From Here and There: A Selection by Basim Furat

I crossed the borders accidentally

Translated by Abbas El Sheikh
Edited by Mark Pirie

The only loser of the wars was me.
So, I hung them up reluctantly,
And went searching for myself
And destruction was whinnying in my shoulder.

The smell of splinters
Is a prolonged nausea;
I pull the repeated defeats
And line them up on the table
So that they will wound the decorations.
I hang up a long history on the window
And hang up my life on a bullet
Suspended from a far away heaven;
My fingers are remnants of ancient cities
And the seal of the dead are my steps.

Oh Sun wait for me,
To pick up my mornings from a pavement;
There is nothing on it but my body
And remnants of skulls decayed by alienation.
Depart away not,
To let me gather my splinters
From a hole in the clouds.
I distribute my years among the newspapers and journals;
My years are dried like sultanas.

Those ashes of wars suffocated my soul
And dried the oil of childhood at my door.
The door released me
Stinging my mornings,
And countries escaped between my fingers.

I crossed the borders accidentally -
My decorations are question marks,
Distances are whinnying
And their coldness kneels on our lives
Crushing our days,
And my dust is covering the walls and windows
But does not come near to my stature.

Since the stroll of the first war -
I mean the foolishness of the General -
I have entered the city
Like a dog
In whose face the houses are barking.

My mother arranges the stars, which are mixed
With her hair,
And drinks tea in which she dissolves her sadness.
Roads are streaming on my feet
And the fruits of the trees are dangling
On the horizon.

Horizon is an illusion for the eye -
Who can hold its shadow?
Our mistakes are a homeland leaning on a spear
And our dreams are growing on balconies.

Honey is fermenting on your tongue

Translated by Abbas El Sheikh
Edited by Mark Pirie

I am trying to restrain my shooting stars in vain;
My neighing is flowing and you are my desired one.
It is just in vain ... deliriums!

How did you leave the doors and roads spinning around
And not take notice of the stars falling between your fingers?
At that moment I was nowhere,
But suddenly you whetted my soul.
For you I draw on the passages of estrangement from other homelands
And the heaven between my fingers is forlorn.
I cover it with mewing poems
And head to you, hearing the forests singing
And the seas stay aloof.
I see a desert moistening
And head to you, listening to silence,
Taking with me nothing but the geography of pain -
And I never arrive...

Will the rest of my life be enough
And a little of dreams?

You are my holy soil,
Your eternal morning is budding with poems.
You are the wave,
We crown your childhood with your glamour.
You are our mirror;
In your hands are the keys of wisdom,
And on your tongue honey is fermenting.

© Basim Furat