Sama Issa

Translated by Nasser Al-Taee


Nasser Al-TaeeThe small white love tree
Bent its branches
Like the dry river of a pale old woman
Whose lovers journeyed to their death
And she became a wasteland


The tree that grew in the [remote]desert
Was nothing but your bones.
It drank from your blood
Brought by a bird
From places far away


You pour the dew of dawn
On the grass
Like tears of a woman
Weeping her dead child.

* * *


I left my father to die in silence
Near a remote water spring
There, beneath the burning bush
Where the ashes of our ancient God hide

The flower used to grow
Amidst small ruins
That smile to the house! And he wills
His memories in peace.


I die
And you grow old
My son
The homeland remains
A virgin tree
Renewing its seasons
Year after year


The night belongs to the ba bird
And she leads me to the tree
Beneath its shades
Lies my mother

* * *


Each dawn
The tree shakes its breasts
The dead birds fall from its body.

* * *


The tree said:
“When I threw you onto earth
I knew you’d come back to me
For I am your womb and eternal tomb.”

* * *


The creator of the infinite
The breast feeder of our hearts
The annihilation.
Death renews itself
Like a yellow leaf.

* * *


A woman is accompanied by a tree
The tree is her guide to the holy lake
The tree is guarded by darkness
When the earth sweeps us to the infinite
We slide into its remote space
And like a cloud that vanishes
In a dark sky
Without rain
We used to roam
In search of our ancient dwellings.


I lie now beneath a dead papaya tree with an old cat who refused to abandon the tree
Where she used to grow under its shades while she grew before her magical eyes….

The clock on the wall, the dead papaya tree, the cat when I gazed at her eyes and she was lying like a woman; her eternal white eyes, and her glowing green pupil
Swims in that mysterious haze
After she sneaked inside it in deep silence, the soul of the dead tree:
The small papaya tree, which no longer tenders its shade to stray cats, and to the alien sleepy wind.


* * *


Oh tree, what have I brought you today
The bucket is empty as you can see,
On earth, there is not a drop of water
All the springs have dried up,
And night has cast its dark curtains
On all the suns and the moons.

The breast and the tree leaves dried up
There is no longer a sign of life.
But, do you really have this vested interest in life? How?
And you are dried up like death for many ages.
Ah tree, do you still have hope?
Do you still hope that life will come to you again?
And how can I bring you this lost hope?
Here darkness saturates all faces of life
And the rivers exert their vengeance through annihilation
We who exited time and space, how can we enter them again,
How can we be full of greenery, splendor,
And ecstasy?
You no longer have a water spring to drink from
And I no longer have a womb to embrace me
So that it may throw me to the alien world of existence.

My father instructed me to water the tree
For she won’t be alive again unless it is green
And I’ll quench your thirst today through my entrance to the time and place
So I may not enter a place like others,
I’ll enter into the life of a leaf and I’ll grow from beneath the earth
Fertilizer to the dead queen
To the thirsty seeds of love and with love.


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