ترجمة الدكتور عبدالله الحراصي
When I travel to a country,rumours precede me there,and I am aroused
like a wolf whose fantasies anticipateits prey,and I never arrive.
Bells Will Not Toll Tonight
The storm in front of my doorwill not subside tonight.Its Herculean armies have
slammed shut the doors.In the church’s fading lightI glance at monks pulling handcarts,fleeing to the mountainson horses that stretch and strain in the windas if from the Byzantine age.On this memorial night,bells will not toll,
the storm will never subside.
I walk, I feel under my feeta sky, trembling with all its victims,and on my head, an earththat has stopped rotating.I hear a thunder of steps behind me,steps of people comingfrom the past,silent as if they are dead.Past, retreat a while,let me finish today’s walk.
When I go out,I leave the music onto guard the souls of the dead,music of the ancients that carriesthe smell of grass,and guards the gardens of Babylonhanging in the depths.When I go outI leave everything closed in on itselfexcept for the music throbbing in the empty lounges
and some oysters,which I picked from the shoreon the night of the storm.
From My Room To The Café
In the morning when I wake up,the world wakes in my headwith creatures and screams smashing my bones.I leave my room -it’s like a cave filled with the slain -and shuffle off to the café.I look intently at my cup – it’s like a snakerelaxing on a summer afternoonand think: ‘This is my last cup in this city! ‘But morning is still at its outset,
and I’ll have to go through wars and kissesand will only discover their flavourafter centuries
Our Old House
It’s as if I’m walkingthrough valleys, filled with fear,valleys I can neither touchnor easily recall.As if I’m taking that first step there,I walk into our old house, and find emaciated horses,the ghosts of our ancestorswander amongst their neighings.The door opens onto this desert of absencea smell of grilled fish,
a smell of gas,wafting from the disused stove.The jars as they were, speaking to the corners,and water still boiling in the pots.The sheep have come back from the fieldsexcept for the one a wolf ate.Saddles and guns hang on the wallsas if at a funeral gathering.Tomorrow is Eid al-Adha*,but the children have forgotten to buy new shoes,
or wash their feet before they slept.White clouds wrap the neighbouring sky,and accompany travellers to their distant villages.And we are swimming in the festival rain,where birds gently peck the air,to wake it, with us, on the roofs,where we dried our dates and dreamson the clayey balconiesand fell between the feet of an agitated bull,where the stains of an enervated sunseize the house, with its birds and womenand ancient trees stumbling likeshepherds among ruins.Beyond the fenceyou can still see the palm trees,like bewildered spirits colliding with minarets,like ships lowering their sailsin misty seas,and amid their somnolence and green dreamslurks the evening’s next soirée.