Saturday, 10 June 2017

Herbs of the Past - Zahir al-Ghafri

Thus ...
did an icy sun hurl you into the depths of the forest
Now the song on the angel’s lips is your guide to life
but you will never look into its mirror
for the way is awash with secrets
and the burdensome years
run away from you

Night – your mysterious twin – reflects in your face
your fears of fate and adventure
that your life is trivial and wanting,
a window opening on an abyss
Take, then, a rest under the tree,
rest and remember the herbs of your past.
Your sufferings will amply suffice
as the light of childhood flees the river of your life.

The shepherd woman who lured you to the cave
in a flash, with a single stroke,
has snatched the pearl of your heart.

Zahir al-Ghafri (born 1956) Oman
Translated by Salih J. Altoma with Margaret Obank
Source: A Taste of Today’s Gulf Literature, Selected and introduced by Margaret Obank and Samuel Shimon, International Journal of Euro-Mediterranean Studies, Vol 9(2), 2016

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