Swahili Mother, Amharic Sister, and Love of Arabic

Standing along the edge not ready to jump,
Only when we have breached darkness,
Do multiple languages speak unwillingly,

dəngät säläsəbäw bäləče ţäţəče
ləmotəläčəhu näw täfəče täfəče

Indulgence in idle talk,
On the verge of death,
Kindly questioning ‘the scythe’,

yəhəč yäňä əmäbet mənäw dähäyəči
əräs täfäri zänd mär bəlä läkəči

Past years,
Pleading,
Show mercy,

እና፤ እንደኔና እንዳንቺው፤ የውበት ዓይኑን የታወረ
እግረ ሕሊናው የከረረ፤
በሕረ-ሃሳቡን ያልታደለ
የውበት ዓይኑ የሰለለ
ሰማይ ጨለማ ነው እንጂ፤ አበባ እኮ አይደለም አለ።
ያልታደለ።

Ready to accept punishment,
Eyes for beauty,

Blinded by wealth,
Blinded by status,

Conscience of a man gone stiff,
Imagination stolen,
Prepared for darkened skies,

Nitakapo kizuizini
Nitamwomba yoyote mwendani
aniguse
taratibu
polepole
lakini
kwa yakini!

Praying,
Pleading to the Grim,
Asking for one last touch,

Delicate,
Sensitive,

Niguse tena
Unijuze tena
Unifunze tena
maisha yalivyo
maisha yaonjavyo
ladha yake ilivyo

Before one passes,
Beyond the capability of return,
Requesting one last touch,

Kwa kuangulia juu mbinguni
na kulia sana kwa matumaini
samawati imeingia
mwangu machoni
Kwa kuota mahindi mashambani
na kulia sana kwa mahuzuni
manjano imeingia
mwangu machoni

Only one request,
Look up to the sky,
Crying from longing,
Sadness due to famine,

لست وحيدا أبدا
كلّ مافي الأمر
انني
صرت رفيقا لوحدتي

Knowing at the time of death,
You are not alone,
Befriending loneliness,

ترفقي باطرافه
وارتقيه بخيط ناعم
لايجرح حواشيه
ولملمي خيوطه الشاردة
واعصريه بحنوّ حين يدركه الماء
فهو وان تراءى لك كثوب عتيق
لكنه على اية حال …. قلب

Careful with limbs,
Don’t cause mayhem,
Gather up leftovers,
Feed the poor,

في عُرْيِهِ الكامِل
عليكَ أَنْ تُرْسِل َالأُفْقَ، مَرَّةً كي تُفِيقَ، عليكَ
أَنْ تبعثَ نافذةً تِلْوَ أُخرى
تَسْنِدُ الجِّدارْ

Death raised his arms,
Breaching the horizon,

Witnessing the sunrise,
Witnessing the sunset,

جَسَدٌ يترفَّعُ عن جسدي
جسدٌ تَنْفِيهِ الرَّغبة
جسدٌ تَعْلُوهُ الرِّيح.

Bodies fall,
Soul transcends,
Abandoned,
Desire lost,
Mind sheltered,

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