A Letter from the Exile/ Mahmoud Said Kawash

A painful cry from a foreigner in the outland

Dedicated to the souls of my beloved parents

No No
I am not there,
No... I am not there,
Not anymore,
I was there,
Now I am here...
Here... in a revolting world,
Sad, gloomy,
Senseless, merciless,
And unloving

In a world drenched with frets,
Sorrows and boredom,
Choked by dullness,
Ample of monotony,
Aimless and hopeless,
With no beginning and no end,
Strident with cries,
And pain,
Drenched with grief

Now I am here,
In a world of cries,
A strange world,
Feeding from the earth,
Kissing the pebbles,
Spending long nights…
Playing my chords,
Contemplating the moon,
And barely closing my eyes

The nights of my foreignness are long,
Killing the daylight,
Filled with gloom
Cursing every grain of earth,
Cursing stones, trees, people

Before now, I was there,
On the hills of my village,
With my fellow men,
Uphill where the earth…
Held my glory, my breath
My splendour

I was in Mirun,
Where lie my origins,
My identity, my people,
My place of prayer…
Where my flock crawled

Before now, I was there,
Hopeful and joyful,
Singing gleefully,
Not knowing grief,
Or tears of pain,
Or cries or wails

Before now, I was there,
Ambitious and optimistic,
My path was long…
Embracing the echoes in the way,
Embracing my very roots,
With blissful yearns,
There was no sound…
But a lover’s beautiful hymn

Now I am here,
Not there anymore,
I am here…
Embracing my pillow,
Sleeping mournfully,
In a world not of my own,
A vast and wide world…
I wish it were smaller

I have no other choice…
But to embrace my pillow,
Lie in my bed,
Eat the soil, kiss the stones,
My mind and soul overwhelmed by shrieks…
They lower in tone,
And suddenly holler the voice of destiny

Now I am here, in the world of riches,
The world of the oppressors,
Where the music of shrilling drums pierces ears

Now I am here… here I am,
Though I will never ever,
Not in a million years,
Feed from the earth…
Nor kiss the stones…

In this fraud world,
Strange, odd,
That belittles the wise,
Uses the learned and clever,
And disheartens a lover.

Copenhagen 2011



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