We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if travelling
Is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.
And we said to our wives: go on giving birth to people like us for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey
To the hour of a country, to a metre of the impossible.
We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tent of the prophets and come out of the speech of the gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopoe's beak or sing to while away the distance and cleanse the light of the moon.
Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path
On your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their names and who'll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so I can put my road on the stone of a stone.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so we may know the end of this travel.
Translated from the Arabic by Abdulah al-Udhari
Darwish, Mahmoud. "We Travel Like Other People" Scanning the Century: The Penguin Book of the Twentieth Century in Poetry. Peter Forbes, Ed. London: Penguin Books, 1999. 359.