Abdourahman Waberi trans. by Nancy Naomi Carlson
the warrior on the wire of his breath
mirrors the calm of the cherry leaf
the peace of those who sleep in mountain air
the blade of the sword by which men live
through intercession of the tree
that hangs from ravine’s edge
the divine connects with the muddy man
born from a lump of clay
tucked away in the cove of silence
lost in the noisy maze of his own time
he gives names to so many things
witnessed by bare-breasted stars
Abdourahman Waberi's "Sitting" can be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 3.
Abdourahman Waberi is a critically-acclaimed writer born in what is today the Republic of Djibouti. His work has been translated into a multitude of languages. A current columnist for the French newspaper Le Monde, he teaches French and Francophone Literature and Creative Writing at George Washington University in Washington DC.
Nancy Naomi Carlson has authored seven titles (four translated). She received a grant from the NEA to translate Abdourahman Waberi’s first collection of poems, which was a “Best Translated Book Award” finalist for 2015. This translation comes from her current Waberi book project, Naming the Dawn, forthcoming from Seagull Books in 2018. Her website is www.nancynaomicarlson.com.