Poetry

Wedding Feast at Qana: Poems by Richard Ugbede Ali

Wedding Feast at Qana
(Southern Lebanon)

it was a marriage of shells and hell
it was a marriage of strange expression
though blood and wine red
i was arab
and the plane was jewish

though the walls are now sooted, it was a nikah
only I had grown weary of waiting

the groom floats through the charred space
with his corpse bride, and I, lurking within her
away from pious eyes denouncing love and sin-
the imam without a face

they had run out of wine
they had run out of blood
and there was no christ who with holy spell
would quench their thirsts with water flowing
from revelling eyes

my father; did he fret for the lavish feast?
my mother; did she fear an exposure, of me, of me?

the wedding ended in a flash; i remained
withoutformwithapoemwithoutaname; to wait

i lost nothing, only promise
it didn’t even hurt my eyes
i didn’t see the bomb; it did not hurt me.

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Victimcitudes

Mohammed…Christ
A fleeing Mohammed
A dying Christ
Bloodshed
Blood’s shed
The Pope and the Sultan
My blood is shed
Blood shared?
Ash and blood
Yes, our blood red
Flows in the streets
– divergencies.

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Ghazal li Ayesha

Fiery star streaking the sky full of tears
I ask the mother of Palestine why

I was a lover aflame; her palm was warm in mine
Now I whisper this verse to a ‘candescent child

Ions of sea breeze bleed in – free
Snaking past concrete walls surrounding Gaza

Walls are deaf to eloquence, deny Abraham’s pedigree
My Ayesha has stopped time with a theory of death

The bitter mother of Palestine veils her answer
Anakh-ba, catastrophe has demanded my daughter

And I now am left alone in the cavern of memory
I, Ali, who loved Ayesha, asking why.

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– (C) Richard Ugbede Ali

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1 Comment

  • You’ve a very rich poetic diction and you must have really enjoyed writing these! The allusions in your work, quite universal, makes it even richer if not overused to avoid a cog in the wheel of your lines. I enjoyed them all!