A Poisoned Flute

No shade...to shade him
No home to give him shelter.

“This flute is poisoned
And these birds are dying”
The angel said,
And beckoned with one hand
To a leafless tree
And with the other
To his heart.


 ناي مسمومٌ

لا ظلّ .. فيظلّله
لا بيتَ .. فيؤويه .

"هذا الناي مسمومٌ
وهذه الطيرُ تموت" ،
قال الملاكُ ،
وأومأ بيدٍ
على شجرةٍ جرداءَ ،
وأومأ بأخرى
على قلبهِ .


Volume 11.2 - December 2018

Abdulzahra Zaki’s is a poet and writer, born in 1955 in Maysan, Iraq. His poetic experience presents a particular example in the Contemporary Arabic poetry. He is concerned either with the existential and the universal as in his The Bookof Paradise, The Tugra’ of Light and Waterand When You Go Free, Or he is preoccupied with expressing the dilemma of man in Iraq under the conditions of wars and violence and earlier with the aftermaths of sanctions against the country; hunger and life under oppression as in his Silent Movie and The Book of Today. His poetry collection, A Western Book by an Oriental Poethas been recently published. It’s a book dedicated to the German poet, Goethe, who wrote An Oriental Book by a Western Writer.

Inam Najm Jaber was born in Baghdad 1951. She has translated two volumes of poetry by poet Abdulzahra Zaki from Arabic into English: The Tughra' of Light and Water and Romance. Both the translations are not published.  She has  published a book of verse in Arabic in 2018 by Al-Rawsam Publishing, Baghdad under the title Maqamat Shajn Ala Sullam Al-Iraq (Melodies of Sorrows on the Musical Scale Of Iraq). She worked for over thirty years as a translator and a university instructor of translation.