Hatif Janabi – Dawn’s Prayer

Hatif Janabi LEP&W Sept-Oct V2 2022

Download PDF Here Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two Sept-October 2022. 

Dawn’s Prayer, poems by Hatif Janabi.

These poems are translated from Arabic by Kahtan Mahboob Mandwee.

Dawn’s Prayer

Kissing at night the lip of the cup,
too hot of much holding,
they slept during the day and woke up at dusk.
The leaves of hope fell
over the scuttle wood.
From tugging and releasing,
the secrets glowed
after the embrace of the breast’s grape.
The fire cracking turned into susurration,
the voice into silence.
The spark itself was touched but unnoticed,
for it was an agony
at dawn’s prayer.

Iraq in 2021


I saw in my dreams
people exhausted from chest flogging.
When I awakened, I found the hands
beating my chest
with the chisel of destruction.
An insomniac eye, asthmatic lung, none-beating heart,
the sand covers the streets and the fields.
Cats and dogs search for shelter.
The politicians’ heads are saturated with sins.
The people, like gorbans, pray
to hasten the last episode of doom.


For twenty years, she dreamt of a wedding.
When the dreams’ knight arrived,
he melted like a glove of salt in water.
The river runs unusually slowly.
Then, the shining remnants of her cousin’s hidden saber
glittering on the waves’ surface.
Twenty candles were snuffed by the water.


He thought to be from the descendants of Babylon.
He laced the proverbs and the roaring speeches,
walking over a dangling rope, all his life.
Every so often he raises his voice rowdily:
“I am the summary of the past, the guardian of the imminent.”
The days passed rapidly; the storms dragged him down.
He had no obvious grave, but the passers-by often found his offspring,
urinating in a desolate place
with no more than a tombstone
on which a broken sentence was written:
“Here dwells the sacred clown.”

© Hatif Janabi

Poet Hatif Janabi is one of the most talented and admired contemporary Arab-Polish poets. His poetry celebrates man’s triumphs and defeats in a world of trials, tragedies, and absurdities. Through vivid metaphors, similes, and rare subject matters, the poet takes us into a magical and real journey, showing us the beauty of life, death, and nature represented by all its creatures. The poet fights, through his poems, for man’s liberty against tyranny, prejudice, and violence in all its forms.

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