He writes with a wounded language
He is a stranger
The alphabet bleeds when it’s heavy with memory
And poems will always taste
Of dry blood
Everything wounds him
In his naked solitude
Light wounds his face
A wing of a dove and a passing cloud
Wound his orphan shoulder
He writes and his wound becomes a full moon
That bleeds white in the darkness of his exile
It becomes a silk road where he travels alone
He rubs its sides with salt
And adorns it with statues
White as his pain
His wound is an unanswered prayer
His wound is a city
Streets of Damascus, streets of the heart
Minarets and church bells mourn
O bride of the East with your veil soaked in blood
Your face is a dusty cracked mirror
Your womb is full of thorns
A poet dreams of his childhood house
His mother’s bread
His father’s prayer carpet
And the smell of henna and rose water
On the hands of a woman
He doesn’t know that his house is a graveyard
And Damascus is no longer pregnant with jasmine
– Imen Benyoub
Photo credit ~ via Wikipedia by Scott Zone under CC A 2.0 Generic license
IMEN BENYOUB ~ is a miltilingual, multi-talented writer, poet, and artist living in Guelma, Algeria. She is a regular contributor to Into the Bardo and to On the Plum Tree and Plum Tree Books Facebook page.
12 thoughts on “Elegy to Damascus”
No matter the side, it’s all so hopeless, unnecessary and unutterably cruel. There’s nothing heroic about these conflicts. A poignant illustration of the tragedy and the loss, Imen.
a whole country and a whole people are suffering from this unnecessary stupid war..I hope Syria relives its glorious days again..and Damascus finds its peace..and be city of Jasmine again..I am deeply thankful for posting this poem my dear Jamie it means a lot to me xx and thank you for always supporting me..
So evocative! And so sad.
So touching. You have embodied the emotion so perfectly. Made me gasp more than once.
Reblogged this on THE POET BY DAY in 2014, My Year of the Horse and commented:
From the compassionate and powerful pen of Algerian poet and writer, Imen Benyoub ….
Reblogged this on The Mirror Obscura and commented:
A beautiful Poem >KB
Profound. Thanks for sharing
Elegant, moving, it touches the heart with tears and a deeply felt/shared anguish. I eagerly await more of your work. Bravo.
thank you for your amazing comments..and chukran Jamie..again xx
Wow. I am late reading this, but I am so glad that Jamie shared it with us! You paint such a heartbreaking picture with your words, Imen. They make me want to help, any way that I can. No one should have to feel/live this way or be in so much pain. 😦