If

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If I could teach my tongue
new languages and new words,
or new stories to tell,
maybe poems or songs,
or something quite different
of which the world has never heared,
I would teach my tongue
the most wonderful of all.

It would make hearts shiver
and eyes glare
and ears listen carefully to its sound and melody.
Heads would turn
from as far as sight can reach
and souls would find ease
at its first note.

If I could teach my tongue
a very new language
it would be the one I have always envied,
the one I have dreamed of,
as madly as a woman can dream,
it would be the language of silence,
for the reasons are clear.

How often have I talked
and written and composed
and sung
the most beautiful words that came to my mind,
until they became dull and lifeless
and somehow unreal.
If I could teach my tongue
a new language
I would tell you all the things
my words were incapable of.

Jehona Thaqi©

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Promises

Do we still
forgive
if we have not forgotten?

All the shattered promises
that left your lips too often,
each time the same expression;
you are sorry, you say –
and the next time you promise
it will not happen again.

The words lie upon your tongue,
ready to leave your mouth whenever required,
those empty promises
that I still try to believe in.

You touch my face,
your rough hands caressing my pale skin,
each time the same expression;
you are sorry, you say –
and it will not happen again,
but your hands keep moving upon my skin; shamelessly.

So tell me,

Do we still
forgive
if we can not forget?

Jehona Thaqi©

Homeland – Atdhe

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My hands ache for the strength of your body,
and how you hold me after the sun sets and the moon rises,
with words as sweet as honey from your forests and mountains,
dripping upon my tongue in order to mend my broken bones and hollow memories.

How many tears you have cried for the dead people sleeping underneath your ground,
for the people tortured and killed,
whose bodies have yet not been found,
but sure are lurking somewhere upon your skin,
turning slowly into dust,
as if they had never existed.
How many tears have you cried
for mothers weeping at the boneless graves of their sons,
and for the daughters, whose definition of father is based on blurry thoughts and memories.
How many tears have you cried
for sons, whose sisters have been reduced to nothing but their bodies,
and for fathers, whose proud daughters have been touched with dirty hands of war crime.

Oh, homeland, await my coming,
for I will plant flowers within your dying heart and my dying memories.
And the wind will put dust upon our bodies,
so we will remember the boneless graves and crying mothers,
we will remember that we shall never forget.

Përmallohem për fuqinë e trupit tënd dhe gjuhën tënde te qetë,
për mënyren si më mbanë në mes të muzgut dhe agimit,
me fjalë të ëmbëla si mjalta që pikon nga malet e tua,
që shëron kujtimet e mija të thyera.

Sa lot ke derdhur për trupat e pajetë nën tokën tënde,
për ata që u torturuan dhe u vranë pa meshirë,
për ata që eshtrat e tyre qëndrojn të pazbuluar
por që sigurisht po shndërrohen në pluhur mbi lëkuren tënde të njomë.
Sa lot ke derdhur për nënat që vuajn mbi varrezat e thata të djemve të tyre,
dhe për vajzat, për të cilat defincioni i babës qëndron në kujtime të zbehta dhe mendime të largëta.
Sa lot ke derdhur për djemt të cilët ua moren motrat si prona të pavlera,
dhe për baballarët që i shikonin vajzat e tyre me shpirt të bardhë, të njollosura nga krimet e luftës.

Oh atdhe, më prit se erdha.
Do i mbjell lulet në zemrën tënde të shkretë dhe në kujtimet e mia të zbehta.
Dhe era do e shpërndajë pluhurin në trupin tonë,
për ti kujtuar varrezat e thata të djemve tanë dhe lotët e nënave tona,
do të na e kujtojë që nuk kemi për ti harruar kurrë.

Jehona Thaqi© Ah, atdhe.

Tulip

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Tulips grow out of my skin
with roots tangling around this body I once called prison.
To this day, whenever I despise my beating heart,
I remind myself that flowers grow within the cracks of my skin,
inbetween dark and hollow spots,
where once was nothing but grief.
I remind myself that bleeding is healing
and that the tears I cried have been the cleaning rain for my soul.
I remind myself that tulips do not grow
without the cold breeze of winter;
and so do I.
For I have been growing out of pain,
and I will survive each winter to bloom again.

Jehona Thaqi© you will not destroy me

Oblivious

I was oblivious of life;
for too many heart-breaks had marked my body,
and I speak of the heart-breaks of a woman; a warrior,
who protected her soul with silence
but whose silence has been broken by understanding
that a woman’s tongue will not be tied to the dreams of men.

I was oblivious of happiness,
for too many tears had drowned my laughter,
the tears of a losing warrior,
but war will not be over unless this soul flees my body,
and even then, when I rest underneath the earth,
I will leave the tomb as dust 
and remind you of the power a woman carries within;
a woman who has been opressed
but never silenced.

I was oblivious of my strength,
the strenght of a woman;
I was a prisoner to my fears,
but today I will destroy the chains tied among my soul,
I will be free,
and concious of everything I have.

Jehona Thaqi©

Wine

I sit alone, lonely,
the evening breeze dancing around my thighs, underneath the dress you loved on me,
flickering candles caressing my pale skin,
empty glasses of wine on empty tables.

