April is National Poetry Writing month, National Card and Letter Writing Month, Jazz Appreciation Month,National Arab American Heritage Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Here, today, it’s Male Monday! What better day for me to do something I rarely do: share a poem?
Sharif S. Elmusa was born in the village of al-Abbasiyya, Palestine. He is a widely published scholar, and translator. He has co-edited, and contributed to, the anthology, Grape Leaves: A Century of Arab-American Poetry, first issued by Utah University Press in 1988, and then re-issued in 1999 in paperback edition by Interlink Books. He has translated extensively from Arabic poetry. He is currently visiting professor at Georgetown University, Qatar campus, from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, where he is an associate professor in the Political Science Department. And, he is a poet.
When writing about the recent Revolution in Egypt, he stated ”…writing a poem and engaging in a revolution are both acts of self-discovery. The revolution dignifies the ordinary, and elevates it, just as poetry transforms common words into rhythms and meaning.”
A bright, three-quarters moon
beams in the eastern sky
over four million households.
Is it the same moon that
the wise Thoth fixed? This one
looks like it doesn’t wish to be alone,
could land in the lap
of a satellite dish any moment.
The neighbor’s dog howls.
My grandmother used to say
a long dog howl meant the family
was in trouble. But it is hard to tell
with such polished howl. The train,
as if hauling the vast woes of the city,
blows a grave, far-reaching whistle.
But the windows of many apartments
have already drawn their curtains.
The fountain in the square has gone to sleep.
The flowers of the Peruvian jacaranda
are completely still in the new home.
No wind is blowing.
The world moves the mind
like power the ceiling fan;
the poem is the breeze.