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Hey Buffoon!

Hey, buffoon! 
Cling tightly! 
Beware falling apart! 
Beware and be alert! 
Bend your ears to every sign of movement 
Keep watch on your own shadow
and, when the leaves rustle, 
Shut yourself off and keep still! 
Life is so dangerous, buffoon. 
Open fire! 
Bullets aimed at everything
every word uttered
every breeze passing
without your permission
My lord buffoon. 
Instruct the sparrows, 
the village lanterns, 
the towns' windows, 
every whispering blade of grass
to report to you. 
As police, let the ants infiltrate
and build the security state
Ask the raindrops
to write their reports, 
From Mahjoub Sherif's poem Ya Bahlawi on shah Iran.
The arabic text is here.
Mahjoub Sharif, Martin Luther King, Pussy Riot (Russian pop group), an artist from Tibet, 
Snowden (SNA contractor, WikiLeaks) are among twelve prisoners of conscience to be saluted by Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, himself barred from leaving China. The exhibition is set to take place in former Alcatraz prison, off San Francisco where each of the honored will be allocated a prison cell, one too many for Mahjoub Sharif who died this year! The ferry to reach 'Alcatraz' the prison-turned-into-museum will be $30. 
Alcatraz prison, probably the harshest of all prisons worldwide, is known as a setting for many 
movies, including Escape From Alcatraz, a Clint Eastwood movie. For more on this, visit this 
site: The Toronto Star 
The video below was my contribution to a group of Sudanese who celebrated Sharif's 
anniversary in September 2014 in Iowa City. It is a poem in Arabic which I will soon add 
English subtitles to.


  1. God have mercy on Father Mahjoub Sharif.. Thanks, Mustafa Mudathir.

  2. My apologies. I failed to find the name of the person who translated this poem by the late poet Mahjoub Sharif 'Hey Buffoon'. It wasn't me of course.


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