Poems

Amazement

O dazzling darling:
happy happenstance and fair fortune
to you, mind mesmeriser –
since we became acquainted
you’ve been my only fever.
You’re like a light-footed charger
canny at midnight combat,
the fight by close engagement
where the rider takes revenge –
men constantly look keen.
I’m an empty pail that’s purified
by your love’s burning twigs;
every night I go out with
the dream of your long-held image.

When the green of the ground,
its surface fresh
and still unploughed,
when the brow of its growth bows
and it collapses under the weight
of its own bounty,
and there’s no space to plant a foot,
not even room to lean;
when just-fallen rain gathers
making the earth’s curves heavy;
when in the light red light of evening
the sky’s collecting clouds
the exact hue of henna
bearing the sun’s brand;
when the sun itself is clothed in
the very colour of cashmere,
when rain-promising rays hang on its neck:
your looks are cousin to all this
and who if not accustomed to it
could tell you two apart?

You’re that tree topping a tall mountain
rooted in fertile soil
sated with water and ready to give fruit;
its climate differing from
that of all other trees,
its setting renowned for its beauty,
its topmost canopy and branches
holding each other up;
its fruit so ripe and red
each roars to each on every flank;
and blossoming from hair to heel
like the lovely lines that ring the throat;
the birds chorusing
till all their songs
are intermingled,
then holding a song war -
singing themselves into a stalemate
and seeking reinforcements.
After a while, when each
waves feather flags to each,
anger driving them apart,
their claws digging crossly
in the bark of the tree,
the making of the melodies
straining their tongues,
they stray from the tunes
till the imbalance is corrected.
The young people too won’t eat
and refuse to go home,
unmarried girls hurry there
as though to a place of dancing,
young men too - maybe
they’re fated to marry,
chattering in the eager evening -
who would not choose you?

You share your nature with
this bliss-filled universe,
if God will not be angry
or throw me into Hell
I would compel
the people to worship you,
let both black and white
crowd to crown you now!

Share this poem

view comments

Comments (2)

A very random user who you don't know but don't wo

Thanks for translating this beautiful piece, even though my father could have read the Somali part of it.  Can you put in the Somali piece? It seems more natural since it is Somali poetry.

Nana

A beautiful piece. I have been  enjoying Somali poems since yesterday. Thanks for the translation

Leave a comment