Ahmad Al-Shahawy – I am Called with the Third Person

Shahawy LE Gaza P&W January 2024

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Live Encounters Gaza Poetry & Writing, January 2024

I am Called with the Third Person, poem by Ahmad Al-Shahawy.

I am Called with the Third Person

I did not write my biography
On the walls.
I did not write in the pamphlets
Where I live.

I do not know my residence
I no longer have any kind
Of pens in my pocket
As if time stole it from me.

I lived ignorant of numbers And letters
I waged a war against oblivion
The mirage deceived me on the road
And I see no water on the horizon
As if the dove left me.

The margin has become mine After I was the boss of absurd
And crawling on the belly
In dreams
Drawing empty faces.

I do not compete with
The air in its suffocation
I am in the bottom, looking for Faces that left me.

I have no luck, no life

I will live like this
Not knowing who I am
Nor those who are inhabiting me.

I will not blame death if
It comes early
I will not blame the missed
I will live what is left in the Abyss of nothingness
I will keep my coffins close to home.

I left the world in black That did not ride with me
Or revealed secrets it has kept for me.

I hesitate in erasing and writing
And in painting music black
And I am afraid that my name will
Be put under words I do not know.

I am called by the third person
And I lost myself in a war that
I did not enter
I was fighting it alone
But the street forfeited me.

I have started sewing fire
With unseen needles
For a fibreless cloth

I lost the key
And I do not control myself now.

I am trapped in the hand of the world
The night did not help me
And only music had mercy on me (The world mocks at it)
I was a companion to its scales
In the street.

I am sewing words that could not be Interpreted.
And there is no point to explain
Its purpose at night.

Screams running through my head
And no pity from those in it.

Black hallucination
And an auction set up forever
But nothing is sold
And an incomplete history that I carry
On my back
My escape is in muzzling silence
And in sheltering my mind from their curtains.

People like me will not cut off his hand
Will not drink poison
Will not prevent an eye from Drinking water
Will not carry weapons

Will not die under the sun like
A mad poet
Will not lock the door of
The house on him
Will not allow a woman to
Charm him at night
Will not enter a cage unless he willed
And will not burn what he writes
For the sake of an unsolvable equation.

© Ahmad Al-Shahawy

Ahmad Al-Shahawy is an Egyptian poet and author of more than 20 books and poetry collections. His poems have been translated into many languages including French, Italian, English, Turkish and Spanish. He participated in many international poetry festivals organized in many countries of the world. Al-Shahawy was also the recipient of UNESCO literature award in 1995, and Cavafy Poetry award in 1998.Four of his literary works are nominated in the long list of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the branch of literature including his novel The Magician’s Hijab 2022. Also recently, Lavender Ink / Diálogos published Al-Shahawy’s poetry anthology entitled Alone by the Nile,2023

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