The Venom of Life

Who said to taste the venom of life?
Its poison’s sneaking in the veins,
Taking six senses from the five,
Look how slowly it attacks the brains.
In several deceitful sweet delight,
Like sugar-cube it melts, if it rains.

Who said to taste the venom of life?
Its poison’s dwelling in the artery,
Taking six senses from the five,
Look how it makes the heart flurry.
Encouraging to reach the height,
It feints to make you jump from it.

Who said to taste the venom of life?
Its poison’s squelchin’ in the flesh,
Taking six senses from the five,
Look how it rots the fibers into trash.
That lift a great burden one time,
Under a lightsome burden will crash.

Who said to taste the venom of life?
Its poison’s running in the nerves,
Taking six senses from the five,
Look how many illusions it serves.
It’s inspiring the purest rhyme,
Reserving always the darkest verse.

Who said to taste the venom of life?
Its poison’s working in the bones,
Taking six senses from the five,
Look how it’s kissing the earth, downs.
Amourously with the earthly life,
It gets buried by earth and stones.

Who said to taste the venom of life?
Its poison’s smolderin’ in the soul,
Taking six senses from the five,
Look how it burns the deadly coeur.
Seeking salvation from living fire,
It feels thirsty for liquid death liquor.

Benyamin Bensalah


The Eye of the Storm

For the one who has no rest from tempest to tempest,
What does the word mean: summer?
What does the word mean: winter or weather?
Would he believe ever that there’s a good weather?
Would he believe in warmness and sunshine or any similar form,
Or rather, would he see them as the lull before the storm?
Wouldn’t he see the sun as hiding new tortures?
Wouldn’t he hide under a tempest’s cloak as turtles?
Saying: Oh Sweet Home, I know you and you know me,
Oh Sweet Roar, Thunder and Rain; follow me.

Benyamin Bensalah


What is this example, Oh my Lord?

” Indeed, Allah is not timid to present an example – that of a mosquito or what is smaller than it. And those who have believed know that it is the truth from their Lord. ” (Quran 2:26)

Could I feel myself smaller than I am –
Than a captive servant in a mortal clay? –
Even so, I am blessed in this mayhem:
” You are my greatest creation ! ” He say.

Say: surely, I have no shame at this time –
I might feel far away my coming inquisition –
However, I am indeed fearful of that time:
” Oh God, why you’ve taken away my vision ? “

That day, those who forget His words –
They will be blindly wandering, forgotten –
But, aren’t we already headless herds:
” While His words deepen by every second? “

” Where are Pharaon, now? ” Asken –
Just an exemplar among the thousands and one,
Though, they were mightly beaten:
” Do equal the obedient and disobedient one? “

So, we are between two worlds –
To follow the hollow good and fight the real –
Even if, we have nothing but words:
” Don’t be sad, My Servant, I am closely here. “

I have read the stories, the examples –
Suffering Prophets, laymen and bystanders –
Though, where is mine among the samples:
” Only God can judge me, none of any slanders. “

Say: I sin for others’ favour –
Like one man’s trash is another’s treasure –
But, what should I feel about my labour:
” Why does God put me under such pressure? “

Benyamin Bensalah


The first eclogue – Miklós Radnóti

Quippe ubi fas versum atque nefas: tot bella per orbem, tam multae scelerum facies…

“Here, – where a committed sin is the honour itself, with rumbling wars all over the world – sins might take shape in many forms… “


I have not seen you for a long’, did the birds call you out?


I’ve been listening to the woods, being full of sounds and clatter, Spring must be coming!


It’s not spring yet, just the sky is playing, look at that puddle,
now, it mildly smiles… but if it’s woven by the nightly frost
it will snarl! This is April, never let yourself for the fool –
The little tulips are already frost-bitten, just look, over there.
Why are you so sad? Wouldn’t you like to have a rest next to me, on that rock?


I’m not even sad, I’ve got so used to this horrible world
that sometimes it doesn’t even hurt – it just disgusts me.


Indeed, I’ve heard that on the wild ridges of the Pyrenees,
White-hot cannons argue among the corpses frozen in blood,
that the bears and soldiers flee together from that terrible place,
that flocks of women, children and old folks run with their bundles
throwing themselves to the ground when the death starts to circle above them, and
that there are so many dead that no-one can clear them away.
…I think you knew Frederico. Tell me, did he escape?


He did not escape. Two years ago now that he was killed in Granada.


Garcia Lorca is dead! He is dead and no-one has told me!
News of the war can travel so fast – and, just like that,
how could a poet just disappear! Wasn’t he mourned by Europe?


Mourned? No-one has noticed. And we are lucky if the wind,
hovering through the pyre’s embers, remembers – at least – an odd, broken
line of a poem: that’s all remaining work to be left to a frustrated future.


He didn’t escape. He is dead. True, where could a poet run anyway?
Just as our dear Attila did not escape, he just nodded a no
to the rule of this world, then say, who mourns his caused death?…
And you, how do you live nowadays? Might any of your words leave an echo on the days?


In the gunfire’s roaring? Among mortified ruins, abandoned hamlets?
Still, I go on with my writing and live in this crazy world like
that oak-tree over there that knows it must be cut out, and although it bears
the white cross that marks it out for the woodcutter’s axe tomorrow,
it bears forth new leaves regardless while awaiting its fate.
You’re fortunate, for this place is calm and even wolves rarely trouble you,
you can forget even that the flock which you’re watching is not your belonging:
it must have been months since your master been seen around.
The blessings of heavens, – must go – the night will be old before I reach home.
The moth of the evening is fluttering, shedding its silvery wings.

Benyamin Bensalah


Translated from Hungarian, Miklós Radnóti – Első Ecloga

Bastard Questions

What does describe a bastard son?
Such names as Snow, Richard or Anderson?
Whether his clothes are ruined by the weather?
Or rather they’re financed by some strained manner?

Only God knows… – says the priest.
But what if he’s from the Middle East?
Only Allah will know how many stones he claims?
How close is a bastard born to the eternal flames?

Would his manners be really bastard?
Rudy, spicy and like a slave been mastered?
Would he have the right to read and write?
Or a writing paper for him is rather a pagan rite?

What sin has done the poor mongrel?
Maybe his breeds draw a blank scoundrel?
Is his fault in his stars or among the walls?
How long he’d be hidden till the guests leave the halls?

Poor bastard, everyone knows his story,
Feeling sorrow and pity about the history.
Known, in some way he should be pampered,
But where, how and by whom is unanswered.

Benyamin Bensalah