Sunday, May 22, 2022 | Shawwal 20, 1443 H
clear sky
33°C / 33°C

Wolf's Eye

The following are translations of poems from Zahir Al Ghafri’s collection: “Whenever an Angel Appeared in the Fort”, (Beirut: 2008):

The Poet, the Mute Woman and the Sun

Signs go after the poet to the bottom of the tavern

He walks as if searching for the world's map

His steps will take him to that point

To that place

To discover again world's injuries

As if that's what he's really short of!

This man

The man who roamed horizons

Walked with the deluge

Till it overflowed from his eyes.

But only Sidora can tell

That the poet is too tired today.


And there's that mute woman

The woman who cries without tears

She complains

She begs the customers' sympathies

As if she talked to the dazzling sun

That day, that afternoon.

She's ready to stand before the poet

Saying with all clarity

Like a Scandinavian winter

"I'm the tall lady".

She's been enslaved

Till her tongue escaped her.

He saw in her eyes

Those words she couldn't say:

"The life you want you can't find".

Malmo my dear poet

Is but a false lesson.

From here

Ibn Fadhlaan passed as a war prisoner

In the pirates’ ship.

Wolf's Eye

Take pain with the power of betting

With the power confusion

The confusion of a blind man before a passing cloud

The confusion of Gilgamesh

Before the flower in the snake's mouth.

When life beckons

You find no track of either doors or windows.

The walls have cracked

The town has completely disappeared.


Under pearl's towers

You'll see in the wolf's watchful eye

Your entire life's map

The sign of innocence.

You won't

You won't

You won't go farther than this, you won't see

You won't see farther than the window

You won't even see that fountain

The fountain one tries to drown in

To be reborn.

You want to test destiny at its edges

You're most probably a dead man

Walking in the dark

Singing the while of his long exile.

You won't go, you won't see

The angel won't come for you

In the fort.

Here the adventure ends once and for all

Here, time is exposed naked.

Light's Lake

I talk to this woman

Who no longer sees me

For her eyes are looking there

At what's behind the window

At Narcissus in a haunted lake

(Perhaps where man strives to meet

His half death)

I talk to her

Beg her

But she turns not.

She probably wants to see

How light ascends the grass of a lost life.

She sings again of her long exile

Waits here under ice for a moment

More transparent than her nakedness

Waits for a heron to jump from her fancy's lake

To bring her joy.

When she gets tired

When the window frame's laden with her ideas

She turns back to me.

I can see in her eyes her past life.

* Sidora is the goddess of wine in the epic of Gilgamesh (the translator).

** Malmo is a city in Sweden (the translator).

*** Ibn Fadhlan, an Arab scholar, was sent in 921 by the Caliph of Baghdad to Eastern Europe. He left a detailed account of his travels (the translator).

**** Gilgamesh, the main character of the Gilgamesh epic, was the king of Uruk, Mesopotamia. He's believed to have lived some time between 2800 and 2500 BC (the translator).

arrow up
home icon