Alisa Velaj

Alisa Velaj

Alisa Velaj has been shortlisted for the annual international Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in UK in June 2014. Her works have appeared in more than eighty print and online international magazines, including: “Michigan’s Best Emerging Poets” (USA), “San Diego Poetry Annual’ (USA), FourW twentyfive Anthology (Australia), The Journal (UK), The Dallas Review (USA), The Linnet’s Wings (UK) The Seventh Quarry (UK), Envoi Magazine (UK) etc etc.

Her poems are also translated and published in Hebrew, Swedish, Romanian, French, Bengali and Portuguese. Velaj’s digital chapbook “The Wind Foundations” translated by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj is published by Zany Zygote Review (USA). Alisa Velaj’s poetry book “With No Sweat At All” (trans by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj) will be published by Cervena Barva Press in 2019.


(Before arrival)

One day I will go back
To the place I never left from.
With my yes torn with horror,
I will watch you
That always mistook
The truth of returning
For the illusion of fleeing.

I never left for
Foreign lands.
Only my bones sailed through seas
Suddenly appearing on the horizon.

In fact, I never left my home…

Alisa Velaj
© Translated from Albanian by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj


An imaginary dialogue with Garcia Lorca

He had told me Granada Hills
Differ not a lot
From the hills of my birthplace
He had also told me
Winds have no homelands
‘Perfumes – flowers – knives’
You once wrote
And I knew not that such a melody
Sprinkles guitar sounds at evenings
Even light has no homeland
I had told you
Dawn is dawn on all shores
And none has ever angered
At flowers
Perfumes and serenades and oranges
Your endless Andalusia, my darling
So I know not which orange
Shelters that painful edge of light
Or you might have picked it up
And now you dislike telling me the truth.

Alisa Velaj
© Translated from Albanian by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj


One day will come together with the sun
To put an end to your migration through foreign lands
With the help of seagulls
And of fish that used to shine our nights
We will find our words gone with winds
So the first dawn, the second dawn
And the third dawn will return again
And our voices – my light –
Will echo through the dawns of all the seas of the world
Deep voices
Once lonely
Of which the only prelude
Is a guitar chord.

Alisa Velaj
© Translated from Albanian by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj


I have now come
With my peaceful soul and breath
Don’t expect to single out anything at first sight
Only on Sundays soul is a contemplating view
Breath stays hovering between me and the world
I shall stay a little longer, and then I shall leave
Otherwise the ripen apples will rot with gloom
I shall stay as long as needed, not a single moment more
Departure becomes meaningful when the sun’s winds blow
Arrival is blessed with a few rain drops
On a day as clear as the Ionian Sea waters
Don’t implore me at all to stay this Monday
The blue of the waters is the voice of my journeys
The blessed call of the depth of the skies
The only happiness empty of farewell sadness
I told him that I adore small-mindedness.

Alisa Velaj
© Translated from Albanian by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj


Tome you always remained obscure,
A trace of snow
Covering the heights no one ever climbed.

And I, like the moon,
Whitened with thoughts,
Keep hovering in the space filled with your light and shadow,
Failing to conquer any tower.

Until the end, the trace of snow remained
My reflection in the moony mirror…

Alisa Velaj
© Translated from Albanian by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj


I loved you infinitely
Amidst sea waves and fragrant pine trees.
You spoke and spoke and spoke of pearls…

Alisa Velaj
© Translated from Albanian by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj

For other contributions by Alisa Velaj, please follow the link below:

Published with the permission of Alisa Velaj