Doug Anderson: After Mahmoud Darwish
How, in this tangle of wire and garbage
and the noise of Babylon with its
million horns can I talk to the moon
like a Bedouin leaning into the cold
on a desert night when the wind
has brightened the stars and only home
is God and the warm breasts of his wife
under the blankets, waiting for him,
listening to the camels grumble outside
and the wind tearing silk from the past?
Are there myths to be found in the television’s
identical blink in the apartment house windows
with everyone watching the same thing,
the end times spoken with a cap-toothed grin
by the fear peddlers. Is there spirit for them too?
What do they do when they head home at night?
Drink? And when it is time to dread dreams
take the pill that will send them into blackness
so that they wake full of a longing they can’t name
and frighten it away with the shaving mirror’s ice.
What myths do we have that comfort,
or at least make a frame for the suffering
that increases everywhere in the shadows
of the quartz towers, a frame gilded,
and filigreed with cherubs? Or stark and cold
to offset the alcoholic pink of the gaper’s cheeks?
What myth, and where is love in this,
beyond the predictable snort of those
whose hearts have become leathered
against their live center, that dies by the minute.
Copyright 2018 Doug Anderson
Good poem. That “snort” don’t work, but I like the strong images. Doug unfriended me years ago on Facebook for being mildly critical of one of his poetic efforts. He’s thin-skinned, able to dish it out but not take it.