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2005 - Saloni M presents The Shades of Love


Khalid al-Hilli

Khalid al-Hilli
was born in Hillah-Babylon, in Iraq. He started publishing poems and articles in leading Arabic magazines, such as Al-Adeeb and Al-Thaqafa in 1962. He worked for several Iraqi newspapers and magazines before he eventually left Iraq in 1979.

He worked as a correspondent for the Qatari Ar-Raya newspaper, whilst he was in the United Arab Emirates between 1979 and 1982, and continued this task when he lived in Morocco between 1982 and 1988. In Morocco, he also worked as a cultural editor for Al-Mithaq al-Watani newspaper.

He moved to Australia in 1989, working for a period as a correspondent to Al-Yaum, a Saudi newspaper. Since then, he has continued to write for Arabic newspapers in Australia and overseas. In the past few years he has lived between London and Melbourne.

In 1964, he published a book titled Two Colourless Eyes. It is a collection of poems, thoughts and contemplations. In 1988, he published a poetry collection titled Cloudy Cities, some of the poems from this collection have been translated into English and published in Kalimat, an international periodical of English and Arabic creative writing. He is now a literary advisor for Kalimat.








Translated by Raghid Nahhas


I stick on the door the map of our planet as it revolves
Where are you revolving now…
and where do I revolve?
I look for you everywhere,
but desolate places are what I see.
I search for you on all the roads of this earth
I see nothing
I shred all this planet’s maps
Then I see my face revolving in the mirror.

There are five continents on this planet
There are seas where the blueness of your eyes
is nowhere to be seen.
There are countless mountains
There are women increasing in number now
…and decreasing
There are billions whose
daily agenda is unknown to me
I know all of that, but
I have not seen a bit of your face
on the maps of this planet.

Do I see your face in the night’s dreams?
Come closer now, for I don’t know
what will become of my heartaches tomorrow.
Or how they would be if I were a prophet
on one of the five continents.
Come closer so I reveal my sorrows to you
in my day-dreaming.


I will come to you like walking sand
or a phantasm running towards you
bewitched… or dead… or paralysed…
or flying with the wind…
I alone ask about you in the streets
I search in the forests
I dream in the taverns

Would you come to me a silence…
to dwell in my eyes and dream?


Wars hide in our memories
and the imaginary rain becomes trees of tears
How then could the desperate write his face?
How could the day witness its disturbed elements?
How could you spend your long hours
without me being the night and day?

Unknown seasons search space
for islands flying with the wind
In your madness
you are an illusionary child...

© Khalid al-Hilli 2005. Translation by Raghid Nahhas.

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