The Lonely Shepherd of Clouds

Iman Shahin Sharba



And I am the lonely shepherd of the clouds.

I left my poem

In a pot on an old wall.


Birds love the poems

The way, in early morning,

We adore warm cups of water,

Released as breath, forming

A cloud that returns as rain

Filling the empty pot.




I am the lonely shepherd of the clouds.

I train my hand

To catch the light

But I am like a despot

always hoping for a victory.

But the light slips out, runs away--

my fingers grasp the emptiness.

I am the tattoo artist on the cloud's shoulder,

Making sure the design is of my people.

But I have no authority

To force it to rain.




In my heavy dream,

I have no fingers

To feel the terrains of your face,

And in the same dream

You shatter your steps in search of your killed face.

In our heavy dream

Our steps stumble, as if our legs were amputated,

Searching for a homeland.






I won’t count my despairs this evening.

I’ll anticipate the shape of corn like an embryo

Throwing out despair on the ladder

Of the placental cord.

Never mind.

Sadness was born with me

In near anticipation of another fall.

They call it birth.

I won’t count my despairs this evening,

Moments of happiness are enough,

Along with the laughter of your eyes

When I am flaring with desire.

And when the moon is mumbling

And its cheeks blushing with jealousy of us,

it is enough for me—

After seven stars--

before my desired absence

In you.


July 2016


Translation from Arabic to English: Saleh Razzouk** & Philip Terman


* poet from Syria

**assistant prof. at The University of Aleppo (Syrai)

***prof. at Clarion University (USA)


started 1 MAY 2010                 email :

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