A Black Swan
Staring at the news
lends me the wisdom of a shepherd sitting on a hill
as he watches his sheep cowering
at the smell of wolf in the grass.
Then he beats the ground with his staff,
calling the lowly creatures from the abyss
and giving them permission to watch a cheap copy
In its crumpled old age, the world has made me oblivious
to the danger of being twenty years old
hostage to four expanding walls
my soul keeps shrinking and fading away
The shell I made of my sleep
feeds my mother’s dread that I’ll become
the fifth wall
that brings down the weak foundations of our home
as they are beaten by the blind hand of secret family wars.
It is the malice of desires
that feeds the power of my imagination
and adds a capacity for dreaming
to the list of rarities.
The dream becomes a black swan
swimming in the fog
So I glance at it sideways
scolding and reproachful.
This staring at the unseen
lends me the kind of wisdom
that lets you feel
the stuffiness of the air
breathed day after day
by us, the worn out and weary.
A truth in the mouth of the mute
How can I persuade a bird landing by my window
that its wings curtail the horizon?
I am silent in the face of this distraction
imprisoned behind its oblivion
and the shortcomings of my gaze.
I keep on there like a pendulum
pacing back and forth
in a room choked with my anxiety.
I glance at the closed window
Where a bird loses its luster.
In my wandering
I’m not afraid of doors
yet I fear that once they are shut
they’ll block that ray of light
like a truth in the mouth of the mute.
What ordeal is this?
To be the secret and its opposite
as the grievousness of your mistakes chases your name
turning you into a devil that is mute.
The perplexed pharmacy
O water of the past, in you I seek shelter
the days have dried up
and wounded dust has risen to the faces.
I run in the streams of hearts
to remove their rust
and spread your flowers on shaking nerves.
I move among the names for pain
and erase them.
Because, if hurt,
the abyss in the soul
will never be filled with the cotton of memories,
life becomes an indomitable artery
in front of the perplexed pharmacy.
I run from the hearts of mothers
towards the desolation of limbs
and soften their roughness
to flow into the lamps of cordiality to set them alight
illuminating the darkness of closed off senses
oblivious to love’s ability to burst into flames
as Narcissus sows distractions at every turn
promising to extinguish love’s joy
like a fragment of a lost ring.
Mubeen Kishany, Iraqi poet and artist, was born in 1998 and has an Engineering degree. The translated poems are from a collection entitled “Restless” which has won the prestigious al-Rafidain award as a debut collection. He is one of the founders of Maska magazine. His poems are translated into Italian, Persian and English.