Sándor Reményik: The Shell

I am here, with or without wanting it now or before,
The shoreless has ended me here ashore.

I lie beneath the bleak sand
And I sing the anthems of the ocean.

My mother, the sea has dwindled away and left me here,
Who has anything to do with who I am supposed to be?

Nobody’s… empty house… For what good is it?
If not for throwing or breaking it.

Between low tide and high tide spending my time,
I’m waiting for the wave to pull me away this time.

This barren shore is surely not my home of cheers,
But the one who secretly holds me to listening ears

In solitude, at night, away from people’s cities:
I’m murmuring about other, more beautiful realities.

Benyamin Bensalah


Translated from the Hungarian poem of Sándor Reményik, “A kagyló”.

Her hands be blessed

There’s no hand
like the hand of your love.

Those fragile bones
that pull up strength
like ants bear the toil.

Those thin veins
that warm up two hearts
and feed two bodies now.

That smooth skin
that chills and boils me,
leaving me just amazed.

That silky hair
that takes and gives breath
like a fantasy rain forest.

There’s no hand
like the hand of your love
that manifests her care,
her beauty and my duty:
to be blessed beyond limits.

Benyamin Bensalah


A ton silly t’is…

Evolution, evolution…
What a freaking evolving!
You got me tonsils –
some defensive, defective fossils
that burns my whole body.
For what?
To protecc me from a single cold drink,
Because F U That’s Why Inc.
Unfortunately it’s still not
evolution’s weirdest kink –
I cannot even start to think
how it needs to flame the body
with shivering gibberish feverish nightmares
as a single alarm:
“Yo! Something’s up!
Burn da hell!”
I’m not a Russian scorched land
if you let me tell…
Or rather I would just ask:
Could you just serve else than harm?
In my back, throat, teeth, feet and charm…
Like I did not have enough pain already,
bring it on, dear body, bring the cherry!
And I cannot even blame a single thing,
but I cannot suffer in silence either,
so here I am to say a big nah-thank
to evolution
for its freaking nonsense tonsillitis fever.

Benyamin Bensalah


You who were once my friend

I want to remember the boy
we used to share the same birth
I want to remember the boy
we used to share the same Earth

I want to grab the moments
we used to think as one
I want to grab the moments
we used not to think what’s done

I’d be happy to at least know
how we parted on bad terms
I’d be happy to at least know
how none of us remembers
at once.

Now, we are meeting up again
to see how different we are
now, we are meeting up again
to learn with time who we are
this once.

You who were my friend,
we are getting to know each again
you who were my friend,
we’ll get along with each again

Benyamin Bensalah


Hot Coffee

Loving seems so easy when done –
steaming water in your veins,
all the raw aromas around,
they get together as if
there was no preparation.

Though it couldn’t be harder –
for the coffee that’s too hot,
that’s told you are too hot:
get yourself together,
be more coffee like.

This is how a coffee is ruined –
when it’s told that too hot,
waiting for it to exploit,
meanwhile looking around,
idling about all but the coffee.

Coffee never should be granted –
it needs the silence and care,
to sit over it, hold the mug,
feel the scent of strength,
the whole life of a coffee.

Coffee should not be spoiled alike –
without feeling just drunk up,
having no chance to be
what it meant to be,

Benyamin Bensalah


Pure Heart Letter

Here’s a letter.
I have none else better.
In the letter,
there’s me – none else lesser.

All my sorry, all my love
All my worry, all my flaw.

Did I tell you how I feel?
Did I tell you how I feel you?
Did I tell you…
How important is this letter for me?

Without you
This letter’s just an envelope
An empty room
A vacuuming paradox.

I found you as you found the letter:
None was former, nor was latter.

Did I tell you how I feel?
How past, present and future feel
When comparing them
To you… and me?

With you
This letter got existence
A living stance
An overwhelming paradox.

An almost empty letter,
But I have so much better:
What if it is Our letter
To write it better – none else lesser.

Benyamin Bensalah



I always dream
there will be no tomorrow
to wake up on
and face myself
face myself how I miss her
and face myself.

The worst of t’is
that I’ve been afraid
the same way
when she was there:
I knew she’ll leave me –
I wouldn’t bear me.

I’m afraid of every tomorrow,
but there’s always another.
Another happy day
with her.
Or another terrible day

Then, the days
when I am just afraid:
with or without.
There’s another tomorrow.

I will face myself,
and tell her.
I told many times.
I’m afraid.

Is this tomorrow
that I’m afraid of?
Oh, not again.
It’s already tomorrow.

Benyamin Bensalah


Out of orbit

I knew it was the last time.
Somehow you know it
when it’s the last time
to fall in love.

It wasn’t like false hope,
like a chance to live.
You know now
you don’t have
such luxuries anymore.

It didn’t hit you
like a train
that sends a signal
goes by fast
and dies out.

It hit like planets crash.
You knew.
This beautiful sight
is the end.
What a beautiful end.

You were last happy.
Happier than the first time.
The first time when
you didn’t even know love.
But this time, you knew.

Benyamin Bensalah



I put away my cigarette –
to focus on my pain,
being left alone.

I did my best –
to keep it from burning,
being left alone.

I kept burning inside –
so was my cigarette,
silently, alone.

Benyamin Bensalah


József Podolszki : If you wake up to that

If you wake up to that your pillow is cold,
and there’s no reason to wear pants,
if you wake up to that there’s another day
you have to pass somehow
for nothing, for no one,
if you wake up to that nauseous feeling
from the years ago consumed
sensless liquid,
well, if that is you wake up to, everything’s in vain
every attempt
because you have nowhere to return,
and the night is the worst refuge,
worse than the worst refuge
where at least fleas and lice
live their world on you
I’m saying if you wake up to that
that you are afraid even to fall asleep in the coming darkness,
then at least don’t brag like:
Look at me, I have survived.
No sense in late heroism,
look at the sun
spark in yourself
don’t burn loaned fires.
Then, maybe, there could be with you
who’s also humiliated
just as you.

Benyamin Bensalah


Translated from the Hungarian poem of József Podolszki, “Ha arra ébredsz”.