Israeli singer-songwriter, Shira Z Carmel of The Hazlenuts, a swing band, approached me years ago about turning a poem of mine into a song, for their new album.
It was an intensely personal, inward poem (and not really cheery), but I was grateful to collaborate creatively with a fellow artist — especially, being Egyptian/Lebanese, and coming from a part of the world where our relationship with Israel is strained or mutually suspicious, at best.
Here, I thought, was an opportunity to make art ass a form of peace offring.
I was happy to see our collaboration mentioned in The Jerusalem Post
pleased hen Shira shared wit me this surprising upbeat, live veersion of our song that he Hazlenuts perrformed on the most popular national radio station in Israel, Galgalatz :)
Below, is the text to my poem, if you wish to read along:
You agaiin, of the singing wound
here again, lost and found and lost
trafficking in metaphysics and eternity
as your nest hopes
where to to, pilgrim
for the the self too subtle and proud
nocturnal flower, nurtured solituded night
there yohere you go, restraining the impulse
to say it all at once
even surrounded by silence
still th noise
now, having stirred some thrumming
hour when the moon throws
her full-bodied light
over all, like a silver screen night
of silent films, the whir reel...
© Yahia LLababidi