Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UCQ

Creative Writing

Calm Day

Calm Day

No dead on the streets today
is a calm day,
traffic is normal,
there's ample room for the procession
of yesterday's dead,
room to add
             a dream, an idea, a little boy,
             an extra push for the beloved boat,
             a nom de guerre for the cell,
             a rose for a new love,
             a hand to a comrade
 
Some room to stay alive for some time,
enough time to shake your hands
and reach the sun
 
Today is a calm day, a pedestrian day
in Beirut dancing in the streets,
obstructing buses and not buying
newspapers:
          the newspapers already went out to offices
and the dead are resting on the Pavement of Martyrs
at the outskirts of Sabra
 
A calm day,
our neighbor will step out in her nightgown
to hang some sleepiness around us,
some sluggish waking
she's too lethargic to gather letters into words
 
Where is life on this vast sauntering morning?
We won't leave
Out of the whiteness of her gown a reason
will come to carry us down to the streets
dead in her "Good morning"

- Ghassan Zaqtan, tr. Fady Joudah