Nine poems by Ndue Ukaj


Everything is different, in the horizon the Sun is crumbled
The crumbles remained on the earth’s heart like triumphant arrows.

We can’t recognize the colors through the wind caressing the memory
We do not read poetry in the universe of foolishness
Where relations between darkness and light
Appear just like relations between the wall and thought.

Behind is played the surprising game, just like before
Birds are falling in the ground, just like in times when hell was written,
Oh God, everything has changed,
At a time when a small fence is darkening our big eyes.

The moon finds a path through mummy hands remaining like arrows towards the sky
And the sun dissolving just like a candle through tired eyes
Who can’t see anything in the blue sky, except a small cloud
A cloud darkening everything

Therefore vision is coiled in space
Just like the wind creating its avalanche
Then many faces appear.
At a night, when everything is different,
Containing inside the borders within your head
When you feet walk through illusions
And squeeze their bad dreams
For the time that isn’t
For the time that wasn’t
For the time that will not come
For the time that goes with the wind.
Utopia struggling against reality
Her dreams hiding at the corner of secrets
Are swallowed


Godo Is Coming

Stop crying continuously, Godo is coming
The storm has stopped, the road from Ireland is open
He has softened his turbulent vision and his sadness of Achilles
Even the pain in his chest has healed.
He is coming through the Tree of Life.
Where you have created the nest of welcome
With a swamp of wishes noisily tied.
Godo is coming with the music of sea full of silence.
Your welcome has given him courage,
He is coming with the sack full of enigmas,
Nearby the rotten Tree
Where you wait to enter your shaking hands
That were bitten by the irony of endless waiting.
And the words that were changing their shape every morning.
Your bulb does not trust time, neither for the waiting and Godo’s arrival.
With the branches of tree designs the crown of victory. What a great joy.
With reduced hopes until the lost confidence, dissolves the vision
And is crossing the furious river without being recognized.
Suddenly comes back.
Sitting nearby a tree with your shining items
Where the white lights swallow your emotion ate vision.
Where you are saving the nostalgia of reception. The heart’s step.
Through the tired fingers are counting the theatre of absurdities
With naked actors nearby which
The spectators are spread through the meridians of death.
While waiting for Godo.
And the fear from the sneak on the rotten Tree,
Which is whipping continuously.
Therefore Godo is coming; your reception has made him courageous.
Near the tree of life
With the team of actors to build the theatre of salvation for you.
And the time of reception to last until he comes.


The Emigrant

He has only questions, his answers so very timid
In dirty pockets with concreted nostalgia.
He has only memories that surround his neck
Like the millstone they shake him one step forward and a few backward,
While caressing in torrential waterfall,
And kidnapping the time which he never sees.
The time that he only dreams in endless nights.
He is not one of those below the sky full of storms,
Where he walks, where he eats, where he makes love and seating.
The fatherland of birds is the sky
Of the fish is the sea
Of the emigrant is sorrow
Which is multiplied like clouds in the turbulent sky.
On the unknown roads, nostalgia shifts
While searching for one amid endless zeroes.
Odyssey’s testament is burning in his hand,
And coal threaten fire; like tropical rays
Toward the missed Ithaca he directs his eyes
And he is exhausted day and night.
He migrates on the roads of sadness
And is covered with the quilt of Promised Land,
And every night dreams the same dream. The return to number one.
While the desert oasis swallows his aspirations, and memories.
Causing deep desperation to the Emigrant.
With the sack of sorrow travels through the roads of hope
Awaiting decisions to become as number one, in the endless zeroes
Every day waits for him the unknown in the forest of desires
Where it is relaxing, the soft vision and the deep meditation.
Like a freezing bird is searching the nest of hope.
And is covered with the quilt of Promised Land.


Laura’s Sunday

In her city there is a ruined cathedral
in the midst of ruins
its choir is missing
and there is an “Ave Maria” song.
On the road edges, stones relieve pain
only the choir traces are together with dry
flower bouquets
There are many dogs, and trash.

There is a large piano without its proper place.
In her city there is a ruined cathedral
longing for bells’ sounds to awaken her
she wears a beautiful dress, whispers Ave Maria
in solitude.

She has a sweet voice, every Sunday she goes
into the ruins, talks with stones, with flowers
that do not blossom, she goes easy through ruins
and wipes her happy eyes without trying the voice in a choir.

It is Sunday and her delighted eye is resting.
She sings Ave Maria in solitude.
With an eraser of love she erases the invoice
which time has left behind
while gathering her hands over her pretty breasts,
in silence she opens up a new page and writes a senseless verse.

It is Sunday
she is awakened while dreaming a love temple
and song sounds.
Ave Maria is alive!
and waits for nature to become prettier,
the same as a flower, prettier with all its beauty,
waits to join the choir of life.
She walks over the ruins of the cathedral and lights a candle.
Her pretty knees touch the solid stone.


