Tuesday, December 06, 2022 | Jumada al-ula 11, 1444 H
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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


I’m not alone

I’ve my solitude

Doesn’t it deserve company?


On a beach where pirates left their odalisques

I’ll marry one of them


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


A couple of seagulls

Strolling the sky of the Arabian Sea

Hail, o masculine earth

Liberty, fertility and growth!


O roaring waves

Forgive me

I can’t write even a single letter.

Everything delivers me to silence

And the gaze of emptiness!


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!


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.


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.


O pure angel

Take me as a dying wish

I’ll furnish the whole sky for you

Asking my dreams to sleep!


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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