Monday, December 06, 2021 | Jumada al-ula 1, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Bathing in the Fountain of Beauty
A Window into Contemporary Omani Literature

khalidalbalushi@hotmail.com -


Acknowledgement:


The poems published in my last column titled “Migrants Fleeing Slaughter” were by the poet Saif Al Rahbi. His name was dropped by mistake.


The following are translations of poems by the Omani poet Hilal Al Hajri (1968-) from his collection titled: “Like a Mountain Bird Watching the Collapse of the World”, (Beirut 2013):


Yearning


Crying on this naked tree for spring


Does this dove know


I long for you as camels do for leaving?


I've just decided to track this river.


With my unhurried steps


I'll seek its genesis


And will find you there


Bathing in the fountain of beauty and purity.


Only then will I know I've reached


Paradise!


A Vow


O injured child,


I'll trace your steps


Next to the river


In fields and on pavements.


I’ll show them my yeaning


Ask them to keep my heart


Broken like glass


Every step


Every step has its share of blood and tears!


Wealth


Pride of palms


Memories of childhood playgrounds


Yearning of narrow alleys


Cooing of doves drunk at dawn


Scent of trees


Smell of clay in valleys


Greetings of kindly town folk


These’re the wealth I reaped from a quick walk


After dawn prayers in my town, "Al Waasil"


A wealth I shall always cherish.


Star


O star


I greet you


Give you this earth that flows in my blood


Embrace her with your mighty haughtiness


Pour on her sparks of care and nobility


Don't leave it for night brokers and pimps


Shed upon her


Even if a single tear


To purify her from the wreck.


A Call for Help


O seagulls


Stroking the skies of the Arabian Sea


O clouds


Far away from the dreams of simple folk


O sacred haze


I call on you all


With God's 99 names


Fill my lungs with freedom.


It's gloomy and dark


The ghosts toy with the dawn’s lines.


Cambridge


Farewell Cambridge


Kingdom of rivers and tender skies


Temple of knowledge and meditation


Chorus of wine and rain


Brimming with defiance and dalliance


I trust to you my wild days


Days I spilled over your alleys and riverbanks.


Remember this, my mellow girl:


I wasn't like your stupid tourists


Busy with museums and mummies


I was true to life


And penetrated your mysterious charms!


1* According to the Islamic tradition, God has 99 names (or attributes). Muslims are urged to repeat those names all the time (the translator).


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