Exactly 50 years ago in October1966, after graduating in English and French literature at Edinburgh University, I decided to devote some time on the study of creole languages in general and Mauritian Creole (MC) in particular. In 1967 I completed a course in Applied Linguistics at the same university and had written a dissertation entitled “Towards a re-evaluation of Mauritian Creole”. Since then I have tried different roads to make of MC (my mother tongue) the national language of my country, one of them being the development of a national literature in that language to be known as Morisien.

In the course of several decades I have written poems, plays, short stories, novellas and a novel besides translating Shakespeare, Molière, Saint-Exupéry, Keats, Blake, Sufi poets, religious literature etc. I have also shown in several works the syntactic affinities between Morisien and English (another creole language) and now that my sun is about to set, I would like to offer to Taz, Yann and Rachel, my three grandchildren, a selection of my poems (a variety of themes and genres – odes, sonnets, ballads, lyrics and free verse) written in Morisien and recently translated by me into English.

This book is also another bridge between Morisien and English.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Loga, my children and friends who have always supported me in all my endeavours.

May God bless you all.

October 2016

Sime la li bien-bien long
Sime la li bien-bien dir
Komie finn pas lor la avan mwa
Zegwi dife dan lesiel
Lapousier dan mo labous
Mo lagorz pe amar-amare
Lasours la li ankor lwen
Bien-bien fre, bien-bien kler
Lasours kot nou tou pou al bwar

Simitier ranpli ar fler
Kot bann frer finn depoz zarm
Sime la li pas kot simitier
Mo lavi kouma lapousier
Pou fini dan simitier
Mo lespwar zame li pa pou tengn
Pou sak flanbo ki pou tengn
Ena mil pou alime
Ziska ki sime tous lasours

Marenwar pe rod nway mwa
Marekaz pe rod bwar mwa
Ena kamrad ferm koste ar mwa
Me dime komie pou ena
Ler soley manz marenwar
Komie ki pa ankor vinn fler
Seki yer swar ti ar mwa
Zordi nek enn souvenir
Souvenir ki lour dan mo leker

Nou bizen met sime kler
Nou bizen konstrir bann pon
Pous par pous, pa par pa ziska lasours
Mem si nou nou pa gagn sans
Nou zanfan va profite
Lapousier pou vinn lalimier
Lasours la li ankor lwen
Bien-bien fre, bien-bien kler
Lasours kot nou tou pou al bwar

This hard road is mighty long
This long road is mighty hard
How many are they who’ve trodden it’s dust
Fiery darts are in the sky
Choking dust is in my mouth
And my throat narrows down to a gasp
The fresh fountain’s miles ahead
All so clear, all so cool
That’s where we’ll all drink our joy

Graveyard’s full of pretty flowers
Where pals lay down their arms
The road goes by the burial ground
My life’s just a speck of dust
Which seeks sleep in a graveyard
But hope will not blow out its light
For each light which does go out
Thousands will kindle new hope
Showing the way to the fountain

Darkness tries to gobble me
The swamp tries to swallow me
Some pals and I are huddling through
But tomorrow who’ll be there
When the sun sucks in the swamp
Who’s not buried in petals
Some are gone who once were here
Now only a memory
Memory that’s heavy on my heart

We must all clear out a path
We must all build out bridges
Step by step towards the fresh fountain
Even if we don’t get there
Our children surely will
For dust will turn into light
The fresh fountain’s miles ahead
All so clear, all so cool
That’s where we’ll all drink our joy

Bann zetwal lor later pe transpers tou bann vwal.
Gran freser marenwar pe fonn ar nou saler,
Lalimier dan leker pe ekler bann lapas,
Tras sime vwayazer, efas tas dan lespas.

Bann sante tou kouler pe chombo liniver,
Bann mitay kolorye ar parfen laroze
Kouma harr dan leker pe sikre santiman,
Fer disan bann imen bliye gran, bliye ran.

