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

I stopped

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

How deceptive,

Two kisses, not one?

And they said my hand never pushed him back

That he never stopped . . .  

Such gossip

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.

                                      Simon Silva

                                     Simon Silva



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 RindalahAjras al-Yasameen ["Jasmine bells"], Dulza, and Qasa’id Min Daftariha ["Poems from her notebook"].