Friday, August 12, 2022 | Muharram 13, 1444 H
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Bathing in the Fountain of Beauty

A Window into Contemporary Omani Literature -


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):


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


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!


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.


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.


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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