Here at the bottom of the hills, in front of the sunset,
Over the abyss of time
Near ranches with severed shadows
We do what prisoners and the unemployed do:
Bring-up hope.

From Mahmoud Darwish's new poem 'surrounded'.
Translation Hassan Abdulrazzak)

The world has its say
I push at the gate
And in its feeble way
It resists, pushing ever so slightly
Against my palm.
The ground beneath gloves its fists
for imperceptible friction.
The world has its say through Newton's laws.

They have built a Jerusalem via dolorosa
The beast lifts its slow thighs
To crush the crowd huddled beneath.
Debris scatters for miles and miles
Punching small holes in the walled cages.
The alleyways are washed in the blood of
hot tempers. Stone-throwing youngsters
Rise to the sun like foolish moths aching for the burning
Light bulb. Crunched as used-up cigarette butts, they are pulped in the peak
Of youth. On the blood-moist leaves, inside their casings, more rough caterpillars
Wait to be born.

Newton sits on the rock at the bottom of the ocean,
His head dangling over muscular shoulders, a tongue-in-cheek
gift from the visionary one. He wonders why his laws are applied
But not understood. Hands turning to fists to force to death
inevitably meet resistance. The world has its say.

Hassan Abdulrazzak

There are many web sites devoted to the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. The following two are a reasonable start: and

If you've any comments on this poem, Hassan Abdulrazzak would be pleased to hear from you.

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