Lamizik Divali ar parfen kolorye
Pe aroz bann petal lor sime so zanfan.
Bann miray pe grene! Tou bann far alime!
A Bondie! Fer mirak Divali kontinie!

Nou tou bann vwayazer lor later efemer
Me nou ranz bann miray otour nou kont ser-frer,
Pas letan louk vwazen atraver trou miray.
Bann miray pe grene! Anou partaz mitay!

Stars on earth run through Maya’s veil.
The night’s cold melts with human warmth;
The inner glow lights up the pass,
Charts the way and clears up mess.

Multicoloured songs hold the universe;
Rich hued sweetmeats with dew fragrance
Like godly garlands grow new feelings
And make us feel we’re kith and kin.
Divali’s music with colourful aroma
Strews rose petals on her children’s path.
Walls are crumbling down! All lights are on!
Oh Lord of lords, let this go on!

We’re all travellers on Maya’s land
But we build huge walls to keep off the rest
And spy on others through holes in the walls.
Walls are crumbling down! Let’s share sweetmeats.

3. O DEK
O dek! Enn serendikap ek enn kardinal
Pe kourtize lor enn brans filao.
O dek! Trwa ti lapen blan ar zot lizie rouz
Pe zwe-zwe lor lerb ver dan bor dilo.
O dek! Kat tipti pousen blan, nwar, zonn, maron
Ansam pe fouy later pou rod lever.

Bat to tanbour tanbourye!
Tap to ravann ravannye!
Les lapo kabri gazouye!

O dek! Enn bengali pe sante lor enn fler,
Ki leze kouma enn papyon dore.
O dek! Fler kann velour pe danse dan lezer,
Li pe valse ar lamizik lesiel.
O dek! Zwazo kolorye gazouy-gazouye
Pe patine lor ledo larkansiel.

Bat to tanbour tanbourye!
Tap to ravann ravannye!
Les lapo kabri gazouye!

O dek! Niaz pe anvlop montagn ar so kares,
So lonbraz pe rafresi tou bann fler.
O dek! Enn boul dife lor pe al bwar dilo,
So kouler pe pentir nou liniver.
O dek! Lalinn kouler larzan pe zwe yoyo
Ar bann zetwal diaman lao-lao.

Bat to tanbour tanbourye!
Tap to ravann ravannye!
Les lapo kabri gazouye!

Lo and behold!
Yellow bird and cardinal
Wooing on casuarina tree;
Three red-eyed white rabbits
Gambolling on green grass by a pond;
Four chicks – black, white, yellow and brown –
Teaming to dig out worms.

Play your drum, drummer!
Rap the ravanne, ravanner!
Let the goat skin flutter!

Lo and behold!
A bengali bird chirping on a bud
As light as a golden butterfly!
Sugarcane flowers swing in the air,
Waltzing to heavenly music!
Warbling colourful birds
Are skating on rainbow’s back!

Play your drum, drummer!
Rap the ravanne, ravanner!
Let the goat skin flutter!

Lo and behold!
Clouds wrap up mountain tops
And spray freshness on all blooms!
A golden ball of fire dips into the sea
Splashing our world with bright colours!
The silvery moon yoyos
Diamond studs on the darkening sky!

Play your drum, drummer!
Rap the ravanne, ravanner!
Let the goat skin flutter!

Kouma to bien! Kouma to bien!
Dan so lebra kouma to bien!
Kan to gagn fen, kan to gagn fen
Se so lekor ki nouri twa.

Kouma to ge! Kouma to ge!
To ti lemonn bien proteze.
De lizie fier ki trakase
Pe vey twa fer to premie pa.

To rapel kan Claudette vini
Ar so divan ek so lapli
To ti lekor ti pe tranble,
To ti leker ti pe sote.
Kisannla dan so de lebra
Ti anvlop twa pou konsol twa?
Kisanla sa? Kisanla sa?

