Mahmoud Darwish

((13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008 / Palestinian)

A Traveller


This road takes me; a horse guiding a horseman
A traveler like me cannot look back
I have walked far enough to know
where autumn begins:
there, behind the river,
the last pomegranates ripen
in an additional summer
and a beauty mark grows
in the seed of the apple
The road and I will sleep like partners
behind the river, beneath our shadows,
then rise at dawn and carry each other.
I will ask it: Why so fast?
Slow down, O horse saddled with seasons!
No matter how few our dreams
we will cross the desert and valleys
to reach the end at the beginning.
The beginning is behind us;
Before us, clouds bringing winter's tidings.
I have walked far enough to know
where winter starts:
there, over the hill
a gazelle looks for a fawn under the clouds.
A hunter points his rifle;
I will howl like a wolf
so the white gazelle can flee the fire
and the hunter is scared.
The road and I will sleep
there, next to a cave, over the hill,
then rise at dawn and carry each other
asking: What next? Where are you taking me?
I see the fog, but I don't see the road,
nor does it see me.
Have I arrived?
Or have I been separated from the road?
I asked myself, then said:
Now, from this distance,
a traveler like me
can look back!

Submitted: Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 04, 2013

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