Saturday, August 20, 2022 | Muharram 21, 1444 H
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OMAN
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Like a mountain bird...

The following are translations of poems by the Omani poet Hilal al Hajri (1958) from his collection titled: “Like a Mountain Bird Watching the Collapse of the World”, (Beirut 2013).


A Wish


If only men were made of sea haze


Before the sunset


If only they weren’t made of clay!


The Interior of Oman


Even the storms that hit Oman


Had a colonial bent:


They’d lop off noses and ears


From Mosera to Qalhat and Muscat


And the Indian Ocean would devour them


They certainly read the map of Albuquerque


Though the Interior was fortified by


Its mountains and sorcerers


Feared by empires and storms!


The Literati


The bowels of a hypocritical whale


On the beach


The seagulls scramble for


With style and character


Are better than a mouse’s carrion


The literati bite


Their saliva flowing to their knees!


The Strange Woman


I love you


I yearn for you


O strange woman


I’ve no way to reach you


To give you a birthday gift or flower


But I won’t hesitate a moment


To pluck my soul


And send it by post


A sacrifice to your sacred love.


A Letter to Federico Garcia Lorca


O Lorca


My tear


Descended on the drinking table


Who fathoms it?


Who weighs it?


Give me a splinter


From the bullet that pierced your betrayed heart.


I want to die


With the taste of revolution


And the sweetness of outburst on my tongue.


In the Last Part of the Night


Glory to you O crescent


I see you between curtain and wall


Just like a scythe


About to cut this pale sky.


Lost Bedouin


O clouds


Flock together


Quench this heart, thirsty since Adam


I seek your help


Here


In the black sinews of this wasteland


Let your tears rain


With pity and mercy


On this lost Bedouin


Who’s burning on the embers of loss


A single drop


A single drop might moisten his throat


To start screaming again


Amidst this chaos.


Believer


I’m but a bullet in the heart of this darkness


I trace the light of revolution and the impossible


But I may hit against a fort or lighthouse!


My love


Let the light of your face


Be the Mecca of this believer!


A Letter from Cambridge


Arabia is the land of fault


Where the prophets were sent


Their followers fight with bells and minarets


But here in Cambridge


There’s but


River


Flower


And salvation!


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