nadia abduljabbar

(25/5/1957 / Makkah)

'Aywa'; Oh Yes: I Like Iowa


On the Green Silky Carpet,
Bride of all brides,
Walk slowly and Proudly,
On the Green Carpet,
In a low voice,
I heard myself singing,
With trembling lips,
I was singing calmly,
After a year of continuous crying.

But I am no body's bride,
And I intend not to be so;
My bridegroom was pushed to go;
To leave this life a year ago,
To leave me dreaming
To continue the journey;
The road
All alone,
Just a week before our union
Could have taken place.

And I exclaimed:
‘How weird this life is'! !
When the right man appeared,
He was forced to disappear,
Why? I really do not know! ! !

Finally, I learned how to keep
My expectations low,
Yet, I was chosen out of all
Visitors of the American Conciliate,
No body from those>
Who licked the floor;
No one from those who compete;
For the Americans' love,
Was selected,
Yet I who said 'no'
To their policy,
Was asked to go;
To be a member of Iowa's
Program for writing.

What? !
The total death of DEMOCRACY
Is not yet complete? !
Has its brain died,
But the heart
Is not yet! !
It still beats,
Who knows?

I replied with a big 'NO',
I could not travel
All of this distance alone,
I asked myself what for? !
They insisted…I yielded,
Arabic modesty, decency,
I felt shy for
They solved every problem
Every obstacle
That could make me
Hesitant to accept their offer;
To make me see Iowa;
To mingle with people there.

I consulted Fatma,
My former Egyptian instructor
And friend,
Whom I could keep
For many years,
Her words for me
Are far more precious
Than gold,
She studied in Iowa,
Her Ph. D was about Defoe
And Moll Flanders,
She once told me
‘People in Iowa
Are true liberal, '
Though we differ
Every now and then,
This never touched
The essence of our two free spirits,
Nor our friendship,
She advised me to go,
Not to hesitate and to accept
The generous invitation;
Not to loose a chance
As such.

I said to myself:
‘Nothing to loose anymore'.
A quarter of a century ago,
I wanted to study
For my M. A in Iowa,
But was accepted in Denver;
Life's ways with Nadia,
I chose a British supervisor
Who worked in Jeddah
Instead,
Much later I became a distant learner;
I chose Exeter,
As a temporary exit
Form the invisible cage
Of femininity in a man's world,
My Ph. D thesis:
I s liberty And my model s are
Arabic and a British poetesses;
It is an important topic
To women as well as men,
In today's confused world.

Now I' m invited to talk
About women's freedom,
And position in Islam;
By a woman priest in a Church!
She is doing what I did and said
In my poem: ' The Spiritual Link';
Most people care for humanity,
But in politics…well
No comment.

Here I am hearing
Myself singing,
But still my voice is low,
Amazed from myself,
As the case always is,
I looked from the tiny window
Of the tiny airplane,
And I saw the natural GREEN CARPET
Down there with yellowish ending
Just like that of a velvet skirt,
Before, I was so sure
That America is not my 'cup of tea',
But now I am not that sure,
I have always liked the countryside;
To live in a place so green and wide,
And here I am in the midst
Of green hills.

I asked myself: what am I supposed to do?
Trying to investigate,
To dive into this mind;
Into this heart
Of mine,
I began to think; to ask
What made me sing in the first place,
And why was it this song
In particular? !
Who is my new BRIDEGROOM,
Certainly not a human being,
To find a true mate is rare,
Life can not give me again
Another man who can
Share my spirituality...my intellectuality,
In Vain.

Is it self fulfillment?
Well, I am done with that too,
Is it publishing my new book;
It is for and about him,
Well even this is not supposed
To make me sing,
I am far beyond happiness
Or sadness for simple things,
While I was still singing,
The airplane landed
In Cedar Rapids,
‘Aywa'; Oh Yes I like Iowa,
Yet my questions are still lingering
In the air.





10 a. m
27 August(the beginning of the poem in airplane) -
30 Sept.2005(The final touch on the poem)
The River Room
Iowa House Hotel.

Submitted: Friday, February 22, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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