Time Erasure

Ahmed Radi

Through the small loophole of an ancient door
I managed to see with a struggle
Ghostly figures, vague contours
Misty images, and ephemeral fragments of a distant past,
In remembrance,
Remembered with labour, undocumented in photos.

Dear people who can never be seen,
Fallen into oblivion;
They disappeared from the stage of history, leaving no legacy
Some kind of link,
Reconstructed, woven into fragile, ephemeral small words
Addressed for offspring
In the form of small narratives to be heard and seen.

In the empty darkness emerges some light.

Youthful children pursuing a magical soccer -ball in an open space of freedom,
Scorpion-hunting as a hobby for the annoyed unemployed
Before the advent of TV screens,
An endless race behind seductive butterflies that led us
To beautiful streams, fields without frontiers and unforeseen beauty
Of nature,
Wild nature
Before its conquest by blocks of buildings
And caterpillars of all forms.
Cherished memories violated by the sound of uncaring machines
And artificial memories
That obliterate the sensing of the past
The sense of history as human processes,
Few scattered fragments
Shrinking under the effect of growing old
Of an age driving its youth to an eternal instant
Sceptical of its wisdom,
Brought up on the buzzing sounds of gadgets,
On best sellers, Hollywood films
And endless zapping on the screen.

Desire becomes an act of possessing more,
In a virtual room;
The imagination works through coded games
In bodies suffering atrophy
Through lack of exercise and fresh air.
Yes! fresh air, that is all we need !
And perhaps, against memory erasure, some refreshed memories
To give us strength in what is left of our communal bonds
That are breaking, disintegrating
Belatedly lamented, one day, as our
Loss, our Eden that is irremediably lost;
That cannot be recuperated, even as a fictive text,
Through darkness generating total amnesia.

Postcolonial OV Morocco Literature A. Radi

Last modified: 31 May 2001