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the lost homeland while we are mere rubble and cast-offs.


You homeland, that has now become desolate with us. We have set out before the light, yet there is no escape. You homeland We say it and name it, Words and names both weep. You homeland, spinning in a limp age; hearing it, echoes die. Within us how did time become so little, its yellow shadows despising us? In every direction there is only confusion

Should you proceed, the paths are deception.


Words, we live in, when settling places are rare, and quarters are closed. Words that are homes. For us they are land, sky, and all things.

January 1, 1995

Selected and translated from the poet’s collection

Manarah li-al-Ghariq (1996)

BANIPAL 53 – SUMMER 2015 47

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