A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
God passed away empty handed But with regret And like a sly boy Broke with his shoe the last dry loaf of bread. Oh god of dreams, Son of sleep and nights— Put your disability aside, And for one night only, before sheer death, Light up the candles of dreams. Water the flowers of departure To help the miserable to anticipate A better tomorrow… providing it is not Limited for one lone night. Break your routine lamp And prepare from clouds a bed For a hungry boy So he may forget death And the ugliness of our idleness. For a night Find for the consumed lover A wedding party. Carry her up to the sky As a bride in a dress Of rains and rainbows... And for one night only Kindle the star instead of logs To give the old man a blissful Warmth Before his last departure. *** Oh god of dreams... Swallow up, for one night, Our sadness! In the next morning, Are you sure you can resume Your holy position? *** Oh god of dreams You are like us— Helpless and cold!
Translated from the Arabic by Saleh Razzouk and Philip Terman. . Iman Chahine Sharba is a Syrian poet who lives in Salamiah. She is the mother of two children, has a degree in applied chemistry, and works for the National Hospital of Salamiah. Her latest collection is “Ishtar of Love and Fires.” Saleh Razzouk is an assistant professor at the University of Aleppo, Syria. He is a short story writer and his recent translations of contemporary Syrian poets have appeared in Poetry London, Crazy Horse, the Mid-American Review, Bitter Oleander, and The Laurel Review. Philip Terman is a poet and professor of literature at Clarion University, His recent book is Our Portion: New and Selected Poems published by Autumn House Press. . Translation copyright 2018 Saleh Razzouk and Philip Terman.