Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Biljett Miftuħ/Open Ticket


Biljett Miftuħ/Open Ticket – Tales, poems & music of protest, love & death

Heading home to Malta next week where I will be reading some of my latest stories and poems in English and Maltese that will be published later this year. My friends Albert Gatt and Glen Calleja will be helping me with the readings, and Antonio Ghio agreed to finally get his legendary double bass out of the loft to play.

Last time we were all together reading and musing on a stage was longer than I care to mention, next to a fire place in an old cellar at a place called The Labyrinth in Valletta. We used to improvise a lot – improvise being the artistic justification for playing and writing while drunk.

This time it will be at Coach and Horses in Valley Road, Msida, on Wednesday 10 April at 8pm.

Biljett Miftuħ facebook page


Strange creatures spring out of my shadow


Strange creatures spring out of my shadow
pretending they're not there
when I look at them
playing hide and seek
in the afternoon sun
under dull neon tubes
and warm yellow lights
they disappear when I catch them
make me look like a madman
when I scold them
and get rid of them in the dark
until the first ray of light
opens the door ajar again
bringing them back 
senselessly frolicking
merrily jumping
like gnomes in an orgy
feasting at my expense
behind my back.

في المنطقة العازلة


حقول القتل في غزة

تلك السيدة المسنة

شهدت ما يكفي من شروق الشمس

ليجعد وجه الأرض ..

بشرتها تحتفظ بذاكرة الأشجار

حينما كانت المزارع مفتوحةً  ..

 كانت تخطو على  أرض الوطن

 بقدميها العاريتين  ..

توازن برأسها جرار الحليب الطازج  ..

وترعى الماشية  التي كانت حيةً

عند حدود الأفق

أما اليوم

 أصبح وجهها يشبه تماماً منزلها المثقب بالرصاص

لكنها ..

 لا تزال ثابتةً على أرضها ..

تحت الشمس

تطعم الأغنام القش و حبيبات العلف المستوردة

تتأمل عند حدود الأفق

بروح ٍ هائمة  ..

الأرض الجرداء  ..

التي كانت يوماً مزدهرة

كان لدينا آبار هناك

تبصق اليوم دماً فوق حقولنا المغتصبة

اعتدنا المشي حتى الأشجار

قبل أن تصبح الأرض صحراء


حادةً ..

 تغذي مستعمرات الأسلاك الشائكة
أما الغرباء الذين يرتدون الرعب ..

أتعرف! …

كان يمكن أن أحبهم

أقسم أنني كنت أستطيع!

كنت سأناديهم  بأسمائهم  ..

 أقدم لهم النعناع الطازج

وبعض الجبن

حتى من خلف أسلاك السياج !

لكنها أيدي المحتل

الذي يحكم قبضته على الرصاص

مكبلة بالخوف

يردون من خلف الستار

على رحابتنا بالرصاص

ألا يفهمون ؟ …

ذلك الترحيب القادم من بيتنا

و كلما نفذت ذخيرتهم

ينفذ صبرنا أيضاً!

ترجمة من الإنجليزية بواسطة هناء صلاح

Translated from English by Hana Salah

Buffer zone – the killing fields of Gaza


The old woman has seen
enough sunrises to wrinkle the earth
her skin has the memory of trees
her head used to balance
jars of fresh milk
when the fields were still open
when her feet treaded bare
on homely land
and the livestock were still alive
grazing on the horizon.

Today her face
resembles her house
pockmarked with bullets
yet standing her ground
under the sun
feeding sheep hay and imported food pellets
keeping an eye on the barren horizon
where life once thrived
and her soul will forever wander.


We had wells over there
now spitting blood in our violated fields
we used to walk till the trees
now where there is a razor sharp desert
feeding barbed-wire colonies
foreign bodies in terrorised outfits;
you know I could love them,
I swear I could
I would call them by name
and hand them fresh mint
and some cheese
even from behind a wire fence
but their hands are all occupied
gripping their heavy guns
handcuffed to fear.


They greet us with gunshots 
from behind a smokescreen
they just don't get it
it's us greeting them
in our house.

As they run out of bullets
we run out of patience.

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