Land of Storms, poems by Alisa Velaj
Poems translated from Albanian by Arben P. Latifi
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 ninety print and online international magazines worldwide. Her poetry collection, With No Sweat At All, will be published by Cervana Barva Press in 2019.
Land of Storms
There’s an inherent longing in fall showers, my dear,
an unspoken word, like these undischarged cloud
Like fugitives outspeeding sounds,
we often migrate through azures,
forgetting that you simply loving me,
forgetting that me simply loving you,
is no novelty but an ancient ritual,
like the run of time from one season to another.
I ought to embrace you and love;
you ought to be aflame for love, me, and us both,
same as these boundless skies embrace themselves
in front of any surprise that nature sows…
You will then realize what longing means,
how risk-free this land of storms is
we will then realize…
Greece, September, 2018
On the Bridge
You have said of every bridge it was the best,
over the time you held it dear.
Later on, days of destruction have followed
for you, for me, for the bridge over the river.
I, too, have said that I adore all bridges,
except for the one that was ruined on purpose.
I’ve said, I’ve said…
So much we both have said, indeed.
Further on, I from East, you from West,
dared to solemnly walk on the bridge
(while cracks of deterioration were already in sight)
intending to join hands right there,
where the heart of the whole world is said to be.
Right at that point we’ve fallen off to the waters,
stung all over by wasps of wrath,
unable to realize even now
whether we lost our balance because of them,
or it was the bridge that crumbled in our souls…
Albania, April, 2019
Right at that instant of Sunshine
Right at that instant
when the sun happens to be shining,
quitpartway whatever it is you are doing,
even if it be love, right at that instant!
Hurry outdoors and enjoy the sights.
Trees look prettier,
skies feel nearer,
while something yet unnamed
is coming aboard the approaching train.
Walk up to the station platform, wait for it,
and, if nothing comes your way,
smile sweetly to a kid just getting off.
Tell a depressed elderly lady she looks gorgeous!
Right at that instant of sunshine,
forget about love for just a bit.
Breathe in an otherworldly brand of air,
with invisible butterflies gracing your gaze.
A melancholy…you feel like crying.
Cry, cry right at that instant
when the sun happens to be shining!
Head back home, afterwards,
where love is waiting for you—thirsty,
as parched land
for your rain of joy!
Sweden, February, 2019
© Alisa Velaj