I sit alone, lonely,
and I watch the city fall asleep on this sunday evening,
I watch lovers kiss goodbye
and broken hearts run home to their mothers;
for there is nothing a mother can not fix,
but I wonder why it had to be broken in the first place.

I sit alone, lonely,
the waiter kindly reminds me that they are closing,
I nodd, hanging onto my glass of wine,
almost empty,
but still there;
you see, I hang onto the sweet taste of love
and the bitterness which hides underneath your eyelids;
I remember your words, vividly,
and the way your fingertips danced upon my thighs
and the dazzling light of our veranda flickered upon my skin.

I sit alone, lonely,
the last sip of wine;
I see the blurred picture of you,
reaching for me, now.

Empty glass of wine,
but your lips against mine;

a familiar taste.

Jehona Thaqi©

Mother – Nënë

Mother,

dear mother,

I have intended to write about you more than once,

but I did not know where to start

or where to finish,

for there are no words to describe the magic within your soul,

mother.

You held me close

to the body which ached and shivered,

but nothing felt like home unless it was within your arms; 

it was your love that saved me from pain,

mother,

your hands that healed the scars underneath my skin.

I am sorry mother,

for I have drowned your cheeks with tears too many times,

your soft, porcelain skin and sad eyes;

a doll, like within Kadare’s novel,

utterly beautiful, yet somehow unreal.

Mother,

I could write page after page,

but I have yet not found the right metaphor which comes close to your soul,

so I will hold you, tonight;

dear mother,

and I will tell you

that you are the roots of my happiness;

no matter how far I will go,

you are within my very soul.

***

Nënë,

e dashura nënë,

sa shpesh deshta të shkruaj për ty,

por nuk dija nga ku të  filloj 

ose ku të mbaroj,

sepse nuk ka fjalë të mjaftueshme për ta spjeguar magjinë brenda shpirtit tënd,

nënë.

Më ke mbajtur afer trupit

i cili ishte i permbushur me dhimbje 

por askund nuk u ndjeva në shtëpi, pos në krahet e tua;

ishte dashurija jote e cila me shpëtoj nga dhimbja,

nënë,

duart e tua i sheruan plaget nën lekuren time.

Më fal, nënë,

qe i permbusha faqet e tua me lot;

atë ftyren tënde te butë, lëkurën tënde të bardhë, sytë e tu të merzitur;

kukull, si e pershkruante Kadareja në librin e ti,

një bukuri jashtëtoksore.

Nënë,

mundem të shkruaj pafundsisht për ty,

por ende nuk e kam gjetur metaforën e duhur për ta përshkruar shpirtin tënd;

sonte do të mbaj pran,

e dashura nënë,

dhe do të tregoj

që ti je rrënja e lumturisë sime,

dhe nese jam larg teje,

ti gjëndesh brënda shpirtit tim.

Jehona Thaqi©

Privileged tears

The weather has been good, lately,
you say,
while the shy sun enters our home,
frankly, the weather has been good,
but so have we, for the last few years,
and I say years,
for I do not remember the last tear you have shed.

You leave for work,
kissing me goodbye, like within the movies, swiftly, yet lovely,
and I watch you leave as the sun rises,
until you disappear within the bright light of this morning.

The weather has been good, lately,
I think,
while washing the dishes,
and so have we, for the last few years,
yes, years,
for I do not remember the last time you cried.

Tears fall down the sink,
I like to call them my privileged tears;
the weather has been good, lately,
and there is nothing to worry about,
we have been good, too,
for you have not cried in years,
and I have neither,
only on mornings that shone too brightly
against the façade of our home.

Jehona Thaqi©

This is no love poem

This is no love poem;
I wrote this
to remind myself that this heart of mine
has not been aching since forever,
to remind myself that your leaving
has not taken love along its side.

How often you have told me
that I was too young to love as much as I pretended
and how long I tried to convince you
that the older I got, the less I could remember the taste of sweetness upon your lips,
the less I remembered the fear of losing
and the fear of forever.

You see; today I woke up
drenched in dreams of things that never were mine;
hollow heart and no thoughts at all,
as if all we had lived through had been merely dreams.

Some people abuse drugs,
I abused love;
so much so that I became addicted to your recognition,
I craved your arms;
first only at night,
then every second of my days.

If only I had been weak enough to give up,
maybe I’d be lying next to other rotting bodies;
to addicts of all-kinds,
until the sickness of love had reduced my bones to dust.

This is no love poem,
but I wish it was.

Jehona Thaqi© (selfportrait)

Do not cry, my boy

Dearest son; 

you are the greatest gift of all,

despite sleepless nights

and the times you cry 

– seemingly without reason; 

or reasons I do yet not understand,

when I feel so helpless and sad

and my silent tears fall upon your soft cheeks.

Do not cry, my boy,

for your mother is holding you tight

to the body that suddenly became strong;

within the arms that do not hide behind the back anymore;

caressing your head with the finger that once danced upon falling hopes.

Do not cry, my boy,

for your mother is here to protect you,

the way you protect your mother from sorrow and heart break; 

you – this small little boy – are the greatest gift of all,

and if this world falls apart

and all my hopes are shattered,

I will hold on to the memories we are creating.

Do not cry, my boy;

but if you do,

even fifty years from now,

come running to your mother

so I can hold you

and mend your soft beating heart.

– Jehona Thaqi© I love you Noar