By: Ahmed Zaidan
On the stage in an international festival, I am performing my poems…
Oh that was years ago, when I have had last poetry reading in Mosul, the most dangerous city in Iraq 2012 as I remember. The security situation escalated and the bombs have shut down the voice of all birds that sing for freedom, the story of poetry has ended in that area.
The biggest case for the bird who can not sing any more is to take off and soar in the heavens, searching for any green land that welcomes the nightingale, that weaves the shirt of songs, coloured with melodies, for the horizon to wear the dress of freedom…
As I have landed in midst of the snow and darkness, the silence wrapped me. As the newborn baby, catches the thumb of his mother in order to hold on his previous world, for fear of the unknown scenes. Like that I hang on the wall of memories as any weak nail tightens old portraits, that not to fall, because there are what gives me what every single human should have, I absorb from the memories what plant absorbs from daylight.
I walked in heavy steps onto the snow, turned all my energy towards my feet to keep going forward in wavering steps and carefully, so as not slip to the wrong slop. I ignited my humble knowledge of the past with the useful tips from here and there in a bid to slit the darkness. The language was the first candle I have ignited. Then, the faces have motioned slowly and became familiar to me. It is the English language which I found it easier to communicate but it is not a big deal, because the function of the language is to bridge the caps and reduce the question marks.
Oh god! A new language I shall learn after I have spent half of my life in learning English and I couldn’t master even half of it yet. The language is a vast ocean as my professor of linguistic said.
Oh again! I have read too much Arabic literature until the Arabic poems have gushered from my fingers, drowned the papers. I left mess of drafts and papers when I had to flee my first home. No doubt they have become a worthy material of reminding the absent son for her. It’s my mother in there, visits my room and spends the hours in solving the codes of my first margins…After three years of her travelling in papers, she is just passing through my second phase of writing. She is still at the edge of beginning. The core of my writing’s galaxy is yet to come. For her, orbiting around the simple forms of my old poems, it is all my poetry universe, as she knows me well.
More than two thousand miles split me from my favorite jasmine, there in the corner near to the lemon tree. There have been a world, another vital world, that’s more extended into soul. There have been a noise and everyday life with a clock on the wall, declares the time when my father that washed by sun, comes, carrying some bags of the summer fruits and a new story from the town. There have been brothers and sisters return from the schools chanting some of their silly school lessons they have recently learned. Another one is silent doing the repeated school punishment!
Yes, a lot of affairs, I have left behind and I disappeared as a bird floats in the clouds then drowns to depths!
I sit today, staring the farthest horizon, where the objects fades away of the sight. There, if you look with me, beyond the purple line, my beloved are; doing the things which are still stuck in memory, occurring the same noise, that breaks the silence of my loneliness in exile. They are in wait for the clock bell on the wall to declare, when the father will be coming again, carrying the his sadness and showing strength. And pupils from schools.
If there are schools. There are another stories to be told to those children who have grown up and didn’t wetness my presence among them. There is also a mother who no longer get pleased by the flowers of the spring. sat in wait of her absent sons to return, stares the same purple line what I am staring at the moment! Saying that beyond the purple line, there is a son who’s gone by the storm and thrown to the farthest north, where all the nights come from. when I look at the purple line, I see her tears are reflected, mixed with the sad sunset. Unfortunately, she can not see all that because of the fume of wars overshadowed the scenes in Mosul.