The Pains of Wandering

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Chapter 5

The Testimonies of the Three Letters

[Even if the day comes and it all dimmed so dark, he carved his condemnation inside his lost heart. His patriotism was lost when (all the dogs turned against him.. chewing, ageing, complaining desperation to the most hopeless person there is.)33

It has been said that the grave was getting smaller, the chains were getting tighter, and the earth was getting drier. Then the heads burned, and the grass fields of the other valleys34 withered. And funeral houses were set everywhere to accept the humiliation of their heads bowed down.

Of course none of that happens to the midgets in the lands that are tired from witnessing the dance of betrayal..!


The will

.. He belonged to them,.. he adored them to death. But they, today, after they drank and played, have become outsiders. They are my people.. definitely! As soon as they were tricked/ stabbed, they fell down!

He had their beliefs: their grand dream!

He believed in their thoughts, their poetry, and he still praises the milk he was breastfed with them from the mother of the sons of labyrinths.. the mother with the caring generous breast.

He went back to her. His yearning nostalgia and burning remembering brought him back to her, so that he can write his great oath with her magnanimous milk.

Even when the day comes, he wrote his condemnation on his lost identity and stolen heart after his patriotism died in him when (all the dogs turned against him.. chewing, ageing, complaining desperation to the most hopeless person there is.)

And after his mythical belonging died, he learned the bad news:

They have kidnapped her and imprisoned her today near the eclipsing lakes.. the angry burning lakes because of what she has done. Those lakes that used to be calm and peaceful!

They liked the wheat color of her breasts.. so they raped her! She sobbed, she cried, she screamed, she asked for help.. she called for any child of (Mutasem35) in hopes that he would avenge her.

She cried.. it was told that her motherly tears brought on a heavy dark night that did not end for a very long time!

He cried.. his cheek had his hand’s mark on it because of how sad he was. He desperately walked the small land of sorrow thinking about the matter like an old man. He kept on walking until his soul had no more life in it, and then he died just as that old dream died next to his beating heart.

On the other side, there were comfort and celebrations!

And they drank, celebrating the white pains of the others, after the red color, blood, became clear.

The wind blew away the papers of the old oath after the magnanimous breast had dried.

It has been told, as a poet once said, that (the grave was getting tighter, the chains were getting stronger, and earth was getting drier!)

And if he refused, death is standing there like a strong tree, so heads were burned and the grass fields of the other valleys dried up.

After that, funeral houses were set up to accept humiliation only, and heads were forced to stay down, no more. No condolences to the escaping little people whose country is tired from their dances of betrayal and is broken and depressed.

It has been told that a Granadian time might be reincarnated once again. It has been said that the reasons for this reincarnation are lame and cheap!

And.. a (Handalis36) started painting with blood the drawings of those who survived. They write poems with a cat-like sense!

Some (Sboulis37) have actually risen up from their suicide martyrdom, screaming in agony and regret.. mocking the very idea of suicide/ martyrdom.. and why?!

They wondered.. they were shaken.. then they questioned, swearing and cursing:

Was it because of a small faceless group of whales and rhinos that somehow always get favored?!

It was forbidden blood.. in the forbidden land!

It was like a quasi-doomsday.. but escape has become a mirage! The voice of virtue was absent, that is because the desired path for Arabs has become the needed entrance for the strangers. Then, how is it possible that soulless bodies seek guidance when the promised tomorrow has become hidden.. cannot be seen!

And it has been said in that much damned old book.. that yes.. the story of her cries.. like no son of an Arab has ever cried before! He told the truth.. shouting .. writing: she did not die.. I wish she had died.. I wish she had never existed.. but no.. death is there. Death is a heavenly mercy.

But no.. again.. those rhinos managed to repress the happiness that accompanied the birth of another potential hero.. in hopes for.. but!

Yes.. the heir of the will of the one admired by the poor is still crying for his mother’s loss.. his great mother.. his only mother.. You only get one mother in life.. but she was raped.. and then she died.. it is still a bleeding cut.. that is his biggest scar.. because orphanhood is half death!

They stepped on her body with their filthy shoes and ripped her body open with their disgusting nails, and the memory of Mutasem for the grandchildren is a mute, yes, silence.. its manhood is asleep.. its echo has been raped.. its books have been blooded.

Oh what a bleeding cut.. what a bleeding sorrow.. oh what a betrayed hope in a morning that would have been.. except they have kidnapped the letters of the scream38 on the way.

And now.. it is still the way it was. Its voice is mute, its memory is raped, its honor is lost!

He is denied belonging, denied love for the country.. the identity and the will!

In an impossible mission until the dawn of Arabian intellectualism once again, he is still waiting for what does not come easily until it gets decreed from up there in the midst of looking for answers within mazes!!!


The prayer

.. He has prayed with you, one rising lost dawn!

Do you remember him?

Do you remember his testimony?

Do you remember the scene when he applauded your poetry?

Do you remember him, at literature school, when al-Karaki39 and al-Ajlouni40 were protecting the authenticity of literature?

Do you know him.. since they did not know him?

He told them the one with prayers is not changing.. And when they hated that, he got deeper and more focused in his prayer!

Staying.. even if you give me a hall with a podium solely for me and for the good ones like me..

Staying.. even if they place my heart in my right hand. I will march on to come back on his stallion to see the starting line for the race to the heart of the country!

Staying.. even if they place my lost identity in my left hand. Authentic, innocent just like the presence of a wonderful lady working on her cousin’s farm. Smells great.. like the smell of bread made from authentic wheat that has just come out of the oven. She goes back.. deeply rooted as she has always been, so that I go back to my forbidden talk!

He told them that a martyr’s shoe from my country is purer than everything in the whole world!

