Two Poems by Velaj

Two Poems by Velaj            

River Landscape in Winter, Francesco Foschi

The Hymn of Madness

The old women witch river banks
Wetting white sheets of snow
And wrapping dead mouse in them

God forgive them
They do not know what they are doing

The sheets belonged to a virgin girl
They killed the mouse in a dark hole at night
(Girls and mouse are their sacrifice)

God forgive them
They know no other light

They begin to sing such a luring melody
Under the rhythm of steps that has lost the way home
Without knowing that the river has no memory at all
It knows only how to flow and flow, only this much…

My God, I shall not speak any more
From today on the muteness of the ocean will be my language

Autumn Morning, Myasoedov

            A Gospel of Light

For my mother

Mom, don’t let the autumn leaves
Fly over your head
They contain sorrows of birds
And whispers of breezes and memories of desert winds
Raising clouds of reddish dust
(Its colour is that of autumn leaves)

Mom, this sea morning is so bright
That every ray of sunshine entangled with your hair
Tells me that there are whites whiter than the snow
Heights higher than the sky
And that it is never late to learn the language of love

This sky of gulls is so peaceful
That your deep eyes, these two tiny blue holes
Can hide the purest Gospel of light
That leaves and winds read once in a while…

 Translated from Albanian into English, by Uke Zenel Buçpapaj

Alisa Velaj was born in 1982 in Albania. She has been shortlisted for the Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in 2014. Her works have appeared in more than eighty print and online international magazines. Her poetry collection, With No Sweat At All, will be published by Cervana Barva Press in 2019

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