Ndue Ukaj (Kosova)

 
Ndue Ukaj (Kosova)
 
Ndue Ukaj was born in Kosova, in 1977 and is a writer, essayist, literary critic. To date, he has published four poetry books, one short story, and two literary critics. He won several awards, including the National award for best book of poetry published in 2010 in Kosovo. His works have been published in distinguished international anthologies and journals and have been translated into many languages.
 
 
A paper
 
A paper may be more important
that the weight of your desires,
of dreams
of all the pain you carry in your chest,
on heavy shoulders;
more than blue eyes where ships of desire enter and go out
more than a heart attacked by storms and tsunamis.
 
It can increase the pain or reduce it.
 
A paper can define:
where you can go and where not,
a letter called a permit to cross the border,
where the laws of passage there depend on someone,
as they are dependent here on someone else.
 
Human life is full of boundaries, obstacles, temptations,
sadly a letter can reduce your body weight,
the severity of the pain
of love,
of desires,
of dreams,
of sadness,
a letter can reduce the amount of joy,
the amount of happiness.
A letter can measure the amount of breathing,
oxygen in the body, tension, pulse.
Because we are always surrounded by borders
that appears and disappears quite suddenly in our lives.
 
We know that borders have control,
police and soldiers ready with weapons in hand to carry out orders,
but we never do the right thing to replace them
with clover flowers,
beautiful sculptures and spring dreams.
 
Because the real boundaries are in the language,
in morning dreams and bad desires of night.
 
Astonishingly, people do not like borders,
but they are not used to live without them,
therefore they seldom understand the weight of a letter
that determines how much you weigh,
who are you
and can you go where ever you want.
 
Boundaries are a burden and people are doomed to suffer
within them,
therefore they find it difficult to increase the size of the heart,
of language,
of soul,
of dreams
and create the magnificent kingdom of love.
 
 
That life is beautiful
 
That life is beautiful
you don’t need further proof,
neither guides,
neither economic experience nor scientific statistics.
It’s enough to wake up in the morning
and see the dawn of the new day,
hills undressed of darkness,
trees freed from night captivity
and light-wings girls walking with the wind.
Then listen to the song of the birds
or to see the wonder of a mountain landscape.
 
How many landscapes are before our eyes?
 
It is enough to have someone’s hands which embrace you
and you see the heavens open
and feel how all the emptiness of the world is filled.
 
That life is beautiful
you don´t need much proof
it´s enough to have a roof to shelter the pain
for the dissolved desires.
 
Life is also full of madness,
and for that doesn’t need much proof.
 
It’s enough to know
that Ernesto Sabbato showed that a hungry man in a concentration camp
was forced to eat a live mouse.
 
Oh there is much more madness
that revolve around us: storms, wars, strong winds,
viruses that plague death and misery.
 
However, you never need too much news,
you can free your mind from captivity
with a sweet hug
and write an amazing book for tomorrow.
 
 
Smoke
 
It is morning
and the good news doesn’t come as the melody of the birds:
it was once a time the spring,
the hope
and the awareness that freedom is the absence of slavery.
 
Now there is smoke and a bad smell
and spring resembles autumn.
 
Grief waves over our heads
this mortal flag that as a cortege of sadness
spruce from hand to hand.
 
The good news is not like dreams.
They are written in the tunnels where there is a lack of light,
where darkness powerfully extends the power
on the guards of fate-
those people who play in the theater of democracy.
 
The city sleeps restlessly
wakes up agitated
cries and laughs agitated.
 
Coffees are full of ghosts
and the rumble of bad news.
 
There is smoke and a flag of grief
which is stretched out like a scarf of pain
on the aggravated neck of a people
that seeks to burst with sadness.
 
And I took with me a bag of dreams
and I went out into the streets without hope.
I saw people turned into shadows,
a palace of solitude with refreshing props
and with the inscription:
“Freedom is a great deception.”
 
On the way, I kicked stones of thrown grief.
“How much madness carries my city on its shoulders” –
said the girl with the beautiful scarf around her sweet neck
and a black bag of sadness she carried with her.
 
 
Always something happens
 
It always happens to see a dream and to dream something else.
To be enchanted by one icon and to dream of another icon.
Random to be somewhere and think of another place.
For example,
to be in Rome and suddenly understand
that not all paths lead to happiness.
 
Or to be in Pristina and to dream of a far place
where freedom has no political smell.
Or being in a far place
and to dream of Pristina with the political smell.
 
It always happens to come up with ideas and shape the pyramid of words
with beautiful labyrinths and magnificent icons.
 
It always happen to accomplish something and search for something else;
to be with someone and look for someone else.
 
It always happens to look for the pyramid of happiness
and to be overturned in the triangle of sorrow,
whose boundary happens to be invisible
where you get confused like a drunkard who does not keep his balance
and sees people lined upholding white papers
in their black hands.
 
They look at the blue sky
and out of their pockets, they draw poems that become readable
just when there is sunlight.
In an evening when the magical time is shaped for you and me.
 
 
The gateway of freedom
 
She wakes up with her white nightdress
and her mind flies wherever meaning dwells.
On the first train, she browses the newspaper
which she gets for free,
And get for free what she doesn’t need.
Her astonished friend says:
“The gateway of freedom have doors of steel
And the keys are guarded by thugs and robbers.”
Her despair grows like clouds on a December day over the Adriatic Sea.
 
There is no clarity or clearness anywhere.
Suddenly a stain has spread on her heart
and quickly close the newspaper and truly ask: is freedom with narrow gateway?
 
The train informs the next station where she should not stop.
The other goal awaits her – the endless goal she never attains.
Then she sighs and says: the train is not obstructed by fog.
The train meanders with its fury
and fills nature with what it lacks: noise.
 
Her doubt has no owner.
It is a flood of badly written news
for hers time.
 
There are elections in her country in the evening.
She reads Hamlet aloud, hears the sounds of upset birds,
and sees the crepes of the clock move furiously against the waiting wall.
 
She wakes up next day same with the white nightdress.
It’s the day of democracy – the news says,
but the gateway of freedom are closed
and the keys are in the hands of those who possess you,
my freedom-
squeal surprisingly
and waits to stop at the forgotten station.
 
 
Always something is missing
 
Humans with pale faces that tighten the uncertainness.
They search for something because always something is missing.
 
After this gloomy rain like sorrow, tomorrow the sun gets back its look.
And we continue our uncertainness. Our searching.
 
You see that the sun always rise again
as a new story of hope.
 
Still, you’re quiet like heavens peace searches the world’s path:
Ithaca or Penelope lying down with unclearing wishes.
Sad memories and sleepless nights. A promised land.
Where you have to lay your head and your pains.
 
What do you find?
Foggy roads,
Promised lands filled with snakes.
When there isn´t milk, honey and places for your feet.
 
Find your amnesia home where dreams sieve,
Where your dreams are eaten and explain happiness
 
You always forget something,
And forget that always something is missing;
You missed the path to the destination or to Ithaca.
That’s where a woman waits unhappily
And a dog that sleeps troubled in front of her feet.
 
You always wait for something,
And forget that always something is missing:
House of dreams and the teller of happiness.
 
You search the path to the destination,
You feel yourself like a homeless and thrown by stones
Because you always search for something different,
For example: a person without hate glasses.
 
And what do you find!
A path and a cross-
They give you the cross and hand you the nails,
And with that they want to kill both friends and enemies.
Because you always search for something
and forget that always something is missing.
 
 
 

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