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By Alisa Velaj


It was predestined that it would take place
After the construction of the Gardens of Babylon
The predestined occurrence
Went with the wind
To whisper the truth
At a skylark’s ears one morning

To my uncle Pelasgus

Out of all the flowers that had covered your exhausted body
Only a tiny palm branch has remained
Your shoulders could not hold all the greenery
Something had to be left hovering in the sad sky
Of this September day
Something resembling the aroma of flowers and the nostalgia of blue colours
The tiny palm branch had to be forgotten
In a corner of a room
For they had pulled it from the Life Tree against its will
As if to tell me
That I loved you more than the words
For the earthly roots of loves as pure as you
Are quite fragile…


The stars shone…

Silent twinkles
Of distant lights
Dancing on the water surface…

Is the troubled sea
In the ruby darkness…

The city on the rock
Starts its nightly ritual…


I am a being…
You are a being…
He or she is a being
Even though we have never met him or her…

Stones standing upon stones
Beings as well…


Crows’ caws
Piercing the air through
In the northern sky…

The beloved winter
Is a season to spend …

Its cold air
Sticks in your throat
Because of slaughtered birds …


Touchable marble
Fenced in among roses,

Such is the snake,
The hovering creature
Hovering in the cold hover.


Moonbeams of suicide effect
On drunkard walking on the hidden streets
Of a city buried in darkness.

The full moon,
Next to his house
(Where a neon light has grown pale),
Interweaves troubled thoughts

About unknown matters,
Which, accidentally (or out of ill will),
They baptized with real names.

P.S.: Translated from Albanian language by Ukë ZENEL BUÇPAPAJ. The poems submitted by the author are included in her book, A Gospel of Light, published by Aquillrelle in June, 2015.


Alisa Velaj was born in the southern port town of Vlora, Albania in 1982. She studied Albanian Language and Literature at the University of Tirana and earned an MA in Literature under the writer Mitrush Kuteli. Velaj now teaches Literature at the University of Durres. She is the author of two verse collections: Themelet e eres (Foundations of the wind) and Drejt ajrit (To air). She has been shortlisted for the annual international erbacce-press poetry award in June 2014. She was also shortlisted for the Aquillrelle Publishing Contest 3 in January 2015 and was the first runner up in this contest. Velaj’s full length book of poetry A Gospel of Light is published by Aquillrellle in June 2015. Her work has appeared in a number of print and online international magazines, including Blue Lyra Review, One title reviews, The Cannon’s Mouth (UK), The missing slate (UK), The Midnight Diner (USA), Poetica (USA), Time of Singing(USA 2014 and 2015), Canto (USA), Enhance (USA), Ann Arbor Review (USA) The French Literary Review (UK), Speed Poets (Australia), LUMMOX Poetry Anthology 3 (USA), Erbacce (UK), FourW twenty-five Anthology (Booranga Writers’ Centre, Australia), Poetry Super Highway (USA), Knot Magazine (USA), The Otter (USA), The Journal (UK), Phenomenal Literature (New Delhi, India), The Brighter Light Poetry Anthology (CANADA), The Atherton Review (USA), Immagine & Poesia, Vol.2 – Project(ebook) (CANADA), Section8Magazine (USA) Miele 1110(Belgium), WritingRawPoetry (USA), Three And A Half Point 9 (UK) and in the Anthology by Mago Books. (USA) She has also works in forthcoming issues of The Dallas Review (USA), Poetica (USA), LANGLIT: An International Peer Reviewed Open Access Journal(INDIA), LUMMOX Poetry Anthology 4 (USA), Eunoia Review (USA) and in two forthcoming issues of The Linnet’s Wings(UK).