Monday, May 23, 2022 | Shawwal 21, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Letters on Love and Loss

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):


A Good Citizen


That desolate man


In the remotest corner of the tavern


I know very well.


His hand shivers as he lifts the first cup


But once he mellows


He can do anything


He can, for example, be a good citizen,


Be bold


Let his urine gush forth on the whole world!


Wine of al Jabal al Akhdhar*


What if the herdsmen of Al Jabal Al Akhdhar


Started to spill their wine


Through streams and slopes?


This divine blood


Would it find its way


To the mouths of the thirsty and wretched


In the bottom of Hell


Or would this giant seize it


Sip it without mercy?!


A homeland


A homeland


As narrow as a dancer’s waist


Seduces you


But your dreams it can’t contain!


A Girl Pirate


No


I’m not alone


I’ve my solitude


Doesn’t it deserve company?


Here


On a beach where pirates left their odalisques


I’ll marry one of them


Savory


With the colour of ripe dates


And the smell of pollen


I’ll envelop her with my sadness and deprivation


She won’t escape the last pirate’s lust!


Letters on love


and Loss


(1)


A couple of seagulls


Strolling the sky of the Arabian Sea


Hail, o masculine earth


Liberty, fertility and growth!


(2)


O roaring waves


Forgive me


I can’t write even a single letter.


Everything delivers me to silence


And the gaze of emptiness!


(3)


Open the window’s curtain now


Or let’s go to Oman’s shores


A full moon lies there on the horizon.


I want her to see you


And be ashamed of herself!


(4)


Morning star


If you profess to be a prophetess


All the desert’s shepherds


Seeking immortality’s fountain


All the poets wandering in eternal loss


All the saints clinging to divine love


I, witnessing no beauty save in your eyes


We all would believe in you.


(5)


Say to the sand lady:


Be a little late this evening


I’ll go to the fount


Search for my soul


To cleanse it like a river in heaven


For my lady.


(6)


O pure angel


Take me as a dying wish


I’ll furnish the whole sky for you


Asking my dreams to sleep!


(7)


Surrounded by nothingness


I see no light at tunnel’s end


O lost ark


Where are you taking us?


*Al Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) a mountain in the north of Oman (the translator).


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