Portraits & Other Poems by Late Iraqi poet Gzar Hantush

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-Yousif Al-Saegh*
He’s one face like apple
Wherever he turns.
*Yousif Al-Saegh is a late Iraqi  poet
Al-Rasafi’s Statute*
You’re the only one not stolen yet
For being poorer that Jan Dammo*
*Al-Rasafi and Jan Dammo are both a late Iraqi  poet
-To Jan Dammo
Seizing power by communists in Qatar
Is more credible than your death, O Damned
Invaded by wrinkles
My face became like Shaker Hasan Al-saed* scratches
But my heart remained polished and red
Like Lebanese apples
And my soul soft and fresh
Like blue velvet.
Thou art holy O Lam
Did I soak you in salty water,
You’d become honey
Without you, we never distinguish
Between Al-Halaj* and Al-Hajaj*.
Al-Lam is a letter of Arabic Alphabet.
Al-Halaj was a poet executed for his mystic poetry
when he said;”I am the right.)
*Al-Lam is a letter of Arabic alphabet
The Shepherds
I don’t trust shepherds
For they wear their sheep skins
I don’t adore their flutes rhythms
For they are codes for wolves
And butchers.
The whale is not to blame
For it didn’t swallow the moon
It was swallowed by
Mortars and missile launchers
Don’t hammer on tin
Hammer the necks of generals
Some Noon
Some Noon I’ll be carried to the *Holy Najef
Dispossessed of everything but my white piece of cloth(shroud)
And some sorrows
For life is no longer life
I can’t stop this
No one can dress me my shroud
As I am alive.
*Holy Najef is a holy province in the middle of Iraq
where there is the biggest cemetery.
Take the Spring by Force
-To Yousif Al-Saegh
Don’t make your nap longer
The Christ’s-Thorn set the sparrows free
The dawn put the last touch on the ceremonies
Of receiving the Sun
No moment of your spring will escape, won’t it?
Take deep breath of the odor of the orange blooms
Wash your heart with the last beam of the fading
Turn your radio on Baghdad channel
To pour Farouz’s song as the water in orchards runs
Don’t wake your ebony-winged butterfly
Buy Arabian Qaymr (cream) make tea and glorify your
Quest in your yesterday cares, big or small in your
Fold it like a book
Post it like a parcel across oceans to Bermuda
Wipe  out your
face frown
With the clouds scarf
With a mild March breeze
Sing a song once your grandee sang
It is your seventieth spring O Lad
The spring may leave at any moment
So take care
Be the first to hug
And the last to farewell with a kiss
Be active, fragrant, athirst and sweet
Don’t let down your butterfly, friend, neighbor or the
Walk as stand as a bamboo
Be like an orange tree golden and bright
It’s your seventieth spring
O Lad.
Nothing matters
Take it easy Mr.K
Let your lifetime drift in the river of the next year
like smugglers’ boat
With no sail and row
You are free… be stingy or carefree,
But have you something to  waste, Mr.K?
Be courageous as a lion or be coward,
But cower of what?!
It makes no difference
Since you are always the same
Going forth and back
With no battle to fight or goats to mind.
I have honey in my Grail and the Bee does not come to
me in Baghdad
My compass is broken down
and blinded are my roads,
I’ve been the issue of all times’ brawl, 
There’s honey in my grail,
but the bee does not come to me in Baghdad,
I swear by Jerusalem and five butterflies,
you are as sparkling as crystalline in a wedding hall
O Green bird of love that hovers around the neighbors’
would you by the charm of your song,
wipe out what misfortune engraved on the walls
On the gloom, on the shiver, on the surprise
And man’s ruin all,
Your lights, your lights were so bright, O Crane,
your buttons flowers glowed as if  they were scarves of water,
your moons played in the Eden of Baghdad and
like silky clouds, they flew
shedding rains like the ornaments of Ishtar’s cloak
Your rains your rains, O Mistress of Nymphs
painted a lantern for the wilderness grass 
To illuminate the blossoms of  your gardens
painted a river that ran in my heart
it was as thin and golden as your bracelet
Your secrets your secrets
so enchanted  my
drinking friends

until they betted their lunar  lifetimes
for the sake of a touch of your guitar’s tiptoes
whenever the heart, as a slender bough, leans in the
hold it in a long hot embrace
I am an Eastern of a generous heart
my north is an olive forest and my south of delicious almond
Your alterations, your alterations
cannot be read but by a fortune-teller from *Abu
Tayab’s era
why does the soul when touched by a woman’s caress
sear and no longer see?
Your day is orange blossoms and good is your season
whichever side you leaned, O daisy
The other side wailed, the apples crazed
And the flute, without funeral, died
Catastrophic it 
was the other side
I have lust, a *Fairuzian blame and dating
Rubies, necklaces, and Cleopatra’s pearls
But you’ve the key of rains
So take me to you, O Crane
I am the burned doors of thirst
Your rays were hidden by the sparrow of my homeland,
In the balcony of your abode,  
Your secrets, like a magic spell, laced the day of
your arm,
your love fully enthralled my heart,
converting my blood into pure water, into lightning,
like Buraq you appear among spaces of grape,
 So green
like myrtle, like slumber,
like  *Nawal
Alzoghbi’s  mirror,
You seem like a sparrow of heart,
whose wings have been by oblivion exhausted,
and like water wheel, it turned and turned,
neither my east is east, Oh, rose,
nor my west is west, Oh, belle of both sides,
thou art luminous
do you stretch basil fingers
you who vowed with “unhennaed” palm in *Maysan
for the one who is barefooted
effaced and asleep in the ambers of wailing
Do you count ten nights inhabited only  
by a wounded moon
to be taken by fire to the depth of your pith
Your secrets your secrets
Dazed the fortune-tellers
hidden in the nests of dawn
on the gloom, the shiver, on the surprise and man’s ruin
Beneath the tiptoes of your guitar
In the heart of seductions of your day
Your rivers your rivers
Undid the necktie of the clouds
so your verses poured
on my friends, who betted their lunar lifetimes
for the sake of mere a touch of your guitar.
*Abu Tayab Al-Mutanabi is the greatest Arab poet.
*Fairuz is one of the Arab
*Nawal Al-zughbi is an Arab
*Burqa is the horse by which
Mohammed the prophet went to the Heaven
*Masan is an Iraqi
Governorate in the southern part of Iraq.   

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