Enn fwa, aswar, to rapel bien,
Lafiev-kosmar kouma koltar
Ti pe bril twa ar marenwar
Dan tourbiyon enn lasesres.
To lekzistans ti menase.
Akote twa lor bor lili,
Lasours lavi ti pe veye.

Nou tou ti ge! Nou tou ti ge!
Lorkes ti pe fer nou danse,
Nou lespri ti pe voltize,
Nouvo lavi ki koumanse.
Laba dan kwen pre kot gato,
Leker sere deryer sourir,
Vit-vit li ti efas enn larm
Pou ki personn napa trouve.

Li for, li feb, li zenn, li vie,
Li krent, li smart, li kabose
Li ankor pe vey to sime.
Dan so lizie fier-trakase,
Nanye napa kapav sanz sa,
To res ankor so ti baba
Ki li’nn nouri ar so lekor.

Anou sante! Anou sante!
Zordi so fet, anou sante.
Me selma fale pa bliye
Enn ti panse pou malere.

Gosh, you’re happy, very happy!
And in her arms you’re so comfy!
When you’re thirsty, when you’re hungry
It’s her body that feeds you up.

You’re so cheery, you’re so cheery!
Your little world’s sitting pretty.
Two proud worrying eyes
Watch you make your first steps.

Do you remember Claudette’s
Hard rain and stormy winds?
Your whole body shook in fear;
Your heartbeat jerked.
Who in her arms
Held you in comfort?
Who was it? Who was it?

One night – remember? –
Black nightmarish delirious fire
Was consuming your lifeblood
In a dehydrated whirlpool.
Could it be the end?
By your bedside
Life’s fountain kept watch.

We were happy, very happy
Dancing to the beat of the band
Spirit on high;
New life’s starting.
There alone near your cake,
A forced smile hiding some fear,
She quickly wiped a drop
So no one might see.

Whether strong, weak, young, old,
Spruced up, elegant or afflicted,
She keeps watching your steps.
In her proud worrying eyes,
Nothing will change that,
You’re still the baby
She fed with her own body.

Let us all sing! It’s mother’s day, let us all sing!
But let’s not forget a little thought
For those in pain.

Nek plonz to nam dan fon lamer
Si to’le konn zistwar enn fler
Ki finn ouver so bann petal
Dan enn gran tourbiyon rafal.
Si to’le konn zistwar mo fler
Tranp to lespri dan lamer kler.

Lontan-lontan enn gramaten
Dan koumansman so gran desten
Douler-douser dan vant later
Ti donn nesans enn bout later.
Dan bout later enn zwazo bren
Ti vinn depoz enn ti lagren.

Lerla bann flev lor nou later
Plonz zot lespri dan fon lamer
Pou tras ansam sime Listwar
Pou ranz lespwar ar dezespwar.
Dan profonder desten amer
Tou larivier zot rev mem fler.

Dilo Lasenn, Lalwar, Nizer
– Dan profonder desten amer –
Dilo Ganga ek Zambezi
Ponnaïyarr, Godavarri,
Flev Yangtze Kiang, tou larivier
Ar zot lespwar aroz mem fler.

Tou bann dilo finn melanze,
Li bet aster sey separe!
Nou bout later finn donn enn fler,
Nou selebre so lalimier.
Olie tir lay ar lepase
Nou dir ansam ” Mersi Bondie “.

Dip your soul in marine depth
To find out my flower’s tale
Which opened out her petals
In great gusty confusion.
To find out my flower’s tale,
Dip your mind in clear blue sea.

One morning long time ago
At the dawn of new beginning
Painful bliss in Gaia’s womb
Gave birth to a new island.
A brown bird on this new land
Dropped a seed, the seed of life.

Then Gaia’s rivers everywhere
Dipped their minds in marine depth
To chart history’s course
And build heaven in hell’s estate.
Deep in the heart of bitter fate
They all dreamt of the same flower.

Waters from the Seine, Loire and Niger river
– Deep in the heart of bitter fate –
Waters from the Ganges and Zambezi;
From Ponnaiyar, Godavari
Yangzi Jiang – from all rivers –
They washed with hope the same flower.

