Jean Dark


Like Jean Dark

I’m going to practice black magic

and lead my Country’s revolution

never shall I let fire eat me up


did draw

a crematory

for the fire

this time;

It’s my own silence.


A River 



was the river


so heavily

that we thought it

was a river!


Stagnant Euphrates


Who on earth can say the river flows

or the lake in good order.

It’s our vision

that admit Thing in and out


My name


I heard them calling my name

before replying,

I thought for a while:

The world has one gate

and one destination,

I wonder if I could return again

if I replied?


The North Sun…


You don’t know the North Sun…

Just like yourself…

Cold over meeting

Scorching over leaving…





An inn with metallic full heels

And a pavement furnished with accordion melodies,

During the visa card era

Nothing furthers

Not even begging.




The boy who forgot to water his rose

Woke up this morning

Overwhelmed by the whiteness of her look

And the silence of a flower

Forcibly pushing upward from a drowned night.


Do you still insist

You ‘re not roses’ butcher?




A lock for every door

A shoe for every horse

My wall-less door stands sadly

With a mere knock swinging like you, lonely horseshoe.


A world


A couple of doves

And a wall edge

How extensive the world’s heart is!


(Translated by Bashar Abdullah)


The Iraqi poet and writer Manal Al-Sheikh (1971) was born in Nineveh in northern Iraq. She has a bachelor’s degree in English-Arabic translation from the College of Arts, Mosul University. As a poet, writer and journalist, she has published texts in many Iraqi, Arab and European newspapers and magazines. She writes in Arabic and she has published several poetry and short story collections. Her work is translated into many languages including French, Norwegian, Italian, Spanish and English. She currently resides in Stavanger, Norway.