—What country have you come from, what nameless realm?
—My nation’s incomplete. My soul is distant, and I have nothing.
A nagging thought teetering on • the edge of anonymity • and identity, you drag your • destiny behind you the way • a kite’s strings follow it, the way • a petulant child kicks when carried in • the embrace of a patient parent more • •
accustomed to assuaging pain, • your tantrum rises, gusts against • the wind like a plague of locusts, • a courtship of charts cavorts with • a shameless chaos which courses • over distances correspondences • of stones dropped below the stars whose knowing • •
influence your path solicits • picks up on, scilicet, this is • the place of your feigned pilgrimage, • nameless and farthest from faith, this • is a ritual whose broken • protective circle your footsteps trace, those • toenails like blades your nude feet dig into • •
the ground as if you were seeking • a grave, to bury beneath here • every last peace your sword of • flame, that tongue of yours you cannot • tame, swore then against transgressing, • against warring against again, making • promises indifferent as you are • •
indigenous to this land your • ancestors purchased from its first • conquerors, burying any • hatchet is only symbolic, • a husk of a gesture hollowed • of its significance, a shallow sign • signifying nothing, an act of some • •
sympathetic magic by which • you end up much more detached than • intuitive, a crude rite with • a view to silencing what raw • passion, when left to blister hot • into full-blown possession, can move tall • mountains and does, unless suppressed, this is • •
why you are accused by beggars • of being blind, roadside sages • sit for lazy ages waiting • to assist your kind, to aid well • the brazen reminding them of • the night’s aching in its breaking open • for day, that in that potent moment of • •
awakening transformation • the pain itself is the truest • revelation whose confusing • revolution you should trust, be • seeking to let change you from just • the shell of a man to something divine, • this is why dervishes keep spinning, dance • •
while traveling the expanse of • consciousness remaining standing • in one place, to walk the coals of • disaster’s length and not be changed • is to have made no progress at • all, this and many other pitfalls are • sure to be faced by a dutiful soul • •
voyaging to its imaginary • destiny, the key to mastering this • deep mystery is not to view • every new obstacle as • a lesson, but as a series • of questions testing you for which • the secret intentions of your • •
inmost heart are answers, passwords • to be given to those ancient • guardians you will confront, whose • hands will throw down at once the fanged • ferocity and threat of their • heavy arms, watchers at the threshold who • will open wide doors to hidden worlds whose • •
wise multitudes your truth harbours • within your Self, boundless kingdoms • you will rule over whenever • you prove your worth accepting things • as they are, stronger no longer • believing in a more superior • being you have yet to become, finding • •
comfort acknowledging the fact • that you lack nothing at all, that • you already are your own god, • there is nothing left to want but • to be wanted by the reptile • part of your mind forever fearful of • exile ever since Eve bade Adam bite.
1Adonis, “Elegy for the Present Day”, [Section] 4[, Stanza 1, Lines 1–2], in “Death Reborn” of Songs of Mihyar the Damascene: Introduction by Robyn Creswell: Translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid and Ivan Eubanks, published at New York by New Directions Books in 2019; page 200.