Poem by Abdulwahab al-Bayati
The princess and the gypsy
I slip into your eyes – you come out of my mouth –
I wake onto your bright face – you sleep in my blood
on the bed of rains of the red tartars’ deserts-
I madly call for you with all the black savage shouts of the world,
and the languages, all the lover’s agony on the bottom of the cities inferno –
the lover, the saint and the martyr- you sleep in my blood- I
slip into your eyes, I faint dead on the bed of
the fire, I lay resting on your chest in the dream-
you sleep in the eyelashes, I madly call for you, on your chest I lay resting, to the crow of the dawn roaster in God’s kingdom, and in the kingdom of magic,
and in its territories I pursue my travelling.
On tripping my love
dies at the walls of this flame underlying your eyes,
your silence, your voice, your pale
My love is a fascinating song I inscribe on
In the first dawn of man, before the third millennium of August
After the deluge, afore the exile in the desert.
In the red desert of tartars
From Paris to Sana’
The wagons of happy gypsies were progressing
Conveying me lady and behind the wagons
I suffer thirst and hunger, I gather the gazelle
of the oases sun
the world in words.
I madly call for you by name: all names
all idols, all roses of woods all goddesses
all women of the world in the history books in all paintings
all poets’ lovers
Madly, I was beseeching God.
I come back from God’s kingdom and the kingdom of magic on the wings of day-I madly call for you with all black savage shouts of the world and the languages, all the earth pain for rains and suns in the winter night of the world cities, madly calling you-and in Beirut-or-Baghdad-or-Paris
for your eyes-for your face-in the poems and stores green facades-on the seas’ shores and woods-for your eyes
for your face in the paintings and drawings
I madly call you-onto your bright face I wake up in midday –I lay resting on your chest-in the regions of your eyes-and in their sky I continue my travel
My love is greater than me
Than this world
The poor lovers
named me a king of vision
And a saint of alienation and exile
In your name, I was madly praying God.