Robin Moger Translates Saniya Saleh

The Storm Takes the Heart.


Ian Berry, Hong Kong, 2002. Source:

.What does that glum sun search for in its useless

round and why does its purple body come apart

and endless discs come tumbling down from its

flaming core, followed by black birds

black and crossing over like the storm

whose eyes aglow with tears we barely glimpse, they come

out from the graves of the forefathers and make for Jordan.

A voice

“A river springs from memory

from the depths of history

a river in which millions of innocent flowers have bathed.

Give me my paper boat. Give it me

so I can sail on its waves towards the river.”

and it threw itself

down in the river’s sweep protected by its dreams

its wings white winds which glow bright over Jordan.


A voice

“Are these scattered bones my mother?

and that sinister skull my father?”


A voice

“My revolution has no banners and no admirers.

Hell its beginning. Hell its end. Its only paradise is my soul.”



“Woes, deepen your presence so

your glow illumes the singer’s face.

My desert, close your eyes so that

the storm not take your heart. Swim

over a gale of lies and accusation

whisper in your deepest part, ‘I will be a bird

and saved’ and quickly heaven will come.”


Other voices

“We were a mess of tears and blood

when the angels landed fevered

settled like crows on branches

took up our flux with their long staffs

belly to back to make their minds up

to spit on us or weep.”


Young boys these heroes and will never know being full grown.


Their faces are sad.


They carry their flags passionately like these are everything

that is.


Young boys these

who deepen freedom’s course.


Veins of fire between you and I,

bold darlings.

Veins of dawn pull me your way

out of the waters of the ocean.

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