By Nizar Qabani
I wept until my tears were dry
I prayed until the candles flickered
I knelt until the floor creaked
I asked about Mohammed and Christ
Jerusalem, luminous city of prophets,
Shortest path between heaven and earth !
Jerusalem, you of the myriad minarets,
become a beautiful little girl with burned fingers.
City of the virgin, your eyes are sad.
Shady oasis where the Prophet passed,
the stones of your streets grow sad,
the towers of mosques downcast.
City swathed in black, who'll ring the bells
at the Holy Sepulcher on Sunday mornings?
Who will carry toys to children
on Christmas Eve?
City of sorrows, a huge tear
trembling on your eyelid,
Who'll save the Bible?
Who'll save the Qur'an?
Who will save Christ, who will save man?
Jerusalem, beloved city of mine,
tomorrow your lemon trees will bloom,
your green stalks and branches rise up joyful,
and your eyes will laugh. Migrant pigeons
will return to your holy roofs
and children will go back to playing.
Parents and children will meet
on your shining streets,
my city, city of olives and peace.