Discovery and Indifference

Two Poems by Khulood al-Mu'alla

Translated by Rasheeda Plenty and the author



You and I

have been alike for years.

I used to catch a glimpse of myself in you . . .

time was without pulse

the mirror was without reflection.

One night,

a hand sneaked in,

lit a candle

and I discovered that for years

I had been seeing you in the dark.



I won’t lie on a bed of emptiness

I won’t get hung up by what others arrange.

I won’t care what dishes luck serves up,

won’t accept my fortune.

Today, I’ll ride the crest of a wave,

toward another shore.

I’ll sail through gales and thunder

with indifference.

I’ll reveal and be revealed

committing the act of rebirth.


And when the sun hugs its horizon,

I’ll sit beneath a flourishing palm tree.

I’ll cleanse my fate of signs of wasters

and bloom like a glowing lilac,

my heart overflowing

in a country softened by affection,

I’ll be walking boldly.