by Caasha Lul Mohamud Yusuf

The boy that I love
was made handsome by God;
fine as a jewel.
My people, where is he?
I'm looking intently,
eyes fumbling -
confused -
conjuring him everywhere.
My people, where is he?
Whilst others sleep,
I'm sick with not-sleeping,
each faint, muddled voice
makes me strain to hear.
Nothing will nourish -
I don't eat or drink.
My throat's dry,
my lips crack,
a gag's in my mouth.
How many times has rain drenched me?
Drops pummel my skin,
then the storm's deep boom;
floods approach -
their ferocity sweeps me away like a stem.
How many times must I climb the mountain?
Wrestle through jungle,
trek endless paths
or tumble down their steep slopes.
My soul doesn't stay stop,
it forces me on.
I heave myself onto the ledge for you.
How many times have the sticky trees,
the thorns, the acacia,
the bilcil's rough limbs
the shrubs, clingy weeds
the sog-sog dragged me away?
The venomous black snakes,
the pythons, coiled vipers,
the startled, slippery abeeso,
how many times have I stepped over them?
How many times must I outrun them?
I've wounded myself with love -
I've snapped bones, they leak marrow,
I'm flat on my back.
And this self-destruction, these difficulties
mean nothing, my dear.
Because of your love, Jamaal,
the male lion, maned,
creaking his fangs,
has caught a she-camel
and severed its artery.
With his jaw,
leaning forward,
he laps up the blood.
I keep near this creature.
It is my neighbour.
I'll stay here now, because of you.
The elephant with its tough hide
rears its trunk,
whips trees aside,
destroying the forest.
I don't mind this either.
I don't feel compassion.
I don't get gooseflesh.
Because of your love, Jamaal,
I stay with beasts now.
They are my neighbours.
I belong here, because of you.
All this hardship I endure,
all this wasteful pain,
it's because I love you.
My people, where is he?

The literal translation of this poem was made by Maxamed Xasan 'Alto'

The final translated version of the poem is by Clare Pollard


  1. April 1st, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Mustapha Handule says:

    What a brilliang poem, it has been poetically articulated. my gratitude goes to Asha Luul and translators. thank you.

  2. January 2nd, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Hurio Jama says:

    OMG i loved this.. since im somali.. it was lestening to it!! i love it! KEEP IT UP!