Ndue Ukaj is an Albanian writer, publicist and literary critic. He was member of several editorials literary. He has also been editor of the magazine for art, culture and society “Identity” that was published in Pristina. 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. Hi won also PRIZES 2013: The International Best Poets, Translators, Critics, and Poetry Magazines, Selections of Poems, IPTRC in Chines and Creativity prizes’ in Naji Naaman’s Literary Prizes 2016. His poems and texts are translated into English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Finish, Swedish, Turkish, and Chinese. Ukaj is member of Swedish PEN.
Life’s philosophy in the Midwest
Opposite roads pursue me like unknown desires
Behind which is attacking fiercely the question:
What is this life where we are without being asked?
And in its theater is being played something unknown.
There just like in antique scenes appear actors’ masks
While satisfying the public with diverse taste
And share comedies and tragedies all of a sudden.
Time flows just like the river where
We can bathe only once in its water.
Then come sadness and desire to submerge for the second time.
This is how the roads are crossed in which
Our feet are confused,
Like the unknown between the dense forest.
And ask confused:
What is this time in which we travel?
While looking for significant through narrow glasses
While looking for the end, with small hands
There where is touched the invisible view through the way of clouds
Together with small steps that consume ideas
Without meeting those we love
At a time when everything was good
Everything rightful just like our trip
In search of lost roads, ancient forest
We ask drunken:
We are searching the truth through wrong paths
Searching lies through the right paths
And never could be learned the art of love.
Just like the truth, Sun is born the same for the good and the bad.
To be lost in the endless struggle
Which exchanges shapes, colors and perception?
In the same struggle of war between darkness and light.
Noah’s Arc was not emptied even when the rainbow scintillated over the sea
Winds stopped and the sea slept.
She was not emptied, even when the white dove flew before her
And in narrow doors were appeared the passionate, to feel
All colors of brightness right away.
She fights while drunken with a storm,
The rain of life falling non stop
With evil men who have ruined the soil…
Since when drunken people were overwhelmed by the desire to grapple through the colors of rainbow,
Trust me, peace was not laid over us even a dove appeared in a blue sky
When desire engulfed you to become drunk in warm lips,
To die there and preserve the instant of drunkenness in eternity
Night fell again; rainbow disappeared in the orbit of darkness,
Just like an unknown after a great hill.
And darkness invaded our eyes, the same as Eve’s overwhelming desire for the prohibited apple in the tree of wisdom,
Wouldn’t you think that taste is lost for lives’ fruit?
Since the fight between the arch and the storm.
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 Girl reading the Divine Comedy
She walks alone in a dense forest
In an obscure forest
Searches the invisible tracks,
After a stormy rain
Before the oak trees, wolves’ screams
And a love that strangles her in a chest.
Sometimes twisted after a tall oak tree
And at times lay down on a wet grass.
There is no boyfriend’s hand that would cut her hair
Is wearing over her shoulder a colorful scarf
And carries in her hand the Divine Comedy
Her hair entwines like sea waves
Then between her pretty breasts embraces the Comedy,
While searching the road of return nearby the shadow of a tree
Where she lay down for the first time,
Before entering in the forest of solitude
With the “Divine Comedy” in her hands,
She wrenches the dream for the unknown victory
That is awaiting now and before.
(Translated from Albania by Peter Tase)