Peace Be upon the Survivor, A Poem by Muwaffaq Muhammad, Tr. Hussain Alwan Hussain

Hussain Alwan Hussain
2012 / 4 / 1

I distilled for the body death,
So finish him off,
For death could please me if it rang with the sword s edge.
Please do not let the schools be like the brooms
For the children will run to ruins you couldn t see:
Not even the owl, nor the sheik of expert bats.
I distilled for the body death,
So release its hands
To pick from my flesh the nails that
Drove me into the wood of lament and funerals.
But please do not let the schools be like old women.
The boy weeps with grey hair eating his forelock;
And the passers to the cemeteries
Left the maimed boxes with the wind
Not even cheap candies or chocolates to color life
Tired of life of dimes and bread hued
In the boxes of heroism and rifles
Became aged with the fangs of seconds and minutes
No child babbles
Rotten life devours childhood.
*****
"Oh, little girl,
I can see you are so pale and thin;
Haven t you ever got a father? "
"No, not even a mother,
She left a short while after his murder;
Saying Live with your creator. "
*****
With trousers and shirts made from sails
Going back to the age of the Great Flood,
The bodies of boys are dressed for school.
As for their feet,
Itís a pity that God has not created the poor with hooves,
Or with skins clad in fur or wool
That could save the shoeless family breeder
From such endless broiling burns.
*****
I emptied the entire ear of seeds
In a roulette game;
How then could the waste land grow green
Without seeds and light?
Without candles for the offerings to save the land.
I emptied the entire seed ear
On the palm of the sacred delusion;
Oh for the language of the gun!
It is the most sweeping language;
Everybody recognizes its intonation;
And the echo of its ruins answers its speaker
From all directions.
*****
The slave of God addressed the cloud:
"Let my children and I get some sleep;
Pour your rain wherever you like away from us,
For from the surplus of your abundance
I ve sold the roof of the house
To buy some bread;
And peace be upon the survivor."
*****
The slave of God addressed the pupils one day
As they stood up for him:
"We do not know what goes on upon the earth;
What goes on beneath the earth;
Nor what goes on on the moon."
The pupils sat on the ground with hunger,
Then they said to their teacher:
"Never mind, sir, for we are in hell."
*****
The teacher drew a chicken on the blackboard,
And saw the pupils waiving to it with knives.
The teacher drew an orange,
And saw the students peel the blackboard.
The teacher entered his grave,
And he saw the pupils sniffing resin.
The teacher left his grave,
Keen to give his loved ones some lessons,
He found them all without heads.
*****
The teacher received his salary;
It wasn t enough to buy a lace out of the shoe;
So he decided to stay wearing his ancient slippers.
Autumn was kissing the waste land
With the leaves of all the trees.
The teacher received his salary;
He saw his clothes just like a spider web,
So he was obliged to precaution
His sudden nakedness with silence.
The teacher received his salary;
Would it be enough for him to die?
The teacher s head grew adamant;
He insisted on reading the speech
To warn all the kings:
"Why reproduce when
Childhood wears the skin of old age;
When the waste has jammed the houses;
Fertilized the progeny;
Nested in schools and churches;
Entered the hearts via the eyes
And closed them tight?
Why reproduce when
The waste has decayed the Book?"
*****
The gun was above the head of the breast;
Ready to fire,
And your hands were keen;
Your eyelashes didn t blink
To leave what you intend to do in this place.
Death is our sacred master;
He is your guardian, notwithstanding
The endless millions from the time
When Adam touched the earth
And conflict began,
Till God announce the resurrection.
Have you ever heard of a dead man
Coming with a petition of asylum
From the graves to the furnaces of life?
So please pull the trigger,
And let the gushing blood write upon the dust.
For half a century not one on this looted land
Met the death of god like the rest of men.
God has taken his deposit from none;
All died the victims of criminals of all type:
Burglars, pimps, imposters, highwaymen, and vampires.
So pull the trigger, for killing the oppressed soul
With premeditation signals the love of life.
The web threads have flown off the body,
And the old slipper has scattered,
So why reproduce?
The aging sparrows weep for their master:
Cut from the artery to the artery;
But the chant dies in their mouths.
16.9.1996




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