You run your hand just so very slowly over the dark sewn fabric of this Bedouin dress – you feel three thousand years rough up against the color of your skin against the colors of your memory you tell me “When I wear this dress I always come out red” and I, looking at the rustle in you, say “You must look good all red” and the brightness of your hair is lit up by the shine of your eyes so predictable a beauty but your laughter always surprising and new like this dress so many years in the making with so many hidden desert places so many deep crevices in the heart
Sam Hamod – please see author’s full bio on the home page, in additional works, and on the author’s page.
always there are the waves at Isla Negra, unless you understand the motion of rocks as they stir against the pounding surf, you will never understand the motion of loving a place or a woman, each moves in her own way, undulating like willows high up on cliffs as they extend their branches downward, enticing you as do the waves at Isla Negra, so many colours, so many rhythms, so many songs heard and unheard known only in the heart
Sam Hamod has his PhD. from The Writers’ Workshop of the University of Iowa and has taught in the Workshop; he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, has published 10 books of poems, and has appeared in dozens of anthologies in the U.S. and abroad. He has also taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, Princeton, Michigan, Wisconsin, Howard and overseas as well. His most recent books were, JUST LOVE POEMS FOR YOU (2006), Ishmael Reed Pub. Co/Contemporary Poetry Press and THE ARAB POEMS, THE MUSLIM POEMS (2000), Contemporary Poetry Press/Cedar Creek; he has two more books of poems under contract and his memoirs as well. He has won many awards over the years, and in addition has read with such poets as Kinnell, Ginsberg, Merwin, Wright, Knight, Baraka and others, and has had praise from Neruda, Borges and such American poets as Ishmael Reed, James Wright, Dick Hugo, Jack Marshall, Amiri Baraka and E. Ethelbert Miller among others.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz with Translation by Shadab Zeest Hashmi
Speak out for your lips are not slaves Speak out for your tongue is yours yet And body strong yet Speak out Your life is still yours
At the blacksmith’s How swift the flame how red the iron Locks are slackening their jaws Fetters are dropping to the ground Speak out This meager time is enough Before death snatches your body your tongue
Speak For truth is alive yet Speak Speak your heart out!
Faiz Ahmed Faiz was one of the greatest of Pakistani poets in the 20th century. He spent his life as a writer working for the good of Pakistan and its people, often being so critical of the prevailing governments that he was imprisoned for many years.
Shadab Zeest Hashmi’s poetry has appeared in various publications including Poetry International, Hubbub, New Millenuem Writings, Nimrod and The Bitter Oleander. Her work has also been published online in The Courtland Review as well as other places. She is the author of the newly released book of poems The Baker of Tarifa.