Two Poems


By Force of Mourning

Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
—T.S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday

Anguished and blown astray
In the endless maze of the everyday,
Riding the wind for a horse
With a handkerchief’s force

Do I need to overwhelm you with my credentials?
Do I need to charm you with my expertise?
Tell me, do I need combustibles like these
To burn you in the river of my debris?

If words were to breathe
The sea that hugs the sand
The touch of a hand

I would hardly say anything   
But perpend the sheer force of nothing


The Scene of History

From the meadows of my memory
Emerge the hills, the river, and the olive trees
Out there, towards the twilight 
The rams, the ewes, and the cows

The shepherds of childhood 
Roaming about, scattered among the meadows
Among the hills, the river and the olive trees
To the rams, the ewes and the cows

Nothing can be heard
Not the ney, not the lute, not the cane flute
Not the silence of the hills, of the river, or of the olive trees
Not the shepherds tending to the rams, to the ewes, and to the cows
As history passes by


Nouri Gana