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Fiasco Press

www.fiascopress.org

Journal of Swarm Scholarship

Cracking the Oyster
Translated by Richard Prins
Deep sea divers, from waves and surf who plummet through the undertow stroking bellydown, swelling your joints, I’ll sell you my silence. What will my netting get? I know you swimming sages, you can’t resist my riddle, unstringing every hint, one by one like beads. Every iron-beater must get himself a hammer. I’ve tangled it up in my hand. Maybe you experts can open it up, or enlighten me: The sky has a cloud (may its rain explore the world) windflown down the coast and dripping wet pebbles that plunge so deep, rippling apart the surface to penetrate the ocean and its yawning folds like threading the eye of a needle, a single silky string through the lip of the oyster shell, shutting in the pearl. So dear, this gem, unrivalled yet engulfed. The oyster shell will hang from a tree on the bottom of the ocean which receives no light in its long submergence with branches invisible to the world, no matter how they multiply. But this is no miracle tree. It can take root in any earth. Once the pearl is finally perfected its encasement cracks apart. It crawls from its nest poured through a chute of waves until mooring on some beach dragging behind seaweeds, a glistered tail of glory. Luminescent sunlight! Everywhere glows! Anyone who passes, they must be transfixed and whoever gets it, let them seal it in a chest. For many men, this is their silver, their gold. So back to you geniuses. I am releasing

Fiasco Press

www.fiascopress.org

Journal of Swarm Scholarship

a cluster of kites into the sky. Have a shot now at their tangles. I’ll weigh them on a scale. The reward is quite dear. I’m returning to my station and dropping my anchors, one off the stern and one off the prow. Your captain has been Nabahani, who’s known the sea and fears no wave, nor any of its baleful associates.

Shaza
Ahmed Sheikh Nabahani
Wazami wa uziwani, wa mawimbi na miuya Muzamao zizimbwini, mahodari wa koweya Kwa kuwama na kwa t’ani, kubenuwa zenu ziya Nauza changu kimiya, kichatiya chashikani Nayuwa siwatanizi, hamugagwi yaweleya Yafumbuweni wayuzi, mutongowe moyamoya Kula aliye mfuzi, na nyundo huitumiya Kibafute natatiya, tatuwani watatuzi Welevu kitatuweni, munambiye nielewe Kuna kiwingu yangani, mvua itandaziwe P’epo husukuma pwani, nyunyu ni kama zijiwe Kwa kasi zitandushiwe, na kushukiya maini Hupenya ndani kwa ndani, ya uk’eto wa bahari Kama uzi sindanoni, upote pota hariri Yakashukiya shazani, na kufuma lulu duri Hapitwi na johari, nda k’uu mno thamani Shaza lengetwe mtini, zizimbwini mwa nyongoza Haupo kitalaleni, haupati muwangaza T’andu hazionekani, yapokuwa zatepuza Si miti ya miujiza, yenezee duniyani Lulu ikikamilika, yuu la mti shazani

Fiasco Press

www.fiascopress.org

Journal of Swarm Scholarship

Dondole huk’ek’etuka, ikatoka kiotoni Wimbini huisumbika, ikegesha ufuoni Yafumapo mkwambani, kitoche humemetuka Mianaza na miandi, eneo hung’eng’ezuka Huvuta kila mwenendi, kijopo hukusanyika Aipatao ni kandi, kashani akiiweka Wengi wametajirika, kwa ng’andu na tu chandi T’at’azi zingatatiya, mafundi zitatuweni Rajai naregezeya, kishada changu bwagani Nitawapa mwingi mwiya, fundo hili funguwani Niwapimiye kwa mani, tuzo t’unu na hidaya Narejea kituoni, nanga zangu nazitiya Moya t’ezi na omoni, sambo ipate tuliya Nahudha ni Nabahani, bahari alozoweya Hachi shuu na miuya, wala wimbi uziwani

Fiasco Press

www.fiascopress.org

Journal of Swarm Scholarship