A Tale of Pilgrims

No one is willing
To hear the story from the beginning.
The leaf is a leaf
And the tree is a tree
The overwhelming green remains
A visionary illusion
Or a wooden bed of unconsciousness.
Once I fell in love with the pine that was not a pine
And startled solitude with bluish branches
Later I became as exhausted from wakefulness
That I fell as a feather over the tree crown.
And here exactly begins the tale
Of what the pilgrims have said for me;
That I once was made of flesh
But later an item full of leaves
One night in September I lost my ability
To feel the lust of your deepest feelings.
This is as cold as the genes of origin
At nights I breathe below the shade of candles
Without recognizing anything
From the timid game of flames.
And the tale ends every night lit by the moon
when you are drunk from other bodies
praying to the Veneers with cloudy faces.
A sad pilgrim
of the roads where the trees have no leaves…

Poem by
Alisa Velaj. Translated by Peter Tase.
About the Author:
Alisa Velaj was born in the southern port town of Vlora in November 1982. She studied Albanian language and literature at the University of Tirana. She is working towards a Master of Arts in literature with the writer Mitrush Kuteli and now teaches literature at the university of Durres. Velaj is the author of two verse collections: Themelet e eres (Foundations of the wind) and Drejt ajrit (To air).