POETRY

Tapit Patata u Ħamrija Ħamra

 

U s-Santa, inqasam difer nejjieki bil-fjuri mpittra fuqu

għal għerq patata u gramma fertilizzant maqbuda!

Desiree tarma tkanta: Volare oh oh, cantare oh oh

u l-għajta t’uġigħ, tittajjar f’sema ta’ qatgħa bajda miksija żerriegħa.

 

Tonfoħ, ixxid mutur, u par dirgħajn.

 

T’għajnha ħamra toqmos fil-wiċċ, tieħu nifs arja,

tilmaħ lil Aladin jitliegħeb fuq tapit ħamrija ħamra

u taħseb fid-destin li se jtiha l-ġinni.

Tixxampla kemxejn, tixxaħxaħ, sakemm

d-disat idwiefer iduru magħha, jogħrkuha,

u jsibulha postha f’kaxxa djamantata.

 

Il-bqija taż-żebgħa tinħall f’ħamrija tagħli.

Daqshekk kuluri u fjuri fuq in-nitfa żerriegħa

li beżgħet, staħbiet u ħolmot b’għeruq taħt wiċċ difer.

Se taqa’ u ma taqax, għadha tassumi, qed tinxef,

toħlom li ttir, taqa’, tistrumbla,

fuq tarmak jikwi.

 

It-tapit ħamrija ħamra u l-patata tixxengel fuqu,

se taqa’ u ma taqax, tħares ’l isfel.

tagħli għal xbintha li nkwiet, għad-difer li kissret,

u tħammar għajnejha għat-titjira li bdiet.

 

 

 

A carpet of potatoes and red soil

 

Damn! a lecherous flower-painted nail just broke

and all for grabbing a fertilizer-sprayed potato!

Désirée burst out singing: Volare oh oh, cantare oh oh

The cry of pain dispersed across the vastness of white seeds.

 

Panting, she got the engine going and was ready to start.

 

The red one fidgets on top, sucking the air,

watching Aladdin fooling around on a carpet of red soil

thinking genies, stretching out to a lull, until

nine nails grab and rub it

and chuck it in a diamond-shaped box.

 

The remaining nail polish dissolves in flaming soil.

No trace of colour or flowers on the tiny seed.

Scared, it hides and dreams of roots spread underneath a nail.

Stumbling and making assumptions, it dries,

dreams of departing and landing distraught

on a dry scorched road.

 

A carpet of red soil. Potatoes stagger and struggle

face down, troubled at the thought of others

burnt up and of the broken nail.

Moisture swells up as it’s time to depart.

 

Translated from the Maltese by Claudia Gauci