Abdulkareem Kasid

extinct dinosaur
blind bat
frightened rabbit
crawling worm
eagle
(the aged eagle)
cunning fox
evasive serpent
all underway
up Alice’s path to wonderland

***

“too late”
the frightened rabbit says
clutching his upside-down clock
on his run through the tunnel

***

fish-man
frog-man
man arriving with shadow
man departing with sun
man going two horned 
the man coming with one 
all at the same table

***

without magical potion
no fan
or gloves
no broom
or stick
we lengthen or shorten
shorten or lengthen
with no magical potion

***

the white rose
we paint red
the red rose
we paint white
and the roses,
the roses
we cut like heads

***

I’ll tell you how mad I am
the tomcat says
and disappears
his laughter lingering in the air

I’ll tell you how sad I am
the dog says
wagging its tail joyfully

I’ll tell you how tired I am
the snail says 
falling asleep again

we’ll tell you
we’ll tell you
all clamour
silence … silence
the birds call
silence … silence
the reptiles call
and for the first time
the first time
there is silence

***

Where is the house to be re-built?
One rat whispers to another
while going to hide

***

always 
exultant words
conceal weaknesses
I don’t see
always
preaches the wise fox

***

wonderland 
all on paper
paper stars paper sky
paper gardens paper birds
paper soldiers paper queen
paper poem paper poet
everything
paper  

This poem is taken from The Silver Throat of the Moon: Writing in Exile, edited by Jennifer Langer. Nottingham: Five Leaves.

Abdulkareem Kasid was born in 1946 in Al-Basra, Iraq and graduated in philosophy at Damascus University in 1967. In 1978 he left Iraq and fled to Kuwait and later to Yemen through the desert in a journey that took seven days. Once in Yemen he became editor of the New Yemeni Culture magazine. He now lives in London with his two children. He has published several collections of poems: "the bags" 1975, "tapping on the doors of childhood" 1978, "Epitaph" 1981,"Bicagy's rose" 1983, "Promenade of sadness" 1991, "Sarabad" 1997, "ticking unreachable from light" 1998. His most recent publications are “Kifa Nabki” (“Halt-let us weep”) 2002, “The insane do not tire” a short story collection, (2004) and “Zihariat” (2005). He has also translated "Paroles" by Jacques Prevert, "Anabas" by Saint-john Perse, and "Papiers" by Yanni Ritsos.

 
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