Things You’ve Never Seen

Fady Joudah
When I tell it, the first time
I saw hail, I say
it was in a desert and knocked
 
a man unconscious
then drove a woman into my arms
because she thought the end was near
 
but I assured her
this wasn’t the case.
 
When he tells it,
he smiles, says the first winter
after their exodus
was the coldest.
 
Rare snow
came down, and his mother,
who knew what the fluff was
 
but until then had never seen it,
woke him and said, Look outside,
what do you see?
 
She called his name twice.
It was dark. Snow fell
a paragraph to sum up
 
decades of heat. He had
no answer. She said,
this is flour from heaven.
 
When he tells it,
he’s an old man returning
to his mother.

More by Fady Joudah

The Mind in State

Does consciousness exist only when
you name it?  Was the double helix a
stranger, the nucleus the  first brain?
I feel  therefore I am.  This  is  more
peptide than pep-talk. The tongueless
mood is sticking its tongue out at us.
The mountian  wool is  shaved into
vineyards. Without other there is no
self & and we are not always other of
other selves. Is the moon a self, is
wine or grape? The body & the as-if
body, taking time taste waking slow
rain healing grass.

Anonymous Song

When the shooting began
Everyone ran to the trucks
Grabbed whatever their backs needed
And made for the trucks
Except K

And they begged him to get on
The ones who ran to the trucks
But he refused them all

Later they found him
On the road running
And howling and still
He refused them all
Since he knew
His legend would grow

Then sightings began
He was clothed or naked
Cooking or sleeping
Eating or drinking what
The others gave him

And their begging remained the same
The trucks going loaded
Then coming back empty the same
Until it was forgotten
When K had first lost his mind

Before the shooting started
Or much worse after

One thing for sure
K is real
Safe and sweet especially
Holding a baby to sleep
Or asking for a sip of your Fanta
Or calling out your name from where

You cannot see him 

Tuesday

Days been dark
don’t say “in these dark days”
done changed my cones and rods

Sometimes I’m the country
other times the countryside

I put my clothes back on
to take them off again

Related Poems

The Year's Awakening

How do you know that the pilgrim track
Along the belting zodiac
Swept by the sun in his seeming rounds
Is traced by now to the Fishes’ bounds
And into the Ram, when weeks of cloud
Have wrapt the sky in a clammy shroud,
And never as yet a tinct of spring
Has shown in the Earth’s apparelling;
     O vespering bird, how do you know,
          How do you know?

How do you know, deep underground,
Hid in your bed from sight and sound,
Without a turn in temperature,
With weather life can scarce endure,
That light has won a fraction’s strength,
And day put on some moments’ length,
Whereof in merest rote will come,
Weeks hence, mild airs that do not numb;
     O crocus root, how do you know,
          How do you know?