Sunrise, Littleton bay, Christchurch
Sunrise, Littleton bay, Christchurch

BooksMarch 22, 2019

The Friday Poem: ‘National Anthem’ by Mohamed Hassan

Sunrise, Littleton bay, Christchurch
Sunrise, Littleton bay, Christchurch

New work by poet Mohamed Hassan.

If you are on mobile, read the poem in its intended format here.

National Anthem

I pledge allegiance                                   to love and good coffee

a sleepy heart
two sets of feet burning
a clatter of brilliant voices raised as one

I pledge my honeycomb tongue
to the five stages of peace

Anger
Resilience
Open palms
History
and New Beginnings

to broken and plastered hope
to our phoenix youth
our devils dancing in the wind
sparkle and ashenning the day
the ancient maps left for us

to worship
or forsake

I pledge a bowl of molasses
and my grandmother’s laugh
to whoever will laugh with me
wrestle from the sun a hurricane
of Jinn stories and inside jokes
of multi-tongued monsters
finding homes in each other

I pledge myself to                                     no flag

no border
no house of trees
no fairytale past
no charismatic king
no industry of false profits
burying their heads in the sand

to them I only pledge                                 a steady voice

an untroubled heart
a desperate compassion
a fist raised in the air

to those who would plot to sow me love
to bake me warmth and never break my art
to rob my eyes for safe-keeping
to drown me in unconditional trust

to build with me
a new sun

I pledge myself

to you

The Spinoff Review of Books is proudly brought to you by Unity Books, recently named 2020 International Book Store of the Year, London Book Fair, and Creative New Zealand. Visit Unity Books Wellington or Unity Books Auckland online stores today. 

Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

Get The Spinoff
in your inbox

Books