Ali Al Jallawi


Ayesha Saldanha


ليتَ الفتى حجرُ

كانتْ تقول ككذبة لا ظل يتبعها
ولا مرض يرافق خطوها
لا شكل للتفاح إلا ما أقولُ
ولعنتي.. يمشي إلى المعنى سواي

كانت تقولُ
وكنتُ أبحثُ عن يدي في صدرها

كانتْ تخبئُ بينَ أغنيتينِ وجهَ اللهِ
يا اللهُ
كانت حين تمشي..
          تربكُ الأطفالَ في قلبي

وكانتْ من تفاصيلِ الكلامِ
تعيدُ للتفّاحِ وضعَ قتيلةٍ تمضي إلى المعنى
    وتتهمُ الكنايةَ بالفتى (ليتَ الفتى حجرُ)

وأنا... أنا
حاولتُ أن أبدو كغيري
واضحاً أو باهتَ القدمينِ
يمسكُ ظلهُ من رجلهِ
ويعيدُ ترتيبَ الكمانِ إلى قميصكِ
ثم حاولني
فكنت أنا... أنا
ليَّ زورقٌ قرطاسُ أدفعهُ إلى مجرى الزمانِ
وياقتي مقلوبةٌ وأعودُ من نفسي

ولي شكُ البنفسج
حين يصعدُ سلّمِ الأسوارِ
يُلقي بالقصيدةِ بين نهدي سيدةْ

كي يطمئن إلى الكلامِ
إلى تفاصيلٍ -أقولُ صغيرةً مثلي-
كوضعِ الزرِ فوقَ النهدِ
لونِ حديثكِ اليدوي
حجمِ تحركِ القمرينِ في ماءِ الجسدْ.

كانت تقولُ
وذنبها احتشدت عصافير على شفتي
كأنْ.. لا ظل يتبعها
ولا أثر يرافق خطوها

حجر على قلبي
فيا ليتَ الصبيةَ تُرجعُ الأشجارَ عن فستانها
حجرٌ على قلبي
          فيا (ليتَ الفتى حجرُ).

© Ali Al Jallawi
الإنتاج المسموع: Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, 2011

If Only the Boy had Been a Stone

She was saying, as a lie which no shadow follows

And an illness which her step accompanies not

The apple has no name, only that which I say

I am cursed

For no one walks to the meaning but I

She was saying

And I was seeking my hand in her chest

She was concealing the face of God between two songs

O Lord

When she walked she confused the children in my heart

And she would, by the conversation’s details,

Once again make the apples the victims, heading for the meaning

She accused the metaphor of the boy

“If only the boy had been a stone.”

And I…was just myself

I tried to be like others

Clearly, or with faded steps

Catching his shadow by the legs

And retuning the violin, your blouse

Then I tried

But I was…just myself

Mine the parchment boat

I push it against the river of time

My collar is turned up and I return from myself

And mine the violet's doubt

When it climbs the stairs of walls

And throws the poem between the woman’s breasts

In order to be reassured of the words,

Of the details – I think they are insignificant like me –

Like the position of the shirt’s button on the breast

The colour of your hand’s discussion

The movement of two moons in the body's ocean

She was saying

And birds gathered on my lips

As shadow followed her

And no trace accompanied her step

A stone on my heart

And if only the girl could send back the trees from her dress

A stone on my heart

“If only the boy had been a stone.”


‘If only the boy had been a stone’ was a phrase used by the Arabian

poet Tamim bin Muqbil. With the advent of Islam he became a Muslim,

but on discovering that his way of life would have to change he

decided it would have been preferable if he had been a stone rather

than human before that.

Translated by Ayesha Saldanha