So I said.. and I will forever say: Amen!

He said it, then he prayed for a better tomorrow for the heroes of the men and women of our great nation.

He revealed everything he had in his heart, in hopes he would get his freedom.. but!

They did not hear him, nor did they listen to a local poet, and then they did not believe the prayer!

They tied his tongue, and then they chained him and took him near a burning fire.

It was said in his memory that he sang without a voice:

(I hope the sorrows would not come back if he came back. I hope they would stop hurting the good ones…)

then.. how about we catch a vulture, and make an owl’s voice rise above the vulture’s!

He told them- from the testimony- you guys, you are the ones who come up with the white idea, the right idea, the one that is taking over the country.. but!

And in his story it was said that the only part of his song that reached us is this:

(And they cried at the grave of the morning/ but my love they will not know/ unless they go down that road)!

And it was said that some low order much like them wanted the ashes of his poetry to be put in his eyes so that he would not see anymore!

Then the story goes on to say that the fire they used was started to keep everyone warm in the first place!

Then they brought Layla.. she was a lover for him in the days of poetry. Then he screamed, so everything stopped except for the burning fire and the echo of seeing Layla, even though his eyes were full of ashes.. blood and dirt.. the dirt of his grand problem!

They ran and piled up in front of him trying to suppress his voice!

They heard him.. but they were ignorant of the language of the scream. The scream.. the tone, had a huskiness in it, the beautiful kind, the same one he had when he recited his poetry. The one that can make an earthquake.. the one that has a loving tone to it!

She understood that scream though.. it was a celebration that soon turned into tears when he said: except for her.. my death is a celebration, where is my family, I am dying and you know me well, even what is under my sleeves, what the prince of poetry said.. what the Indian of desert sadness said.. what they sang when he missed the smell of his mother’s bread and the taste of her lovely coffee.. ahh.. ahh these are the days of sorrow!

No words were left when he spoke his.. and nothing remained but tears!

When they reached him, they started over.. they started their red actions!

They took away the remains of the letters of his scream: his white idea until it was clear.. but it did not affect them at all!

Then.. we came to know that someone up there has ordered his death and so it happened..

Prayer man, there were feet that used to step on him, to destroy him.. to put his identity down!

He is looking for your so-called dawn, so he prays, but he did not find it! Then we read, that he is still looking despite his inner death, even though he remained a margin of sadness and concern. Even though he became a paper tiger, he is still looking for a national dawn, an Arab one, so that he can pray. As for his oppressed consciousness and stolen identity, due to an order from those cruel strangers, he found nothing but a mere damned echo.

He is still, looking, in his strange fire for all the colors of vipers!!!


The key

.. He used to have the key of all keys, but he lost it for the same old damned reason.

Someone said that he actually sold it for some food that would keep him alive.

Maybe.. who knows?!

He was nowhere to be found, they asked about him around and everywhere.

One female fortuneteller from a village in Marrakech said, as she, for a while, told stories from the days of glory:

He is still there amongst you, with you.. you know, why are you asking?!

Let him do whatever he wants to do, and come to me instead.. let me tell you ancient stories and heroic battles, in hopes that it will ignite in you the will to have another bright day like it used to be.. who knows?!

Take the stories of Joseph, Oqba, and al-Saqr41.

It was said that he is still mourning from losing the key.. just like the rest of us.. starting with the Battle of Tours, then the Nakba and the Catastrophe, and then the Sabra and Shateila genocide.. who would open the sun’s door?!

He said: why me.. specifically?

You all like selling sacred things: tradition, scrolls, antiques, treasures, grandmother’s jewelry, mother’s things such as.. keys! Or else why would Muddaffar say what he has said? You follow the same religion, do you think I forgot?!

You have left nothing from the old treasure.

Even the black gold. It has become so vital that you made geography matter more than history, the history that you have butchered. This black gold has made you pipeline rats, and you made it priceless..

Can I tell you why?

I have to tell you so that I have done my part before God. Here is the thing:

It is for the Mercedes G-Class.. the classy car while the 1980s S-Class with the complicated artistic design has become an undesirable model in this (McDonald’s-like) fast generation!!

It is for the gypsum board decorations and the strong cement!

It is for the cold concrete.. yes. The building stones, not the defending stones, and not the heroic stones42. It is for huge houses and Monte Carlo-like colorful villas. With these villas that are elevated high in the sky, you lost the love, the compassion, the helping hand, the hospitality, and the beautiful Bedouin nights listening to traditional musical instruments. You lost the harvesting scenes, the knights-fighting scenes and all of these old traditional scenes.. our beautiful small things.

They, he added on, slightly angry, slightly sobbing: ask me about this, not about your problems, where is.. the spring.. ask.. our old rural bright days..

Where is it.. where is the sound of the Rababa43 in my grandfather’s room? The sheep? My grandmother’s chickens and their beautiful sounds in front of their little chicks in their little journey to find wheat!

And the late nights, and the singing, and the dancing during the harvest season?

Where are the lights: the harvesters’ lights?

Where is it all.. where have you lost that?

Where is this now.. where is it for God’s sake?

Where is the flattery between the guys and the tribe’s girls on the dance floor?

Where are the flocks of birds migrating? They used to draw in the skies the happiness of earth as it celebrated the spring!

And.. you are asking about the key?!

No.. it is not with me. I wish it were. If I had it, then my gray somber wandering would be nonexistent.. if you read between the lines!

Then.. he stopped telling the truth, and went back to utter silence!

It was said that they are still sailing the seas, crossing lands. Then they were back to their depressed silence, and once again they went back down the searching road, with the fortune tellers .. looking for a key, a lost key.. in a betraying age!!!

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