The following are translations of poems by the Omani poet Hilal Al Hajri (1968-) from his first collection titled: “Night Is Mine”, (Muscat: 2006):
The National Anthem of the Empty Quarter
O my homeland...
In your stars is my honor.
Swear I by sacrifice and long struggle
From the pride of peaks I extract my glory
From the deepest green my question
And I’ll sing resolve to the Yemenite sword
The nation drew with precious blood.
O heaven hear out the step of my south!
Lo the resolve of my north!
My free country ...
No traitor will I let approach you
I’ll drag the enemy with my moustache.
Is it death? We drank it like wine
And slaughtered it with the steeds of night.
We walked on blades barefoot
Around us tooted the arrows and swords.
No cloud of the day
We don’t spend
Under the rap of arrows.
O my homeland!
If I lived in you as a stranger
Then ask the sea what an exile of pearls is.
Lofty as a palm tree I wait for a dawn
That turns universe and the skies towards me
Firm like a tower I butt epoch
After epoch with my grandeur and majesty.
O my homeland....
Like dawn piercing darkness
Coming from empty absences
My steps the breath of the universe pursues
Before me melts the silence of sands.
Hark! Hark! The melody of my essence.
Watch the day of my struggle!
This is All What I Have
Wipe your timid tears and pray for my absence.
The earth can’t afford my departure and arrival.
Between the color of sand and the rebellion of hills
History has flayed my body and skin
The cloud blazed on fingernail and eyetooth
Love exiled me and desire expelled me
The world shrank to my pride and youth
My childish age grew old on want
The universe flared up at my silence and doubt
Neither my exile grew old nor my poetry sheltered me.
So wipe your timid tears and pray for my absence.
I’m no revolutionary but, despite a thousand necks,
My step is hasty and voice rural
This is all that I have.