Lit & Found: Poems by the Late Zakaria Mohammed

Palestinian poet Zakaria Mohammed passed away aged 73 on August 2, 2023. The winner of the 2020 Mahmoud Darwish Prize for Culture and Creativity, Mohammed published several novels and plays, but will be remembered above all for his thought-provoking and stylistically inventive poetry.

Iraqi novelist and poet-translator Sinan Antoon has brought eight of Mohammed’s poems into English for Jadaliyya, among them:


There is no death
There is only a tiny cloud that passes and covers your eyes
Like a friend who comes from behind and blindfolds you with his hands
There is no death
There is a black goat and a tattooed hand milking an udder
White milk fills your mouth and flows in your eyes
Again, there is no death
There is a Raspberry tree
It holds your shoulder and hurts you
because it wants to open the way for turtles
There is no death
There isn’t
at all

Read the other seven poems over at Jadaliyya, and find six more at Critical Times.