Saturday, October 23, 2010


It is, perhaps, uncommon these days for people to embrace poetry, especially in the fast-paced world we live in. Poetry requires one's full attention, it requires time and devotion to be savored fully, and to be understood. Poetry, however, offers something more beyond fiction - it offers greater flexibility and creativity, both on the part of the poet, as well as on the part of the reader. Poetry allows us to delve deeper into everyday scenes, encounters, and experiences. It allows us a greater understanding of who we are, and of how we react to not only the extraordinary but also to the mundane. For me, poetry plays an important role in my life - it enables me to reflect and to appreciate the 'superficial' experiences which would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

The following poem, La Ibizenca, was inspired by a brief encounter with a woman on a small Mediterranean island. When I met her, a mere sight on a trip to somewhere, I assigned no importance to her whatsoever, busy with everything else as I was. Ten years later, while writing this poem, I could not longer recall where I was heading that day or what I did there. Yet, the woman, so trivial at that time, came alive in my memories.

La Ibizenca

Strolling through the dry countryside
thorny flowers scratching my feet
the heat, almost unbearable,
the Mediterranean sun beats on my back.

In the shade of Pomegranate tree
stands a woman,
proud, dressed all in black.
Her features unclear
soften by the veil of mystery,
her linen shoes seems so soft
against the rugged terrain.

My eyes wander...
the long lines of her rough black dress.
Her tired deep eyes
stare at me from the shade
crafted by the edge of large black hat.

Her face is the map of humanity
deep wrinkles the ridges and valleys
blue veins underneath her skin,
the rivers and streams of life.
Thick lines circling her eyes
remind me of the eyes of sailors,
the eyes seeing over vast distances,
the eyes of reality
absent of any concrete color
pressed together, dry from the sun.

For the first time I see a woman
like this, so brute, so ancient
as if the time froze in its path.

She looks at me, emotionless
as if I was observing
an old photograph.
So unreal, so mysterious.

A magnificent woman,
unchanged for centuries
standing there so proud
the mother of a nation.

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