Tuesday, February 1, 2022





Cruel Outsiders


We were prosperous

We weren’t missing anything

Cruel outsiders came from a faraway place

And they seized everything!


They stole our wealth

They milked our cows

They tore out our chickens’ feathers

They rode our horses

They detached our doors

They violated the sacredness of our homes

They confiscated all our assets.


We weren’t bad peasants

We were planting fertile lands

With experience inherited from grandfathers and fathers.


We were managing our wealthy treasures

Olives, wheat, grain, vegetables and fruit-bearing trees

With our fullest competence.


We were gathering winter supplies

Wheats, grits and olive oil

Raisins, almonds and dried figs

From the abundant crops that our rich land

Brought to us generously.


We were milking our cows’ udders

Which were full of fresh milk, from which we obtained

Margarine, butter, and yogurt

And fresh cheese which never left our breakfast table.


We were riding horseback smoothly

And we were moving as arrows towards the vast prairies,

Hunting rabbits, deer and fatty birds.


At night, we were returning to our homes and families,

Happy, cheerful and wholesome.


We were prosperous

But cruel outsiders came from a faraway place

And they seized everything

Everything, even the air we breathe.


Translated by Muna Zinati



A Flying Angel


The child whose broken hands they tied

In a white gauze . . .

She urged her mother to tell her

Why her hands were tied like that

When the mother became confused

And couldn't find an answer,

She whispered to her: my little one, you became an angel.

Is it not true that angels have white wings?

The little one believed her mother

Slowly, she is recovering,

Moving her hands like wings

And trying to fly.


Translated by Muna Zinati



A Dialogue Between

A Father And A Son



Where are you, father?

At autumn's age, son.

What are you doing there, father?

I am waiting for an orange wagon

To collect my yellow leaves, son.



Where are you, father?

At the age of eight, son.

What are you doing there, father?

Remembering myself when I was your age, son.



Where are you, father?

At the old age, son.

What are you doing there, father?

Counting what is left of life's grains, son.



Do you love me, father?

How could I not, son?

How much do you love me, father?

As much as the extent of innocence in your heart, son!



What are you thinking about, father?

Of things that make us think, son.

What things make us think, father?

The devastation of human beings and their brutalities, son.



Why you are sad, father?

For my existence, son.

Why you are happy, father?

Because of your existence, son!



Do you love the sun, father?

Only when it plays with you, son!

And what else, father?

When you draw it, son!



What worries you, father?

Nothing, my son!

But you are saturated with pain, father.

Don't worry, son!

I am only training my heart how to stare.



Why are you tired, father?

I am not tired, son.

But you are distracted from life, father.

No son, the life had been distracted away from me.



Why is the earth so vast, father?

So that people can live and wander in it, son.

But why they are fighting for it, father?

Because that is their nature, son.



Why are you in pain, father?

Because I have a headache, son.

Why do you have a headache, father?

Do not bother son!

It is something inherited from grandfathers and fathers.

Am I going to inherit it from you, father?

No son, you won’t inherit it from me

Because it stopped at me,

And I became the end of the suffering, son!






HUSSEIN HABASCH is a poet from Afrin, Kurdistan. He currently lives in Bonn, Germany. His poems have been translated into English, German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Turkish, Persian, Albanian, Uzbek, Russian, Italian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Polish and Romanian, and has had his poetry published in a large number of international anthologies. His books include: Drowning in Roses, Fugitives across Evros River, Higher than Desire and more Delicious than the Gazelle's Flank, Delusions to Salim Barakat, A Flying Angel, No pasarán (in Spanish), Copaci Cu Chef (in Romanian), Dos Árboles and Tiempos de Guerra (in Spanish), Fever of Quince (in Kurdish), Peace for Afrin, peace for Kurdistan (in English and Spanish), The Red Snow (in Chinese), Dead arguing in the corridors (in Arabic) Drunken trees (in Kurdish), Boredom of a tired statue (in Kurdish), Flor del Espinillo (in Spanish) and A Rose for the Heart of Life, Selected Poems (in English). He participated in many international festivals of poetry including: Colombia, Nicaragua, France, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Germany, Romania, Lithuania, Morocco, Ecuador, El Salvador, Kosovo, Macedonia, Costa Rica, Slovenia, China, Taiwan, Cuba, Sweden and New York City. habasch70@hotmail.com.


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