the year of sorrows

stretch out your hands to the aeons of time

grasp from them the year of sorrows

keep it within your palms

place it on your breast

feel the heartbeats of the dead

touch the blood that soaks the earth

feel its warmth

hear the cries of your brothers

feel their pain

the crush of death enfolds us

in its embrace we sink into the depth

of an endless night of shadows


Sea of sand

I walk in the hot burning sand

Searching for my own promised land

Meandering in the sands of time

Soft and smooth beneath my feet

Inviting me to lie down – feel the heat

I close my eyes and remember

Thoughts swim through memories

I lean back and slowly breathe in

Oceans of images from the past

Currents, carry me to my childhood

Scenes, pictures – of people, of me

All drifting in the waves of the sea.


My Freedom

I want the freedom to go home
the freedom to return home
the freedom to be at home
the freedom to sit, eat, sleep, at home
I want the freedom to be free,

I want the freedom to wake up at home
and welcome in the light
I want to smell the cool air of the dawn
I want the freedom to step out
and feel the drape of the mists that form,

I want the freedom to be safe
without locking myself up
I want the freedom to walk
in my almond and olive groves
to enjoy their fruits,

I want my family to come home to me
I want to be hugged by them
and kissed by them at home with me
I want their laughter and their tears
to be recorded there, in our home,

My thoughts, my dreams: Zainab Al-Arabi