“. . . It’s hard for the post to make it to paradise . . .” (Abdel Rahim Al-Sheikh)

The sky near the Jordan River, Occupied West Bank, November 10, 2015. Photo by Harold Knight.
The sky near the Jordan River, Occupied West Bank, November 10, 2015. Photo by Harold Knight.

I have returned from my visit to Palestine/Israel. My daily posts of the digest of news from Palestine will resume tomorrow. If you would like to read my personal commentaries and observations about my visit, you may find them at my other blog, Sumnonrabidus’s Blog.

Thank you.

“SINGLE ADDRESS FOR THE POST,” BY ABDEL RAHIM AL-SHEIKH
On my way to them, I pass Him by,
(as, on his way, God passes me by)
for as we go our separate ways
we see no one but those on high.
The beds are allotted before the violet dawn.
The back and endless night is spent alone
and then the cataclysm comes
that will seed them from the borders of Palestine
the Great Thorn.
They are the only roses that grow.
From where they stalk the edge of paradise
the first paradise.
From where the children use thorns
to draw maps of this paradise.
From this spot.
We raise in the sky a glorying arc
the first milestone to Mecca
and we leave a kiss for those who left
with neither luggage nor papers for their passage.
This is the way the journey will always be.
They leave their bags for the postman to deliver
He takes them from the hands
of those who follow
And those who follow leave their packages
as the first ones do.
It’s hard for the post to make it to paradise.
There is no address
neither here nor there.
—translated by Rachel McCrum

Abdel Rahim al-Sheikh is from Jerusalem. He teaches philosophy, history, and creative writing at Bir Zeit University and the Qattan Center in Ramallah, and is the author of many literary and academic books.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s