Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Evening Cloud - Gaarriye

Setting sun you're slipping
From the fading day
Heading for your hole
Hey! Are you a coward?
What's the hurry?
Is it the flurry of light,
Shining spears, an ambush
Waiting, burning news
From the house where
You will spend the night?
Or is it this young woman
A billow, a breeze in spring
That lifts the filmy shawl,
A rain cloud in the evening?
You glimpsed each other
Your brilliance dimmed, do you
Retreat for fear that she
Outshines you, or to tell
The moon of her before it rises
So it won't stumble like you?

The swirling cirrus-waves
Slow-marched with swaying limbs,
An elegance unique to them;
The ceremonious ranks of clouds
Surrounded you, and the bullets
You loosed and arrows you aimed
Pierced their chests, they turned
To red, their blood dripped;
On all other days you splashed
The mares' tails with colour,
What made them shy away today
From shouldering their arms?

Do they grieve for you?
Or do they hold back from
The aura of this noble girl
From the missiles of love
And ardour her eyes
Released and planted in them?

All that may be so.
What I still recall is her,
Plucking ripe fruit,
Her dress and gareys*
Tied round her waist,
Not expecting the glance
Of a youth from anywhere.
The aroused wind realized
The feelings inside me
And surprised her,
Revealed her belly and breasts.
I recall her haste in holding
The clothes to herself
Modestly turning her face,
A gazelle dipping her head;
The shyness of virginity.

Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac 'Gaarriye' (born 1951) Somalia
Translated by Martin Orwin
*A gareys is a type of shawl made of thin, brightly coloured material which women wear on
their upper body over a dress.
Source: City Lore

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