Khalid Albudoor


Because there is no one there

Now is the time

For me

To set off

On the road

Toward the desert.

 

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Biography

Read an interview with the poet

                                                                                              

 

Dr Omnia Amin, a teacher of English literature in Zaied University in Dubai, introduces the poetry of Khalid Albudoor - a writer who celebrates life in an all-embracing ritual of his own.

 

Albudoor embracing all possibilities

   

 

Khalid Albudoor is a poet of a different calibre as his poetry has an intrinsic flavor resonant with the myriad possibilities offered by life. His poetry is quick to penetrate to the reader as he does not force judgments and prejudices upon places and situations. Rather, he celebrates life in a wholesome and an all-embracing ritual of his own. Life for him is to be celebrated with all the five senses and is to be embraced with the soul of a connoisseur of life’s multi-flavored dimensions. Albudoor celebrates the pleasure and pain of existence, beauty and ugliness, the dark and light aspects of the self and others, without a sense of bitterness. Everything for him is good, to be sampled and enjoyed for its own sake. There is no feeling of sorrow or loss except in the thing’s ability to offer the poet a new door for exploring life in all its different forms. This makes his experience closer to that of the all-endorsing mystic or the wisdom of a Buddhist seeker. His language is simple but rich with layers of the sensual and the spiritual. Each and every reader will find a level that can satisfy his/her own experience. Albudoor’s poetry gives a communal feeling that everything shared becomes part of the richness of everyone, part of the collective experience of all times

 

 

Albudoor, who was born in Dubai in 1961 and raised there, is one of the most important names in the modern poetry movement in the UAE. He studied mass communication at the University of the Emirates and then went to Ohio University in the US for an MA in script writing. He started to publish his poetry in 1980 and has been quite active in his community, helping to establish the Emirati Writers’ Union and participating in several poetry festivals in the UAE and abroad.

 

He worked as a Radio and Television programme presenter and has also produced several documentary films and programmes.

 

Albudoor, who won the Al Khal Prize for Poetry in Lebanon in 1991, has published three poetry collections and his fourth is due later this year.

 

 

SELECTED POEMS

 

Translated By: Khalid Albudoor

Edited By: Neil Meili 

 

WORDS

Morning tea is dark
Like the night behind our house
Where the sun lost its way
And the air did not stop to greet our trees.

We gaze at our place where we sat last night
we know
we'll leave everything behind us
And won't collect the scattered words between the chairs.

Night was long
The candle is dusty and cold like our fingers
Why do we wait for tomorrow
If  only to throw our words like pieces of papers
on the table and leave?

 

 

 

For her

 

 

1

 

The olive leaves

That decorated our door

Are long now

 

It’s a month since you left.

 

 

 

2

 

Your ring shines

In a dark corner

 

 

You will come tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

3

 

For me

To love you more

I will lead you

To the big room

And before we lean

Toward each other for a kiss

I will light a candle

For me

To see you

More.

 

 

 

 

Everything

 

Everything is in place

Your mirror

Your gem stones

The burning oil pot

The henna pot

For the Eid to come.

An empty chair

Last summer's shirt

Your scent on the pillow

Remnants of our last day’s kiss

Everything is there

Even the sun

We saw sinking behind our balcony

Everything, but you

 

"EID is the holy day for Muslims."

 

 

 

Soon

 

We will meet soon

But we will soon part again

Not knowing the next meeting place.

 

 

It is two seasons since we last met

Your hair is long now

The last time

We built a house of words.

 

 

When I imagined you

Watering the plants in the balcony

You were reading leaves

I know

That this moment is short

This embrace and

Our lives, together and a part

Too soon swept away

By winds of disappearances.

 

 

But for now, we will meet

And I will let you rest

Like a soft shadow

On my arm.

 

From: WINTER, 2002

 

 

 

 By The Holy Fire

 

On those nights

I stood long in front of oceans

Letting the waves crush violently

Under my feet.

 

 

I used to wait

For winds of words to come

And carry me

So I could breathe the smell of lakes

I would warm myself

By the holy fire

On islands' edges

Listening to chants of ancient people

Echoing from the depth of caves.

 

 

On those nights

The earth

Was not enough for me.

I flew too far away

Carrying some dreams

With tired wings and

A few hopes.

I was still weak

When the storms

Thundered in distance.

 

 

Decades later

I realize how painful this voyage was.

