Saturday, August 20, 2022 | Muharram 21, 1444 H
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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):


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.


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.


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.


That desert tree was but your bones

She drank your blood

And the birds carried it to distant



The sky is a blue mother

Yearning for her tender babes,

Pebbles strewn in deserted valleys

Where whirling dervishes packed their bags

And travelled.


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.


Even night turns savage

Its strange mystical creatures vanish

In a bloody pool

Like yellow dry olive trees...


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.


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.


Open the door

This dawn

The forest-baby

Left you a love song

A rose and a bottle of milk

And then departed.


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.


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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