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7 septembre 2008 7 07 /09 /septembre /2008 20:44
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POEMS BY MAB ELHAD

01

RETURN TO THE MOTHER COUNTRY

 

There I am again, tender and dear country,

I come back to you empty handed,

But the heart rich of hope.

 

I am in a hurry to embrace your beautiful meadows

To tell you that no beauty is worth your wrinkles,

With joy, I will embrace them in my wander.

 

Farewell my exile times,

And the shadow of nostalgia

Good bye companions

Good day my islands

 

Long life to the Comoros,

Motherland whose name enchants me

To rejoin her makes my heart cries of joy

 

My happiness this evening grows

To hear the voices that are dear to me

I think again of the time spent without you

O my tender land!

 

                                   MAB Elhad, October 1987

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.      THE INDIANOMETIS

Calligraphic autoportrait of MAB Elhad

 

I)

I am the Indian Oceaner

Born under the irenic sign

Of war, I know nothing !

 

I am not master of the céans

I know nothing of the ironic,

Breaking peace, all else is to be done.

 

I invented no weapons,

But am victim of their horrors

I who has always loved my neighbor

 

I suffered to see tears

For conflicts initiated by mistake

Even though by blood, we remain brethren

 

II)

On our pacific lands, we sowed,

The seeds of Concorde and harmony

And cultivated legitimate and reciproqual respect!

 

For our well-being, our peoples summoned

The IOC to render real this agreement

Conflicts being the fruits of a misunderstanding!

My wound is not only the misfortune that haunts me,

My wound results from the stains of gone days!

 

Insecurity and logomachies nourish our fears,

Violated freedoms, broken law, such misdeeds,

Values and morale becoming dead letters!

 

III)

My pains result from lack of horizon,

Begging is no longer an issue.

 

Make me fisherman,

I will have my hope as bait!

I am the Indianometis!

 

I bring you peace,

And take you away from misfortune.

 

But my dream will remain unachieved,

As long as my culture will continue

To let itself be crushed.

 

By misery and ignorance!

As long as in the streets, the forsaken children

Will go nourish a society in total deliquescence!

 

IV)

 

I assert my indianometissage

Bantu,

            Arab,

 

The mounting troubled wind shakes me,

But I resist…

 

I am the Indianometis!

 

Creole speaking, melano-african,

            Descendant of the Capricorn,

The difference, cultures that build me,

Beliefs that founded me

 

Weave

 

            A composite world

            That sucks from the same nipple

            On this sea of the Indies

 

 

Avril 2002

MAB Elhad

 

 

 

                                                       INDIAN OCEAN       

 

string of islands that I shell

I put so much hope in your name.

 

IOC!

 

When I hear the spelling of these initials…

I meditate and think of the peoples

Who swear only by her reputation!

 

I saw who still believe in the terms

Of an active cooperation

Who avoid inaugurating chrysanthemums,

In this garden of initiatives.

 

I dare still believe in the well-being of a world,

Where would be banished the arbitrary and poverty

It is in this peaceful zone that I found,

My great ambitions of revolted citizen.

 

I assert this multiple identity,

Which is ours. And if my language is rainbow,

It is to better greet, Indian Ocean mother.

Sea waves of pleasures;

Where the insularity carries in it, abundance and joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

04

MORONI

 

The Moon’s disc emerges slowly,

Atop the Karthala and its wide open crater.

Crystalline night,

In a town of the East,

To the opaline reflections.

 

Here are the minarets from which comes  the muezzin’s call,

From old palace collapsing as on a fresco,

From crenulated remparts where ferns grow.

 

And here is the market, sleeping at this hour,

Not far from the cemetery and the noble residences ;

And here are the narrow lanes of the quarter dominating the bay,

With their madrassats and their frail arcades.

 

Moroni, arabesque land,

With its hundred detours and its thousand staircases,

Which always lead to our secular mosques!

 

The moon’s disc salutes the Ocean

Immobile and shinning like a silver plate.

 

MAB Elhad

In Kaulu lamwando

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

05

CHERISHED FREEDOM !

 

They shouted me this word, freedom !

And it’s a ring on the boy’s ear,

A car within the hands of puberty,

 

Freedom, what is your ransom ?

 

I often believed to be meeting you at the frontiers

Of the forbidden where sometimes doubt took over me.

And I spent days and whole nights

Searching for you, inventing you in my mind

 

Cherished freedom, of you I fell in love !

 

I read your name on all hearts

And I heard it sound like a bell

And sometimes even, I saw it shinning at the tip of a torch

Kept by the breath of fear

 

And yet, to your thought my soul hung on to.

 

I saw you, sometimes, flying over the sheet

To come and land at the top of the barrel/gun

And knock at the door of a life in mourning

 

Cherished freedom, you amaze me

 

I forsaw you in the wonders of the night

I glimpse at you in the meanders of boredom

At my times of distress, you appeared to me.

At your divine letters, Ô freedom, I already believed !

 

For having seen them illuminating the way

 

MAB Elhad

In kaulu lamwando

Voir aussi : ‘’Invitation to a voyage’’ Of Stephen Gray

                      Protea Book house Edition   Nov 2007 Pretoria

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