When Biblical peace is ruined

There is impossible sometimes to understand the bridge between night and day
Neither between good and bad
Neither between the right and wrong
Sometimes happens that the streets are confused
And it’s the great evolution colors are invisible
This happens because lights are extinguished in the horizon.

All of a Sudden, just like a theater screen is opened a drape
The stage is empty, dry, cold, dark…
Just as a secret life full of mysteries,
And a sad person confessing himself
Without an end neither a beginning

Engulfed in the context of routine
Without freedom, neither with slavery
It happens at time that human has no horizon
And everything is collapsed
Just as a tsunami that takes upfront everything.

It happens sometimes, human has neither height nor depth
It happens to remember that it was nothing, was no where
Was no one…
In a world that is submerged in its eyes without a horizon.
Says: everything existed as a frightening scream

But happens sometimes, humans want to sit on the ground
below the tree of wisdom.
To see how biblical peace was ruined, when Eden was burned.


Modern Odyssey

Through dreams makes love with Penelope,
The road to Ithaca is longer than its distance
Between the dream and reality…where the tired vision
Explodes in search of Ithaca
And returned to the word in the traditional nest.
At the swamp full of memories
Where their roses are falling apart
And take the color of Autumn.  Tragically
I stepped over them, just as in lost grounds.

Without a brake opens its minimized eyes
Its tired eyes, faded from the endless search.
In trouble he is descending the stairs of memory
And opens the pages of nostalgia.  Full of passion.

In the roads of the world is crises-crossed his confused search.
While with nostalgia is searching a small place to take a break
Nervous from the tempted cruiser of life
In the waves of memory dissolved just as the Sun dew.

Odyssey died in antiquity.
In the lap of Penelope is relaxing
With the mountain of memories that are fading,
Every time that Troy is burned.
And Penelope in the window is drawing the reception.
Welcome as large as longevity
And the letters of this poetry
Extending their voice up in the sky.


A boat on a waive

It’s Saturday and a cold march
the roads are shining from frost, the city is quiet
Sounds are frightening, like mountains scream from lightening.
Cold flowers have the color of a frozen sound,
Nothing is shining, neither aroma, neither sound, neither a word.

We are going to the sea,
Where there is a sole boat and a masked captain

He leaves behind quietness and departs towards for the coast
To throw himself in the mysteries of turbulent waives.

You are following with imagination its path
When she moves through the stormy waives.

A thunder is heart….

Asking surprised, why did it leave the quietness of the coast?

Looking confused with the eyes covering the color of ice
And reminds the worst tail.
The boat becomes smaller, the waives are growing
And the sky is furious.

It Saturday, cold march
Flowers are freezing just like your memory
Which leaves behind quietness and thrown in the waives of life,
There is an abyss amidst desires and reality
Between you and breathless reality, life, time…
On the earth full of thirst.

Noah’s Ark

Noah’s Ark was not emptied
even when the rainbow
scintillated over the sea
and the winds stopped
and the sea slept.
She was not emptied,
even when the white dove
flew before her and,
from the narrow doors
appeared the faces of the
passionate, spurred to feel
all the bright colors
straight away.

Noah’s ark fights on,
still drunk with the storm,
Fights the rain of life falling
Nonstop with evil men
who have ruined the soil…

Since the people, drunk, overwhelmed
with the desire to ransack the colors
of the rainbow’s arch, trust me,
peace has not overspread us
Though a dove appeared
in the blue sky
desire overwhelmed us –
to become drunk with
warm lips, to die there
and preserve eternally
that instant of drunkenness

Night fell; the rainbow disappeared
in an orbit of darkness, just like
some thing unknown beyond a great hill.
And darkness enshrouded our eyes,
the same as Eve’s darkness – her
overwhelming desire for the apple
in the tree of wisdom,
Oh God, wouldn’t you think
after that battle between
the rainbow’s arch and the storm
we might have lost our taste
for the forbidden fruit?


In a train station

Crowds of people
Run towards many directions
Some of them have a luggage
Some embody confusion in their eyes
Some waiting for the train
And a few returning to Ithaca like Odysseus

Everyone is found to be in one place
Where they depart to different directions.
However they all have the same purpose
The lives’ walk
O God, the unknown lives’ walk.

You are cleaning the front head and with a sweet voice, asking
Who is the walk?
Odysseus when returning to Ithaca,
Understood that Ithaca was far away from his dreams
Everything had changed, except his memories.
Ithaca did not remember his heroism
She was not Ithaca of Odysseus’ dreams.


Ndue Ukaj’s poetry was translated from Albanian to English by Peter Tase


Ndue Ukaj (1977) is Albanian writer, publicist and literary critic.

Ukaj is included in several anthologies of poetry, in Albanian, and other languages. He has published five books, including “Godo is not coming”, which won the national award for best book of poetry published in 2010 in Kosovo. He has also won the award for best poems in the International Poetry Festival in Macedonia. His poems and texts are translated into English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish and Chinese. 

Ukaj is member of Swedish PEN.

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