Khaled Najar (al-Najar)
Windows of Sand


And I return to the old house from travel.
Things regain their old taste
and sad silence.
At night I will walk by my loved one’s windows
the way autumn passes by
because the wind still brings back the bitterness
of old days
and takes from the sand
all that we said
the day you first saw me.


Like the sun under water
your face,
like time
a crucifix in my night.
In the memory of days,
lakes from a star
bring the wind back to my house
and give me
our  childhood that died
the way butterflies died
in a summer without shores.


When I was young
I walked to the gates of the South
listening to the gushing of springs at night.
When I was young and innocent
like the shells of dreams,
the butterflies on the roof were my stars
and the shadows of horse carts
were my angels.


They stole my childhood from me
and my madness.
They stole my winds
from the wooden crates
where I kept my clothes.
And from the gates of the South
they stole the croaking of my frogs
and my mother’s mirrors.


Like the flint glass of old lanterns
without colour or glow,
like the sorrows or autumn
I become when you arrive
shaking the gates of my heart,
placing snowflakes on my eyelids.
In the silence of the dark
I hear the wind howling
at the porthole
and my pulse, trembling
with sorrow, weeps.

And I am made naked by your eyes.


Across the bridges
an angel passes sobbing


In the  city there is
an empty street
and a lit window.
You are there
every  evening waiting
foor mail that will not arrive.

And you weep.

In the city there is . . .


I hold a candle and flowers
in the silence of my hand.
I hold a mirror, a sock, a cloud
in the silence of my hand,
and your singing is lost
in a distant summer
among parafin lamps.

I hold a notebook and doors
and the sea,

and butterflies
and the sadness of eternity.


In the city there is
an empty street
and a window where you can be seen
the cold fringes of sadness and death.
Every evening you are framed in it
for mail that will not arrive.

In the city there is . . .


In the windows of sand
in death
in a chalk-drawn circle
in castle walls

your liquid name, beloved,
was an old journey,

        a song
that comes with the wind to my house in winter.

It was the lantern of the orchards
long dimmed by the tide.
It returned
as a moon above the banks of death
and in its waning reflected
the lights of islands.
They remain at the bottom of the river
to celebrate a feast for my sorrow by the walls
of Mary Magdalene’s home.

It was my face
and my stone castle.