If memory serves me well
There, upon the caravans of the departed ones
Above attires of the happy and the barefooted
Atop teardrops of the weary
In the conflagration of letters
And the pains of birth-giving
I have engraved your sad face
And accustomed myself to jotting down my verses
And taking aspirin pills.
Your name I have written with wistful tears
Beneath our old bridge
On the lips of jasmine.
Often I saw it reflected in the
River's embrace to its banks
And the glowing veins in the hands of lovers.
If memory serves me well
My only fault is being born a poet
And created for myself a godless deity
Whom I worshipped
And hid in my travels within folds of my cloak
For fear of evil eyes.
I set up a little tent for my adored idol
Whenever it cried
The whole earth would shake and vanish
And when its sacred feet touched the desert
Rainy, violent storms would kill themselves then disappear without a trace.
I have sanctified and glorified it every morning and eve
And in my own hermitage and other sanctuaries
Lighted for it candles of love.
I squeezed soulful longings from my blood
A sacrifice for my adorable deity
And worshiped it openly and in secret.
Since my twentieth year
I have been sailing above its waves
Only to find myself here
In a muddy pool
A frog croaking beneath its fifty loads.
O my martyr friend
Often I wonder if you, like myself
Dream of death!
Only the earth can warm us.
And we shall not fear, friend
Our long and lasting friendship
Shall sustain and comfort us.

Azher S Saleh

Azher S Saleh's picture

A professor of English Literature, Mosul University, Iraq., He has been writing poetry since 1970., He has written more than 200 poems.

Last updated May 31, 2019