BREAD AND BEIRUT AND A POEM

Bread by Mahmoud Darwish

From early dusk the day was inscrutable
The sun shows up, lazy as usual
A mineral ash, eastward, blocks the horizon. . .
In the veins of clouds
In household pipes
The water was hard. . .
A desperate autumn in the life of Beirut
Death spread from the palace
to the radio to the salesman of sex
To the vegetable market
What is it wakes you now?
Exactly five o’clock
And thirty people killed
Go back to sleep
It is a time of death and a time of fire
Ibrahim was a painter
He painted water
He was a deck for lilies to grow on
And terrible if woken up at dawn
But his children were spun of lilac and sunlight
They wanted milk and a loaf of bread
Inscrutable day. My face
A telegram made of wheat in a field of bullets
What is it wakes you now
Exactly five o’clock
And thirty people killed
Bread never had this taste before
This blood this whispering texture this grand apprehension complete essence this voice this time this colour this art this human energy this secret this magic this unique movement from the cavern of origin to
the gang war to the tragedy of Beirut
At exactly five o’clock
Who was dying?
Into his hands Ibrahim took the last color
Color of the secrets in the elements
A painter and a rebel he painted
A land teeming with people, oak trees, and war
Ocean waves, working people, street vendors, countryside
And he paints
In the miracle of bread

I’ve been baking bread lately and thought you would enjoy some photos of my fragrant golden loaves. A poem about bread was needed to accompany them. It turns out the bread poem I liked  best is about Beirut, Lebanon by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Which led to me being sidetracked in this no-travel year, going back to a post I wrote some years ago about visiting Beirut.

This post then is part new poem and part the re-telling of a travel story with my new bread pictures thrown in for good measure.

 

 

 

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