Samir Darwish – Something is changing

Darwish LE Arabic Poetry September 2023

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Live Encounters Arab Poets in Translation August 2023

Something is changing, poems by Samir Darwish.

Something is changing

It is not possible for a poem to be exposed to a foreign poet
No matter how crowded with rhetoric
The poet wants a white woman
Average size
Who has two light nipples on a rounded breast
Like two unripe oranges
And abundant black grass in the wellspring of life..

This is what I told the trees that foliate
-Every new morning-
As if they had never stripped before
As if they did not reveal its branches for the winter in its fullness!
I was jogging
As if I want to plunge into my loneliness again
Or… as if I do not want to feel tired
And I do not want old memories to attack me
Of a white woman
With a breast balled up like two oranges!

No poem can give a lonely poet
A running yard
As if he is testing his virility
He wears athletic shoes and puts in his ears
An old romantic song by Umm Kulthum
Or a popular song by Fayrouz
That do not remind him of his white woman
Who tends to the modern singing bands
And jazz.

The streets are the same, my friend
(Wide, straight and very cold)
The houses are short, mostly white
They have sloping roofs so that the rain does not settle on Them

The rain..
That eagerly wash the bare branches
Before they overlook it and foliate
For a lonely poet to feel
-Who writes a poem full of rhetoric-
That something is changing around him!

Granite god

I am weak…
Like a granite mountain that stands alone in the desert
He looks carefully at the birds with their colors
And the ability of their small bodies to form
And fly
Without being able to touch it
The moment the lava ignites in his hollow!

I am weak..
I left my weapons in a side café
-In “Mohamed Mahmoud” Street-
With an orange facade
A coffee shop frequented by unruly lovers
And lovers of reading and philosophizing
And the pure laughers
Reveal breasts like colorful birds
Who fly smoothly in the desert
Where a lonely granite mountain stands!

Yesterday I was alone too
I watch the intestinal contractions gradually subside
And I say to myself:
What does a lonely man need from a shrinking intestine
And he does not sleep in the lap of a bamboo-bodied woman
Who used to sit in cafes with him
Especially the one secluded in “Muhammad Mahmoud” Street
With its orange facade
And breasts that laugh like birds?

I am weak as granite
Like a god made a universe..
And sat behind a screen watching it!

Weed loyal!

I spray the weed around my solitary home with devotion
As if I would carry it with me
To my grave, which I see soon
As if standing at the crossroads of our street
With the main street
That a fast train passes by
And I never thought of riding it…

There are eyes watching me from behind the windows:
A young girl and a lonely boy
Perhaps they wonder that an old man
Sprays the weeds diligently
As if he would carry them to his grave
And they may take a look into the future
When they are over sixty
With heart, arteries
And the digestive system diseases !

Our neighbor is old and lonely too
But I never see her spraying her weed
Although it is always mellow!
And the fifties fat white neighbor in front of us
Complains of premature aging
Although he lives alone with his mother
And he visits his girl daily to make love
Our neighbor is without work
And his mysterious girl urges him to lose weight.

Few pedestrians in this quiet street
On whose corner a train passes
In the suburb far from the crowds
A few girls and a few boys pass by
Every few hours one or more
Exercise their dogs and listen to music
And old women likewise
Whose arms are too white
And are not very flabby…
They smile at me delicately when I spray my weed with devotion.
-Also, the girl who exercises her dog in my backyard- smiles
They may whisper to themselves:
This old man is always alone
He does not have a dog to exercise it
But he is friendly and loyal to the weed!

Why am I happy when I spray the weed with devotion,
Perhaps because I get a chance to think
On past events
And because virtual sweethearts are waiting
To finish with my weed and devote myself to them
And perhaps to send a message to watchful eyes
That I do not think of the grave
Even if it is as close as they imagine!

© Samir Darwish

Samir Darwish (1960) is an Egyptian poet, recently, residing in New York, USA. He worked in several leadership positions in Egyptian and Arab culture, governmental and semi-governmental. He was the editor-in-chief of the “New Culture” magazine, published by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture for four years. He founded and the editor-in-chief of the “Merit Cultural” magazine, the monthly electronic magazine published by Dar Merit Publishing in Cairo, from January 2019 until now. He has published (19) collections of poetry and is preparing to publish his twentieth collection. He has also published two novels, books on literary criticism and others on political and religious thought. The first of his autobiography entitled “The Ten Lean Years” in 2018.