Pantoum of the Non-living

I’ve been waiting my own end
While others were waiting for living;
Dipping in all the happiness
That I could not afford.

While others were waiting for living,
I’ve been counting my last minutes;
Promising peace in every second
That pushed me out of life.

I’ve been counting my last minutes
While guessing which organ dies first;
Whether the head, heart or lungs
That has firstly mercy on me.

While guessing which organ dies first,
Others guessed about soccer matches;
Whether the red with blue or black stripes
That wins their thousandth game.

Others guessed about soccer matches
While I’ve been looking for meaning;
Whether there was or I was missing
That pushed others for living.

While I’ve been looking for meaning,
Others loved, laughed and cried;
Being genuinely the creature
That they meant to be.

Others loved, laughed and cried
While I kept observing and writing;
Having no sense in life, I wonder
That I am a human.

I’ve been waiting my own end while others were waiting for living;
Having no sense in life, I wonder that I am a human.

Benyamin Bensalah


The Sink

In front of the bathroom mirror,
On the terrain of self-terror
From those eyes which window
A world – an unworldly world.

I cannot say it – as a simple poet,
That I have no words to connect
To the stance I’m standing at,
But it’s hardly describeable.

I couldn’t catch there any feeling;
My facial expressions are deceiving,
No smile, no sad droll is revealing,
Just an empty poet on his own.

There, notwithstanding, syllables are expressing
A hidden, barren world – so depressing,
That has no space, no time at all,
Screaming: I’m alone.

At the sink where my elbow’s planking,
In the plughole where the water’s ending,
My thoughts follow-follow the flow;
Sinking thinking into my ego.

Going down, oh deeply, but the hole is seen so weakly,
Deeply, oh yes deeply, but there’s a dark place below,
And I am barely seeing any, any meaning
In the sink and what I’m thinking on…

Benyamin Bensalah


Circling circle

Like a frozen stone
Without a glance being blown,
I got thrown away.

I was flying in silence,
Then, I moaned up without resilience
On a brick.

Through an eaves,
I fell into the stream’s waves,
Unheard, unhurt.

Frozen imprisonment
Where the jailer is the detachment,
Not somewhat cold.

The spring is sobbing,
Its tears are smoothly rushing,
Pushing to a land.

Among stones standing,
Patience is suffocating, ending,
Drying crying.

Smooth hands,
Promising their hold never ends,
They disbanded.

In a new stream,
Me and solitude in a team,
But it’s all fine.

Sleeping is the only way,
Not seeing when we’re thrown away,
Again, again.

Benyamin Bensalah


Translated from my own Hungarian poem, Kör kört követ.