Attila József: WINTER

A big, big fire should be settled,
To let the people warm up.

Throwing on it everything that is antique, junks,
Shattered, broken and what is new and whole,
Children’s toy, – oh, happy hare and hounds!  –
And heaving on it everything that’s beautiful.

A hot flame would sing to the sky about it
And it would hold in its hands everyone’s properties.

A big, big fire should be settled,
Since the cities, the grounds are frostbitten …
To tear open the handles of the frosted cell
And light it up, to make everything heaten.

That fire, oh, should be settled,
To let the people warm up!

Benyamin Bensalah

20.09.2020

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

Ey, ey, ey…

For a woman in the eighties,
The most important thing the peace is.
But how to reach it with a dozen of nieces,
Daily breaking my peacemaker into pieces…

This is why I was frankly relieved,
When I got a house-offer suddenly received.
I called the agent and in 10 days I achieved
To live in a peaceful village – leastwise I believed.

Nathless, my peace was brief;
My groove turned quickly into grief:
Even if the village was devoid of mischief,
My neighborhood had a noisy Muslim chief.

The noisy chief had a noisy mate,
Tho, not only one, but a brigade of eight.
For peace, I decided to wait wait and wait,
But then, I rushed out angry and veiled:

“Hey, you weird!
Ya’ll there, geared with beard!”
Hearing me, they packly neared,
But not for a moment I was feared.

“Y’all! The sheikh and the eight!
Don’t you sense what time is eit?!
It’s eight! And I am out here veiled,
Cuz my neighbors like horses neighled.”

My quick siege cooled down their vein.
“I implore pardon, we will hold the rein.
For God’s sake, forgive us if you would deign.”
And then, they never broke again my peaceful reign.

Yey, yey, yey!

Benyamin Bensalah

21.08.2017

Poet solidarity

I’m a poet already –
So why would I care,
How poetry is itself?
So why would I care,
About anything, but myself?

I’ve got the power –
The best pens are looking for my order,
The words are bowing afore me one by one,
The paper serve me as faithful recorder,
Meanwhile, they’re followed up only by one.

I’m one, one of you –
My babbles are coming from your room,
Your parents forbid me to talk as the street,
Your schools lent me books to consume,
It was your friend who read my first sheet.

I’m no one anymore –
You people kept acting after the school,
Turning cool movies of business and household,
Meanwhile, I observed what you name cool,
Having several lives written in colours and bold.

You are a poet as well –
You only need to open your eyes ajar,
Leave a comment, show me how you care,
Mellow your world and serve up in a jar,
To let us, your brothers taste if you dare.

We are a nation, mate –
We were born just as every Earthlings,
None of us was born in flames like dragons,
But we share as well magical-noble things;
To respect each other’s opinions sans dictums.

Tho, I’m your poet –
I thank you people a thousand times,
For giving me a world and cause to write,
Your different colours feed my rhymes,
Without you, they would be mute, lucite.

Benyamin Bensalah

16.04.2017

All-gears

White while matt, are the mort of hatless flats,
Like dominoes, they are, set back by back,
One by one’s head, making a blanche headlessness,
Black spots do window on each head’s restless stare,
In the city of Algiers.

Its legs rest by the bright bight of the Mediterranean,
Making the city more than hybrid, demi-terranean,
In the sky and up to it, in the sea but swelled through it,
Making people to dwell – from far – in a white citadel,
In the city of Algiers.

But behind the white curtain and the blinding sea,
Moist bites are doing black and greenish feast;
The dead walls are no more dead-white anymore, but ruins,
At times, scaffolded by grey webs of an endless remorse,
In the city of Algiers.

From out, black veins pump stink into the white city,
Its sewers drink up the filthy, invisible ullage
While the fantom toxicity makes its people itchy;
Letting the itchy thoughts sitting on the road and at the walls,
In the city of Algiers.

Then, by the sun going down, black replaces the white,
Lamplight-formed, yellow baits wait for innocent souls
That might appease the toil of the white daylight
By feeding the hiding white-dressed imp under the toxicity,
In the city of Algiers.

Benyamin Bensalah

10.10.2018

A foolish guy

Once I saw a foolish guy.
He was laughing up the sky,
Walking on a crowded street,
Dodging with a funny gait.

He was not giving a single damn,
Smiling, winking to every men,
Waving cheerfully with his hand,
Brighting as a burning brand.

What’s the wrong with this guy?
Saying everybody “hi!”?
Which drugs he was charmed by?
Why does he make me spy?

Others also might spot the lad,
Blushing into blaming red,
He worried not what face they had,
Just joyfully laughing at.

He flourished the street into bright,
Aside from the people’s fright,
I myself was by the fact surprised,
I myself approved and smiled.

Leaving norms, I forgot to be sad,
With a wide smile on my head,
Having the same look as he had,
People similarly saw me mad.

Sorry to say that the guy has gone,
I never forget what he’s done,
He taught me how to laugh for fun,
Sentencing myself into a pun.

14.02.2016

I met people who believe in angels

I met people who believe in angels…
Their clothes wore them over simply,
Their haircut was as plain as a floor cloth,
Their posture was somewhat self-denying.

Only their eyes were burning manically…
Their white of the eye died their spiritual face,
Their face then called for a random holy war,
But their elastic black of the eye was empty.

What’s the matter? – I asked from them,
Then, a thousand of unwanted explaining:
We didn’t create this world, but it’s created!
We are under an eclectical law enforcement.

Then, named and nameless angels came,
Telling me their roles in my life – helping,
Just simply as policemen save donuts,
And firefighters keep cats earthly.

I wanted to tell them a thousand words,
How I were eclectical already
Without angelic red lights,
But.. nevermind.

Benyamin Bensalah

16.08.2018