Translated from the Arabic by Sinan Antoon & Peter Money
Our loss is not the earth
for the earth will stay,
it stayed before us,
it will stay after us,
earth of the singers,
and of silent ones,
earth of those who stay
it is the earth of those
who became earth’s body
. . .
What we have lost is not the earth.
The loss is that glance we no longer exchange,
between one child and another
as they share a loaf of bread.
I will not open my window:
Even the grass is drowning in the sea winds;
trees are shaking under the rain.
The room is still (the house has double-windows);
I hear the clock ticking:
Tick Tick Tick,
I can hear the pond’s tiny waves in the distance
Nearby: tiny waves of fingers. . .
Is my lover back after a long trip?
The yellow flowers at the entrance are very early.
No visitor knocks at my door.
Even the birds found a shelter.
the squirrel and I, are trying
to catch something.
Bees Visit Me
A bee perched on my shirt,
Blossoms were radiant,
shaking the beechnut tree
and the orchard—
How did the bees come?
My table doesn`t have much:
a piece of bread and cheese,
but it overflows with French wine. . .
Is that what the bees are after?
What is strange is that they cling to my shirt,
Do they know that honey,
and the end,
are under the shirt?
—That pollen is quivering?
[Translated from the Arabic by Sinan Antoon & Peter Money. From Saadi Youssef, Nostalgia, My Enemy, published November 2012 by Gray Wolf Press. You can purchase the book here.]