Introspection. Written in 2002 and posted in March 18, 2009

Addendum # 10 of my autobiography 

Rachel’s Sixth Sense (Nov. 2002)

I used to swim at a Navy complex in Bethesda, Montgomery County, from 1993 to 1998.

I patronized this affordable facility at least three times a week, mostly around 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

She was a beauty by any standard. I think she was a cadet in the Navy, following swimming training and evaluation.

I wanted to get to know her, but could not talk to her during her busy swimming schedule.

I wrote her a song and kept a copy with me for the next time I see her.

Here is the song: 

Beautiful girls sense me.  They know for sure,

Exactly, what I’m up to.

They sense me in a split-second and get busy.

She swims with energy, non-stop.

She swims fine, back strokes, crawl, in laps.

I do all that too, leisurely.

She swims constantly and does not breathe.

  I have strong senses too:

She is not taking a break.  Not Today.

I decide for a note, dropped on her towel.

It should say: “I think you are beautiful”.

Everything I see in you is beautiful”.

I feel more at ease and then, hope takes the extra step.

She must take a short break, any second now.

My brain is boiling and I am editing.

My sentence should be reduced to the bare essentials.

“I think you are beautiful, everything I see in you is beautiful” is too long:

No time for her to hear me out.

Just “Beautiful!” will not do: I know that by now.

“You are beautiful!” is about right.

I am swimming leisurely.  There is no movement around me.

There is no towel.  She vanished.

Hang it all.  I’ll write about that swim.

The next time I saw her in the swimming pool I made sure that she saw me drop a piece of paper on her towel.  And I left.

A week later, I asked her: “What’s your name?”  She simply said: “It’s Rachel and I’m dating”.

That was all that was said between us.  Not even a thank you or an allusion to the note.

History repeats its cycle. All I can ever get is the first name.

Rachel’s girl friends in the swimming team started to notice me intently, every time I was there, swimming, and swimming.

A personal poem is a big deal, no matter how you denigrate it publicly.


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