1. Tsunami

Wave after wave, wave upon wave.
The dead are not seen and their screams not heard.

Listen! Don’t listen! Listening without end.
No one can hear what the dead shriek.
Only the dead are able to hear their own screams.

.. .. .. ..

Come on! Come on! Run!
The earth is stuffed with its own ruin
And mankind is in need of a sanctuary.

2. Description of death

There is no one left on Earth who says:
“Oh you black poets!
You thrive by mocking hope and manufacturing despair all around you.”
No one remains who says:
“How can one describe death?”

.. .. .. ..

Must the scream of despair cause pain to the stone and the pillars of the temple to tremble
Before philosophers and scientists acknowledge the sound
Of one who suffers?

3. The Lord’s “six days”

The wicked say:
“The errors of the clever are always the worst.”
Maybe they are right.

.. .. ..

God forbid
I question the Lord’s intelligence
Or His good intentions
But I think Him somewhat careless,
Somewhat confused,
Romantic, reckless, incessantly emotional
And, of course, like all his poet friends,
Both highly inspired and incapable of self-belief.

.. .. .. ..

It seems to me that six days were not enough to build a dream.
A million years, a million ages, a million judgement days . . .
And He has altered nothing.
It is as if God is still endlessly
Practising on the product of His labour.
The Earth is still not suitable for life to this day
And nor are its people.

When will that momentous day come when God will stand and say:
“At last, We have found a solution
And humanity can
Begin living”?

4. Prayer to the god of the 21st century

Take the herd.
Take the herders.
Take the philosophers, militias and army leaders.
But don’t lay your hand on a child.

Take the fortresses, the monasteries, the brothels and the pillars of the temple.
Take everything on Earth.
Take everything which devalues the Earth.
Take the Earth.
And let the children dream.

If they go up into the mountains
Don’t send earthquakes beneath them.
If they go into the valleys
Don’t let floods loose upon them.
The children are our children and Yours:
Give them solid ground.

Poet's Note: Read by Asad Jaber at the Poetry International Festival, Rotterdam, June 2011