Mere Words

Mere Words prose poem

Photo by Anne Worner


When I used to be a coal-black ink over a snowy paper, she said: “your letters are locks, your words puzzles”.
When I spoke with the remains of my string, she said: “your letters are plough blades wounding the land, your speech a maze, your voice an echo of an echo”.
When I hushed, she said: “brother, your silence is transparent just like air”.
Then, she evaporated inside a soap bubble.

She said, from behind her earthen tattoo:
“Do not tie the rooster’s mouth; otherwise dawn will be late.
“Do not pluck out wings of the swallow; otherwise April will hide from our eyes. (1)
“Do not dig into graves; otherwise you will be swallowed by hollowness which is multiplying in bosoms.”
But, just before passing away, she left a straw chair, two heart throbs, a deep wrinkle and the residues of a tale.

It’s been told that through the last ten thousand years, hero roles moved from gods to mythological champions and then to laymen.
Thus, heroes fell down to anti-heroes.
But the question now is: what is the shape of the coming flood?

While stretching in her bed, waiting for death to come, she remembered:
“When I was a little girl, in a remote day, an old grandfather brought me from Damascus a pear berry stuffed with honey and an ice-cream which melts but dissolves not”.
Then she dropped a bitter smile on her cushion and flew away to Damascus, in order to recollect the fragment of a chirp out there.
(1) An improvisation on a non-transient allegory in Nikos Kazantzakis novel “The Last Temptation of Christ”.

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Fareed K. Ghanem

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I am 58 years old, from eastern Galilee, Israel (Palestine). I studied English literature, psychology and Law at the Hebrew university (Jerusalem). In the last three years, I published three books of which is dedicated to prose poetry. You are invited to visit the Facebook page Shadows of Water, where I publish my prose poems I translate to English.
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