Alisa Velaj – The Tree Child

P Alisa Velaj LE P&W Vol 1 2019

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Poems by Alisa Velaj

Alisa Velaj was born in 1982 in Albania. She has been shortlisted for the Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in 2014. Her poetry have been published or are forthcoming in Erbacce, The Curlew, CultureCult Magazine, Stag Hill Literary Journal , The Quarterly Review, Orbis, The Linnet’s Wings, The Stockholm Review of Literature, Poetry Space Showcase, The Seventh Quarry, among ninety other publications. Her poetry collection, With No Sweat At All, will be published by Cervana Barva Press in 2019, and the other poetry collection “Dreams” is just published by Cyberwit Press in India.

Translated from Albanian by ARBEN P. LATIFI

The Tree Child

Between East and West,
the tree child has every day
sucked in the sun.

Drifting over deserts,
his gaze has sung every night
a farewell psalm.

The tree child is so close a friend to thirst
that his roots stretch everywhere
where my brilliance and yours cannot reach.

The tree child shocks the amazement
conceived every instant
as stars nose-dive…


I was told that ghosts go insane at night,
getting drunk and mingling in Dionysian rites…
Among them enters Macbeth with a somnolent corpse,
while ghosts dance and chant around him
in the sweetest voices on earth.

In the morning, Orpheus, totally speechless,
can’t even recall who stole his voice…

They no longer come through prayers

They don’t come through prayers as they once used to.
Green fields, endless and endless…
Beyond every field, yet another one –
an obvious liberation from tyrannies.

They come in sight same as light is conceived,
just like that, all of a sudden –
beings without an origin or a limit.

Till the greenery part us“, the widow mutters through her teeth,
with her body bent over the white lilies in the garden,
at the freshest daybreak.

All while the lilies won’t forget of you“,
chimes in the youngest lily,
with a baby’s chirp, sweet and full of mysteries…


Ancient humans consecrated the mountains
with horizons and light,
without ever abandoning the mountains.

Nowadays, we consecrate a sea of light –
light in the sea
and sea in the light…

We are dwarfed agape in front of horizons,
now boundless more than ever,
and feel like mightier gods than our forefathers
in their grand amazement
with infant horizons…

Valbona, July 2016

© Alisa Velaj