29 May 2014

Poetry Thursday - In the calm by Fady Joudah

Casa Tomada, an installation by Colombian artist Rafael Gomezbarros,
at the Saatchi Gallery

In the calm
After the rain has bombed the earth

The ants march out of their shelters
One long frantic migration line

They hit the concrete floor
Of our dining and living

Space then turn into the shadow
The wall makes, a straight angle

To the courtyard wreckage of dirt and gravel:

Did they know the wind
Would airdrop new rations their way?

It’s always two or three
Ants locking their horns to the acid end

Over nothing—it seems
More than an impulse,

The debris plenty for all.

-Fady Joudah

A section of the poem "Pulse" from The Earth in the Attic (2008). Hear the author read the poem here; read other poems by Joudah here and here.

Fady Joudah (b.1971) is a Palestinian-American medical doctor and a field member of Doctors Without Borders since 2001. He was born in Austin, TX, and lives in Houston. He is familiar with issues of immigrants and refugees. His parents were born in Palestine and, besides the United States, he spent formative time in Libya and Saudi Arabia. His poems explore identity, war, religion, what we hold in common. Many of his poems are small, but with "a grandeur of conception" says the Foreword to The Earth in the Attic. He won the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2013.

1 comment:

KAM said...


Thank you so much for introducing me to this poet; his writing speaks to my soul and I will be definitely exploring his work more deeply in the next weeks.