KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The following poem has been written by the renowned Sudanese poet Fidaili Jama’a. Jama’a rose to fame when he won, among others, a national youth poetry award during the 1970s. He has published three books of poetry. Jama’a currently lives in London.
Is it time to leave, my love,
While the tornado’s shadow fall around me
And the cloak of catastrophe shrouds the space
Between the stars and me?
To whom do you go? My love, as all these
Calamities befall me?
Birds on wing bid me adieu
While I rub the sleep from my eyes
And walk on thorns and embers
Don’t deny me your company
If you have ever been an impossible glint in my eye;
Or if you could be a glimpse like the lightning of the upland
I would shake this grief from my brow
You are all the reasons I am ruined
Swashed like shattered splinters
You are all my wishes
All my childhood longings wishes which
Cool like perfume on my brow
Since the beginning of creation you have been
My desire and destiny, my callous killer
The water and the burning ember and the secret
Relationship between the dew and the branches!
How I ache to hold you in my arms!
But even the space and the wind laugh at me!
I stretch out my hand so I might run my fingers through
The curls of your head but I hold back,
And withdraw a handful of wind and shiver of expectation
Yet even in the face of such defeat,
I proclaim I love you to distraction
I love you in the glare of morning and in the murky darkness
And I proclaim that without you
I am a number with no meaning and identity:
My eyes shed tears whenever I dreamt
Of our impossible meeting before you leave me again
And I shouted out in ecstasy
My killer woman uses tricks of love that can
Bridge the gap between me and the impossible!
The endless wandering of life and seasons left her
Exhausted, and my love follows where my mistress goes
Ordering me to move on!
I cross through legends and the present moment,
Making a string of my mother’s tears
I see you as a gentle spirit, embracing me for a while
And slipping through my fingers and eyeballs
Don’t depart to the mirage sea or become cheerful,
Triumphant, without me
Your love blew high as a strong wind a wind
I drank like a flowing drop
Your love spills over as sea of sweet lyrics
O light, pouring through my soul,
O fire of ice, flooding my eyelids
I have roamed through banners and tenderness
Through thunder and eyes
Through the stations of the sadness of orphans
I adore you to distraction
It is time to leave me
Besieged by winds?
Is it time to leave me?
And the birds on the wing
Bid me adieu
While I rub the sleep from my eyes?
Be with me
I long for your nearness to grow twice in a glimpse
And to shout jubilantly:
Take me to the bosom of folktales
To pleasant evenings
You are my motherland
My blood and eyes
Take me away from this sad world
If I miss you
I shall vault over
The door of delectation without me
TRANSLATED BY: Al-Sir Khidir
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