Memories of an Alchemist


By Fadi Abu-Deeb

I bake a dough of paper on a blue fire
Burning among the prairies of the eternal snow.

I melt it to extract from its tissue the substance of the ancient perfume

//The smell of the house that stays in the holiday that’s coming no more;
The taste of the nights of winter that looks for blazing hearths to thunder around,
and pour its rain outside their walls, and around the surrounding bread and hyssop//

I distill it drop by drop
Through the fabric of the rays of light
That sneak from behind the planet of clouds,
Woven, idea by idea,
In the quarters of the First Mind,
that continues to flow
Since before the weaving of the garment of time.


I learn about the essence of the ancient perfume
I find out that the time never passes,
That nothing is erased
And that the bread, the hyssop, the fire and the grandmother;
The golden watch and the beads, and the hanging picture;
The summer and the winter;
The Sunday and ‘that’ noon;
And the father who comes holding joy and delight;
The mother who stands awaiting the flood of the sun;
And the kids who mount the wind toward the dome of the sky-

I know…
That all of them are still carried in the same flow
Switching their dwelling places
Between the bank of the present imagination
and the stream of the illusory present

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