Poetry
FATA MORGANA

This poem was written in Malay by Amanah Mustafi. It was translated into English by Tse Hao Guang.

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Fatamorgana

Menggelegak pedih saliran nadi bebatu dan pepasir
Membendung perih jiwa yang dikerah membenam
Membatu diam di dasar bumi
Jaluran bahang kepiluan meruap di kering udara
Menjelmakan fatamorgana di Sahara terik kontang
Illusi mainan deria yang keliru dalam haru biru
Itulah imbasan tasik hati yang kian lama gersang
Menjerit perit tanpa peri dalam senyum pusam
Kerana aspirasinya yang terlajak diinjak
Miliknya dikebumi tanpa kesan
Biar sirna di minda dan di mana mana
Yang dimampui hanya mengenang dan merintih
Dalam tidur yang diruntun mimpi ngeri
Yang tidak jemu menanti
Gusar malam yang tidak mungkin menemui hari siang

Fata Morgana

Seething pain drains through veins of stone, sand
Dammed pained spirit, forced to hide
Petrified, dumb, locked deep underground
Heat shimmers, heartache bubbles up through dry air
Conjuring Fata Morgana in the parched Sahara
Illusion toys with the senses, confounded in chaos—
It is an image, the heart’s ancient barren lake
Sharp shrieking, unnatural, within the grim grin
Since her aspirations missed the mark, trampled
Her possessions entombed, without a trace
Disappeared, from the mind, from everyplace
She can only remember, moan
In sleep, again and again nightmares
She’s not sick of waiting
The riled-up night will not meet day

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Amanah Mustafi is Assistant Vice President of Eaglevision, Mediacorp. She was conferred a Malay Literary Award for the television script “Kalimah Terakhir” (2011), and an Appreciation Awards for “Terbelenggu” (2013) and “Dilema” (1999) by the Singapore Malay Language Council. She represented Singapore as a mentor in the The South East Asia Literature Council (MASTERA) Writing Programme 2010 in Bogor, Indonesia. In 2016, she was appointed to represent Singapore in the Fall Residency International Writing Program in Iowa, USA.

Tse Hao Guang 謝皓光 is the author of Deeds of Light (Math Paper Press), shortlisted for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize. He co-edits the cross-genre, collaborative e-journal OF ZOOS, and is a 2016 fellow of the International Writing Program.