November 19, 2006

Hagar's comeback .


Here she is standing
barefoot , eyeing horizons
that stretch to infinity
quenching the thirst
of seekers when she, herself
has no water .

The handmaiden "slave",
a stranger in Abraham's clan
abandoned by the Patriarch
cast out from the tribe,
Here she is again
reappearing from behind
your mind's mirages .

A beam of light
unto a world of darkness
She speaks forth
in multitude of tongues
A language unknown
to you
The blind see her
and the deaf hear her
and she is the voice
for the mute .

" I am Hagar the slave
I have wandered
arid lands
and erred a thousand
years , across
deserts and dunes
I am here to quench
your thirst
like an oasis
I, who had dried up
in the desert of your indifference
My name is Hagar
remember it
engrave it upon your skins
those skins marked
by a thousand chains
twirling around you
like snakes.
I am the slave Woman
who had no words
the one who lost
speech
I spoke in signs
running back and forth
and pleaded
the skies
my eyes dried up
so did my blood.
I am back
I have returned to you
pulling you
out of the pits of despair.
Remember my aloness
remember my plight.
Sarah will no longer redefine you
nor break you
her jealousy will not spite you
nor her envy overtake you
I broke free from her
world
I regained my voice
I found the words
and the lyrics
I am no longer bound,
chained in yokes
I have been in exile
in exodus
a thousand years
I finally found home
in your eternal selves.
Fear not
for fear is your enemy
Stand erect
eye the sun just like I did
soar high like eagles
unafraid of the sun's heat
Take my words
as beads of water
chant them
let them trickle down
into your being .
Taste them
drink them
and Rejoice
for I have come back
Free , finally free ."


* Hagar :Wife of Abraham . Mother of Is(h)mael, father of all Muslim Arabs. Hagar was supposedly Sarah's slave . Hagar means "a stranger" in Hebrew . Hajar in Arabic has interesting etymological roots . The verb Hajara means "to leave, abandon"and Hijra means "Exile".
** This was written to the sound of Nassir Shamma , luth player .CD :" Une Histoire d'Amour Orientale".

Painting : Iraqi Artist Ali Al Tajer.