Corona’s eyes are blind, so it does not want the students’ eyes to see the light. It closed schools and filled their hearts with fear. It is Corona’s blind eyes.
– Anwer Ghani
Here are words and lines by me; Anwer Ghani, a physician and poet from Iraq. I wrote it freely, far from techniques, but rather wrote it fluently and with poetic prose that mixes with imagination and reality, in order to record my observations and document what I saw and felt in the Corona pandemic that afflicted the world in 2020. I relied on documenting what I saw and what I felt with some poetic expression. I hope you like it and see what we went through and what we felt of dread and fear.
I did not speak to the sun but my grandfather spoke to it and it sat there with them in that garden. My grandfather said that the eyes of the sun are bright, beautiful and tender, not crazy. My grandfather did not see the eyes of Corona, but I saw the eyes of Corona, it is crazy, spiteful and murderous. A witch takes lightning spirits. My heart is now crowded with pain.
Oh my God. If my grandfather saw the eyes of Corona, I am sure that he would take his scythe and stand in the first row in order to expel it from this earth.
My grandfather loves his land and does not accept that the killer eyes of Corona remain in it.
I am very proud of my grandfather and I always remember his stories, and now I have many stories to tell him, I mean the stories of Corona and its killer eyes and other things.
I am a farmer from the south; the south of Iraq and the moon here bathes every night in the Euphrates. The moon is white and pure, as you know, but, Corona is neither pure nor white, because it does not bathe in the Euphrates, it bathes in people’s blood.
You can imagine the dread in my heart when I saw those hundreds falling. They do not fall in the Euphrates, but rather in the death pits due to Corona.
If Corona had learned to bathe in the Euphrates, it would be kind, tender and pure, like the moon, like my beautiful popular.
Our ancestors say that the Euphrates is a sacred river, and that it washes rusty hearts. Moreover, that he goes out every day in front of the gates of Babylon, to shrink the city. I know that the Euphrates will regress my city from the crazy Corona.
Yes, Corona is fatal and frightening, but it will not frighten the Euphrates, nor will it make its eyes blink. The affectionate eyes of the Euphrates will overcome Corona’s dark eyes.
I am a doctor from Iraq; from the south, where the palms are medicine and the Euphrates is a cure, but on a dark night, the crazy Corona attacked us, and it took lives. The hospital started crying and the corridors crying, and everything became afraid.
Moreover, I was afraid and my friends were afraid. Oh, my colleagues, how many of them have fallen dead, martyr. How many of them have contracted the disease, but we are doctors and our job is to fight Corona and keep it away from people.
I am a doctor and I have committed to that, and we have very much saved many lives. Despite the losses, we are here proud of what we have done.
We doctors feel sadness and pain, and we are trying to do our duty to save people from the deadly Corona. We did everything we could and everything possible, and we stayed up for the nights and days, and felt real stress, but this does not mean anything in front of saving souls. Corona was a hard lesson.
The hospital is a big white dove, smiling in the patient’s face and caressing the child as affectionate mother, and in the middle of it finds the nurse who bored and not complained, and gave love to everyone. The nurse has dazzled me since the first day I saw her, it is a different thing, a different being.
Imagine this tremendous amount of sympathy and Corona will have what you will do, that she will be an honest guard and a great fighter.
Yes, the nurses are great fighters; they kept up the nights and worked hard during the days to save the lives of the sick. Their eyes cried a lot for those who died, but their hearts were always beating, hoping that everyone would be cured.
If the eyes of Corona had seen the nurses’ eyes, they would be ashamed and Corona will inevitably announce itself as the loser, as for the kindness and tenderness of the nurses.
Here we are in Hilla; the small city in Iraq, where palm trees and super simplicity are in everything, but in 2020 Corona visited us as a frightening and terrifying delegation, so the city became silent as a dead man without movement.
Children, women, elders and youth are all moving away from gatherings. The city became without gatherings; it was empty, dead, and Corona looked with its bright eyes at this terrifying lethargy.
My city has many mosques and holy shrines become empty. Universities have been empty, schools, markets are empty, ancient cities are empty, book fairs are empty, and tourist areas are empty.
My city is empty; it has become a ghost town. Yes, the city has become a ghost town, and the panic that haunted it is unimaginable. Everything here is silent and empty. Something strange and you who read from the coming generations, you could not imagine the size of the tragedy. It is horrible. I hope you do not go through it.
