Fortress Of Sorrow
Lukman Derky

My God, who loves me
And turned me into a bird without wings
And turned me into a bird
That doesn’t sing too well
My God, who thinks that he turned me into a bird.

My God, who sets my food before me
But I don’t eat
Who weeps a bit for me
Then eats my food Himself.

My God, who all my life
Built a fortress of sorrow around me
Stone by stone
And when He had locked it down on me completely
Wanted to see me
But saw nothing but pain
So He got bored with me and left me there alone.

Who is going to take my hand?
Who is going to know where I am?
Who is going to break the fortress of sorrow around me
Without breaking me?

City in Fear
Mohammad Abou-Laban

Greetings, casual appointments,
lazy time!
Tomorrow has become something possible,
A pure timing error!
The journey among death’s day-workers
Has the flavor of phantoms’ lives,
A bitterness that breaks up speech,
A river that pours out a singer
With no larynx.


A Glimpse
Liwaa Yazji

I don’t believe in God,
And He doesn’t believe in me.
The situation is nothing more than
A bus driver
Who looks at me from time to time in his mirror
While driving.

The Musicians
Hazem al-Azmeh

The musicians whose songs reach me from the end of the tunnel…
They have made me walk, strutting, in the maze of tunnels.
As if the musicians were my own people…
As if I had recently left them,
And here I am, back again.


Little Red Riding Hood
Adnan Odeh

There is no wolf in the forest, O Layla!
Why are you out strolling,
When your grandma, besieged
By hunger,
Has eaten your birds,
And…O Layla!…the forest has been burned down
And the story stolen.
Why don’t you stay little, little girl,
And stay asleep in bed?