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Monday, May 29, 2006

A Summer View From my Baghdad Balcony

Their khubuz, their abbayaas and their football,
floated down the road like a dusty dream.
The only one who witnessed it all,
was the thrush on the telephone wire.
The voice of the Muezzin
spoke of war.
He whispered secrets
in his clear shouts for prayer,
but nobody had the slightest doubt,
busy walking the streets of life,
they never bothered about,
an exhausted Iraq,
pining for the perfume
of hot khubuz,
shivering at the sight of
Hopscotch and chattering children.
A football in the air,
kicked the thrush's dream into pink pieces in the sunset...
The light steps under the abbaya
are fast asleep,
as I stare
at a rare tranquility...
at twilight...

Human Pain

"Where you there?
I mean when the bombs fell?
I heard they fell in your area too.
Sorry, I couldn't provide
nail-bitten fingers as ear plugs.
It's not the worst of human know.
Sorry if the dust made your nostrils itch...
Sorry if it choked you...
But then,
you had left choking...
I remember you behind the window,
came to get me,
that close you were ,.
and that much I'd wanted to go.
I loved you;
Love you.
Forgive me for not coming.
At times I wonder what a stroke must've felt like.
I practice holding my breath in the bathroom
as long as I can
I give up...
Forgive me but,
I'd rather wait for God.
Maybe he'll send me the handbook
the one you waited for...
and never got."

For my beloved Aunt Khadija who died shortly before the first Gulf War (US Agression against Iraq)

This Is How It Is -Kerbala 1991

He was buying rockets,
this young man I respect,
making 'cool contracts'!
And my brother was helping
fire them...
My best friend, Nouha,
way out in Kerbala,
saw them fall...
Out of the rubble, she crawled
and left,
her nephew, her aunt
and her mother
underneath forever...

This is the true story of my friend, Nouha who lost half of her family when the Iraqi army was ordered to turn against its own people during the first uprising after the first Gulf War in 1991.