Because I am from the sap of the rough land
My father a logger of dreams
My mother a weaver of promise
That gives birth to meaning
I won’t migrate
To another language
Flying like deceived ashes
Snatched between the wind mills
Above towers of smoke
Overwhelmed with delusional joys
And the chatter of reckless whims
And where ever my language might wander
My song won’t fade
Over the skies of our homes
And the farms of our intimacy
And whatever mistakes my mother makes
I won’t hang out the washing of my days
On our neighbour’s clothesline
And my mother will remain despite my bleeding wounds
Mounting the throne of my imagination
As if she is a queen
And despite the sting of the vile time
I will be drinking every morning her bitter coffee
And no matter what
I will stay here
On this rough land
Hitting strongly my axe of imagination
Extracting the poems from its stony roots
Granting her my soul’s flare
And my heart’s wings of usefulness
Over here I will mature my intuition wine
Drinking my goblet
The moon will be drunk
And the shadows of my companions dance
And when the ear of the night sleeps
I explore the depths of my walls
And overtake my guards
Hammering my pegs deeply
In the heart of the meaning
Thus the thrones of the planets will rumble
And the hats of the stars will fall,
The sun releases in the fields of my poems
Herds of its gleeful horses
And because I am a soldier
Carried with the lightness of eyes
Darkened with the scenes and colours of thirsty deserts
With the colour of sand watches
Broken by many defeats
With the colour of rain of crows
And echoes of carcasses eaten by the grace of negligence
With the colour of mass cheers from the forests of killers
Despite all this
I won’t abandon the nest of my children
And the poor shadow’s retreat
And the vine of dew
I will remain over here 
Beneath the shady tree, like a fountain of wise hoopoes
Chanting with the call of dates
The twin of the genuine copper
Braiding praise to the female
Princess of the trees
Stirring my knowledge to take bunches of revelation
And sweep the dirt of the wizards
And the spider’s webs
To expose the genitals
And mulberry leaves fall
O, how beautiful is this death
When the fist is victorious with birds
And the juice of mysteries
And the galleries of poetry becomes
Rich with visions and mines of salt and wells
When my hands ember
Fades in the dough of clay
And I die over here
While my glass remains brimful with the hymn
And my words, flocks of clouds
Pasturing on my rough land
* From the collection Janaza Bathekha (A Lavish Funeral) 2002.

** Moftah Al Ammari: born in 1956, a renowned Libyan poet. Began writing short stories in the late 1970’s and by the mid 1980’s he emerged as one of the leading new poets in Libya. He has twelve published books.

*** Moftah Al Ammari’s picture is taken from Al Shames newspaper