viernes, 12 de febrero de 2016

NANCY MESSIEH [18.112] Poeta de Egipto


Nancy Messieh, fotógrafa y poeta egipcia residente en El Cairo, es autora del libro de poemas en inglés Photographs Never Taken.

Un poema por Tahrir, por Egipto 

esa plaza pública
con nombre de destino e historia
como sabiendo lo que iba a venir
firmes nos quedamos
diciendo, no nos moverán
pintamos poemas en el duro asfalto
reblandecido, empapado de la sangre nuestra

y el mundo miraba.

El mundo miraba mientras nos llamaban
y en las pantallas de los televisores
de los hogares, cerradas las puertas no fuera
a entrar a la verdad,
los hombres escupían a las cámaras desprecio
y las mujeres chillaban por teléfono
ojos y corazones llenos de rabia
incapaces de entender
que Tahrir era suya, para ellos,
mientras los ojos del gobierno mostraban sólo lo que querían
que viéramos
el sol poniente sobre el Nilo

y todo lo que hacía falta era girar lo mínimo la cabeza a la izquierda
por el rabillo del ojo un vistazo
mostrando la neblina del sol del Cairo entre los gases lacrimógenos,
los hombres a la carga por las calles con sus cuerpos solo
topando con los camiones de policía que los atropellaban.

Los diarios hablaban de disturbios por todo el Mediterráneo
pretendiendo que ese día que había
comenzado en El Cairo
era igual a otro cualquiera.

Pero algo había empezado.

Hombres y mujeres estremecían la tierra
con sus voces.

De norte a sur
caían cuerpos al suelo, dejaban de latir los corazones
pero en Tahrir por ellos mantuvimos alta la cabeza
saliendo de los muros por los que, toda nuestra vida,
caminamos pegados, ocultos en la sombra
de la conformidad y el miedo

abrimos al asesinato nuestros pechos,
abrimos a las piedras nuestros rostros, a las balas nuestros ojos,
nuestras mentes a los molotov que a la cabeza nos lanzaban

y dijimos

no tenemos miedo

porque el miedo a vivir con la cara enterrada
en el suelo de una tierra que no puede ya sentir
era nada, nada comparado con el miedo a morir
sin haber dicho ni una vez

soy libre.

Traducción: Lucas Antón

Um poema por Tahrir, por Egito

essa praça pública
com nome de sino e história
como sabendo o que ia vir
firmes ficamos 
dizindo, nom nos moverám
pintamos poemas no duro asfalto
amolecido, enchoupado da sangue nossa

e o mundo olhava.

O mundo olhava enquanto nos chamavam
e nos ecrás das televisons
dos fogares, fechadas as portas nom fora
entrar a verdade, 
os homens chuspiam às cámaras desprezo
e as mulheres gritavam por telefone
olhos e coraçons cheios de raiva
incapazes de entender
que Tahrir era sua, para eles,
enquanto os olhos do governo mostravam só o que queriam
que viramos
o sol-por sobre o Nilo

e todo o que fazia falha era girar o mínimo a cabeça e à esquerda
polo cabo do olho enxergar
mostrando a névoa do sol do Cairo entre os gases lacrimógenos,
os homens à carga polas ruas com os seus corpos apenas
topando com os camions da polícia que os atropelam.

Os jornais falavam de brigas por todo o Mediterráneo
 pretendendo que esse dia que começara
no Cairo
era igual a outro qualquer.

Porém algo começara.

Homens e mulheres estremeciam a terra
com as suas vozes.

De norte a sul
caiam corpos ao piso, deixavam de latejar os coraçons
mas em Tahrir por eles mantivemos alta a testa
saindo dos muros polos que, toda a nossa vida,
caminhamos pegados, ocultos na sombra
da conformidade e do medo

abrimos ao assassinato os nossos peitos,
abrimos às pedras os nossos rostos, às balas os nossos olhos, 
as nossas mentes aos molotov que à cabeça nos jogavam

 e dixemos

nom temos medo

porque o medo a viver com a cara soterrada
no chao dumha terra que nom pode já sentir 
era nada, nada comparado com o medo a morrer
sem ter dito nem umha vez 

som livre.

Publicado por Antom Fente Parada 


There are no new words for

in Syria,
where children are dying of
bombs and bullets
and polio,
because disease
is DNA
and a human being with his finger on a trigger.

