he spoke to me of his first love,
of distant streets,
of his reactions to the war,
of press and radio heroism,
and when he had hidden his cough in his handkerchief,
i asked: "will we be meeting?"
he answered: "in some city far away."
when i'd filled his glass the fourth time
i said in joke: you're going away - what of the homeland?
"let me be," he said.
"i am dreaming of white lilies,
of a street that is singing, of a house that is lit.
i want a good heart not a loaded rifle.
i want a sunlit day, not the mad,
fascist moment of conquest.
i want a smiling child meeting the day with laughter.
not a piece of the war machine.
i came to live sunrises
he bade me farewell, for he was searching for white lilies
for a bird that meets the morning
on an olive branch,
because he understands things
only as he feels and smells them.
he understands, he told me, that
"home is sipping his mother's coffee,
and coming back safe of the evening"
- mahmoud darwish, the music of human flesh