Poem – On Wishes – Mahmoud Darwish

Don’t say to me: 

Would I were a seller of bread in Algiers 

That I might sing with a rebel. 

Don’t say to me: 

Would I were a herdsman in the Yemen 

That I might sing to hte shudderings of time. 

Don’t say to me: 

Would I were a cafe waiter in Havana 

That I might sing the victories of sorrowing women. 

Don’t say to me: 

Would I worked as a young laborer in Aswan 

That I might sing to the rocks. 

My friend, 

The Nile will not flow into the Volga, 

Nor the Congo or the Jordan into the Euphrates. 

Each river has its source, its course, its life. 

My friend, our land is not barren. 

Each land has its time for being born. 

Each dawn a date with a rebel.

Poem – I Come From There – Mahmoud Darwish

I come from there and I have memories 

Born as mortals are, I have a mother 

And a house with many windows, 

I have brothers, friends, 

And a prison cell with a cold window. 

Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls, 

I have my own view, 

And an extra blade of grass. 

Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words, 

And the bounty of birds, 

And the immortal olive tree. 

I walked this land before the swords 

Turned its living body into a laden table. 

I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother 

When the sky weeps for her mother. 

And I weep to make myself known 

To a returning cloud. 

I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood 

So that I could break the rule. 

I learnt all the words and broke them up 

To make a single word: Homeland…..