Creativity Pack II: ‘When My Country Was at War, I Was Dancing’ Poem

March 4, PRAGUE—As we are (mostly) students of Creative Media Production, we have decided to make use of this platform. This monthly input will promote one of the writers’ works in the field of feature/documentary film, theatre, radio, or written pieces. We want to celebrate the creativity of our wonderful contributors in this series we are calling the ‘Creativity Pack’.

Zeina Kanawati is a truly beautiful human being, a mother of two, currently based in Prague, a humanitarian soul and a truly caring spirit. The following short poem highlights her perception of the world through her poetic yet realistic eyes, reflecting on the current situation in her country of origin – Syria. The result is heartbreaking and haunting, both at once.

When My Country Was at War, I Was Dancing

The music is very loud, I can’t hear anyone. I’m dancing nonstop, smoking and screaming at the same time.

I still hold my mobile phone to stay in touch with the family back home. The family under bombardment. It’s been so long now that no one really wants to know what’s going on.

My friends when they ask me, they forget to listen to my answer.  I also tend to answer in short sentences. “It’s not good, it’s becoming worse,” I say.

They always think the war is coming to an end, and I just say the same, “It’s not good, it’s becoming worse”.

I’m still dancing, my mobile flashes alerting me to an upcoming message, I read it while I’m dancing, smoking and screaming at the same time. “The building is about to fall, the bombardment is so loud, I think the windows will break any minute,” my mom texted.

I keep dancing in an attempt to live the life I have right now.

When I look at the sky, I always see lights, I believe they’re the fighter planes.

I hear bombs falling and exploding around me. I see the windows falling and the people running.

I hear the crying of the children… and I smell the blood.

I keep dancing, smoking and screaming at the same time. No one hears me anyway.

I start crying. It’s not the place to cry, it’s not the time to dance, it’s not the moment to be in a safe place. I need to be there. Where the gravity works upside down… so people keep flying up high to their final path, rather than staying on the ground. Where “safety” is a missing word, “warm” is lost, “hunger” is a king, and “death” is the hero of all.

I keep dancing, smoking, and screaming at the same time… No one will hear me anyway.

The introduction was written by Huyen Vi Tranová.
The poem was written by Zeina Kanawati.