Selection from ‘Feathers and the Horizon’, anthology of Arabic poetry by Anne Fairbairn

Poem By Dr Ghazi Abdul Rahman Al Qusaibi

I’ve searched the world..without finding 

land more barren, 

love more pure, 

or rage more fierce than yours 

 

I came back to you, oh desert, 

sea-spray on my face; 

in my mind, a mirage of tears, 

a shadow moving in the sea before dawn 

and a golden flash of braided hair. 

On my lips, two lines of poetry -  

a song without echo. 

 

I came back to you, disenchanted. 

I’ve found there’s  

no trust between human beings. 

I came back to you deprived, 

the world’s like a rib cage 

without a heart. 

Love is a word 

devoid of love. 

I came back to you defeated; 

i’ve been fighting life’s battles  

with a sword forged from filing. 

 

I came back to you .. and laid my anchor  

on the sand. 

As I washed my face with dew 

it seemed you were calling me. 

 

Then you whispered: 

“Have you come back to me, my child?” 

Yes .. mother .. I came back to you. 

A child, forever grieving, 

flew to God’s countries; 

unable to find his nest,  

he came back to search for his life in you. 

 

I came back to you, oh desert. 

I’ve thrown away my quiver and creased war 

I daily in your night-web 

of my mystery, 

breathing on the soft winds of the Najd 

the fragrance of Araar 

In you I live for poetry and moons

Najd:  Province of Saudi Arabia

Araar: A sweetly-scented white flower growing in Najd

Note by Anne Fairbairn AM PhD (Hon):

Dr Ghazi Abdul Rahman Al Qosaibi (Al Gosaibi) was a poet, scholar, administrator, politician and diplomat, typifying the blend of men of letters and men of affairs that is all too rare today in the Arab world. A graduate of the Universities of Cairo, Southern California and London, he served his country, Saudi Arabia, in a number of high Governmental posts and Ministries and was Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Bahrain where I met him when I was a guest at the university in Bahrain.

He published several volumes of poetry and several anthologies of Arabic verse. He helped me over a number of days in Bahrain, selecting and translating Arabic poetry for my anthology of Arabic poetry ‘Feathers and the Horizon’. His poem ‘Oh Desert’ is in this anthology. He agreed with me that poetry helps bridge differences and brings many together in harmony.

He died in August 2010.