Friday, March 20, 2015

My Mother

 by: Adel Khozam
translated by: Juzer Hakimuddin

  If ‘mercy’ could speak or if it bore a human form, I verily would have said, “This is my mother.” 

I traversed upon her like a green leaf on a gently flowing river and it protected me from stones which came along the way of my delicate days of childhood. I drank honey from her openings until my mouth was filled with her sweetness. I used to climb her back, which bowed before me like a bridge, so that I could cross over towards the light shining in the large swaths of intellectual enlightenment. I held onto the strands of her flowing hair with my small fingers, cautious of not falling down while she held on to me, carrying me with her through the showers of rain and tribulations of time. All wounds heal and disappear upon her touch, all tears dry up when she smiles in my face or kisses me to sleep. And Me? I am that wretch who fell time and again amidst the holes of ignorance while she lifted me up, time and again, to make me survive the challenges of life.

    If ‘affection’ had two eyes and a smiling face, I verily would have said: “This is my mother.” She is the tree under the shadows of which I played safely, without fear. I did not care about my provision – from where would it come and how, because she always extended her branches to feed me her fruits. She fed me from the bosom of this earth with such love that would keep me going. I love her soil whenever I roam about in the jungles or whenever my feet land in stranger lands. My mother is manifest in those towns which ooze of affection whenever the clouds of hopelessness hover above my head and rusted fences and rods besiege me and my wings fail me. I left her side to explore the world and discover the treasures and crowns of kings and emperors, but then a realisation occurred, that all the gold in this world and all its glory do not equal a small moment of wallowing in her ample lap – of love.

    If generosity had a modest hand, I verily would have said: This is the hand of my mother! She bathed me in the streams of her two eyes to enable me to glimpse the creation – with such sweet voices and songs along the way. She fed me small morsels of words – letter by letter until the whole poem became my greetings whenever I passed through the ways of turmoil. She covered me with the clothes of contentment until when I wore them and walked, the winds did not dare to bite me with their fiery fangs. My mother! She has the generosity of the whole world in her fists and in her arteries is the place of prayer.

If personified life had a pulsating heart for sustaining its own essence, I would verily have said, ‘This is the heart of my mother.’ Each of her beats resonates in the reverberation of this existence which then attains equilibrium through its own gleeful reaction to that throbbing, lively heart. I playfully throw my head into her breasts and I see the way life draws itself up in compatibility and accordance with love and in celebration which continues in perpetuity. The partisans of cowardice enquire of me while they quiver in the chest of intimidation, ‘Where do you rest and sleep in such peace?’ And I reply, ‘In the heart of my mother.’ The dead and destroyed ask me, ‘How do you recuperate with the long years of regret towing behind you? Indeed, how do you manage to swim with such exuberance in the gardens of immunity?’ I reply, ‘I survive through the heartbeats of my mother’s heart.’

    If all the birds of this world gather chirping and tweeting in one single sweet voice, I verily would say, ‘This is the voice of my mother.’ She used to be central to my imagination when she used to sing lullabies and bid me to sleep in my cradle after feeding me with my sustenance. The noise of my crying and weeping would diffuse as soon as she began to sing in her eternal voice of motherly love. Then when I grew up in all my fancy and imprudence stumbling towards loss and forfeiture, her prayers would ascend towards the sky in the form of her sweet voice and descend unto earth in the form of an angel who would clean the thorns from my path. Had she not been there, I would have never have been able to clean my path alone, without assistance – until I reached the end of those paths securely. I swear upon truth that it is not rare when I am standing at the extreme margin of life that I hear her calling out to me, ‘Come!’ 

Carefully I tread upon the rope of life
I hold my mother in one palm while the whole world is in the other
While I sing and hum
And ruffle the two wings made of her feathers
My mother, she is a moon on my life and a sun..

Adel Khozam
a poet from Dubai
United Arab Emirates

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