Mahmoud Darwish

13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008 / Palestinian

No Flag Flutters In The Wind

No flag flutters in the wind,
no horse floats in the wind,
no drums accompany the rise and fall of waves…
Nothing happens in tragedies today…
The curtain is drawn, both poets and audience
have left - there are no cedars or processions,
no olive branches to greet those coming in by boat,
weary from nosebleed and the lightness
of the final act, as if passing from one fate
to another, a fate written beyond the text,
a woman of Greece playing the part
of a woman of Troy, as easily white as black,
neither broken nor exalted, and no one asks:
'What will happen in the morning?'
'What comes after this Homeric pause?'
…as if this were a lovely dream
in which prisoners of war are relieved
by fairness of their long, immediate night,
as if they now say:
'We mend our wounds with salt'
'We live near our memory'
'We shall try out an ordinary death'
'We wait for resurrection, here, in its home
in the chapter that comes after the last…'
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