Dirir

When a new age calls,

let yesterday be the kerosene

for your lamp, today

 

No longer must the wind carry you,

you’ve proven to know your way 

 

I never could trust what I could not see

but I borrowed heaven’s eyes 

and found relief

 

I saw rain clouds in the congregation

and I saw one that stood out

 

You did not invoke fear with a show of lightning 

or boast of your worth with thunder

you were in the sky and grounded, 

praiseworthy yet shy in your wonders

 

Through heaven’s eyes, 

I watched the nomads honor your return 

 

With every rainy season, you were generous… 

but the dry season always followed

 

I wandered after you, hoping to observe

how you spent your time alone preparing for tomorrow

 

But they cut my time short, heaven’s eyes were due…

so I gave them back and lost sight of you

 

When a new age calls,

bury hope in the lobes of your heart 

and carve your confusion into stone…

toss them to the sea

and let the waves stir

 

With your maker’s will,

clarity will come to shore 

Peace & blessings,
Karima O.

Sanadka Cusub

Waxaan gooste sanadka cusub inan af somaliga barto

I’ve decided that in the new year I will learn Somali

I’ve always had the desire to know the language of my people, but the inconvenience of asking my parents about grammatical nuances and struggling in pronunciation deterred me. Where and how would I even start? This isn’t a rhetorical question, starting with the basics would not work for me. I ‘d grow incredibly bored and consequently quit the whole effort.

So I’ve settled on a more sophisticated approach. Each morning, I jot down intriguing headlines from Somali BBC and translate it with one of my parents, whichever is awake at the time. I then think of my own phrase, one particularly relevant to my life, and I translate that as well. Google translate can be helpful but inaccurate, and it doesn’t convey the “woqooyi” dialect I prefer.

Below is a translation I did with Aabo this morning. The verse of this song personifies the new year. It is simply beautiful.

 

waan ku heybinaaye

ilaahey hakaa dhigo adna hogol

da’aysiyo habeen dhalad barwaaqiyo

 

I’ve been seeking you

May Allah make you a designated rain

That falls in the night bringing forth an abundance

 

Hogol is an enchanting word. It is not just describing any rain, rather hogol is like a sole cloud, releasing rain upon where it is most desired. It is rain that attends to the specific need of the chosen recipient.

…Perhaps it’s best that I only now begin to learn the language, for I can reflect upon and dissect the nuances that native speakers might undervalue in the mode of practicality.

P.s.  It is January 1st, so happy birthday to the many Somalis who were “fortuitously” born on this day.

Peace and Blessings,

Karima Osman