A Batch of Poems by Fatma Ben Mahmoud (Translated by Ali Znaidi)

Picture of Fatma Ben Mahmoud borrowed off www.facebook.com/fbenmahmoud

Picture of Fatma Ben Mahmoud borrowed off http://www.facebook.com/fbenmahmoud

A Batch of Poems by Fatma Ben Mahmoud (Translated by Ali Znaidi)

These are the original poems in Arabic. They are taken from her poetry collection Another Desire Doesn’t Interest Me. You can also read them here.

قصائد قصيرة لفاطمة بن محمود من مجموعتها رغبة أخرى لا تعنيني

الشاعر

وحيدا .. بلا نشيد
كل المدن نبذته
كل الأرصفة هجرته
فلاذ بيت في .. قصيد

حرقة الأسئلة

سؤال الجمر*
لماذا كلّما تشعل
سيجارة
أكون أنا .. الرّماد ؟

جسدي القتيل
أستلّ منه قلبي
و أشعله .. فتيل.

ديمتريو

الى صديقي الفنان هشام الكتاري

في غرفته .. الوحيدة
داعب العازف أوتار
قلبه
فتنهدت .. حبيبته
البعيدة.

قبلة

كلّما
ترتعش اللحظة بيننا
يتبرّد الورد
و يشتعل،
شفتاك نار
و ريقك .. عسل

Bonne année

سنة جديدة
و تنهمر على العام الجديد
الوعود،
و أنا يهزّني الفرح الجميل
و أتمنّى : لو شهيّة الأماني.. تعود.

انتظار

منذ أن هجرها الله
و أنكرها النبيّ
تجلس على جمر الوقت
تلك البنيّة
تنتظر الحلم
و تستعطف الذي :
لا … يرحم

إكتشاف

كانت كعادتها
تحبّ المساء
و تستلذ ّ الحرام
عندما اكتشفت الحكمة
خرست عن .. الكلام.

حال الطفلة

الى دنيا ميخائيل

كانت الطفلة
تعدّ الأحلام بأصابعها
و تبكي ..
لأن عدد الأصابع لكلّ الأحلام
لا .. تكفي.

وردته الفصيحة

الى الهادي الدبّابي

أيها البستاني
امنحني وردة واحدة
أهبك معنى لكلّ الورود.

لقاء

صدفة
مرّ الذي
تحبّ الرّوح أن تراه،
اهتزّ عصفور الصدّر
ارتحل البصر نحوه
و سافرت نحوي .. عيناه.

إشتعال

و اذ تلتقي النّار بالناّر
و ترتعد كل أوصال..
الجسد،
يرتوي القرنفل
يتبرّد ورد الأنوثة
المتقدّ،
و يذوب الرّخام
لهذا المساء طعم الصبا
و للشفاه وظيفة أخرى
غير الكلام.

مشهد عادي

في طريق المدرسة
طفل … أراه بلا محفظة،
يجوب أروقة القاعة …
نسي الكرّاس
يدنو من كلّ طاولة
أتلف الكتاب
يلامس كلّ كرسيّ
و ضيّع المقلمة،
طفل…
يمسح في المقهى ..
الأحذية.

المومس

كل صباح ..
تعلن التوبة
ترتب وحدتها
و تحصي أمنيتها
اليتيمة

آخر كل ليلة
تعود الى عادتها .. القديمة

هــــي

يا لهذه المدينة كم
تضيق ..
تشتدّ أزقتها
فتختنق الخطى،
غير أن بابنا الخشبي
يفتح على قلبها..
الفسيح
تلك الأمّ .. الطيبة.

مشهد ليلي

مطر حزين
و الليل .. منفى،
هل يحتاج أن يضيء المكان
اذا كان في العزلة
الفتى .. الأعمى؟

رغبة

نام الليل
و استيقظ جسد …
كان قد تورّق
نجمة يانعة هي
لم يقطفها الهلال
و ضمّها الأرق،
تأوهت في غصنها .. شهوة
فقطفها الخيال
و استنارت النجمة توهجا
فتململت.

جنازة

أعلم
اذ يلفّ هذا الجسد
الكفن
ستنوحني أمّي
طويلا
تفتقدني غرفتي
و يشيّعني الذين
آلفتهم أمدا
حشدا كبيرا
من .. الشجن.

مشهد شتوي

ليل عميق
و ريح تبللّها المطر
و هذا الذي :
حوله ما يشبه المحفظة،
و له كتاب قديم
و بعض أمان تزرع
في .. الورقة
و بقربه تماما …
اناء ..
و دقّات رتيبة تخترق
سمعه،
تك ، تك ، تك ،
قال الطفل :
– انها الساعة
تضبط ما فات من الليل
و أجزائه المقبلة
و كان يقصد حبّات مطر من
السّقف
تدقّ الاناء الذي :
يكاد يلامس .. قدمه.

ظمأ

قرّب شفتيه
من فيها
ارتعش لسانه
من حلو الرّضاب
و ترقرق ريقها
في الرّوح
حتى .. ارتوى
ثمّ .. أغلق الحنفية
و مضى.

نشوة

مدّ رغبته لها
بسطت شهوتها نحوه
رفعت ورقة التوت
……………………
…………………..
أصابه الدّوار
كادت…. تموت.

