Gamal Al-Qassas – I will call you mom

Qassas LE P&W January 2024

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Live Encounters Gaza Poetry & Writing, January 2024

 I will call you mom, poems by Gamal Al-Qassas.

I will call you mom

This devastating war
Would not block the road
It will always be born of your thirst
From your hunger
From your siege
This trembling scream in your mouth
Will not die
It will build a nest for the rain
His burning heart will awaken
On a new morning
Filling the souls with your warmth
This hand that claps for the killers
The hand that addicted to its shame
Will be defeated by your dreams
Will be folded by the scream
When It cleans your wound from the dirt of the world

A home of love for you
Dew kisses to you
O woman of light and fire
O necklace of Jasmine
Oh Gaza
I will not call you the sun
Or the sea
Or time
I will call you mom.

Light a candle here

They continue the bombing
They fear that life will be born again
For rain to grow
For the sky to bury its wounds
To be freed from the weight of sleeping on the knee of the shores.

The shadow of the moon is far away
Nothing cleanses the soul
No equation for death
No truce for a bird
For a flower
For a tree
For a breeze
For a baby girl
For a drop of water, her veins dried up

For a long time, they have been singing about hope
They resist until their last breath
They guard dreams
They teach them how to live
In the mouth of air
In exhalations of pain.

Light a candle here
There is a blindfolded scratch
Looking for a sunshine
In the fragments of bodies.

Light a candle
The bombing will not end
Memory is a perforated box
And madness has no limits
In vain does cover nothingness up with scrolls of ruin
It peels the night under your skin
It builds nests for him
You claim you’re still just over the edge
No edge
No nests
No night
It is your thirsty soul
Contemplate her
Hug her
When she is going up
From the incinerator of colors
From the darkness of the vessel
From the cry of the shroud.

© Gamal Al-Qassas

Gamal Al-Qassas (1950) is an Egyptian poet and journalist. He has published fourteen poetry collections, the most recent of which is “There was Music here” published in 2023. Selections of his poems have been translated into English, Arabic, and Greek. He also won the Cavafy International Prize in Poetry in 1998. He is considered one of the most important founders of the “Illumination 77” poetry group in the 1970s.

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