Literature Poetry

Poetic Cycle by Alisa Velaj

Dedication

[for lack of the word…; time: midnight]

You have always disturbed my nights, Homunculus,
and I am making no mention of days here,
for you’ll never have the slightest idea what they are.
Both are one and the same to you,
as alike as, say, the sun and the moon…

You thus deeply aggrieved me, Homunculus,
when I spotted that laboratorial halo
in your frail being.

I was a wretch at the time, young man;
too diffident to sniff the scent of my victory.
Nay, I even thought I had lost…

At times, your halo pushed me into doubts
whether I should acknowledge it as such or not.
Anyway, what good are my doubts? What matters now
is but the fact that you are a made-up creature,
threatening to pass your contrivance onto other embryos
ever conceived in fertile, healthy wombs.

This is what scares me, Homun.
This is what I am scared of…

Scent of Linden Blossom

After such a long time,
scent of linden trees on the streets.
Scent of linden!
On occasion, greenery blasts in blossom
                                   when least expected.

I hurry to finish my errands before sunset,
for, afterwards, bats give me the creeps,
running against walls and getting nowhere!

It’s horrible to be robbed of your eyesight, my friend.
Horrible!!!

—————————————————————

P.S:

“Why are you insisting to interrupt me, Homun?
If the scent of linden offends your nose so badly,
farther down, on the right of fall, there are some crags.
There you can sit and wait for your buddies, the bats…”

Laboratory

A lab is a woman, but not a mother, Homun.
In there, songs hit the glass panes like meaningless sounds
and the cuckoo’s call may reach you like a refrain of sirens.

A lab is merely a woman, my dear.
The gestation within a shell’s womb
swells up in skeletal dimensions.

A mother it will never ever become,
as long as its wills be entrusted to the memory of leaves
and infinite blueness be not accepted as the ultimate limit…

A Memory from Two Oak Trees

(instead of a good-morning greeting)

On the trunks of two oak trees up on the mountain,
I and you, Homun, used to carve our names.

You wouldn’t stop laughing at Faust,
while he toiled to engrave our names on stone:
“Go, master Sisyphus, go!” you would cheer.

Today, I am taking a walk on these parts.
Alas, our oaks must have been cut down long ago.
Legible is but a FA in the quarry of sounds…

It Was Your Ultimate Role, Homunculus!

Incense of fire
Incense of fire
Incense of fire
Through breezy fingers
over two guitar strings.

The orchestra begins to heat up
for no good reason…

I don’t dance that dance, Homunculus.
Age-wise, I am a perennial leaf,
and my every effort to arrest the air
is rewarded with phantom flights.

Incense of fire
Incense of fire
Incense of fire
Through breezy fingers
over four guitar strings.

Neither should you dance that dance, Homunculus,
a creature contrived as you are, nought born.
One must love way too much to not perish altogether.

Dancers of your like got scythed by a gust of wind
while, in extasy, they were busy cutting hyacinths.
You are the last one of that dynasty, Homunculus!

Incense of smoke
Incense of smoke
Incense of smoke
The guitar vanished in thin air.

Ah, my son, why wouldn’t you for once listen to me?!
That was your ultimate role toward perfection,
that was your single role…

Requiem to the Exile-Bound Light

(time: 6.59 AM)

Thirst is drying even the shores to the last drop!
Weak of vibe and wing,
the seagull is lost in doomsday thoughts
of her homelands soon to remain but memories.
Vengeful pangs, of a darker purple than sunsets,
command her to silence, prayer, and back to silence.
Amen!

translated from Albanian by ARBEN P. LATIFI

Featured image by Kyle Glenn

Alisa Velaj has been shortlisted for the annual international Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in UK in June 2014. Her works have appeared in more than eighty print and online international magazines, including: Michigan’s Best Emerging Poets (USA), San Diego Poetry Annual (USA), FourW twentyfive Anthology (Australia), The Journal (UK), The Dallas Review (USA), The Linnet’s Wings (UK) The Seventh Quarry (UK), Envoi Magazine (UK) etc etc. Her poems are also translated and published in Hebrew, Swedish, Romanian, French, Bengali and Portuguese. Velaj’s digital chapbook The Wind Foundations, translated by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj is published by Zany Zygote Review (USA). Alisa Velaj’s poetry book With No Sweat At All will be published by Cervena Barva Press in 2019.