Definitions of Dates and Bullets

To my father & also to Mike

You will find
Different leaders for each side there.
But the dates are still unified
Since the early days of the God.

Dates are
The morning key for
A woman who is on her way to vanish
Dates are anonymous women
Deponent of Ur's, Assyria's and Babylon's priests.

I inherited definitions of dates from my Kurdish father:

"You are as inviting and sweet as dates,
Stubborn as a date palm,
Genial, and sentient as black dates in Klecha*.

And I have learned persistence from bullets
And from friends I have learned what blanks mean,
And that blocks and obstacles are absolute violation!

Bullets are unplanned endangerment
Of a small snail cramming itself
In the shell of those who perished and those who were injured.
A newer version of the story says that
A bullet is a path whose aim is heads refusing to identify.
According to an Iraqi "heads which believe in rainbows are cleansed by using a flowing river, and not bullets."

Dates and bullets are
A woman’s archive
One who has no credits to enter neither earthly nor heavenly paradises.
Or a story of a mother who leaves her sons funerals quietly
And let their coffins face the dirt.
Mothers who lingered motionless like nails for long
At dungeons doors
Sometime between God's long absence
And the arrival of men from faraway islands.

Dates and bullets are
Mothers who waited for so long on the edges of times' sins
They may pick a suggestion to preserve the pain
Even if for a little time outside the endocardium !
Buxom women, like airports, always waiting
For brothers made of empty .
They are lovers for gravediggers,
Wives of the castrates' bludgeons,
Or targeted to be killed by men in masks.

Bitterness documentations are pouring
From eyes fixed on the wall of time,
And souls are weary palms
And when palms are weary,
They leave the suns without shadows
And the orange fatherless.
" Kill your weary date palms" he advices me
The morning after every nightmare
He practically finesses what he preaches
For he knows the whiteness of snow
And the right love in the right time
And how to kill the past with the right present
But how can he ever understands my father's expressions,
Or all these unidentified dead bodies?!

Iraq .2007.
Klecha: Iraqi cookies filled with dates or nuts and sugar, usually baked in celebrated holidays .

Point of view of the poetess about the poem :Aspects of convergence between the size, color and the form of dates with the bullet: both bring us to the idea of force, at the same time weakness. The events they attended (Dates and Bullets) In Iraq as witnesses. Palm survived in Iraq, through the long ages. While bullet; fluctuated and sometimes lost ability even at the blast. The bitterness of the war as proliferation of death, on the other side dates as symbolic of sweet taste or accompanying happy occasions. These exciting contrasts and similarities have always evoked the country of Iraq as place and as unique kind of life there, any human from another culture need ages to understand those contrasts and similarities.

                                           This poem translated from Arabic by: Dahlia Riyadh