Ahcene Mariche







One word



Words are like bees
They have honey and venom
Sometimes they are so sweet
Sometimes as wounding as knives

A word can bring you up
Until you reach the top
Then, you will know
Fame and wealth
Glory and power

A word can knock you down
The fall is so abrupt
That you lose everything you own
You had to turn over your tongue
Before uttering the clumsy word

A word can bother you
All of a sudden it changes your mood
In your mind you keep turning it over
Till it disturbs you

A word can be sharper than a knife
Its cutting is so aching
The liver burns
The eye is hurt with tears
All parts of the body are wounded
As if they are pierced by a sword

A word like wine or a drug
Can make you drunk
And sometimes as raging
As a stormy ocean
Your spirit gets restless
And your nights sleepless

A word can heal you
Its echo is your shadow
It gets close to you
And makes you forget your pains
Delighted, you get rid of your fears
The comforting word makes you enjoy life.


I will be your shadow

My step will follow close to yours
I will be your shadow, henceforth
You walk and I follow you
You sit and I fold
I’ll never leave you, it’s bound to happen
Until night falls

You will find me at the same place
As soon as the first ray pierces you
With your back to the sun
I will stand by you, bending
If you face the sun
Behind you, I’ll be your faithful dog

When the sun appears on zenith
You would believe I’ve vanished
Relieved, you would think I came back to the shelter
But I remain, as far as sun is here
And whenever you feel fainting because of the heat
Look to your feet, I’ll be there to give you honours

I hate the falling night
It separates us
It brings me despair and worry
And leaves the place empty
I’m impatient, oh dawn! To see you
You appear, and I’m happy again!

The gleam comes to my rescue
Awakening me the coming night
And granting me a second chance
I need this faltering light
To thread the string in its escaping needle
And without realizing
I will appear to her, on the wall, a giant shadow

I will extend the day
To the sun, I will set up a dam
And then he won’t lie down
On the gloom, I will put a guard
To stop its advance and slow its step
You and me, we will enjoy ourselves
_______Life is only fleeting_______

 My body shivers

My body still shivers
My heart still moans
I am so frightened
Whenever she comes nearer
My skin turns to a goose flesh
As if I spent the night in frost

Everything I see sends me back to her
All that we lived together
Is not expected or planned
We were walking innocently
Until we reached the doors of love kingdom

We had so sweet moments
We wondered at seeing
Those days flying so fast
And months turning steadily
My heart has never known
Such a moving story

Time arranges things
But we don’t realize
Later, we come to remember and recall memories
Then, we wonder how a drop of water
Can pierce a rock and bore it

Time arranges things
As it goes by it gives us habits
But we link everything to fate
We say it’s our destiny
We got used to each other, really
So our love is born.


If I could forget
I would have erased every feeling
As if my heart was quite free
But I still remember
Every memory wakes something in me

Every bit of memory takes out its right
When it comes to my mind
I shell its story
Into words stretching out
Like in a rite it has got a share
And belongs to a large tribe

When I make a slight mistake
My mind keeps turning it over
I don’t bother anyone
I don’t cause any harm
Yet I keep turning over
And I always feel guilty

Merciless judge of myself
I always worry about little as well as big matters
I care so much for my dignity
My days and nights are alike
Everyday I think about future
From the breaking of dawn

I feel sorry for the poor
I feel sad for the sick
Their sight breaks my heart
If I had long arms
I would pull out remedy for them
From the depths of waters

Memories of the ways I’ve taken
I will never forget them
I was lacking of nothing
I am telling you about others’ misery
I’ve confined it deep inside me
Today, I am eager to write something about it.


The poet

The poet who sleeps inside me
You came to awake him softly
Foolish, he used to sleep only
He has been dumb for years
Today, he utters words
As nice as your frame
The stream of your charm
Awoke him and took him out of the dead

I’ve never thought
One day I will become a poet
And I will love to death
I’ve never thought
One day, I will know this feeling
And without realizing I found myself
Invaded by its passion
Standing on its blazing fire,
I was waiting to burn.

I believed I was in peace, at last
And my heart could have a rest
He beats for her and follows her rhythm
I thought I was dreaming
My life has turned upside down
What I’ve never known
Has become my only concern
I was moving forward,
No obstacle on my way.

You don’t see what I see
My eyes are my scales
You don’t feel what I feel
My sensitivity is sharp

The word you seek for
Is on the tip of my tongue
What you want to say
You can find it in my poems
Words come to me,
Well arranged in verses and rhymes

I don’t sort out words
The poet who lives in me
Sets out the ups and downs
Words are well stressed
You’d think I was a famous artist
The poet who lives in me
Draws water for me from a flowing source.


The truth

The being says the truth
But never in its entirety
Eating all a half
And even more to spoil the whole
Moreover, he sews and sticks pieces
A rough cloth can’t conceal

The truth is like water
Forcing one’s way under a tight rock
Even after years full of notches
It is not altered
It still shines like scattered stars.

