Ndue Ukaj (Kosova)
Ndue Ukaj (1977) is an Albanian writer, publicist and literary critic. His poems has been included in several anthologies of poetry, in Albanian, and other languages. He has published several books, including “Godo is not coming”, which won the national award for best book of poetry published in 2010 in Kosovo. He has also won the award for best poems in the International Poetry Festival in Macedonia and another prize. His poems and texts are translated into English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish and Chinese. Ukaj is member of Swedish PEN.
Noah’s Ark was not emptied
even when the rainbow
scintillated over the sea
and the winds stopped
and the sea slept.
She was not emptied,
even when the white dove
flew before her and,
from the narrow doors
appeared the faces of the
passionate, spurred to feel
all the bright colors
Noah’s ark fights on,
still drunk with the storm,
Fights the rain of life falling
Nonstop with evil men
who have ruined the soil…
Since the people, drunk, overwhelmed
with the desire to ransack the colors
of the rainbow’s arch, trust me,
peace has not overspread us
Though a dove appeared
in the blue blue sky
desire overwhelmed us –
to become drunk with
warm lips, to die there
and preserve eternally
that instant of drunkenness
Night fell; the rainbow disappeared
in an orbit of darkness, just like
some thing unknown beyond a great hill.
And darkness enshrouded our eyes,
the same as Eve’s darkness – her
overwhelming desire for the apple
in the tree of wisdom,
Oh God, wouldn’t you think
after that battle between
the rainbow’s arch and the storm
we might have lost our taste
for the forbidden fruit?
Life’s philosophy in the Midwest
Opposite roads pursue me like unknown desires
Behind which is attacking fiercely the question:
What is this life where we are without being asked?
And in its theater is being played something unknown.
There just like in antique scenes appear actors’ masks
While satisfying the public with diverse taste
And share comedies and tragedies all of a sudden.
Time flows just like the river where
We can bathe only once in its water.
Then come sadness and desire to submerge for the second time.
This is how the roads are crossed in which
Our feet are confused,
Like the unknown between the dense forest.
And ask confused:
What is this time in which we travel?
While looking for significant through narrow glasses
While looking for the end, with small hands
There where is touched the invisible view through the way of clouds
Together with small steps that consume ideas
Without meeting those we love
At a time when everything was good
Everything rightful just like our trip
In search of lost roads, ancient forest
We ask drunken:
We are searching the truth through wrong paths
Searching lies through the right paths
And never could be learned the art of love.
Just like the truth, Sun is born the same for the good and the bad.
To be lost in the endless struggle
Which exchanges shapes, colors and perception?
In the same struggle of war between darkness and light.
In the city of a cloud
In the city of cloud everything is different.
Thoughts are enclosed just as our deception through statues.
There flowers live a life of bushes,
And within them dance freely only insects
The city of cloud has its narrow streets,
And its thoughts are narrow
And the song of Halleluiah is not heard.
There is no room for exhaustion
Through exhausted feet is extended
And the word tries in vain to defend the corrupt dignity.
Spiders have set their webs
And rudiments of a mind are turned into a night romance, romance of time.
In the city of cloud the theater’s lights are shut
And shows are made under the pressure of candles that fight with darkness
Poetry is read in the corners of sorrow
Where only dogs with flees walk in quietness.
Where nastiness of politics has ruined everything,
Up to the birds sounds and kisses of loved ones.
In the city of clouds, dust has covered flowers.
And in the middle there is a lake of ignorance
Where freedom and war have no borders,
Where poetry and non-poetry have no borders.
Where there are stolen many pains
That run through the sky and turned into food
For the hungry stomach of politics.
Just as our solitude through vibrating legs
That is disrupted in flooded roads
With men walking endlessly,
With men walking endlessly.
Since then it begun to be miss counted,
Since then it begun to be bent,
Since then it begun to turn into evil
In the city is felt the sky’s lack “city of God.”
Godo Is Coming
Stop crying continuously! Godo is coming
The storm has stopped, the road from Ireland is open
He has softened his turbulent vision and his sadness of Achilles
Even the pain in his chest has healed.
He is coming through the Tree of Life.
Where you have created the nest of welcome
With a swamp of wishes noisily tied.
Godo is coming with the music of sea full of silence.
Your welcome has given him courage,
He is coming with the sack full of enigmas,
Nearby the rotten Tree
Where you wait to enter your shaking hands
That were bitten by the irony of endless waiting.
And the words that were changing their shape every morning.
Your bulb does not trust time, neither for the waiting and Godo’s arrival.
With the branches of tree designs the crown of victory. What a great joy.
With reduced hopes until the lost confidence, dissolves the vision
And is crossing the furious river without being recognized.
Suddenly comes back.
Sitting nearby a tree with your shining items
Where the white lights swallow your emotion ate vision.
Where you are saving the nostalgia of reception. The heart’s step.
Through the tired fingers are counting the theatre of absurdities
With naked actors nearby which
The spectators are spread through the meridians of death.
While waiting for Godo.
And the fear from the sneak on the rotten Tree,
Which is whipping continuously.
Therefore Godo is coming; your reception has made him courageous.
Near the tree of life
With the team of actors to build the theatre of salvation for you.
And the time of reception to last until he comes.
Godo Is Here
It is night, the storm is going mad
Your wet body is shaking from the heavy rain
Under the tree of life while waiting for Godo.
The reception has transformed you into a modern statue.
Where the lonely birds and night crows have their life nests.
Your solitude is crouching as a tied sneak
Between which the poisonous tongue is vitalized.
Suddenly is heard an energetic beating, you did not hear it.
Your ears are closed from the warms climbing over your body.
Climbing just as the old man in front of the law on Kafka’s story.
Waiting to enter in the mysteries of law, I am sorry, I meant mysteries of Godo.
To understand the mystery of absurdity in equal level
With those of dehumanization.
Godo is here, with his confusing look and his torn sack,
With lost desires during the long road of return
Under the tree of life where you waited endlessly.
You did not recognize him,
He returned with a different face which you never imagined.
With the tired voice you had never heard,
With the turbulent vision you had seen.
Sadness astounded your body. The warms are falling down
from your body which is transformed into waiting.
Sadly you grabbed the spoiled head, and run through his sack
While searching your dried dreams just as the autumn leafs
Through which the drunk feet are walking
And your tears started falling in your neck and cheek
You felt in the arms of sadness
Welcomed him just as the bride waiting for the groom in the abandoned bed,
While dreaming with open arms to have nearby the sack full of dreams
Where softly you place your hands, just as in the lovely hair…relaxing there
And begging for your dream, intertwined in your long fingers.
And while wiping your forehead you understand
That Godo arrived and your wait remained an endless wait.
Translated from Albanian by Peter Tase