The picture of the Jack in the Playing Cards

Adeeb Kamal Ad-Deen


For: Dr. Hasan Nadhem






In his childhood

He sat in the street begging for a mother.

In his boyhood

He sat in the café opposite to the cemetery

Begging for a father.

In his youth

He sat at History leafing the years

Begging for a grandfather.

When he grew aged

He remembered that he had never played cards.

He gambled so as to lose everything

To lose the street, the café, the History,

The childhood, the boyhood and the youth.


After his horrible loss,

He checked his pockets under the big setting sun.

He found nothing in them

Only found the picture of the Jack in the playing cards

The picture of the Jack,

Perhaps was hidden by Time into his torn pockets

To deepen his ruin and earthquake.



The boy was nice-looking.

Because of him,

He crossed the great desert to see him.

Yes, he was nicer than an angel’s tear.

When the boy grew older

Everything changed.

It was said that the boy is Satan

The boy is As-Sheen 1

An-Nuun 2

The dot.


The boy said,

Said the boy:

The woman who sits beside the king

Does not deserve that

For she plays the game of Ah.

He also said: the one who sits under the king’s foot

Does not deserve that

For she plays the game of nakedness.

And the one who bears the king’s fan

And drives his chariot

Does not deserve that

For he knows that the air is not fresh

But he does not utter a word

And he knows that the chariot only goes back

But does not raise the street behind it.

The boy said

And said.


It is said that the boy is a heresy.

The boy is confusion.

The boy is a remarkable damnation

As long as we travel in the wrong ship

Into the wrong sea

In the wrong direction

Voyaging to the sun of unfaithfulness and brass

Not to the sun of assurance and gold.


What made me believe what was said by the boy?

The boy was nice-looking

Wearing the crown of youth on his head

And the pearl of meaning

And a handless watch.

The boy was as sharp as the sword

That cut the heads off my grandfathers

And the head off my dream

And the head off my letter and dot.


Where to go now?

Was the boy lying or exaggerating?

Was the boy dreaming or talking nonsense?

Or was I the one who was dreaming and talking nonsense?

Was the boy really in the playing cards?

Or was it a playing with the picture of the Jack?

Which one of us is the boy, which one of us is the father?

Is the boy really the prince?

That is what I certainly say

And I say just one word:

The boy is all that is left for me

After I lost everything.

The boy is the exile

The exile that I see now from my royal veranda

Which is surrounded by fire, curses

And the naked masses of people.

The exile that I see now



The exile whose stones roll on

With great slowness and pain.



              1.Arabic letter             2. Arabic letter


( T M)


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