Sunday, May 22, 2022 | Shawwal 20, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

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.


There


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).


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