told us about raids
and deaths avenged,
but they never told us about martyrs.
The bells of the flock
the bleating of copper
that never ceased its ringing.
And the rivers and oases
that slipped from under
the hooves of their horses at night!
Night and horses—
is this what history is all about?
**Amjad Nasser** is the author of many collections of poetry. His collected poems (in Arabic) were published in 2002. He was born in 1955 in al-Turra, Jordan, and now lives in London.
Khaled Mattawa was born in Benghazi, Libya and has translated many Arabic poets. His most recent collection of poems is Amorisco (Ausable Press).
Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond edited by Tina Chang, Nathalie Handal, and Ravi Shankar