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

A mystical departure...

A window into contemporary Omani literature

The following are translations of poems from Sama Essa’s elegiac collection: A Love Song for Laila Fakhru (Beirut 2012):


(16)


The twittering sparrows


Are but a mystical departure


The tree discards its crop on the earth


Water yearns for death


On its descending course to abyss.


(17)


Are you opening the door?


I see you not


As if the fruit of love falls from the sky


And with it falls your beauty


To be buried in the earth.


(18)


When you come into the light


With your angel-like smile


And young widow-like cry


My soul takes me to you


For I see your tear


Carving a path to love


Carving a path to death.


But I won’t see you again


I won’t see your pale sad face


The face that tells the news of


Your death


My death.


(19)


That desert tree was but your bones


She drank your blood


And the birds carried it to distant


Realms.


(20)


The sky is a blue mother


Yearning for her tender babes,


Pebbles strewn in deserted valleys


Where whirling dervishes packed their bags


And travelled.


(21)


I shall carry a big pain in my heart


But hush up


To be but sweet water to you.


O lovely tree


You draw your branches close


Like a mother cuddling her babes.


I’ll carry a big pain in my heart


But hush up.


(22)


Even night turns savage


Its strange mystical creatures vanish


In a bloody pool


Like yellow dry olive trees...


Graves


Turn to travelers


The wind fleetingly blows.


Perhaps on hills


There rises a bitter childhood


Like an absence driven by the fire


To the heart.


(23)


A mourning boat carries lovers


A silent man consorts with seagulls


Wandering small clouds light ancient planets


Just as the glory of God


Brightens the distant dark.


But ...


Who are these travellers to the countless stars?


The moon has left her old lovers


But your beauty still glitters


Like a flower blooming


In an eternal autumn.


(24)


Open the door


This dawn


The forest-baby


Left you a love song


A rose and a bottle of milk


And then departed.


(25)


When love awakes you again


You’ll be resurrected,


Like a flower


Wet with tears.


Only the autumn’s migrating bird


And the distant southern wind


Know the way to you.


In your heart’s oyster


Dwells the souls of your dead dears.


(26)


Shepherds with camels


Autumn’s rain


The distant cry of a woman in a cave


Bones of martyrs


Their eyes open as if adored by lightning


As if shrouded in ashes


Their guns thrown on stones


Tainted by blood


Their bodies, calm tranquil


Small memories on grass


These, Laila, are the last love letters for you.


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