Mohamed Miloud Gharrafi – Look how it flies

Miloud Gharrafi LEP&W Sept-Oct V2 2022

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

Look how it flies, poem by Mohamed Miloud Gharrafi

These poems are translated from French by Evelyne Got.


Look how it flies

« Have it repaired »: my mother said to me.
I took it to the shoemakers. He stitched both sides and proudly hit one nail into the heel, another one into the sole. He was polishing it saying to me: «you will go away and it will remain at the height of its glory”. You won’t run any risk if you walk in water wearing it.
It would be wasted were you not proud of it. Hit the ground at will in a gipsy dance, raise dust while dancing a regadda, walk on stones, on flagstones. It won’t wear out. Look I can twist as I like, it does not break. See how it flies (than he threw it up to the ceiling).
You now? Its secret does not lie in its leather or its heel. It lies in the step. Between the arteries of the earth and the veins of the foot. The secret lies in what you make of it. Wearing it is not enough. It will sometimes pride itself on your wearing it through thorns and embers for you to grasp the secret of the rotation of the earth as well as the one of the passing of the scream into spaces beyond the realm of words. At times, place your shoe close to your head. As close to your head as you can. You will hear all the torment of the earth, the scream of the Assyrians, the burning–hot asphalt, the breath of the dead, and the horror of the phosphoric night. Then place it near your hand, son, and see how it flies. See how it does fly!

* Reggada: traditional dance performed in the East of Morocco.


© Mohamed Miloud Gharrafi

Mohamed Miloud Gharrafi was born in Berkane (the North of Morocco) in 1966. He lives in France since 1990. He published three collections: burns of passion (Morocco, 2002), I chew it like black chewing gum (France/Morocco, 2009) and I don’t associate anyone with my loneliness (Cairo, 2014).

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