A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
This is your country.
You know which wells you can climb down before nightfall,
Which wells will be dry even after the autumn rains,
Which wells have paintings on the sides of their inner walls
Of beautiful women,
The leaping bodies of wild animals,
The silhouettes of the moon and the sun when both are awake
In an overcast sky.
You know the names of the streets that are listed on no map,
Streets that the city surveyors do not even remember constructing,
The names of the streets that are the temples for children who have grown
Tired of their fathers’ wars.
You know which wind has been sent by Allah himself,
And which wind is the son of Scheherazade,
A small gem of a story meant to entertain the birds in the trees
And the clothes on the lines
In the gardens of mothers who dream of borderless lands
Where every house is a cathedral
That will never be desecrated by bomb or notice of eviction.
You know which men are but ghosts,
Their spirits still serenading the landscapes of cities that they laid down
Their lives for,
You know which men have long given up dreaming at nights,
You know which men hold in their hands the promise of tomorrows
That nobody need fear.
You deny being a mystic,
You deny being a seer of truths,
But I know which heart still beats inside of your chest,
And which one floats like a kite for the next generation to fly across a season
That will carry no threat in its changing of colors.
Copyright 2015 Kareem Tayyar. First published in Magic Carpet Poems (Tebot Bach)