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Hamad Mahmoud Aldokhy is an Iraqi poet, born on March 23rd, 1974 in Sherqat, Iraq. He started writing poetry when he was very young, and has a PhD in Arabic Literature from Mosul University, Iraq. Currently, he is a professor of Arabic literature at Tikrit University. Some of the prizes he has received include Poet of the University of Mosul 1997, 1998, and 1999, and Poet of Iraqi Universities 1999. In 2000, he also placed second in the ten best list of young Iraqi poets.

Hamad Mahmoud Aldokhy has participated in many poetry and literary festivals, such as the Merbid Poetic Festivals in 2001,2002 and 2004, Iraqi Intelligentsia in 2005, and many other local and international festivals and conferences. His published books include: Athabat (Ordeals)/Poetry Collection/2002/Baghdad; L’ORGUEIL DES ANNEES TRES IRAKINNES/2002/Algeria; Poets from Iraq/2004/Bahrain; Iraqi Sorrows/Poetry Collection/2005/UAE; A LAS ORILLAS DEL TIGRIS/Poetry Collection/2006/Brazil; Keys for Marked Doors/Poetic Collection/2007/Damascus/Syria; All the Names/Poetry Collection/2009/Beirut.

Translation from Arabic by Safaa Sheikh Hamad

Two Paintings of a Wary Homeland
Arabic version

لوحتان   لوطنٍ   يتلًّفتْ

هاربٌ   مِن   مراياه

- هذهِ (وجوهُنا ..)
لا تدلـُّوا المرايا
لا تقشِّرَ عنَّا غطاءَ الهزيمة ْ
- هذهِ (وجوهُنا ..)
لا تدلـُّوا العيونَ
لا تخطـّط َ خارطةَ الفاتحين
ببعضِ الأغاني الأليمة ْ
- هذهِ (وجوهُنا ..)
بها وجهةُ الفارس ِالعربيِّ إلى حتفهِ،
أو إلى موعدٍ
عند رأسِ الغدير ِ
فلا فرقَ ..
ما بينَ هذا وذاكَ
عيونٌ تطل ُّ
تنوي تدلُّ
لسانَ المرايا
أنَّ (الوجوه) ضحايا
ولكن لنا اللونُ ..
نـَرْسمُهُ نيسميَّـاً
كي تجيءَ المواسمْ
فسوفَ نغني
وسوفَ نسالمْ
برغمِ الذي
في (الوجوهِ) من الهمِّ
أو ما بها من أذى
ورغم الذي
يسرقُ السمعَ
ما بينَ ذاك ذوما بينَ ذا
سنرسمُ هذي (الوجوه ْ)
يـٌدل ُّ الغريبَ لكي لا يتوه ْ
(الوجوه) تقاسيمُـنا
(الوجوه) تراتيـلـُـنا

ظلال في الليل

- هنا الليلُ ..
بأيةِ عين ٍ دخانيّةٍ
نبحثُ اليومَ عن ظلِّ وجهٍ
أضاعَ الطريقَ
لغيمِ البلاد ْ؟
هنا الليلُ
وهذي (الوجوهُ) بهذي التراسيم
ماذا عساها تـُبـَصِّرُ ثقلَ المسافةِ
بين المياهِ وبينَ الرمادْ
- هنا الليلُ ..
مـَنْ مـُشعـِلٌ إصبعاً للمسدس ِ؟
حتى يرى الذئبُ
أنَّ لنا بئرَنا
وأن له غيرَنــا
وأنَّا نهيِّئُ موَّالَنا للحصادْ
- هنا الليلُ ..
لكن لنا ضوءنا
سوف نأخذ ُ– رغمَ تخلـِّي الفصول ِ– للوحاتِنا منهُ
سربَ عصافيرَ خلفية ً
خلفها قمرْ
وسوف نؤطـِّرُها بـِوَترْ
ونعلنُ في الناسِ:
نحنُ هُنا ..
ويوماً ستطلعُ من (وجهِنا) شمسُنا
برغم جفافِ (الوجوهِ) نقولُ:
بأنَّ الينابيعَ منا
وأنَّ البقاءَ
بلا (وجهِنا) دمية ٌ
أو حجرْ
ولكن أتدري لماذا رَسَمْنا
وراء َ(الوجوهِ) عصافيرَنا والقمرْ؟؟!
لكي لا يُرى ما بها يا صديقيَ
من كدمةٍ أو أثرْ
(الوجوه) تقاويمُنا
(الوجوه) تفاصيلُنا.

English version

Two Paintings of a Wary Homeland

(1) A Fugitive from His Mirrors

These are our faces:
Don't tell the mirrors
lest they peel off
our cover of defeat.

These are our faces:
Don't tell the eyes
lest they sketch a map
for the conquerors
with a handful of painful songs.

In our faces,
the Arab knight heads to his death,
or to a meeting by the pond,
for there is no difference
between this and that.
The eyes overlook
the tongue of the mirrors
to shout:
The faces are victims.

Yet, we have the color.
we charted it direct
for our paintings
for seasons to come.

We will sing.
We will make peace.
Despite all that gloom
and the harmed faces,
in spite of all the tapping on voices,
between this and that,
we will paint these faces,
a route,
so strangers don't get lost.
The faces are our variations.
The faces are our hymns.

(2) Shadows at Night

Here is the night:
With what smoky eye,
do we look today
for the shadow of a face
that missed the road
to clouds of a nation?

Here is the night:
How can these faces,
with these features,
foresee the weight of the distance,
between the water and the ash?

Here is the night:
Who would fire the gun
to show the wolf,
we have our well
and he has another,
that we are rehearsing the songs of the harvest?

Here is the night:
We have our light.
Though seasons have failed us,
we will take a moon
behind a flock of birds,
a background of our paintings
with a frame of strings
and declare among the people:
Here we are.

One day,
the sun will rise from our face.

Despite the drought in the faces,
we will say:
The springs are ours
and survival without our face is but a doll
or a stone.

Do you know
why we painted the birds and the moon behind the faces?
To hide the bruises
the faces are our heights,
the faces are our points.

Translation from Arabic by Safaa Sheikh Hamad