Iman Morshed Hammad
2018 / 10 / 19
The Song of Life: Poem
By: Iman Morshed Hammad
Translated by: Salwa Abu Salem, 2018
We do not like death industry
And sewing coffins is not our trade.
Our souls grab life and youth
Our songs are songs for life.
We are those who carry our longing across the borders.
We keep sake in our suitcases.
We fill our breaths with the olive harvest scent.
We go to the other bank1 with our olive oil soap.
We scatter the fragrance of thyme in the old lodge.
We travel to the end of the world,
And in it we have glory and great love.
From our Land2 prophets came successively.
We immigrated …… were expelled ……. and displaced.
And in our belts we still keep our key of memory.
We are a nation who adores life
We coddle kids.
We carry grandmas on our travelling shoulders.
We breed a lot of children and memories.
We are not those who bring terrorism forth.
We are the ones who carry love and self-pride.
Our songs are (Ouf and Mijana)3
Never sews coffins.
We are those who feed bees on daisy sprouts.
And we carry blossom among the folds of wishes.
We travel to the old and new world,
And our hearts carry our captive homeland,
Between the papers of our books we dry flowers.
We carry the first beat of love among our ribs
And the first sparkle of eye.
In our bags we have our kids milk
And Mothers Day presents,
We carry loaves of bread which were baked on the fire of nostalgia.
Sorrow is the smell of our hearts,
We shiver from seeing a shroud.
We make tea in the morning,
And flavor it with the mint of anecdotes,
We pray to heaven,
"God! Don’t deprive us from our mothers contentment."
In our orchard there s an elderly man who does not ask for euthanasia.
In our streets, kids carry medicines for their parents.
We do not like death, and we do not wish that anyone will go to hell.
We did not hail people with white phosphorus.
We did not deform the kids of Japan.
We are a nation who adores life,
We embroider our clothes with the silk of our sighs.
We visit captives,
And make them pastries filled with sorrel,
We give them oil, olives and thyme,
We defeat the captor with our love and faith.
We live our life every day
We live normally.
We do not think of death, and not even think of invaders.
Our men trim the olive trees
And plough the land,
They gather the harvest in the harvest season.
On the heads of our young ladies
There is food, water and songs.
On the way we talk not about death
Nor about explosives.
We talk about our past,
About our food of olives, onions and some tomatoes
Which we eat under the trees,
And from faraway the sound of (zajal) our songs grieve us.
In the evening,
We recall our past while sitting on the floor,
We chat with the stars and the beautiful face of the moon,
We dream of the days when we went out
Of whispers and laughs
We dream of the jars of water on the heads of the young ladies.
We do not love the industry of death
And sewing coffins is not our trade
We are a nation who professes the industry of life.
And the production of memories.
Isn t Mahmoud Darwish who said:
" On this Land that which is worth living”?