When great Corona are walking, does not want anyone to share the road, so the streets are empty. If you saw the streets of my city and other big cities such as Paris and Rome, you would be filled with horror. Corona has evacuated the streets, yes, by order of the great Corona; the streets have been evacuated, becoming a mirage, waste and a forgotten memory.
You cannot imagine terrifying palpitations of our hearts, yes you cannot imagine. When you see crowded streets are completely empty, for days or weeks, it is a horrific and strange thing; Very strange. There are no pedestrians in the streets, no dogs, no birds, no lights or no sounds; it is an utter calm and a killer silence.
You do not see street vendors and you do not see taxi drivers, the vegetable seller, or the bread ovens. The streets in the era of Corona have become completely dead and empty without hope, like the sick person who was lost.
I will stay alone here, behind the windows and behind the curtain. Yes, I will stay alone without you because I finally knew how pain is. In addition, how love is? I finally knew how fatal it is the moment of the last separation.
This is not my eyes that cry, but my heart, and these tears are the story of longing and fear. No, I do not cry, I just say goodbye to you. This is not my tears, and these are not my eyes, but the eyes of Corona.
It is a great Corona; kills me slowly and robs my soul coldly. It reminds me of the cold hands; the very cold that stole my fields and our young people who fell on the sidewalk like the rest of the dream. No, I do not cry; I just say goodbye to my smiling spirit.
Corona by a small sign separated us, because I am behind my windows and you are behind your window unable to approach each other.
Here in Iraq, all the students have a great obsession to becoming doctors. Of course, this is encouraging, but it is not without dimensions that need to be contemplated. Then imagine how these aspirants can remain without school.
Corona closed schools, and the evil hands do not want science to continue in Iraq. Imagine Iraqi minds, if given the chance, what would happen? They will color the moon and fill the world with poetry. Iraqi students are poets and artists, so Corona closed their schools because it feared love, feared poetry, and feared science.
Corona from the world of ignorant and does not want people to have insight. It is dark, murderous and strange, and it appeared to us because of the lies that filled the world, because of the darkness that filled the world, and because of the ignorance that filled the world. Corona is the daughter of ignorance, so it closes schools. Corona’s eyes are blind, so it does not want the students’ eyes to see the light. It closed schools and filled their hearts with fear. It is Corona’s blind eyes.
Loving hearts cannot bear distance and separation, but Corona forced the lovers to separate. They do not meet and and their hearts are sad.
The lovers see the loved ones go, and they see the death reaping the soul, and yet they suffer for separation and remoteness. Corona reaps everything and takes everything, but the lovers are adept at making beautiful tomorrow. Lovers are skilled at making hope and despite the falling oil prices, the lovers are not depressed and they have enough energy to rise, and they see how trade is disrupted, but the lovers do not despair and they have love to fill their hunger and warm their bodies.
The lovers see everything collapsing, but they are adept at making hope, building a house and cultivating a field despite all this strange emptiness.
Lovers behind windows and screens spread great love that does not know death despite the eyes of Corona.
I will sing my sorrow; that the crazy Corona told me everything and taught me the game of silent life. I am learning because I am a good student sitting behind a tightly closed door without sharp eyes and without hard heart. The message is scary, and I cannot stand all this longing. I am learning the song; my eyes will never fall again and my hands will not be noisy. This is a pledge and a celebration.
I will go to the far market in search of my start. As an old lover, I will repeat every absent dream that fades before evening on the foliage.
Oh crazy Corona, your eyes kill every smile and teach us how to be silent. I will tell my story for many generations, and like a bitter rain, I will slowly fade, and I will stand wet in the middle of the road hoping for your coming.
Corona, you are an unforgettable lesson, all this fear, emptiness, death, loved ones, remoteness and paralysis, it is something that calls for strange and more searching for you
Anwer Ghani is an award-winning Iraqi poet and Pushcart nominee. He was born in 1973 in Babylon and he is a religious scholar, consultant nephrologist and author of more than a hundred books; thirty of them are in English like; “A Farmers Chant”; Inner Child Press 2019, and “Warm Moments”, Just Fiction, 2020. Anwer is the editor in chief of Arcs Prose Poetry magazine.