Lahab Assef Al-Jundi (لهب عاصف الجندي) Arab Spring, 2011
I’m so waiting for spring
Not the usual
I’m tired of the cold and wish for sun
It is different
I’m craving the utter force of change
I want to witness
Ground moving in a million ways
I want the old to die
Revolutions to transform
Poems to flower out of blood-soaked dirt
I want peace to be the violent birth
Let tears fall
After death has had its way
Let spring roar like a thunder river
Lahab Assef Al Jundi (لهب عاصف الجندي)
was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. He published his first collection A Long Way in 1985. Assef’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many Anthologies including: In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets, edited by Robert Bonazzi, Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye. He currently resides in San Antonio, Texas, with wife Sara and two cockatiels Yoda and Princes.
Last night I had a date with the moon. I arrived early. A small knoll by a high perimeter fence topped with barbed wire. “Prohibited. Do Not Enter” sign in red letters, hung on chain links. In front of me, Texas Highway 281. Beyond, airport runways graying in faded evening light.
I sat waiting on hard thirsty earth. Patches of spring grasses. A few drooping wildflowers. I squinted in the strong breeze to keep dust out of my eyes. Images of rebels on the road to Tripoli seeped into my head. They were battling a sandstorm and killer mercenaries. Fumes from passing traffic drifted warm into my nostrils. Tires hissing and growling along. Oddly sweet. Calming. Cries of the wounded in Dara’a and Hama reverberated. Teargas-choked gasps. People screaming: “Freedom”.
Little by little sky darkened. Lights shimmered brighter in the haze of landing jet engines. My anxious gaze scanned eastward over runways and fields. Neighborhoods settling down for evening’s meal.
Out there where horizon fades between heaven and land, moon warily emerged bathed in crimson shades.
Set night on fire.
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi please see author’s biographical information in his additional works, and on the Author’s Page.
If the planet were covered with wildflowers, and someone dies a cruel death in China, all the blooms would disappear. A space of darkness would fill their place. A time of sorrow.
Have you ever drank from eternity’s cup? Eternity has never tasted so good.
Why would I wake up with a wildflower- covered world, death in China, and eternity? Only my dreaming-self knows!
All poetry is assembled from letters of an alphabet. All these diverse faces are two eyes, two lips and a nose. Everything we ever knew or will know can be told with ones and zeros. You still think creation is that complicated?
My heart is covered with wildflowers. I think I will go back to sleep and grow some more. This world could render me arid with blowing winds if I did not drink and drink,
Pour thunderstorms of blue grief…
إذا كان كوكبنا مغطى بالأزهار البريه
إذا كان كوكبنا مغطى بالأزهار البريه، وماتَ أحدُّ بقسوة في الصين، تختفي كل الزهور. وَيملأ فضاءٌ من الظلمة مكانهم. وقتٌ للحزن.
هل سبق لك أن شربت من كأس الخلود؟ طعم الخلود أطيب من أي وقت مضى. لماذا أستيقظ والأزهار البرية
تغطي العالم، وموتٌ في الصين، والخلود؟
فقط… ذاتي الحالمه تعرف.
كلُ الشعر مكونٌ من أحرف أبجدية. كلُ الوجوه المتنوعة…عينان وشفتان وأنف. كلُ شيء عرفناه أو سنعرفه يمكن أن يُروى بالآحاد والأصفار. مازلتَ تعتقد أن الخلق عملية معقده؟
قلبي مغطى بالأزهار البرية. أظن أني سأعود للنوم وأزرع أكثر. سيجعلني هذا العالم قاحلاً مع هبوب الريح إذا لم أشرب وأشرب،
وأُسكب عواصف رعدية من الحزن الأزرق…
Photo by Melanie Rush Davis
Lahab Assef Al Jundi (لهب عاصف الجندي) was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. He published his first collection A Long Way in 1985. Assef’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many Anthologies including: In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets, edited by Robert Bonazzi, Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry, edited by Hayan Charara, and Between Heaven and Texas, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye. He currently resides in San Antonio, Texas, with wife Sara and two cockatiels Yoda and Princes.