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.

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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

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)

Ribeira

I wonder how many names you had to forget

in order to remember your own,

dear friend;

for you were a masterpiece to this world,

as colorful and historic as the buildings of Porto’s ribeira;

yet broken, for I could see the cracks upon walls

and dying lightbulbs underneath blank ceilings.

I wonder how many heartbreaks you had to live through

in order to love yourself first,

for you thought your heart could hold all of them,

like within this part of the city;

too many temporary visitors dancing through its streets, leaving nothing but footprints behind

and too few lovers who stay to renovate the abandoned homes.

I believe

that your heart is more than a port for desire;

dear friend.

Jehona Thaqi©

If I should die

If I should die
bury me in a field of nothingness,
where flowers do not bloom
and the earth is dry.

If I should die
do not cry,
for death is nothing but part of this life.

If I should die
tell my mother I loved her
and my father, too,
tell my brother I loved him
beyond all the greatness of this world.

If I should die
tell yourself
that you were all I ever wished for.

If I should die
forgive me for my wrongs,
I had the dreams of a child
but dreams last only until they’re shattered,
broken,
forgotten like the dead.

If I should die
forget.

Forget that I lived for your love
and that you filled my lungs with air,
forget the sound of my voice
at night; when I said hold me, but you were too far,
forget my writings, all of them,
for I signed everything with your name,
forget the tears I cried
and the memories you broke.

But remember to visit me,
once
after ten years,
and see how I turned nothingness into everything you have ever dreamed of,
see how there are flowers sprouting out of my grave,
and witness how your tongue falls silent for the first time in your life.

Remember
that you can bury not only dead bodies,
but dead souls, too.

Jehona Thaqi©

Endless

I never knew
that love could
shrink
and expand
like the very skin of mine
– stretching into the forms
closest to a Goddess;
growing –
until it fits two lives within one body.

I never knew
that love could
expand
and shrink
like withering flowers
– drying out upon this harsh earth;
until their petals become one with the ground they sleep on.

I never knew
that loving was an endless story
of ups and downs,
of growing and shrinking,
of falling and standing up
– constantly giving
and taking.

I never knew
that you could get tired of love
or the absence of it;
but as soon as I felt love
with its utmost purity
– with its sometimes ugly smile
but its taste of heavenly sweetness –
I knew that love
would stay;
even if it is long gone.

Jehona Thaqi©

Cigarette

Today I smoked a cigarette,

the one you used to smoke when your heart was aching,

hoping that it would calm my heart, too;

but the poison filled my lungs and I coughed and grasped for air,

lost within the smoke of my very first cigarette.

I pressed it softly against my small lips,

and in agony of breaking it, I inhaled slowly;

I did not know how to hold it,

just like I never knew how to hold your hands,

maybe I should not have held you too tightly, 

I think today, 

while smoking my very first cigarette.

At the end of it, it does not taste too bad,

the slight burning at the end of my throat feels familiar,

just like your words,

or the lack of them,

for even now, I do not know which was worse,

when you did not talk and left me restless at night,

or when your words burried my tongue and left me speechless.

My very first cigarette comes to an end,

and I watch the sun set underneath the clouds,

sad and lonely I shut my eyes,

how good it would be if you remembered me,

the way you never forget your cigarette.

Jehona Thaqi©

I took this picture from my kitchen window, in sad and lonely hours. Loneliness can be a devastating war inbetween the heart and mind of an individual.