In the Frozen Streets of Eclipse
Translated by: Dr. Sharef Fayez

I passed through winters of a remote land
where an old man from a dark history street
stood everyday on the ancient Zenborak Wall*   
to curse the brilliant civilization of his tribe
Then he would roll up his sleeves
and plant the black poplar of his sermons
by the false stream
I passed through winters of a remote land
where I saw the sun’s hands
failing to put a coin on a child’s small palm
The sun’s generous hands
were empty of any shining generous coins 
in the frozen streets of eclipse
The sun’s generous hands
was rotting in the night’s dark pockets
I passed through winters of a remote land
where it was possible to offer bread fragrance
as a rich perfume gift to the most beautiful city girl
And it was possible to graft the blossom of bread image
to the perfume of illusion 
in the flower vase of the children’s minds
and look forward for rain.
I passed through winters of a remote land
where by a bakery I saw a people
counting the coins that the king of poverty
had minted “hunger” on both side
As I returned home at night with a bundle of hunger
my children understood from my hands’ broken lines
the meaning of geographical nothingness
And they drank water from the pot of thirstiness
And for expectation, they expected a flower bouquet 
at the crossing point of winds
My children, knowing the culture of hunger,
speak foreign languages
translating the word “bread” from morning to evening
from the kitchen dictionary into a thousand languages 
My children know
that “bread has overcome
the amazing prophetic mission.” **
My children know
that the destruction alphabet has been written
on the school’s blackboards with a fire-made chalk
And that the red rain of the disaster
has flooded the school’s orchard of songs
with the blossom of silence
My children know
that the school is a monkey unleashed
in the black jungle of guns --
a despised exile in the island of tanks
I passed through winters of a remote land
where I heard an old man’s voice   
flowing in the ruptured vein of every explosion
inviting death to watch the city
And he still shackles life
in the lowest level of hell
And stones the spring
in the green mirror of plants
I recognize his voice
his voice invites the sinister crows     
to the high branches of the orchard.
His voice sings a lullaby to the child of light
in the cradle of dawn
beheading wakefulness
His voice is a carnivorous plant 
rooted in history’s stench
I passed through winters of a remote land
where I learned that no person awake at night
had ever heard the sun’s coughing
from the other side of the darkness’ hills
And I know there is nothing in the land
save a swarm of the explosion’s vultures
biting into the ripped body of the day
And the old village farmer thrashes his harvest
in a circle of nothingness
And hunger is measured by a centurial measurement
which the sun has lighted
the human rights as a golden dome
over the pavilion of its awareness
There is nothing on the earth
where nobody trusts his shadow
And the curve of every street is a passage
linking the Seven Adventures of Rustem ***
to the reality of history.
I have come from winters of a remote land
where my feet recognize
the trail of misery in its every span
What should I say?
The silk skirt of my sentences is short
The “button” of my words is broken
What fabric should I design for the tall figure of my pain?

Kabul, April 1996