Mohammad al-Qaood
Four Poems from Mohammad al-Qaood

Mohammad al-Qaood


Four Poems


Translated by Allison Blecker





A man carries a bundle of dreams,

an idea for a beautiful country

and a heart possessed by childhood.


He walks along the street of hope

Harassing his fear.


A gang who steal principles, armed with emptiness

and a detachment from the battle against hope

obstruct his dreamy path.


They aim their darkness

and their inheritance of hatred at him.


He falls, stained with his greenness,

while his dreams continue

their luminous journey.




The pupil escaping from his school

gathers cigarette butts,

exhales their smoke in extraordinary delight

and dreams of a school with teachers

who have not mastered frowning nor the grasping of rods.


And the general stealing away from his barracks

with a band of villagers

dreams of taking the radio station by storm,

doing away with parliament

and glorifying the rod.




He would hang his sorrows

like a freshly slaughtered animal

on the laundry lines,

and hang all falsehoods

on the wall of the wretched room

and then fire at them

rounds of sarcasm.




He entered the restaurant

and ordered from the pale waiter

a plate of silence,

a plate of solitude,

a cup of indifference,

and a knife, to cut through

the sorrows of his days.


Four of eight poems selected from the Yemen feature in Banipal 36