The Trial – Nizar Qabbani

The East receives my songs, some praise, some curse 
To each of them my gratitude I bear 
For I’ve avenged the blood of each slain woman 
and haven offered her who is in fear. 

Woman’s rebellious heart I have supported 
ready to pay the prize – content to die 
if love should slay me, for I am love’s champion 
and if I ceased, then I would not be I. 

Language – Nizar Qabbani

When a man is in love
how can he use old words?
Should a woman
desiring her lover
lie down with
grammarians and linguists?

I said nothing
to the woman I loved
but gathered
love’s adjectives into a suitcase
and fled from all languages.

Words – Nizar Qabbani

He lets me listen, when he moves me,
Words are not like other words
He takes me, from under my arms
He plants me, in a distant cloud
And the black rain in my eyes
Falls in torrents, torrents
He carries me with him, he carries me
To an evening of perfumed balconies

And I am like a child in his hands
Like a feather carried by the wind
He carries for me seven moons in his hands
and a bundle of songs
He gives me sun, he gives me summer
and flocks of swallows
He tells me that I am his treasure
And that I am equal to thousands of stars
And that I am treasure, and that I am
more beautiful than he has seen of paintings
He tells me things that make me dizzy
that make me forget the dance and the steps

Words…which overturn my history
which make me a woman…in seconds
He builds castles of fantasies
which I live in…for seconds…
And I return…I return to my table
Nothing with me…
Nothing with me…except words

When The Rose Is Gone – Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

When the rose is gone and the garden faded 

you will no longer hear the nightingale’s song. 

The Beloved is all; the lover just a veil. 

The Beloved is living; the lover a dead thing. 

If love withholds its strengthening care, 

the lover is left like a bird without care, 

the lover is left like a bird without wings. 

How will I be awake and aware 

if the light of the Beloved is absent? 

Love wills that this Word be brought forth

When I Love You – Nizar Qabbani

When I love you 

A new language springs up, 

New cities, new countries discovered. 

The hours breathe like puppies, 

Wheat grows between the pages of books, 

Birds fly from your eyes with tiding of honey, 

Caravans ride from your breasts carrying Indian herbs, 

The mangoes fall all around, the forests catch fire 

And Nubian drums beat. 
When I love you your breasts shake off their shame, 

Turn into lightning and thunder, a sword, a sandy storm. 

When I love you the Arab cities leap up and demonstrate 

Against the ages of repression 

And the ages 

Of revenge against the laws of the tribe. 

And I, when I love you, 

March against ugliness, 

Against the kings of salt, 

Against the institutionalization of the desert. 

And I shall continue to love you until the world flood arrives; 

I shall continue to love you untill the world flood arrives.