Treasure Island

Badr Shakir al-Sayyab

(1926-1964)

The Mother And The Lost Child


Please don't go down, the night…
Dead people came along out of the daylight.
Who does return the absent man to his home?
If darkness encamps and there is not great delight.
Ways become yielding after waiting for a long time.
The awful scene of night fears the children.
Until they shiver at both waists and liver…
The glittering meteors when throw their shadow…
Against any figure shades the sheltered one.
Accumulate in front of me in one time…
Whisperings and echoes fallen down.
Your brilliant ray enhances on me…
Like the confusing labyrinth's net is tightened by love.
Comes directly and enters my daughter's heart.
Through my painful wounds and my sighs,
I sent best wishes to me lovely child.
Many bygone years had passed, thousand of moons turned.
The heart still reckons the gusts of any breeze
Reckons the stars one after one
Reckons the bags numbers of the scholars
A sympathetic heart cries if sees,
Children come back from schools and farms.
O, you are the lamp of my heart,
You are my consolatory on my catastrophic days.
I offer to you the water even if I am thirsty.
What can I offer to you?
Can I offer to you my flesh as a food?
I feel sorrowful if I cannot offer..
Alas dear mother, I feel you suffer
O, you are desirous to water..
Dear mother… dear mother…
Drink deeply my fresh blood as water
Come back, all them returned
They were as if land ships kidnapped by the monster's hand
My distracted mother is the less delusionary one..
Contrasted with the unknowable woman who departed..
A wrapped woman to unknown place travels…
At a top of uncertain mountain I cry and laugh
Didn't look out whether the fierce wild sleeps or awakes.
After the last firebrand extinguished on my stove,
And when the night compels the eyes to sleep
The narrator would seek to relate stories..
O, Sindbad, let's to relate your story…
Gradually, the narrator voice faints and vanishes.
My blood longs for to see you..
Fierce grief squeezes me hardly
Ten years had passed as if ten dark eras
Numberless of years passed since I waited..
I shout but no one replies.
Only the breeze comes through the forest replies.
It tears out my scream and drifting back to me..
Aimless I felt as if the ways are obstructed.
Even the night makes its breath prolonged..
Through the grapevines, it gets the smell of its breathing.
And you appear as if the light is absorbed at night..
And you as if the drop of dew touches my face …
Drop after drop are consumed into ground
Due to my incurable diseases, I am desirous to ask..
All shadows and ghosts of night
Ask every creature born...
Do you see my daughter?
Do you hear her footfall?
And when I tread through crowd…
I lessen her on my eyes picture..
Her eyelids as if they were the murmuring of sunshine..
Comes to the brooks to consume the darkness..
I see you on my better people distributed…
If only you are undistributed too much..
Now you are on spring of your age..
The solid extract of its juice
Permeates inside your veins
And snatching your bosoms and your mouth..
And spreads around you the perfume..
Then your wrecked heart becomes between dim and light..
If only one thing can be personified,
It can be both death and exultation present.
This ominous world its cup is full with misery…
Both hunger and diseases would appear significantly

Translated by: Mohammad Mahmud Ahmad

Submitted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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