The Rounded and the Boundless

Ahmed Radi

To appreciate beauty
Not as a fixed frame
In the cosiness of a living-room,
But as rebellious, restless plantations, blossoming flowers,
And manifold weeds,
That, in the alchemy of water and sun,
Wither, die, and are born again,
With the rhythm of seasons
From sunsets to shipwrecking storms
And thus, in pain, they diversify and grow.

Art becomes alive and living
When it frees itself from the worship,
The stifling passion of connoisseurs
Who turn it into an expensive mise en scène.
Canons stop the flow of Time
For the sake of an eternal gaze at
Fetish-like properties,
Well-wrought urns,
Suggestive of the uncorrupted greatness of
A past name, a past desire.

A mixture of fragrances
That perfume the air,
Vegetation and fruit
Lilies, jasmine and poppies,
Colourful in shape and polyphonic in size,
Invite many more senses
To explore
Landscapes that are misleadingly there.
Sight, smell and sounds;
The whole being
Challenged by the changeable, the unexpected,
By an evasive art
Poorly imitated by
Second hands,
Artlessly arranged as
Exotic brightness for the eyes of the blind.

Choice I would not make,
Rather, embrace mosaic richness
Whether in nature or as artefacts.

Botanists, ecologists and artists
In a joint venture of magic
And care for small, hidden details
Refresh our eyes
Extend endlessly the boundaries of
The already seen and the potentially sightable
And that which can be seen only
By the eyes of the mind,
In visions and untranslatable dreams,
Al bassira
Before its cruel displacement by
Al bassar.
It is at this site, at the loss of sight or rather insight
That beauty left the world an orphan
And that epiphanies become so poor.

Unhappy , then, with the painting,
A frame for the mind,
Hung or rather hanged in the room,
The viewer, to save his soul,
Trespassed its territory
And left for a nomadic existence in the wood
With the moon, the sky, the stars and a breeze
As friendly companions in solitude.

Postcolonial OV Morocco Literature A. Radi

Last modified: 31 May 2001