Grave

There are rotting flowers
upon your grave –
grieving their loss
and becoming one
with the dust of your bones.

I wonder how many days will pass
until your name will be buried
alongside your body;
how many days will pass
until my mind will stop carrying your burden.

There are rotting flowers
upon your grave –
I will bring fresh flowers tomorrow
and the day after that
until I forget to remember.

Jehona Thaqi©

Do you remember / Të kujtohet

Mother,
do you remember my name?
How lovely it sounded
when you called
Jehonë;
like it meant everything
that I was supposed to be.

Do you remember
how you said
that our names will never be forgotten,
as they carry our beloved roots
in the mere sound of our tongue.

Mother,
do you remember my name?
Let it carry our pain
all the way home.

Nënë,
të kujtohet emri im?
Sa bukur tingëllonte
kur më thërrisje
Jehonë;
sikur të ishte gjithçka
që unë supozohem të jemë.

Të kujtohet
kur më thoje
se emrat tanë nuk do të harrohen;
sepse mbajn rrënjët tona të përzemërta
në tingullin e gjuhës sonë.

Nënë,
të kujtohet emri im?
Si jehonë do ndëgjohet dhimbja e jonë,
larg; në shtëpi.

Jehona Thaqi© Jehona is an Albanian name, which means echo

Tulip

image

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

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©

If I could

I would put my arms around you if I could;
hold onto the body that held me in silence,
run my fingers across the spine that carried much more than its own weight,
put my cheeks at the edge of the shoulders that have endured rain on sunny days,
wrap my hands around the hardened knuckles and stiff fingers;
but I can not.

You sit across the room,
I glare at your soft features and glowing skin;
your face a mirror of your soul, beautiful and tired,
with wrinkles across your forehead and dark circles underneath your eyes;
I see a young man tired of fighting alone, yet too proud to tell me so –
I would put my arms around you if I could,
but the room grows bigger each time I move towards you,
unable to reach your soft skin and tired soul.

You look at me with big eyes and a vivid smile,
a smile as soft and tender as described in Fitzgerald’s novel,
and you too, like Gatsby, will sooner or later diminish into nothingness
if you do not let me take your pain;
I would put my arms around you if I could,
but the more I run towards you,
the further you seem to be.

I will put my arms around you, dear,
so open up your soul,
for I have love within my broken heart
which can heal both of us.

Jehona Thaqi© I am here

Black, bitter coffee

Black, bitter coffee on a sunday morning,
or was it monday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I sit silently in the corner of our living room,
my spine curled and pressed against the wall;
so much space upon the couch we bought,
but I am afraid of not being able to fill the spaces you have left empty.

Black, bitter coffe on a friday night,
or was it saturday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I weep into the freshly washed cussions of our bed,
they smell like lilies and honey,
they smell nothing like you, for I have washed them too many times since the last time you visited,
your scent has vanished out of this house,
yet it is present in everything I touch.

Black, bitter coffee on a wednesday afternoon,
or was it tuesday, I do not quite remember,
for the days have become the same anyway;
I sit at our dining table and read about wars far from home,
I read of homes destroyed, and people buried underneath them,
I cry;
you used to say that there are people dying, 
when I told you that I could not breathe at night, you said that I am fine,
when the lights turned off and my body was shaking in agony of losing the war against my mind, you said that I am egoistic;
I feel the guilt within my tears drown the last hope of winning the wars within me,
I can see people dying, somewhere far,
yet so close.

Black, bitter coffee;
I drink to stay awake,
for the nights scare me,
and there are dreams lurking in the corners of this house,
dreams I do not want to have,
for my dreams have been shattered too many times.

Black, bitter coffee;
I do not sleep anymore
and I have forgotten the days,
just as the days have forgotten me.

Jehona Thaqi©

Sacred land

Sacred land;
where honey flows in rivers
and milk drips from trees, nourishing the earth with motherly love;
a land of dreams hidden underneath God’s veil,
where the wind brings peace
and where flowers sprout from deserts.

*

Women glaring at their trembling feet,
voices shivering, voices lost;
I haven’t heard my own voice in weeks
for my words have meant nothing;
soft skin, soft hearts,
bruised, but not aching anymore.

*

Men staring at our faces,
or underneath our skin;
for clothes do nothing but try to hide the flesh from hungry eyes;
harsh voices, harsh tongues,
its sound echoing throughout our shivering bodies,
invading more than our privacy.

*

Sacred land,
we are still fighting,
silently;
for what has always belonged to us.

Jehona Thaqi© our bodies, our decisions

My dearest son

My dearest son,
you are still too small to understand my words,
yet you know exactly that something is wrong.

While my tears fall upon your soft skin,
I hold your fragile body against my chest,
I hold onto this tiny miracle,
this wonderful gift life has given to me.

My dearest son,
you are still too small to understand the words I say
with a shivering voice and sad eyes,
yet you know exactly that something is wrong.

You look at me with big eyes,
wondering why your mother is sad,
while she holds the definition of love
within her shaking hands.

My dearest son,
you know that something is wrong.
But be not afraid,
time will pass and memories will fade;
and at the end of the day
all that matters is you.

My dearest son,
I do not remember grieve
since the day you were born,
although my soul has marched through war
and has lost too many of its colours.

My dearest son,
I will not grieve anymore.

Jehona Thaqi

I forget

 Sometimes, I forget how to speak.

I forget the sound of my voice
and the clicking of my tongue;
I forget to breathe when I laugh 
and breath forgets me when I weep.

I forget that there are words to say
and I forget the words unsaid,
I forget the names of my friends,
and I forget that they have forgotten long ago.

I forget the things you have said
and I forget that you hate repeating yourself,
I forget that you loved me
and I forget that you forgot to tell me so.

Sometimes, I forget how to speak.

I have shed this skin of mine too often,
in order to forget the pain;
but I remember,
how difficult it is to forget.

Jehona Thaqi© [sunset in Zurich; Quai-bridge]

If

image

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©