Attila József: HOPELESSLY

Slowly, pondering

Man is finally reaching to a sandy,
sad, watery plane,
he looks around thoughtfully, and cleverly
he nods, he doesn’t hope.

This is also how I try without cheating
looking around easily.
Silver slash of an axe revealing
is playing on the tree’s leaf.

My heart is sitting on the branch of nothingness,
its little body is soundlessly shivering,
it’s surrounded with meekness
by the gazing, gazing stars.

In iron-colored sky …

It rotates in an iron-colored sky
the lacquered, cool dynamo.
Oh, noiseless stars in the sky!
The words sparkle between my teeth – –

In me, the past falls like a stone
through the void voicelessly.
The silent blue time leaves me alone.
A sword’s edge blinks up: my hair – –

My mustache like a mellow caterpillar enfolds
my fade flavored mouth.
My heart hurts, the words get cold.
But to whom could I tell – –

Benyamin Bensalah

16.05.2021

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Reménytelenül” (1933).

Shovel, hoe and big bell

To burry the past for good,
to hurry the present and bring it forth,
to worry not what the future would hold;
I just need a shovel, a hoe and a big bell,
letting it hack and clatter and gong,
thinking nothing can go wrong.

To burry the present for good,
to hurry the future and bring it forth,
to worry not what the past could hold;
I just need a hoe, a big bell and a shovel,
letting it smack and dong and flatter,
knowing nothing does matter.

Benyamin Bensalah

15.05.2021

Encore

The Past been a nightmare to wake from,
sometimes eating up the present,
being unable to tell whether it has an end;
the Future been the past’s mirror image,
warning signs or either sirens’ songs,
nothing that possibly cannot go wrong;
I was likely anchored, cornered to Present,
more like pulling the chains than living,
but this was already much from a dead being.

I walked every step with a blind resignation,
a person died and revived in me,
like someone stealing life and trying to flee;
the anchors I tried to undress so hard
kept undressing me slowly,
and here I am standing like nothing can control me;
the anchors I were fighting, life, have gone,
it feels no more grief, no more agony,
I’ve reached freedom through fatal cavity.

There’s no past I could face anymore,
none of me waits me in the future,
but here I am where I could have been sooner;
losing the pain through losing life,
I am free with a huge cavity,
and I am as ready to live as to face mortality;
I feel eager, no more than any,
just to live a bit more,
imagining there’s an anchor that makes me stay more.

Benyamin Bensalah

10.05.2021

Attila József: SILENCE

It’s alarming like the roaring sea
And just like the endless snow.
In the depths of his mask sad Death’s below-
Ah, it grabs into the comet of a cowardly Man, me

I throw my trembling soul in front of it.
I listen to my heart – is it still knocking?
And I’m tired of this monotonous music,
Though it’s so good if it beats and it’s solid.

I feel like walking on a swamp
And woe, the ground is sinking beneath me,
But still some soft resistance is whispering in me,

But my ears are stuffed. – Oh, what is still waiting
For me, who is now mute, numb.
With my head down, I succumb.

Benyamin Bensalah

05.05.2021

Translated from the Hungarian poem of Attila József, “Csend” (1922).

Transparenting

I had no viewing
on the children of my age
for a while

Happy playing
was the only knowledge
I had as a lie

While else were playing
I’ve been on a stage
for a while

I’ve been acting
pretending at a young age
that everything’s fine

While homecoming
has been an ugly offstage
ending in a cry

I learnt disappearing
while others had living image
from their bloodline.

Benyamin Bensalah

30.04.2021

Beast

We are not children anymore,
no more teenager years;
however, everything’s the same,
singing the Beauty and the Beast,
hopes illuminating and fading
while the end is near,
a brutal, merciless end
where I’ve lived all alone,
and will die alone at the end.

Benyamin Bensalah

29.04.2021

Upper-cut down

Upper-cut from life;
Unseen, unexpected, unbearable, early –
My teeth break like porcelain,
My hopes like mom’s dishes
Flying through the room towards me
Then, just passing by my head
Only the hurtful sharps reaching my back –
The pain was real once,
Now, it’s just one of the delirious memories
That let me remember
That I’ve got an unseen upper-cut from life
And I’m in a wheelchair now
From the mountain rolling down
With trees and animals waving towards me
A pitiful, confused good bye.

Benyamin Bensalah

24.04.2021

Devils may cry

My indifference surpasses Earth’s billions species,
my wild philosophies boil hotter than Venus,
my grief’s still colder than Pluto’s deepest valleys,
my carelessness embraces the whole space;
still, there’s a crying child in me
who doesn’t want more than being loved
and told motherly that this is your very place.

Benyamin Bensalah

24.04.2021

My Worst Poem

I was asked a couple of times
to choose my favorite poem;
what a rude demand,
how gross
just to choose for judging.

What should it be;
the most confessionalist,
something about nature,
mankind or poetry itself
while I’ve been just writing?

I can’t even choose the worst;
the most ridiculous,
something about whining,
one with bad rhyming
or one that doesn’t fit me at all?

If you read all my works,
you should know…
but why would you anyway…
so, I inform you:
I’ve been just writing.

Now, I call it my worst poem,
looking for my best of all
because at some point
we are the best and the worst
while we didn’t exist at all.

Benyamin Bensalah

18.04.2021

The Age of a Dragon

Time has been no more just a deception.
Where are the uncountable years on chain?
How to count the unceasable pain?
What measure can contain all the knowledge
of one’s griefing observation
on the self and what imprisons it?

The world is no more than a foolery.
All the pain grew shield on our skin, still..
Still, the scars are under our scales;
they are graved into the heart –
no teeth, no claws can defend us from;
this ruthless form is meaningless.

Life is a ceaseless demolition.
There’s no defense from this dark magic;
it creates spears and useless scales against,
then some wizardry chains us in caves
because we burnt the bridges, burnt the gates,
but weren’t we created for that?

Benyamin Bensalah

18.04.2021