Is it concealed?
Or at the bottom of a well?
One day grounds will be
As oil on water, it will stretch out
The liar has short memory, he will forget
In the end, he will confess.

The word is like a shot
Unable to go back once gone
It can destroy a village in a night
Or gather its people in the same yard
The word is sometimes like a nettle
And sometimes as white as a flower

The fine talker
Thoughtless of his saying, the fine talker
Without filtering his speech to his audience
Among small or big stitches of the sorter
For his misfortune,
He must assume when his hour comes

He will be the object of infamy
Pouring on him in streams of rain
at falling night, he will let place to regret
Covered with indignation and ignominy,
He will keep eyes down
And head bent meanly.


Restless spirit

I am harassed and pursued by my dreams
They watch and wait for me every falling night
Once my head on the pillow
They come in crowd to find me
Troubles are so many
Never resolved and impossible to untie

They take me so far and, unconscious,
I move forward, of hope, shivering
I wait for the moment of joy, I want to believe in
Wishing that my wound would heal and then, no more despair.
That the goal is near and maybe this evening
I shall arrive to pick the fruit and sit in

My poor heart unstable and capricious
Goes up and down, making jumps so perilous
When the right moment is long to come
He starts groaning
I give him another chance to be happy
Miserable, he waits only.

The worry he sees at last tiring
Another takes soon the relay
To break him down
Then he finds himself lost and so far
And when he looks around
He realizes that, for him, nothing has changed

In the dreams which populate his world
His face is lighting and without a wrinkle
He doesn’t know that those dreams are treacherous and hollow
Hollow like a lying witness
Betrayed and compelled to walk back without a guide
The dreams shipped him and promised him the splendid land.

Everyone who believes in his dreams goes towards his loss
He opens his eyes on the unexpected and loses head
As someone who finds himself in the sea
Drawn by the waves on the up of crests
Once soul rendered,
They throw him on the shore.




If we could make of negligence an arm
It would cause disaster
Pains and wounds
And lead us to despair and failure

No one can tolerate it
It is the ruin of all hopes
We want to keep away from it
When we see its doing
From our minds we have to chase it
Together we will succeed

Negligence is the worst flaw
It destroys castles
And devastates people
It is even merciless
Its preys are here to show
That it led their lives to wreck

Look again around you
You will notice
The huge number of victims
Many are those who fall down
Because no one supports them
And all memories are erased
Because no one recalls them

Like an illness, negligence
Kills, blinds and paralyses
Like fire stired up with hay
Or like floods devastating frontiers

The negligent should be penalized
Their judgment must be harsh
They stole, killed and destroyed
They are worse than guns and knives

Negligence appears at early hours
Like a threatening shadow
Quiet and with a firm step
It goes beyond boundaries
Quickly it reaches the fatal end


The watch I offered you
Will keep informing you about time
You will hear its beating
Then, you’ll think of me
Since my heart beats similarly

Is it still working?
Or it is getting worn
Have you got it at your wrist?
Maybe you have thrown it
My story is also growing old
You must have got rid of it

I accept what may come
For I can’t stop
Things from worsening
We saw our dearest wishes
One after the other vanishing
You let them escape
My eyes couldn’t catch them

You hold the scales on your own
Being judge and judged
Know that in full audience
The rights of each are guaranteed
Once the verdict is retuned
Sorrow and remorse will be your penalties

How could you forget me?
We had too many discussions
We shared all our passions
But you believed in odd thoughts
To such a point that you got lost

We lost the battle
And we are both hurt
Yet, you can let truth spring
I was searching for it
I won’t accept it
Unless you tell it
22 – Heartless

Don’t think that,
Like all beings,
I have a heart
I made of mine a cemetery
In each grave I buried
My misfortunes and misery

Without my heart
My body is in peace at last
No beats and no feelings
Like a fool
On my way I always stroll

In the middle of nights
I hear sounds of steps
Then I take off my cloth
And I watch the corners
I realise that I am alone
In darkness lasting long

But, sometimes, my spirit is crowded
A man comes to me
As a beggar asking me for charity
Another holds a stick
He wants to guide me
And another advises me

For years and years
They’ve disappeared from my sight
I thought that they were
All eaten by worms
But they were carefully
Planning their return
Tonight these ghosts
Have really resuscitated!

Ten mills are set going
Each grinding something
I’m the miller sifting
The remains of the grounds seeds
At the end of the chore
I’m run over by the rolls

When the mill stops
I’m nearly dying
But still conscious with my heart beating
All neighbours come in haste
To show me
Their compassion and pleasure
At seeing me alive
I’ve undergone the roll’s trial
To which I’ve survived









Taken from the second poems’ book entitled CONFIDENCE AND MEMORIES
Translated into English by Dalila AIT SALEM.
The original version by: Ahcene Mariche


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