Hussein Habasch (Kurdistan)
Hussein Habasch is a poet from Afrin, Kurdistan. He currently lives in Bonn, Germany. His poems have been translated into English, German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Turkish, Persian, Albanian, Uzbek, Russian, Italian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Macedonian, Serbian, Polish and Romanian, and has had his poetry published in a large number of international anthologies. His books include: Drowning in Roses, Fugitives across Evros River, Higher than Desire and more Delicious than the Gazelle’s Flank, Delusions to Salim Barakat, A Flying Angel, No pasarán (in Spanish), Copaci Cu Chef (in Romanian), Dos Árboles and Tiempos de Guerra (in Spanish), Fever of Quince (in Kurdish), Peace for Afrin, peace for Kurdistan (in English and Spanish), The Red Snow (in Chinese), Dead arguing in the corridors (in Arabic) and Drunken trees (in Kurdish). He participated in many international festivals of poetry including: Colombia, Nicaragua, France, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Germany, Romania, Lithuania, Morocco, Ecuador, El Salvador, Kosovo, Macedonia, Costa Rica, Slovenia, China, Taiwan and New York City.
What is happiness, father?
It’s a bird forgot his feathers and wings in the desert, son!
What is life, father?
It’s a boiled egg we are in it, son!
What is human, father?
He is an acrobat’s dancer on the edge of the abyss, son!
What is isolation, father?
It’s isolate the soul from all the world’s aspects, son!
What is love, father?
They said it’s a healthy sickness, son!
What is future, father?
It’s a sun, only shine on the lucky ones, son!
What are tears, father?
It’s a rain, missed its way, son!
What is bravery, father?
It’s a ball of fire, rotates inside the heart, son!
What is pain, father?
It’s a shirt we put on, from our birth to our death, son!
The Lazy Pupil
They told him
Draw the school
He drew an amusement park.
Draw the teacher
He drew a rose.
Draw the lake
He drew a swan.
He drew a green bud.
Draw the sky
He drew his father.
Draw the earth
He drew his mother.
All the time
The lazy pupil
Was drawing his heart.
O love, O war
O an endless filth
Leave here, go to hell
We want to write
Without your unpleasant odor penetrating through them.
We want to kiss our wives, sweethearts, and mistresses
Without hearing your noise around us.
We want to die from love, from love alone!
I am in exile, and the war at its height
Oh God, how much I missed your small wars my love,
Your wars which me and my heart are the happy victims.
Go on, be a little crazy, have a little fun
Or if you want, ruin my mood with your huge dosage of grouchiness.
I don’t want to think about this nasty war which is taking place in my homeland.
This war is a machine, grinding the meat of love
And crushing its bones with no mercy!
With love we will grind war’s bones and eliminate it!
It seems this war has no end
Come, let us plant trees and sleep cuddling up next to it, until it grow.
Don’t say you have no time
This war will drag for long time
I don’t want for our love to be defeated.
The lover was saying to his sweetheart
I will kiss you until dawn.
Now he says
I will kiss you until this war explode from rage.
Put your hand on my forehead
Distract this war that almost break my head.
With love we will break its head!
War doesn’t like to pause
Doesn’t like holidays nor laziness.
It likes work, and does it with the utmost devotion and dedication
And the more its work payoff
The more it grows passionate, energetic, and moving forward
With love we will stop it in its place, yes we will stop it…
War doesn’t listen, doesn’t obey nor answer to anybody.
It goes to its goal as a fatal bullet goes directly to the heart of life.
We will return back the favor twice as hard.
We won’t build a house, we won’t put any stone over stone.
We will write poems and sing lyrics.
Nothing enrages war more than poems and lyrics.
I will go to war.
And what will you do there?
I will kill war!
What you do in wartime?
I write love poems
I hold on more to love!
Translated by Muna Zinati