The Baghdad Berlin poetic musical train

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Dury De Bag, Me and Gidi Farhi

Thank you all for coming and experiencing our poetic musical journey from Baghdad to Berlin. It was the first show and because of its energies we will do more!

Thank you Gidi Farhi – our dialouge enrichen me so much!

Thank you Dury de Bagh AND Cafe De Bagh for joining our Baghdad – Berlin poetic train. We could not do it without your support and help. It was a great night for me, because poetry is window to my soul and for one moment you all were inside of me.

Here are the poems that i was reading:

A moonlight tale

“seventy kinds of different dates were in Baghdad”

my grandma told me

“and shame that we left,” she added

“over there, they didn’t put antibiotics in our food

we didn’t eat cow meat and our Kuba rice dish was filled with lamb”

and even if my way to Baghdad Has been ruined

and although I don’t speak the language

now I know that my life is a piece of a Darkened history

that sits on

a hook, a moonlight tale of my grandma.

2006

***

Words of Departure

This poem will soon collapse

As

I left the life of guaranties

To find a new life in Berlin

I speak broken English, Broken German, Broken Hebrew, Five Shekels a Euro

I disconnected my Jewish phone

I said goodbye to my mom

My books

My life’s beloved

Loved

Ones

Hebrew letters

My friends

2014

***

The jazz of Berlin

I ask fewer questions

And lose myself more in the jazz of Berlin

Flowing from the many Diasporas

At night I climb through women’s windows

In the morning I labor

And on Sabbath with holy words

I talk to myself in Hebrew, with no country

I talk to others in another tongue, with no country

I miss my father’s memorial

And recall him in every word

I don’t know where I come from or where I’m going

But even strangeness has a birthday

And I’ll wake in your arms

And between your thighs

Remembering like a child.

2014

***

Breaking Passports

Passports also break I tell you,

Passports also become worn out over the years, made by strangers, exchanged across inhuman borders

Passports also lie, that they are always new, like a biometric seal of worn out, tired, rough and diminishing skin

Passports also become refugees, when the dream’s stars do not immigrate in time from the night’s darkness

Passports are also jailed when the wall turns into a wedding, and hope remains single

Passports also struggle to pull out of the earth, which pretends being a pillow, and its heart is tough, and cold, dry-land of frozen lava

Passports also continue going to work, and not read and write the way out of the prison of thought

Passports are also saddened, when we discover that you went missing between waves of broken glass

Passports also get lost, when confronted by a prayer that does not have you in its end

“Our love has no passport,” you answer me, and write a new poem in the heart of the world. 

[Translated by Na’aman Hirschfeld. 2016]

***

And I regret that I missed a way to his heart

I don’t know why he loved to eat above the sink

without a plate, dark bread, salty cheese.

He sits, coiled on the black sofa, with an open book

inventing funny names for anyone, who enters the house.

and I’m sure he was a free spirited poet like me, despite working in a shop all his life

truth be told I have no way of knowing, discovering or talking with him.

The only way is to write…

that he wasn’t happy than I

but I remember him reading one of my early poems one day

and coming back happy to our house he told me how in the “Old age” club where he visited

his friends liked my poems.

and perhaps with my inspiration, he started to write the story of his life

of how his wealthy grandfather was thrown out of Mashad by the local Muslims in Iran

and how he immigrated to Palestine round the start of the 20 century

[Damm, why didn’t I keep this paper?]

and now I regret every moment I ignored his point of view

I could have hugged him and understood that was his story

and what is left for me? deep regret

what is left of him? one unfinished poem

and the days are getting less

while these memories grow in their nakedness.

[Translated by Dov Waterman . 2016]

*** 

 

There Was Never a Home in Poetry

“There was never a state in Eden

East and west never were

We were not expelled, nor defeated”

 

The black eyebrows sway

The coffee cup with cardamom trembles

On the train at Hermannplatz

Ubahn, U7, one stop

Non-stopping rain

And naked love, approaching in the foreignness

To be revealed

For

We exiled

And we shall recite poetry

And clear a path out of Egypt

When the stars shine

For you.

[Translated by Na’aman Hirschfeld. 2015]

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About Mati Shemoelof

משורר, עורך וסופר. A Writer

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