Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Mona Kareem

EULOGIES FOR FUTURES TO COME

Two women astronauts were set to go on a ship,
yet another colonial ship but with no sail. Men
still trying to Columbus the void; their dreams
voided with horror, their imaginary broken by fears.

The two women stretched their bodies and grew
them a little for the suits to fit in. They told them,
sorry women, not today, not tomorrow; Threw them
off the ship instead of throwing the whole space away

and starting all over.


As you go on to space, floating and strolling,
we decided to stay home, make use of dreams,
keep the earth company, fingering near pasts
open up wounds. We will dream about each other,
of each other, in each other’s shoes, though they don’t fit.
We will make good use of your absence, we will dream
of you getting lost on your way home.


I once dreamt of a women’s-only island
I dreamt it for my mother, wanted her
To feel safe, breath clean air, free of odor
and teeth and moustaches and front tails.
My mother didn’t know how to write stories
or read them, I had to sleep for her, and make
songs out of her dreams. A man later came
and wrote a poem about my island, only
to smuggle his dick in.


My mother too dreams for me;
she used to dream of her departed mother
now she dreams of a daughter coming home
I dreamed of you in colors, I dreamed of you in black and white
I dreamed of you next to a cat, I dream of you in an open casket
I dreamed of you making children out of your shoes
At an American home I dreamed of you, In a ship-like car
I dreamed of your history which I love, and of a future I must love


A woman unlike myself makes her steps into
the abyss, she doesn’t simply fall; at one height
She becomes a falcon, a few seconds later she
Grows hard as a rock. Falcons fill the sky blocking
clouds, there will be no rain on this planet, there
will be only rocks falling on your heads, a final
warning to fall silent and hear the echo of one’s self.


A woman unlike me is making a box
to collect her dead and deadly identities –
This one from a white man, this one from a brown man
She will get rid of them all
With thrilling dreams of pirate women
Snatching souls and crossing borders
In one stare, they make the sea tremble
Its waves withdrawing to a lonely beach


A woman such as myself
is raving
in a forest of translations
on fire
her broken tongue
makes the note:

there is a world in us;
we are hardly amused

LOFREDE VOOR TOEKOMSTEN DIE KOMEN

Twee vrouwelijke astronauten,
gereed om aan boord van een schip te gaan,
weer een koloniaal schip maar zonder zeil.
Mannen proberen nog steeds de leegte te ontdekken:
hun dromen ledig van horror hun verbeelding gebroken door angst.

De twee vrouwen strekten hun lichaam en lieten ze wat groeien
om in de pakken te passen. Ze vertelden ze,
sorry vrouwen, vandaag niet, morgen niet: gooiden ze van het schip
in plaats van alle ruimte weg te gooien
 
 

en helemaal opnieuw te beginnen.

Terwijl jij verder de ruimte in gaat, zwevend en wandelend,
besloten wij thuis te blijven, gebruik te maken van dromen,
de aarde gezelschap houden, nabije verledens te vingeren,
wonden te openen. We zullen over elkaar dromen,
in elkaars schoenen, al passen ze niet.
We zullen goed gebruik maken van jullie afwezigheid,
we zullen over jullie dromen, dat jullie verdwalen op weg naar huis.

Ik droomde eens van een vrouweneiland,
ik droomde het voor mijn moeder, ik wilde dat ze zich veilig voelde,
schone lucht zou inademen, vrij van geur en tanden en voorste staarten.
Mijn moeder kon geen verhalen schrijven of lezen, ik moest voor haar slapen
en liedjes van haar dromen maken. Later kwam er een man
en schreef een gedicht over mijn eiland,
enkel om zijn pik naar binnen te smokkelen.


Mijn moeder droomt ook voor mij:
vroeger droomde ze over haar overleden moeder
nu droomt ze over een dochter die naar huis komt
ik droomde over je in kleuren
ik droomde over je in zwart-wit,
ik droomde over jou naast een kat, ik droomde over jou in een open graf,
ik droomde over jou terwijl je kinderen van je schoenen maakt,
in een Amerikaans huis droomde ik over jou,
ik droomde over jou in een auto als een schip,
ik droomde over jouw geschiedenis waar ik van hou,
ik droomde over een toekomst die ik moest liefhebben.

Een vrouw anders dan ik, zet stappen naar de afgrond
ze valt niet zomaar: op een bepaalde hoogte wordt ze een valk,
een paar seconden later wordt ze zo hard als een steen.
Valken vullen de hemel en versperren de wolken,
er zal geen regen vallen op deze planeet,
er zullen alleen stenen op jullie hoofden vallen, een laatste
waarschuwing om stil te zijn en te luisteren naar je eigen echo.

