Yahia Lababidi and Dave Bonta


What is to Give Light

What is to give light must endure
burning, a man once said
Another man became the matchstick
that set a nation aflame

But fire, and its appetite, cannot be
calculated, like freedom
Injustice and desperation make men
combustible, like dry wood

When words lose their meaning
and an entire people their voice
so they can neither laugh nor scream
death and life begin to taste the same

From Tunis, to Egypt, to Libya to Yemen
the light from a burning man proved catching
And those with nothing to lose, or offer, but bodies
fanned the embers of their hopes into a blazing dream.

Copyright 2011 Yahia Lababidi

Watch this video poem here: http://www.youtube.com/user/jadkfja


Yahia Lababidi is a Pushcart-nominated, Egyptian poet. His latest book is the critically-acclaimed new collection of essays, Trial by Ink: From Nietzsche to Belly Dancing.  [Website: http://www.pw.org/content/yahia_lababidi]



Dave Bonta blogs at Via Negativa, edits the online literary journal qarrtsiluni, curates Moving Poems, a collection of poetry videos from around the world, dabbles in occasional videopoetry experiments of his own, and produces two audio podcasts. His first print collection of poetry, Odes to Tools, appeared in 2010, and eight of his poems are included in The Book of Ystwyth: Six poets on the art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins.