From No Boat May Allow Drowning to Vanish: New Poems by Basim Furat

My Father

Translated by Abbas El Sheikh
Edited by Mark Pirie

Your dreams were screaming
while we were covering you up with earth;
we felt the defeat in them.

O father, are you going to dangle your heroic deeds
like decorations to seduce women
in your new world?
Are you going to tell them about the defeat of the spring
in our lives,
a star that never leaves the roof of our home;
and a woman who has harboured grief in her heart
since the 10th of July 1969?

A woman
who lights the candles of her youth
on your grave,
and who, every Thursday,
brings with her the Euphrates
to your resting place.

A Descendent

Translated by Soheil Najm
Edited by Mark Pirie

When I saw my head,
with a beard and long hair,
hung on a spear,
I shaved,
cut my hair,
and went out
to court the women of
the city.

Did I delude myself
that I wasn't the one in the picture,
whose head hung from a spear?

Poems/translation © Basim Furat 2010