[Illustration by Kahlil Gibran.]

by George El-Hage

I am coming from the distant past
From illusions we fabricated
And words we spoke in faith.

I am coming on a pair of legs
Paralyzed by deep, yellow sleep—
A long and yellow sleep;
It murders the voice of my conscience
And muzzles it,
But the dragon guards it
With his claws
And prevents my escape.

I am coming from the company
Of the child we were to conceive
And give strength to
So he can bequeath his hands
As shady fragrant branches
To children without shoes.

Yesterday I soared to the stars
To imbue them with color
And light their neglected fire.
And on my way I stopped
To make a crown out of clouds
Then went on to the awaited world.
Alone, I planted the moon as a lantern
And lighted the highways of the sun…

I was lost in fallow fantasies
And laved with the pleasures
Of your eye light.
I traveled many light –years
And followed many centuries.
I embraced the skies
To reach your illusory shadows;
I wore the shirt of God.

I am coming from the distant past;
Will I have a part in the present?

Your lips are blue
With too many names and shapes
Will they make room for me?

[Translated from the original Arabic by M. Bennani and George El-Hage.]