Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Sargon Boulus

A REFUGEE TALKING

A refugee absorbed in talking
Did not feel the cigarette burn his fingers

Surprised to be here
After being there – stations, harbours,
Visitations, forged papers

Depending on a chain of details
His future was fibre-like
Laid out in small circles
        An oppressive country
        Afflicted by nightmares

Smugglers, emigration bandits, if you asked me
Commonplace people maybe, hungry sea-gulls
Over a wrecked ship in the middle of nowhere

If you asked me, I would say:
Endless waiting in immigration bureaus
Faces that do not return smiles whatever you do
Who said: the most precious gift

If you asked me, I would say: Human beings are everywhere.
You would say: Everywhere
Stones

He talks, talks, talks
He had arrived but did not enjoy the taste of arrival
And did not feel the cigarette burn his fingers

EEN VLUCHTELING VERTELT

Een vluchteling, verdiept in zijn verhaal,
voelt niet dat de sigaret zijn vingers brandt.

Uiterst verbaasd hier te zijn
na lang daar te zijn, stations, havens,
onderzoeken en vervalste papieren.

Afhankelijk van een reeks details –
zijn lot als vezels
in het rond geweven,
       het benauwde, door nachtmerries
       bezochte land.

De smokkelaars, de immigratiebandieten, als je het mij zou vragen,
waren onbelangrijk, hongerige meeuwen
boven een gehavend, uit de koers gelopen schip.

Als je het mij zou vragen, zou ik zeggen:
eindeloos wachten in immigratiebureaus
gezichten die niet met een glimlach reageren
wie zei: dat is het kostbaarste geschenk!

Als je mij zou vragen, zei ik: overal zijn mensen.
Jij zou zeggen: overal zijn
stenen.

Hij vertelt, vertelt, vertelt,
want hij is gearriveerd, maar dat heeft hij nog niet geproefd.
Hij voelt niet dat de sigaret zijn vingers brandt.

Close

A REFUGEE TALKING

A refugee absorbed in talking
Did not feel the cigarette burn his fingers

Surprised to be here
After being there – stations, harbours,
Visitations, forged papers

Depending on a chain of details
His future was fibre-like
Laid out in small circles
        An oppressive country
        Afflicted by nightmares

Smugglers, emigration bandits, if you asked me
Commonplace people maybe, hungry sea-gulls
Over a wrecked ship in the middle of nowhere

If you asked me, I would say:
Endless waiting in immigration bureaus
Faces that do not return smiles whatever you do
Who said: the most precious gift

If you asked me, I would say: Human beings are everywhere.
You would say: Everywhere
Stones

He talks, talks, talks
He had arrived but did not enjoy the taste of arrival
And did not feel the cigarette burn his fingers

A REFUGEE TALKING

A refugee absorbed in talking
Did not feel the cigarette burn his fingers

Surprised to be here
After being there – stations, harbours,
Visitations, forged papers

Depending on a chain of details
His future was fibre-like
Laid out in small circles
        An oppressive country
        Afflicted by nightmares

Smugglers, emigration bandits, if you asked me
Commonplace people maybe, hungry sea-gulls
Over a wrecked ship in the middle of nowhere

If you asked me, I would say:
Endless waiting in immigration bureaus
Faces that do not return smiles whatever you do
Who said: the most precious gift

If you asked me, I would say: Human beings are everywhere.
You would say: Everywhere
Stones

He talks, talks, talks
He had arrived but did not enjoy the taste of arrival
And did not feel the cigarette burn his fingers
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère