The Serpent Tree

Adeeb Kamal Ad-Deen







When I had started crawling,

Then walking little by little,

I climbed the childhood tree

With happy eyes

Looking upwards to joy of apples

And the joy of bananas.

I went up and up

And my grandmother's prayer

Pushed me high and high.

Suddenly my grandmother died,

So I fell,


From the childhood tree.


My fall continued year by year,

But I did not get to the ground.

I was light, as the dream said.

I was light enough to fall on another tree.

It was called the love tree.

I climbed it with happy eyes

Looking upwards to the pleasure of apples

Because apples are the fruit of love as legend says.


My sweetheart got lost,

My sweetheart's kisses

And my sweetheart's dates.

So I fell,


From the love tree.


I was expecting that my fall would be extremely noisy

Because the love tree was as high as the heaven.

But in spite of spending years falling,

I did not arrive on the earth.

Perhaps because I was happy, as the joke said.

Perhaps because I was happy enough

To fall on a third tree.

It was called the death tree.


This time,

The problem was serious.

Because the death tree did not like jokes,

Did not like childhood or love.

It was a funny tree:

It was as long as hell

And its leg was as smooth as the serpents' skin.

There were no colorful fruits in its top,

So I could not look upwards in to it

With happy eyes and a naive heart.

Death tree-

As it was said to me-

Was inhabited by regret,

Was inhabited by the angels

Or by the black bells

Or by the serpents.

And it was said...

But certainly,

I climb it every day

For many years

On my way to regret

Or to the angels

Or to the black bells

Or the serpents.









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