But to stay

Is more painful.

For that

I left my heart in the winds

Of words and dreams.

 

 

 

A Little Bird

 

Summer's Fog

Morning is not here yet

I cannot see

The sleeping town in front of me.

A refreshing air comes from the west

Palm trees stand in the fog

While contemplating

On what is left of the night

I hear sounds of birds.

 

 

Bare feet

And the house's roof is cold

A little bird

Comes flying and lands

On the long palm's frond.

It gazes toward me

I feel it is asking

What happened?

Why didn't you sleep last night?

 

 

 

Lantern

 

The moon stays

All night

Hanging like a lantern

In the dark

I am looking at patches of silver clouds

That enveloped the moon

Searching for a dream

I lost

When I was a small boy. 

 

 

 

Maybe a Cloud

 

Maybe

It is a cloud

Over shadowing my heart

Since early morning

The beats are slow and quiet

Blood flows into my veins

As if a clear stream, maybe,

It is only a cloud.

 

Crystals of dreams

 

We will empty all the rooms

Soon

The balcony we washed together

Would be empty of the shadows

Of us sittings in it.

We will gather the melted candles

The deserted poems on our table

And moments after midnight

We will gather

The scattered pieces

Of the crystals of our dreams

And leave.

 

 

We will leave

For maybe we

Could open another door

For the scent of the past may come

And fill our days

With the smell of desert flowers.

 

 

It may come, to bring

The water of the stream

Where we had a swim

Together in Hatta.

 

 

It may happen

So I can feel your heart beats

Beats under my chest

It all reminds me of the rock

Where we poured love

While Bedouin women

Hid behind the dunes.

 

 

 

And,

Before we part

Hand me the light

The illuminated world of your

Amazing soul

Hand me your dunes

Your endless meadows

Help me with your shaky hands

And generous wisdom, feelings

Your impossible oasis where

Horror springs every nigh

From your springs.

 

 

 

I am

The believer of your sour kisses

And the hidden dreams in your wells,

I am the believer of your winds

Which erase my sins on your dunes

The beggar in front your doors

The one who gave up his life

For a few moments near your soul.

 

 

 

 

We will empty the heart from its pain

Soon  

And again, we gather the poems

That were scatter

After our disappearance.

 

 

 

Again

We will meet

Pick up the pieces of crystals

One by one

And again, rebuild

The dreams. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All That We Have

 

Because there is no one there

Now is the time

For me

To set off

On the road

Toward the desert.

There

I would be

Where no one covers the horizon

Or prevents the sky from falling

On my head.

When the winter comes

Or the summer nears

With its burning winds

I would be the wonderer

Who's searching

For you.

 

 

The night

Binds me like a page in a book

And when the morning surprises me

With its sun,

The red apple,

I would stand

Like old monastery's column

Uttering melodies

Of traveling Bedouins,

Praying for the darkness

With all my heart's beats

So my voice can

 Reach you.

 

 

It will not be too late

In the age

To come back to you

Because your voice always comes back

And burns my life

With your hot breaths.

 

 

 

I see an image of your body

Laying in the dark

Burning

And I ask

How can we learn love

When night is dry

Like an old tree

And all the horizons

Are not welcoming

For the journey.

 

 

I extend my hand

But cannot touch you

I know

We are two souls

In solitude

I know that daydreams

All that we have

When our hearts search

For a shelter.

 

 

I approach wells in the summer

I find that

You are the water,

And in winter nights

You are burning with enigmatic light

Your lightning breaks the sky,

For that

My dream's desert

Is bright.

 

 

Because no one is there

We will lay down

On the shoulder of a dune

Gazing silently

At colors of far hills

We wait for no one

You might say

No more Bedouins

They disappeared

All of them

Before we knew them

Or wrote their names

On the skins of our tent

Before we learned love from them

And I would say

Look carefully

Behind our dune

I can see their souls approach us

Rising from the mirage of distance

Or

Appearing to us from

The future.

 

 

I extend my hand

Toward you

Carrying a few daydreams

This

Is all that remains for us.

And we have few more years

To build our tent

Near the wells,

We will stay all night

With the light of

Our existence

While we wait for the Bedouins

Stop their journeys

To settle into the sand

We will hand them buckets

Filed with water

And they, from their time worn bags,

Will hand us

Love

So we can learn it

Again.