Fatiha Morchid

Aakhiro attariqi awaaluhu 

(The End of the Road the Beginning)



Arab cultural center, Beirut /Casablanca 2009.

A poem from the book :


Diary of sorrow at Jeddah


To the spirit of my father who will never die

On the shore of the Red Sea

The tail of my black cloak brushes away

Remains of a sandstorm

while the veil refuses to sit

On the forehead that you wished


And bare

like the noontime sun


A passerby says

“Cover your head, female ”

I said:

I buried my only covering in your land

And spread out my soul

To the wind



At the break of a dawn

Which came unexpected

Between two death rattles

And two heartaches

I land

Like a sorrowful seagull

At the Jeddah airport


The customs officer asks

Who’s in charge of you, female?

I said to myself

No one but me

Ever took me in charge



I rush

Like a fugitive

Towards the military hospital

Where patience

Is the only weapon


The night silence

Rebounds like pain


Peaceful you lie

Amid war veterans


For a truce



Between here and there


Both of us suspended

From the pulse lapels

While silence around us counts

Our breaths


after breath


Can a miracle

Breathe into my womb

And birth you again

O father


On the bed of ordeals


I fumble through your few hairs

You  whoonce

Caressed my childhood

With silk fingertips


You open an eye

Onto the void


Do you remember me?

Does my feverish tremor

As I kiss your hands

Give you warmth?



I read “Surat Maryam”

over you

You, for whom women

Died of love

And begin

To tell our story together

May « The reminder

Benefits the believers »

while I massage the feet

In whose foosteps

I walked



The Asian nurse comes in

Wrapped in a white veil


On a fake smile

We exchange

Looks burdened

With the question of being


She apologizes for the inconvenience



Reveal the intimacy of love




I look at you

And the first time I see you


Except for the pride of pain


How cruel am I !

Can science be a shield

Against your bashfulness?



Don’t feel shame

I will forget every groan of your body

Once you get up

You will wear

Your white djellaba

And I will trill

O bridegroom of Jeddah

When you rise

We will scorn


And we will

We will..

We will..


And fate will

Scorn us




On the shore of the Red Sea

The salt in my sweat splits

The waves of my body

Death is chilly

And not a hand

To gather the beads of the necklace

That out of extreme solitude

Fell apart


On the shore of the Red Sea

Cellphones ring

Cellphones dance

Sandals falling like armies

And captives handcuffed

In gold bracelets


As for me

I broke my chains

The day I was born

And turned my shroud

Into white sheets of paper



How can letters

Stand upright after you

When inside your prison

My words broke free



On the shore of the Red Sea

No waves

No sailors

No ebb

No flow

Just lakes silent

Like faces under a veil

Women look from behind the black

Men see what’s behind the black


But I who am free

Of all affiliation


How dare the desert

Provoke me

When in every grain of sand

I have a poem of lament?



Is one single death enough

To bury memory?


And when did snow ever heal

The cracks of a mountain?


Our Secret downpour

sweeps us away

While the soil falls short

of silencing

our echo

of commiting life


The grave

Has doors that are closed

And others

That alone






On the shore of the Red Sea

The tail of my black cloak brushes away

Remains of sandstorm

And I

Like orphans

Drag along my bare feet


A passerby says:

“Make yourself decent, Female ”

I said:

Leave my sins alone

I assume them

And share generously

With those God is pleased with



At sunset

I land like a wreckage

At the Casablanca airport

My legacy from you:

A full denture


And insulin injections


Woe to them

They stole

Your return ticket

And passport


Like an ear of corn

Visited by dew

At the harvest hour

I take one last sip

And without apology

I beg the sky

For a final sin


From my deep dark memory

Your countenance shines forth like sunrise

And takes me back

To the cosy womb

where your daily things

Are sacred rituals

And I

The grateful

Righteous nun


That you remain my sin

And I the sinner


You haunt

Every path I take

As if you were its destination


A « Fatiha » you set me up

So why did you close the book?


All the women inside of me

Mourn you

And all the men I loved in you

Became orphans



On the shore of the Red Sea

I saw you off as befits a « Morchid »

And sang with children

Who lightheartedly

carried your coffin:


There’s no death but the death of love

My father will never die.


Jeddah, February 2006