The family with eight sons in Syria, each with a name of his own
has only two left,
five lost to shelling
one to a paralyzing virus.

The polio came to Syria in the veins of foreign groups
come to fight a war
bringing with them
another battle.

They say the fighting might stop
so they can save lives, prevent an epidemic
so that bombs and bullets
can do the job instead

they’re messy, but far more efficient
than a debilitating disease
that first takes your movement
then your life.

There are no new words for

because we say
never again
but we really mean
never again for this country
or these people

because Rwanda
because the holocaust
because Armenia
because Palestine

will never be enough
to say
never again

for Syria


people are reduced to numbers
in arial, font size 11
to fit in a small box
in a small newspaper
read on the way to work
and forgotten on an empty chair
on a train
thousands of miles away

and shallow graves
and playgrounds made of
bomb shells and napalm

wiping out an entire family’s future
in one strike.

There are no new words
for war

where men smell like
cigarette smoke, desperation
and gunpowder shot from the mouths of people
with no family to go home to

like citrus-lemon catching
in the paper cuts of men and women
filing the numbers

and two years is a lifetime
of counting 115,00 lifetimes,
shorter than they should have been

of counting the millions
whose homes are just houses
or rubble
or tents

and behind closed doors
men argue
about airstrikes and no-fly zones
and sending strong, clear messages
and jostling for power
and boots on the ground
and Iraq, and Afghanistan
and more never agains
and red lines
that fade in the sand
of the wreckage
that was


a country


there are no new words
for Syria.


We fall under

tanks that do not stop
not for screams of pain, or skin and bone

not for children or babies
old women who cannot run fast enough
to outrun
tonnes of steel

not for men who
had they turned
one degree,
would have seen
death so wide and so forceful
that there was no way to run
and hide

there are wounds that will not go away
broken bones that cannot heal
not when all that they hold
begins to fall out
and spill onto
the ground

not when a tank runs over a live body
and in 5 short seconds
what was once alive is

we hope

because their bones
have bent in ways
we did not think possible

have cracked and proven brittle
easy to snap, to crush
like it was nothing.

Like it wasn’t a father who was dying
or a son who’s mother
would scream, hit her face, to feel pain
but feels nothing


that a tank
hundreds of thousands of pounds
of weight

fell, angonizingly slow,
covering an entire body
with its wheels.

No, bone should not break
that easily.

Hearts should not feel
like our chests have caved in
on themslves
and words come out

split in two

part word, part nothing that the human ear
can understand.

No, there are wounds here
that will never

there is resolve here
that cannot be broken

the resolve of men and women
wills written
and ready


we would rather die
for these streets, these cities,
these people

than to live
in ways where

life is worth
a cracked skull
under a heavy tank

and nothing



I know a monk,

living between Cairo and Alexandria,
who has let go of all earthly possessions
including the name his mother gave him.

He told me the story of how
she phoned him on his Nokia 6600
and told him that she was going to visit

and he told her not to come

because he had let go of all earthly attachments

he prays, draws saints and the Son of God

and sits at an old, beat up computer
and teaches himself

how to use photoshop.


Towards the end, they both wore black only, just like you.

They both wore black for their husbands, men gone long before the women,
one went so fast I did not see him at all.

Helena was your height, wore glasses, tinted, her hair always wrapped tight
in a bun, and its length, I never knew.

Alice was taller but as time passed, her body slipped down,
lower to the ground, her back curving in on itself, unable to support a body,
even as frail as hers.

Helena was quiet, calling our names, she would go through the list
of daughters in the family, before reaching the one she wanted.

Alice commanded attention, even when her eyesight failed
and it meant reaching her bony hand out
and pulling us to her
not sure which grandchild she held onto.

Towards the end, Helena faltered, and went quiet, while my mother and I
were at the other end of the continent.
We were told days later, and I watched my mother
drop the phone, drop to the ground
and become a little girl again.

Towards the end, Alice’s sight and hearing and breathing went
in a hospital bed
surrounded by daughters, sons, grandchildren, great grandchildren,
I among them
hurting for my father, and his tears that would not fall.

I did not know either of them very well
raised far from the arms of two families
each on a different continent
and family for me
only meant a father, mother and sister

Aunts, uncles, cousins, all thousands of miles away
becoming friends and enemies only after my 18th birthday.

But you, standing in the street,
make me ache
for the grandmother

I did not have.


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