Skip to content

Even the wind wants

to become a cart

pulled by butterflies.

I remember madness

leaning for the first time

on the mind's pillow.

I was talking to my body then

and my body was an idea

I wrote in red.

Red is the sun's most beautiful throne

and all the other colors

worship on red rugs.

Night is another candle.

In every branch, an arm,

a message carried in space

echoed by the body of the wind.

The sun insists on dressing itself in fog

when it meets me:

Am I being scolded by the light?

Oh, my past days -

they used to walk in their sleep

and I used to lean on them.

Love and dreams are two parentheses.

Between them I place my body

and discover the world.

Many times

I saw the air fly with two grass feet

and the road dance with feet made of air.

My wishes are flowers

staining my days.

I was wounded early,

and early I learned

that wounds made me.

I still follow the child

who still walks inside me.

Now he stands at a staircase made of light

searching for a corner to rest in

and to read the face of night again.

If the moon were a house,

my feet would refuse to touch its doorstep.

They are taken by dust

carrying me to the air of seasons.

I walk,

one hand in the air,

the other caressing tresses

that I imagine.

A star is also

a pebble in the field of space.

He alone

who is joined to the horizon

can build new roads.

A moon, an old man,

his seat is night

and light is his walking stick.

What shall I say to the body I abandoned

in the rubble of the house

in which I was born?

No one can narrate my childhood

except those stars that flicker above it

and that leave footprints

on the evening's path.

My childhood is still

being born in the palms of a light

whose name I do not know

and who names me.

Out of that river he made a mirror

and asked it about his sorrow.

He made rain out of his grief

and imitated the clouds.

Your childhood is a village.

You will never cross its boundaries

no matter how far you go.

His days are lakes,

his memories floating bodies.

You who are descending

from the mountains of the past,

how can you climb them again,

and why?

Time is a door

I cannot open.

My magic is worn,

my chants asleep.

I was born in a village,

small and secretive like a womb.

I never left it.

I love the ocean not the shores.

Celebrating Childhood

Khaled Mattawa, translation from
the original written by Adonis

More Poetry Readings

Layli Long Soldier