Meshwar / A Walk
—Translated from Arabic by Katia Aoun HaGe
Who said we were talking
On the way to school that day?
It was raining
To wipe the water from my brow. . .
Why would anyone care
When our age was so tender?
It was just a walk
That’s all we did that day
Merely a walk . . .
They whispered about roses
Roses tossed so high
Through an open window
To land on my bed, my bed
And not my sister’s
Stories they told
About a walk
Merely a walk
They spoke of two kisses
Two, they claimed, and one squeeze
Two kisses, not one?
And they said my hand never pushed him back
That he never stopped . . .
About a walk
Never to be just a walk
The lies they spun about us
Lies upon lies
Who can say otherwise?
In a dream yesterday
I lay my head on his arm
Flew high over
Fields of jasmine . . .
What if my dream is true?
Was it merely a walk
The same one as our life
Only a walk?
Katia Aoun Hage was born in Cameroun, raised in Lebanon during the civil war, then moved to the United States where she resides with her husband and three children. Graduated from the University of Redlands with a Masters in Music Education, Katia is not a stranger in the art scene of the Inland Empire of Southern California. She has collaborated with choreographer Sofia Carrera at Riverside Community College, performed poetry and music at California State University San Bernardino, displayed her artwork at Art for Heaven's Sake and performed music in local venues. Katia Aoun Hage listens deeply to the voices inside, her own and those of her people, becoming a bridge between past and present, East and West, through her poetry, translations and artwork.
مين قال حاكيتو و حاكاني عا درب مدرستي
كانت عم تشتي و لولا وقفت رنخت فستاني
و شو هم كنا صغار و مشوار رافقتو أنا مشوار
و قالوا شلحلي ورد عا تختي و شباكنا بعلا
و شو عرفو أيا تختي أنا و أيا تخت أختي
بيلفقوا أخبار و مشوار يا عيوني مرق مشوار
و قالوا غمرني مرتين و شد شوف الكذب لوين
مرا منيح اتنين؟ و لا ردتو إيدي و لا هو أرتد
شو بيفضحو ا أسرار و مشوار شفتو و ما رجع مشوار
كذبوا مين بيقول كذبوا مين كذبوا مين بيقول كذبوا مين
امبارح بنومي بصرت اني عازندو طرت و الأرض مفروشة كلا ياسمين
إن صح الحلم شو صار و مشوار جينا عالدني مشوار
Said Aklwas born in Zahle, Lebanon in 1912. He wrote hundreds of poems in both classical Arabic and Lebanese dialect. His work reached a wide audience after the Lebanese Rahbani Brothers turned them into songs, which were sung by Fairuz—the Arab world's ultimate superstar. Many of his colloquial poems were published in a book entitled Yara (1961). They are among the most widely circulated ghazaliyyat, a form of rhyming poetry that expresses beauty, love, and pain, and which is often set to music.His first play was called Bint Yifta'h, though he achieved fame with his next production—a historical musical named Fakhr al-Din—and later productions such as Cadmus, which took its name from a Phoenician legend. His first book of poetry was Almajdaliyyah ["Magdalene"], written in 1937. He followed it with Rindalah, Ajras al-Yasameen ["Jasmine bells"], Dulza, and Qasa’id Min Daftariha ["Poems from her notebook"].