Haiku # 378

Telle la main droite
d’une sage-femme —
la feuille d’érable en automne

— Samboku

Il faut avoir vu le rouge sanglant des érables japonais en automne pour apprécier pleinement ce magnifique haiku, récompensé en 1672 par Matsuo Basho dans un concours de renga. De Samboku, il ne reste que cet unique poème.

— Haiku, Anthologie du poème court japonais, traduit par Corinne Atlan et Zéno Bianu

Seul le haiku reste —
poète enfui
dans les herbes d’automne


Tanka # 73

The silent echo
of their hooves —
spring clouds
like white horsemen
rolling down the hills


Teach me
how to live again,
by the cemeteries
in ignorant bliss
a child playing.

Remember how, as kids, we used to go play by the cemeteries where you’re now buried? We never thought then that either of us could lay in that place. And we went there often, with mom to pray in that small church by the cemeteries, to gather nuts from under the nearby trees in late summer. We went there when we got older, with friends, late at night, starting bonfires and drinking beer. We went there to have picnics and swim up the river, past the cemeteries and under the sycamores. How do I reconcile myself with the fact that you’re now there, forever, in that place that is so intimately entwined with the images of our childhood? How do I reconcile myself with life again knowing that I’m forever deprived from your presence? How, Sarah, how?

Haiku # 373

On the forest floor
with flowers in her eyes
a skull gazing


Unrolling the curtain —
hiding all winter
a scorpion falls

A childhood memory, maybe twenty years old: my grandfather in spring unrolling the balcony curtain that has been tucked in all winter.


Aube solitaire —
sa langue de foudre
mon cœur affamé

Haiku # 371

Late last evening
alone by the fire
the moon in the sky


أسود الليل
أبيض الغاردينيا


Le cœur
ce sable arrogant
qui bat toujours des fleurs


The heart
this arrogant soil
always beating flowers


Soupirs d’un amant…
dans la caresse du vent
la cloche des fleurs blanc


Spring afternoon…
the shy moon pale
like a lover’s last kiss


Tape à tape
les gouttes du robinet
calment mes pensées

On the origin of the creative impulse in artists

I have often heard artists describing how their inspiration, on the sudden spur of the moment, climbs or descends into their veins out of nothing, or from a source that is not visible, hidden from plain sight, flooding into their creative impulse from a tectonic realm submerged in darkness. This gave rise to the curious yet valid belief in the sublime and the divine, that the inspiration descends straightforward from the gods, or from a hidden, transcendental realm, and buds fiery in the imagination and flesh of the artist, in her soul. Inspiration is an other worldly inspiration, a mystic intuition into a realm constantly trying to communicate with us and through us, and one we can only understand by yielding to it and becoming its tool and fountainhead.

And so attacking the divine and the sublime, pointing to their scientific untruth and logical invalidity is utter blasphemy for the artist for the sole reason — and what more important reason can there be? — that it deprives them from their sustenance and air; that, by laying a knife on that which for them is holy, they are cut off from their passion and worldview, deprived from their muse and their creativity. This is their truth and they hold on to it more dearly than their dear life. And who can dispute such a truth! Who, before it, is not inclined to bow in respect and awe? Cut the artists off and they linger, dead yet a live, and many an artist — if true to her art — chooses death over this degraded state of living. Ah, blessed be those humans who can be genuine to their bones! Blessed be those for whom sustenance is more than daily bread and water, more than a mere indulgence in immediate pleasures!

I approach the question of the creative impulse in artists with the utmost respect and appreciation for them who, after all, taught mankind the alphabet of the passions, making possible that most sublime passion of all, the passion of love. What can we ever give back in gratitude if not becoming better lovers and humans ourselves, better artists and more sublime embodiments of life.

So, with the above in mind, I dare and pose the question and attempt an answer: I posit that the artist, at one point or another in her life, felt an insurmountable urgency to synthetize and fuse all her impulses under one will and banner, that the artist became a tyrant and tyrannized herself and willed herself into a creation. This urgency struck the artist over a prolonged period of time and overwhelmed her with a strength even greater than life and death. The artist stood before herself and said, ‘upon this creation, which must come through me, hangs my life and death; either I pour myself into this creation or I perish and die.’ No one but the artist and Dionysian lover will truly grasp and appreciate the vehemence of this drive.

The artist succeeded and stood all proud before her creation. ‘But maybe it was really chance that had its way with me; to become a true believer, I must do it again.’ So the artist, on the crust of her triumphant moment, said to herself, and went back with an even greater need to tyrannize her impulses into a greater and a more heightened moment and creation. Her lust was momentarily pacified but now it is renewed and it wants more. The pacification was the moment — and moment here is the lapse of time during which the creative act lasts — the impulses yielded and gave birth and were thus relieved of their tension. Like a muscle grows through training and flexing the impulses grew and are demanding more and better nutrition; they thickened into roots suckling more and more of the artist’s life-source.

A step further and the impulses under the guidance of the artist’s will become this tree that is identical with her life. There is no moment that passes in the outer and inner worlds and which this tree does not collect as honeydew into the boiling pot of the artist’s creative passion. This has now become sublimated and unconscious in the artist; whether asleep or waking it has become her raison d’être, always at work, in the darkness and in the light. At any moment now and without warning the pot may overflow, seemingly from a hidden and secret source. At any moment creation might come and strike the flesh of the artist from within like a bolt of lightning.

The artist trained her impulses, and the beast will run away with her, even into the dark pits of hell.

Free Verse # 357 (a lonely cabin in a lost wood)

لم يبق من الليل
الا شعرها
منه أخيط
آخر قصائدي


His each touch
In her skin
A little orgasm,
A flower shaking
Her dewed head
And sighing
A meadow of stars.


Au cœur
de tous mes silences
son souffle qui caresse
la fleur de mes mots.


A lonely cabin
in a lost wood,
wine, tea,
a book of poetry,
and you.


ولم يبقى مني
الا تلك القصيدة
التي تزهر
في اواخر الخريف


Kfarhay, April 10, 2016
Batroun, Kfarhay, April 10, 2016

Come join me
a cup for two
filled with spring’s
holy nectar


الشاعر فقط
له ان يقرأ
ما كتب في عينيها،
في ألفها وبائها
وسكون أنوارها
خلقٌ يزهر
وحياة تنتشي.


في مبخرتي
وفوق جمر قصائدي
أنثر قليلا
من بخور أنفاسها
ومن ثم أجلس في مقعدي
متحسسا عطرها
يذوب في شراييني
محرقني في شرنقة
من رحمها أولد

Haiku # 364

they changed color
her eyes now in love


قمر ينادي
وزهرة ياسمين
في الحقل تنصت


Panayiotis Tetsis, The Moon
Panayiotis Tetsis, The Moon

The craw’s black caw
a dagger stabbing
the heart of the moon


Feeding bees in winter
pine needles scented
with her skin


in chill moonlight
the poem of her skin


Charlotte Clara
Charlotte Clara

الشمس على عري جسدها
كل أغصان الربيع
تترنح ثملة