Fields of My Blood

1997 – Fields of My Blood: (a collection of poetry), Empyreal Press, Montreal, Canada 90 pp.

blood Fields of My Blood Book Description: Fields of My Blood represents a triumph of compassion over the worst possible elements. War and its attendant indignities would appear to have the upper hand. Yet at the very core of the human experience, fuelling one’s basic  instinct to carry on, is that invaluable cache of love and desire, beauty and forgiveness, even in the face of utmost despair. Asfour’s  capacity to weave articulate fables of hope and determination from the ugly stains of past and present imbues each poem, begging the ultimate question: what is the true meaning of survival?

Book Reviews: “I have nothing but admiration for John Asfour’s work…Everything is there, from the melancholy lyricism of Nazik al-Mala’ika to the passionate engagement of Mahmud Darwish, from the tragic sensibility of Muhammad al-Maghut to the rebellious iconoclast Adonis.” – Henry Beissel

“A fine poetic craftsman, Asfour hones and polishes words with a minimalist’s obsessiveness.” – The Montreal Gazette

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A poem from the book Fields of My Blood

Biographical Sketch

She chased them deep into the barn
where business merged with pleasure
and we spied
traces of blood on her whiskers
as she licked her mouth near the wood stove.

Children, too, entertained her_
calm in their arms, she purred her way into
their stories
of invincible cats
and humans, then
curled her tail and slept

reconstructing games
of gore
until the dream leaped
from under her eyelids
and through her limbs

and the eyeballs, turned
upon the brain
travelled the mythologies
that paved her past.

We boasted of her confrontation
with a house snake_
she a champion on the prowl
for one more challenge
after storming the neighbour’s fence,
sharpening her claws
and plundering a bag of white cheese.

At her burial one bullet hole marred
her tiger-striped body.