Habeenkii Maqnaanshaha – The Night of Absence (Somali & English)

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Habeenkii Maqnaanshaha

POET
Said Salah

BRIDGE TRANSLATORS
Ahmed Ismail Yusuf
FINAL TRANSLATOR
Clare Pollard

Laba ruux mataana ah
Mataanaah lammaanaa
Lammaanaa midoobaa
Midoobaa kalgacallada
Mahad eebbe garaa
Waysu miir dillaacaan
Mabda’ bay jideystaan
Meertada ayaamaha
Maqanaanta iyo kulannada
Meertada ayaamaha
Maqnaanta iyo kulannada
Ballannay muddeystaan
Maqnaanta iyo kulannada
Mid hadday is waayaan
Maya haa is dhaafaan
Waligoodba maalmaha
Tan xun baa u muuq dheer

Anigiyo mataantey
Xilliyada macaanka leh
Dhaaxaan mushaaxnee
Waxa wali igu mudan
Habeenkii maqnaanshaha

Habeenkii maqnaanshaha
Maqnaanshaha habeenkaa
Mad-habtii kalgacallada
Xilligii murgacashada
Maansadatan gocashada
Bal aan mariyo sheekada

Maalin bay ahayd koow
Maalmaha todobada ah
Ka mid bay ahayd garo
Ballantii middeennii
Meesheennii fiidkii

Maryac hurdada dheer
Ma riyooday galabtii
Ma is moodaey inaan tegay
Meeshii kalgacallada

Caadada magaalada
Maqribkii carraabada
Ma sii arartay socodkii
Hadba guri ma sii maray!

Ma abbaaray fiidkii
Goobtii muraadkoo
Maba joogto iyadii
Habeenkii maqnaanshaha
Maqnaanshaha habeenkaa
Mad-habtii kalgacallada
Xilligii murgacashada
Maansadatan gocashada
Bal aan mariyo sheekada

Dhaaxaan ka maagee
Isu tuuray mininkii
Weydiiyay magacii
Lay sheeg maqnaantii

Markey joogto gurigii
Muuqaalka fiicnaa
Ma ahayn sidiisii
Caawa waa madoobaa

Miiskii cashada tegay
Kursi madhan daraaddiis
Ma maceyn dhadhamadii
Marbaan qaatay oo kacay

Waxaan qaaday marinkii
Raadadkii mulaaqnaa
Ma sanuunshey keedii
Ma lahayn astaantii

Dayaxaan la miran jiray
Ma ifayn habeenkaa
Malkadii caweyskuna
Meeshiiba kuma ool

Meehannoow rugteedii
Ku ag meeray socodkii
Ma anigaa haweenkii
Igu maararoobeen
Habeenkii maqnaanshaha!

Laantii magoolkiyo
Caleemuhu marriimeen
Manku uu ku jookhnaa
Ma ka waayey beertii
Mirta layl dhexaadkii
Mucurtida hamuuntii
Hadba sii minqaadoo
Murugada la dheelmaday

Waxaan mala-awaalaa
Warka mahdin maysee
Kolkey maqasho waa yimi
Mana joogo waa tegay
Muran iyi is-weyddiin
Sababaha maqnaanshaha
Ma ahayn xiriirkii
Na dhex yiil maqaar-saar
Milgadii kalgacallada
Mid kalaa la yaab lehe
Amba waa maqnaan jiray
Magansaday habeenkaa
Maxaa wacay xusuustaa?
Sannad-guuraadii mudan
Saddexaad na soo maray
Soow macdii hal koowaad
Ma ahayn xuskeedii

Habeenkii maqnaanshaha
Haddii aadan maqnaateen
Heestaa ma mariyeen
Masallaha jacaylka ah

Habeenkii maqanaanshaha
Haddii aadan maqnaateen
Maansada ma tiryeen
Suugaanta madhaxa leh

Habeenkii maqnaanshaha
Haddii aadan maqnaateen
Murtidaa ma reebeen
Mahaddana adays ka leh.

The Night of Absence

The coupled two
The pair of two
The pair united as one
The matched and amorous
Blissful with God’s blessing
Communicating wordlessly
They make an agreement
Within the cycle of days
In each-other’s absence
They appointed a day
But then there was absence
They failed to meet that day
There was no yes or no
Within the cycling days
That awful day recurs 

My beloved and I were one
Through our sweetest days
We ambled in joy
But what I remember
Is the night of absence

The night of absence
The absence of that night
The belief of awed love
The pain’s bitter taste
In this sad song
I will let the story loose   

It was a single night
Within the week’s seven days
The one night that
We were appointed to meet
A yearned-for evening

As my siesta drifted
To an afternoon dream
I sensed she had arrived
At the planned place 

 It was a city evening
And time to go home
Lagging on my leisurely walk
I greeted each guri

Just as evening deepened
I reached our rendezvous
But she was not waiting
Oh that night of absence
The absence of that night
The fate of the lover
The pain’s bitter taste
In this sad song
I will let the story loose

I was hesitant
Yet traced her steps
I asked for her by name
Was told she was home

But her presence at home
The space she lit
Could not be seen as in the past
It looked pitch dark

I took myself to dine where we once ate
Saw a vacant chair – she was not there
Food should have soothed me
I took a bite but lost my appetite 

So I got on the path
To trace her footsteps among the many
But deep as I searched
I saw no signs, nothing I knew

As it got late, the moon kept me company
But the night no longer shone
The place of meeting
Was no longer where it used to be 

The hopeless morning loomed
Still I rambled
When her female friends
Came to tease me
Oh that night of absence

The grown, supple twig
Wears a glut of leaves
Festooned with nectar
But I could not find my garden
The night was endless
And my hope
Made each moment tick more slowly
I left with regret

But then was filled with dark prophecy
She’d be angry – told
That I’d arrived
Yet had not waited but was gone
Angry questions, a voice raising
Why wasn’t I still there? 

Our love affair 
Wasn’t disguise or deceit
At the nucleus is love
It amazes that I might
Have stood you up
I seek refuge in that night
What brings back this memory?
For the mind to churn
To note its third anniversary
To memorialize that night
To repeat the memory! 

Oh night of absence
If you were not the absentee
I wouldn’t sing this song
Or lay the carpet of love

Oh night of absence
If you were not the absentee
I wouldn’t compose this poem
With such literary prowess

Oh night of absence
If you weren’t the absentee
I wouldn’t have learnt wisdom
So I thank you

SOURCE: POETRY INTERNATIONAL CENTER