Irony Is to Wake. Irony Is to Fight.

by Walaa Quisay on November 19, 2012

Choke the sun with a whisper of waterfall water, drops?

Demand: Where are your shadows to heal our scars?

And I sit here in tears or water filth behind steel or gold bars

What if the dizzy humming of the water globe stops?

Tell me what then, dear sun.

What then?


If you read my tune in which the sun and moon

Hand in hand like lovers burn, then mirror then burn

You’ve yet to see my tears, but there’s nothing new to learn

My bloody hands dug the grave and buried my heart in an Arab sand dune

Before I departed I spat at my grave

Which roasts what no one can save

You know this, you do

Its beyond poems or songs of what and who


In the dune where one hearts rots

Beats a long cry among the other plots

I washed my hand from blood

And dug up other graves of sand and mud

I can smell the stench of pain

My nose bleeds, my head spins at the image of the slain


My bare head washed in sand

As I sleep among the dead’s land

Burns an orange dress, dear sun

Lonely the bare nun

And I see their blood and it crawls it crawls

A heartless corpse invaded by souls

Tormented I welcome the dead

Martyred by treacherous led

The widow cries before she is wed

She cried and cried until she bled


But no one sees her tears but me

I see her, a faceless beauty

Oh God, oh Sun, oh People of the earth

A hallow chest welcomes pains of living and the death

He’s dead he’s dead

And his bride to another is bound to be wed

And the tears my eyes bled

He was killed by treacherous led

He was killed by treacherous led


As I walk to veil my hair

Indifferent to the humanity there

I find the heart that beats doesn’t feel

Wouldn’t discriminate what is poetry to what is real.

You said that once remember?

Oh Arabs we’ve learnt the path of digging graves and self-dismember


Irony is to wake from an orange dress, of sun

To the Death March has begun

In which they turn and to beat us into life

Embarrassed? Well this is the struggle this is the strife!

Shame the blood that knowledge should have pured

From Jahhilya’s wa’ad to feel secured

Is yet again filthy with and mud and blood and hurt

Sun? How was our mercy burnt?


‘Ask your hollow bosoms’, she’d reply

And then again our hearts arise and do not die

From the Arab dunes From the Arab sand

Saying Revolution in all the land


As for me

Ache is a destiny

I will fight till my arms are numb and my fingers break

Maybe someday I’ll forget a so called “Heartbreak”

But if I don’t, I do not care

At least I know I can’t miss what’s never been there

But I’ll fight…

الشهيد سامي صلاح Martyr Sami Salah – This poem is for him.
Walaa Quisay is president of both the Middle East and North Africa Society and Arabic Poetry Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, United Kingdom.

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