The Saving Grace of Imagined Rivers
Sailing through the empty rivers of our minds,
We shall drink the faraway sea tonight;
The Thames shall turn into Oxford
And the Trout into an old joke,
Like the women who burnt our lives.
On an empty stage by the river bank,
Macbeth is still losing his head,
An angel whimpers his silent steps
To the Landscapes of our heads.
Insolence leaves the streets in song and rhyme,
A light's old window
Takes the night into its heart;
On the dreams of houses slipping away.
There is a beginning that takes back the circles
And makes the eternal deride our times ;
There is an end that makes the light
Go far into endless heights –
Between them you stand again
Under the stretched-out arms of delight :
You bring us treasures
That leave our hopes and sails behind,
You give us measures
That make tales of rills and highland stills –
Please do keep us in your light !
You have brought down the rainbows,
You erased all those shadows
I had built in restless years.
You smashed me between those empty pages
Where you had written your dreams.
Open again now! Fling open my door!
You have left me in ashes
Floating on my river’s limbs.
You crumpled each etched neon leaf
On my cheeks covered in mirror seeds.
My stings are now blunted by your plastic fruits of grief.
Raise me once more on the altar of lily lies!
Hold me! as I turn into ember
Reflecting the pictures of your deceitful streams.
I have become a nearness
That becomes those who cannot kneel,
Dissolute and lying naked
To be turned into a slithering wraith
Covered in the blood of creatures
That only touch to seize.
You have ripped up the veiling mirages
Bursting with my soul at the seams;
You turned the key till you burnt each sail
With your lacerating promises
Of reckless love for lies and conceit.
You said you’d cover me with heart-shaped figures
But you threw at me from your planet
The remnants of my stolen paintings
And broken shop windows
To empty shops
That dole out belief in disbelief.
The Saving Breath of Phantasia
My eyes are the tears you drew upon the horizon.
You open up the space that be
And my limbs sink into the streets of Beirut behind,
Where the burning soldiers of bygone homes
Shoot me till forever.
You shake the storms you hold between your lips
And I falter into the green rivers
Where fallen leaves make me the print of disaster
On the cover of your picture-book of Nether.
You single me out from the decaying crowd,
And the wall cracks into ants, worms and malingering shutters
Where mothers drink their infants into Never.
You make your figure into winding wreaths
That carry the leaping records of a prisoner
Locked in the laughs of shivering pines
Longing for the randomness of a vengeful shudder.
You mark your way on the stones of airless pools
Where fish take the yellow into the blue of deeper breaths,
Hallowing the scythes of shapeless waves of matter.
So I sink into the rolling weal of despair
As I lose my sighs between the trembling chords of your chalky moods
Lulling the coyness of a town into the hither of thither.
Dr. Frank Darwiche is a Lebanese-French associate professor of philosophy at the University of Balamand, and former professor of philosophy at the ENSA, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art, in Dijon, France. He is also a researcher published in various peer-reviewed journals of philosophy. His interests include ontology, German philosophy (Heidegger, Kant, Hegel, Gadamer), phenomenology and philosophy of art. Darwiche writes on most of his days, for different reasons and in a different manner. Commenting on the process of writing, Darwiche believes that for the researcher in him, writing is like “constructing an edifice-qua-essay or article or book.” For the translator in him, “it is taking something on and giving it a new voice, in a new world, a new language.” For the poet in him, writing is curated “to allow for the unsaid to come phenomenologically into the open of language.”