Een vrouw die niet op mij lijkt maakt een kist
verzamelt al haar moordende en vermoorde identiteiten erin
die, afkomstig van een witte man, van een zwarte man,
ze zal van ze afkomen, allemaal
met opwindende dromen over vrouwelijke piraten
die zielen verzamelen en grenzen over gaan
met één blik jagen ze de zee angst aan
haar golven trekken zich terug naar een eenzaam strand.

Een vrouw, zoals ik
tierend
in een bos van vertalingen
brandend
haar gebroken tong
maakt de notitie:

er bevindt zich een wereld in ons:
we zijn nauwelijks vermaakt.

Eulogies for futures to come

Close

EULOGIES FOR FUTURES TO COME

Two women astronauts were set to go on a ship,
yet another colonial ship but with no sail. Men
still trying to Columbus the void; their dreams
voided with horror, their imaginary broken by fears.

The two women stretched their bodies and grew
them a little for the suits to fit in. They told them,
sorry women, not today, not tomorrow; Threw them
off the ship instead of throwing the whole space away

and starting all over.


As you go on to space, floating and strolling,
we decided to stay home, make use of dreams,
keep the earth company, fingering near pasts
open up wounds. We will dream about each other,
of each other, in each other’s shoes, though they don’t fit.
We will make good use of your absence, we will dream
of you getting lost on your way home.


I once dreamt of a women’s-only island
I dreamt it for my mother, wanted her
To feel safe, breath clean air, free of odor
and teeth and moustaches and front tails.
My mother didn’t know how to write stories
or read them, I had to sleep for her, and make
songs out of her dreams. A man later came
and wrote a poem about my island, only
to smuggle his dick in.


My mother too dreams for me;
she used to dream of her departed mother
now she dreams of a daughter coming home
I dreamed of you in colors, I dreamed of you in black and white
I dreamed of you next to a cat, I dream of you in an open casket
I dreamed of you making children out of your shoes
At an American home I dreamed of you, In a ship-like car
I dreamed of your history which I love, and of a future I must love


A woman unlike myself makes her steps into
the abyss, she doesn’t simply fall; at one height
She becomes a falcon, a few seconds later she
Grows hard as a rock. Falcons fill the sky blocking
clouds, there will be no rain on this planet, there
will be only rocks falling on your heads, a final
warning to fall silent and hear the echo of one’s self.


A woman unlike me is making a box
to collect her dead and deadly identities –
This one from a white man, this one from a brown man
She will get rid of them all
With thrilling dreams of pirate women
Snatching souls and crossing borders
In one stare, they make the sea tremble
Its waves withdrawing to a lonely beach


A woman such as myself
is raving
in a forest of translations
on fire
her broken tongue
makes the note:

there is a world in us;
we are hardly amused

EULOGIES FOR FUTURES TO COME

Two women astronauts were set to go on a ship,
yet another colonial ship but with no sail. Men
still trying to Columbus the void; their dreams
voided with horror, their imaginary broken by fears.

The two women stretched their bodies and grew
them a little for the suits to fit in. They told them,
sorry women, not today, not tomorrow; Threw them
off the ship instead of throwing the whole space away

and starting all over.


As you go on to space, floating and strolling,
we decided to stay home, make use of dreams,
keep the earth company, fingering near pasts
open up wounds. We will dream about each other,
of each other, in each other’s shoes, though they don’t fit.
We will make good use of your absence, we will dream
of you getting lost on your way home.


I once dreamt of a women’s-only island
I dreamt it for my mother, wanted her
To feel safe, breath clean air, free of odor
and teeth and moustaches and front tails.
My mother didn’t know how to write stories
or read them, I had to sleep for her, and make
songs out of her dreams. A man later came
and wrote a poem about my island, only
to smuggle his dick in.


My mother too dreams for me;
she used to dream of her departed mother
now she dreams of a daughter coming home
I dreamed of you in colors, I dreamed of you in black and white
I dreamed of you next to a cat, I dream of you in an open casket
I dreamed of you making children out of your shoes
At an American home I dreamed of you, In a ship-like car
I dreamed of your history which I love, and of a future I must love


A woman unlike myself makes her steps into
the abyss, she doesn’t simply fall; at one height
She becomes a falcon, a few seconds later she
Grows hard as a rock. Falcons fill the sky blocking
clouds, there will be no rain on this planet, there
will be only rocks falling on your heads, a final
warning to fall silent and hear the echo of one’s self.


A woman unlike me is making a box
to collect her dead and deadly identities –
This one from a white man, this one from a brown man
She will get rid of them all
With thrilling dreams of pirate women
Snatching souls and crossing borders
In one stare, they make the sea tremble
Its waves withdrawing to a lonely beach


A woman such as myself
is raving
in a forest of translations
on fire
her broken tongue
makes the note:

there is a world in us;
we are hardly amused
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère