Friday, February 03, 2023 | Rajab 11, 1444 H
clear sky
21°C / 21°C

My Homeland

The following are translations of poems by the Omani poet Hilal al Hajri (1968-) from his first collection titled: “Night Is Mine”, (Muscat: 2006):

Two Mornings to My Homeland

My Homeland

Good morning!

O that moment

When Loqman bin Aadiya awaited

For the decision of Heaven

About “Labad”!*

O fist from the trace of an old prophet

Who crossed the oceans to sing

For the herdsmen who

Moved from “Marib”** in the evening.

And shortly before dawn

He’d head up the warriors leaving

For the East

And saying the prayers of absence***

For the last prophet

That would come after him.


Good morning!

Whenever a tear rolled down

The cheek of a villager

Studying history

At the School of “Abu Zaid Al Riyami”****

And recollecting

The will of his mother ascending the mountain:

“O my son ride with us”.

Good morning!

Whenever the Al Alaan tree rustled

In a breeze

Spurred by the summits of “Al Kor”,*****

Not polluted by

The breath of the lazy.

Good morning!

Whenever an old farmer

Bowed on your sacred plateau

Kissed in you the cypress roots

And bet on their survival.

To Malik bin Fahm******

What harm would you have brought

If you’d budged your steed a little

From this land,

Which the skies would



No, Malik,

I swear by your steed’s shaggy mane

Not so easily will exile be put out

Give it to me

Or else neither earth nor heaven

Will be wide enough for me!

*According to legends, Loqman had seven eagles. He took each young eagle to a mountain where it lived for about five hundred years. All of the eagles died, except the last one, Labad, which lived the longest (the translator).

**A Dam in Yemen. It is believed that after its collapse, Arabs began to spread to the various parts of the Arabian Peninsula (the translator).

***Prayers of absence in Islam refer to those Muslims say if someone dies in a place far from home. There are schools within the Islamic tradition that question the validity of such prayers, though (the translator).

****Name of a school on Jabal Al Akhdhar in the interior of Oman (the translator).

*****Name of a mountain in Bahla, in the interior of Oman (the translator).

******Malik bin Fahm is thought to have led the Azd Arab to Oman after the collapse of the Marab Dam in Yemen. He fought the Persians, expelling them from Oman in a famous battle in Salut (hence known as the Salut Battle) (the translator).

arrow up
home icon