Picture of the Front Cover of Another Desire Doesn’t Interest Me borrowed off   http://www.fatmabenmahmoud.com/poem.html

Picture of the Front Cover of Another Desire Doesn’t Interest Me borrowed off http://www.fatmabenmahmoud.com/poem.html

Here you are the English translation for this batch!

The Poet

Alone… Without a chant

All the cities rejected him

All the pavements forsook him

So he sheltered in a line… in a poem

The Ardor of Questions

*The Embers’ Question

Why do I become… ash

whenever a cigarette is lit?

I unsheathe my heart

from my killed body

and I burn it.. as a wick.

Demetrio

for my friend, artist Hichem Ktari

In his single room

the instrument player fondled the strings

of his heart.

Thus his far-flung lover

sighed.

A Kiss

Whenever the moment

shivers between us

roses get cold,

then on fire

Your lips are fire,

your spittle.. honey.

Bonne année

A new year,

Then promises are showering

the new year,

& I’m taken by the beautiful joy,

and I wish if the appetite of wishes.. returned.

Waiting

Since Allah deserted her

and since the prophet denied her

that little girl

sits on the embers of Time,

waiting for the dream

and beseeching that

one who is not… merciful

A Discovery

She used to love the evening

and find the forbidden pleasurable.

When she discovered wit

she shut up her mouth.

The Girl at this very Moment

for Donia Mikhail

The girl was

counting dreams on her fingers

and crying..

because there are not enough fingers

for all the dreams..

His Eloquent Rose

for Hedi Debbabi

O, gardener!

Give me just one rose!

I’ll give you a meaning for all roses.

An Encounter

Without a plan

the one whom the soul loves to see

passed by.

The bird of the chest quivered.

The sight tripped into him.

And his eyes travelled…towards me.

A Blaze

And when fire meets fire

and all the body’s joints tingle,

the carnations get watered,

the blazing roses of femininity get cold,

and the marble melts.

This evening tastes like juvenility,

& lips have another function,

apart from speaking.

An Ordinary Scene

On the school pathway.

A child… I saw him without

a schoolbag, roaming the classroom’s corridors…

He forgot the copybook.

He draws close to every desk.

He tore the book apart.

And he lost his pen-case.

A child…

polishing shoes in the café.

The Prostitute

Every morning..

she declares repentance

she tidies up her loneliness

and enumerates her orphan

wish

At the end of every night

she reverts to her old habit

She

O, how narrow this city is becoming!

Its alleys are getting tougher.

Thus the footsteps are suffocated.

But our wooden door

opens onto

her expansive heart—

that kind mother.

A Nocturnal Scene

A sad rain

And the night.. is an exile.

Does the place need to emit light

when the blind boy was in this seclusion?

A Desire

The night slept

and a body that has turned into foliage

woke up…

She was a vivid star,

not plucked by the crescent,

but hugged by insomnia.

A desire moaned in her bough

Thus, imagination plucked her.

And the star became more glowing.

Thus, she fidgeted.

A Funeral

I know when the coffin

shrouds this body

my mother will mourn me

very long,

and my room will miss me

and the ones whom I kept company

for long—

a large crowd of grief—

will escort me to my final resting place.

A Wintry Scene

A deep night

and a wind being wetted by rain.

And this one –

around whom something similar to a schoolbag –

had an old book,

and some wishes being grown… in the paper.

And precisely beside him…

an utensil..

and monotonous beats pricking his ears:

tick, tick, tick,

The child said,

It’s the clock

adjusting what was left

of the night

and its upcoming parts.

& he has meant

rain grains

from the ceiling

banging the utensil

that was about to touch.. his foot.

Thirst

He drew his lips closer

to her mouth.

His tongue trembled

out of the spittle sweetness,

and her spit glided along

the soul

till he got watered.

Then he turned off the tap

and went away.

Ecstasy

He extended his desire towards her.

She spread her desire towards him.

She raised the mulberry leaf

……………………………..

……………………………..

He was attacked by vertigo.

She was about to die.

 

Fatma Ben Mahmoud’s Bio:

Fatma Ben Mahmoud is a Tunisian poet and fiction writer. She worked as a philosophy teacher at Tunisian secondary schools. Then, she joined journalism because she loves writing. She writes prose poetry, flash fiction, and essays. She is mostly known for her micro poems and flash poetry. Her language is characterised by high levels of semantic density and richness and, at the same time, by simplicity. She has published three poetry collections: Another Desire Doesn’t Interest Me, What the Poem Hasn’t Said, and The Rose Which I Don’t Name. As for prose, she has published a collaborative short story collection with Moroccan writer Abdallah Al Mouttaqi titled Dreams Extending their Fingers. She has also published a fictional autobiography titled A Woman at the Time of the Revolution.

 

 

 

About aliznaidi

Ali Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia. He graduated with a BA in Anglo-American Studies in 2002. He teaches English at Tunisian public secondary schools. He writes poetry and has an interest in literature, languages, and literary translations. His work has appeared here and there and is scheduled to appear elsewhere . At moments of revelation, he smokes and drinks green tea with mint while pondering.
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