poetry break for two drops of ink

Poetry Break: Anwer Ghani: The War’s Son

By: Anwer Ghani


“Dear friend, I am the son of war; I know nothing but smoke and see nothing but blackness” AG



Since my childhood, I’ve been looking for my face, which has been stolen by wars. I am the son of war; my heart is a dry desert and my memory is a broken mirror that has been kneaded with tough dances. I am an Iraqi soul; my life is postponed and my eyes know nothing about beauty. The clothes of my dreams are very short and my hand is empty as a desolate road. All what I wish to see is the water of the Euphrates without blood or tears and all what I want is living amidst our beans without shells walking over Babylon’s crashed ribs. She is the daughter of wars, and she is like me;  no face and sleeps in dry fields without a dream.

Here is me; a faceless man from the ruined land; the wars’ land. No roses here because the birds decided to forget their chants and no lips here because the Euphrates bends himself as a brown urchin. The sun is not yellow in Iraq because the smoke colored her cheeks with black tears and the moon is so pale because I am the last lover in this smashed earth. Look at my heart, you will find it empty and look at my eyes, they are blind and red. No beauty here in Iraq because our woman have forgotten their glimmering skin.

I am a blind tree; it knows nothing about the evening breeze and its chants. All I know is a failing attempt to catch the ragged remnants of this world. My leaves are pale and my dream has a faint evening sitting at a black door without a sunset. The gray birds like its delusive whispers, but when it takes its real face, there is nothing but sad boughs.   

I am the war’s son; my memory was kneaded by her rugged dance and my heart colored with her gloomy soul. When the tales of the mountains ended at her cold knees, you will find me in her smoky corners with my dreadful shivering. Look at my water, it is dirty and look at my future, it is nothing but vagueness. I am a good son, so I am her mirror. I can shred all the flowers of the sleepy mornings. I can drink all the milk of Australian cows and I can destroy all the souls of the Cedar forest. Here, in my chest, is a legendary fire with a voice that demolishes all the beautiful mirrors and a passion that kills the moon’s dreams.

Here is an Iraqi man; my life is postponed and my face was stolen by wars. My voice is vaporous as a shadow and my dreams’ clothes are as short as a laugh. I know nothing about beauty or love and know nothing about Detian Falls.  I don’t want a colorful hat, or a golden watch.  All what I want is seeing the  Euphrates flow a day without blood. When you visit my garden won’t find anything but sadness and won’t see me, but the stolen face.

Yes, it is me, the war’s son, who can’t read  poetry, because my eyes were stolen and all poetry’s eyes which had seen the lustiness were covered. I am not an anti-poetism. The human souls are miracles, but they are not a miracle of beauty as you saw.  Here is my empty life, I don’t have a grass’ child and nothing in me can stand to see the glory, and I am sure if poetry knows my pain it will cry with bitterness, and it will forget this thirst for eternity. I know the sublime land, the sublime descent, and the sublime continent, but I am merely a road and a shoddy vehicle for all this blossoming. Yes, I know that the human soul is a big universe, and poetry will not die, but I am merely a lifeless  shadow. 

My mantle is red; I am the son of wars, and all that you can see is my crippled remnants. I don’t remember anything about the peaceful dresses, because our town brides were killed before their weddings, and our land’s face was smashed by the unknown. Now, we are loveless and know nothing about the moon’s tales. We are always looking for our lost dresses in this white and wide world. Here, we can’t see our hands because they disappear in the mouth of the war, and we can’t hear our voices because they drown in its absent ocean. 

Dear friend, I am the son of war; who knows nothing but smoke and see nothing but blackness. My rivers filled with salty tears and my dead children lie on the dry streets as cheap rocks. Look at my hands; they were smashed, and look at my face, which was stolen under a bright sun. I don’t want any song or any celebration. All my wishes are to see my women without weeping and hearing my birds’ chants without crying. O, blind world, who was killing my dreams with a cold blood.   

I know the wars and their ugly voices, because I am their son. The war is a gray tale, dressing her red mantle in lonesome nights. She has stolen my blood and any smiley piece, so you may see nothing here but sad moments. In the morning our children fill their eyes with hazy clouds and in the evening you can smell the odor of hungry souls. The walls of our rooms are fissured liked a smashed soul and the beds of our brides are bloody like the colors of our streets. The youngsters and oldsters are sitting in the dark corners waiting their hazy fate, and every hand here has nothing but paralysis. Without any sin we are drowning deeply in the fired field, and you are, the reader, can’t do anything. 

I am a lifeless tree with colorless tales. I am a man who can’t live in this dauntless boat. Here, in my destroyed land, there is no glory, nor poems and all you see is a pale death. Our houses are filled with black bitterness and our grass is not green.  Our girls are fields of sadness and our streets are mirrors of wars. Yes, we are sons of blind death, but there is no fault on many of our hands and not any blood on our coats as well. 



Bio: Anwer Ghani

Anwer Ghani is an award winning poet from Iraq. He was born in 1973 in Babylon. His name has appeared in more than thirty magazines and then anthologies in the USA, UK, and Asia. 

He has won many prizes; one of them is the “World Laureate-Best Poet in 2017 from WNWU”. In 2018 he was nominated to Adelaide Award for poetry

In 2019, he was the winner of Rock Pebbles Literary Award.

Anwer is a religious scholar and consultant nephrologist. 

He is the author of more than eighty books; thirteenth of them are in English: (2016) “Narratolyric writing”,  (2017) “Antipoetic Poems”, (2018) “Mosaicked Poems”, (2019) “The Styles of Poetry”. 


Anwer’s poetry on Two Drops of Ink


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  1. Dear Anwer, Thank you for sharing your hauntingly beautiful poetry. I am so sorry that you are a sad poet from a sad land, but so grateful that you share the harsh reality of war, both on the people of the land, and the land itself. Harsh realities that many have lived through, and that many are still living through. And harsh realities that some of us would never even know of, were it nor for the words of poets like you.

  2. I find this writing to be beautiful and heartbreaking.
    Thankyou Anwer Ghani for sharing your loss, which is such a very graphic picture of the absolute devastation of war – especially on the heart.
    Best wishes to you, for making beauty out of the ruins. Your words are beautiful.

    • Dear Sarah, thank you very much for your very kind words. I am in deep appreciation for your aesthetic view. Very beautiful times and wishes from me; the wars’ son; Anwer.

  3. Wow. This is so moving Anwer. I am working in a refugee camp for the South Sudanese, who have lived in war for 5 generations. This poem is what I hear from them as well. The weariness of it all. The trauma, the pain, the results on the soul. God bless you and bring you hope into the middle of a hopeless situation. Thank you for your poetry. It is a beautiful thing that has been birthed in the most desolate of places.

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