All the waters have mixed into one;
Splitting is a futile game.
Our land has brought forth a bright flower;
Let’s celebrate its brightness.
Don’t waste time nit-picking!
Let’s rather say “Thank you my Lord God.”

Enn peser-labourer dan vilaz Samarel,
Dan gri-gri gramaten kan bann fe dan lesiel
Finn kasiet zot palet, ramas kot so lafnet
Enn zwazo plim mouye ki pe mor lamor bet.

Vit-vit li souy li sek, anvlop li ar lenz so,
Ar kouyer fer li bwar detrwa gorze dilo
Pou sov lavi zwazo lesiel-later-lamer
Ki finn grandi lao lor montagn set kouler.

Ler tanto arive ar labrim ti lapli
Zwazo mengi-mengi pa tann lapo kabri;
Dan enn kwen so pagne li pe fixe dan vid,
Respire pa fasil kan lavi finn lasid.

Nou peser-labourer pas lanwit pou vey li,
Konsol li, soulaz li, redonn li gou lavi.
Ler gramaten vini so lizie ferm tousel,
Dan enn rev fantastik li pe bat so lezel.

Dan lesiel Samarel; dan lebra so zwazo
Lor enn vag Nirrvana zot pe bengn dan dilo
Kolorye ar penso bann zepis parfime…
Ler so somey kase zwazo finn anvole.

Dan so plas enn prenses lor enn tronn kler-de-linn,
Bote lebenn dan enn sari laswa-de-sinn
Pe sant lamour. Enn gran roulman lapo kabri
Anvlop so nam ar sawal nouvo melodi.

Bann zwazo Samarel dan lesiel set kouler
Finn aprann so sante; bann pwason dan lamer,
Tou bann pie lor montagn anker pe sant ansam.
Nouvo poem kram-kram aster pe donn lagam.

A fisher-farmer in Samarel
In the morning mist when heavenly spirits
Put away their palettes, found on his window sill
A drenched bird facing certain death.

He quickly dried it, wrapped it in warm stuff;
With a spoon helped it drink some water
To save the bird of sky, sea and land
Which grew up on the rainbow mountain.

When dusk came with mist and rain
The frail bird could not hear the drum beat.
In a corner of the basket it stared with empty eyes
And could hardly breathe.

Our fisher-farmer nursed it all night;
Gave it comfort and care to face agony.
As day began to dawn he fell asleep
And dreamt he was flying.

In Samarel sky, in his bird’s arms,
On Nirvana wave they swam
In fragrant spicy coloured water …
When he woke up,the bird was gone.

Before him was a princess on a moonbeam throne,
Ebony black beauty in Chinese silk saree
Singing love. Ravanne rolling beat
Lifted his soul with new mellow melody.

Samarel birds in seven colour sky
Have learnt the song; fish in the sea,
Trees on mountains sing it in unison.
New crispy verse now fills rhyme with rhythm.

Bann lipie elegan anmouvman ar later
Pe fouy kontak ritme dan enn kadans primer;
Bann vibrasion sonor dan lanbians san zefor
Pe balans bann laans, asoupli bann lekor;
Lapo bouk mor redi triyang nouvo nesans,
Dan enn jalsa lagam ladans ploy so lamans.
Mo vini!

Mo vini! Fraz mazik antik ki dres latet
Depi dan vant later avan let alfabet;
Depi dan profonder pli profon ki Lafrik
Fraz kominion primer napa konn lot lozik
Apart amenn ansam tou dimoun dan zwisans
Pou soud bann lien entim, garanti lesperans.

Ti-la-e? Dan pagne? Dan kazot? Akot zot,
Mazisien kreater, Apsara, Pigmalion
Ki ti bizen poli diaman brit lor lakot,
Kas lasenn sediksion lasirenn ilizion?
Get sa zoli ti fam ki roule do baba!
Pran li dan to lebra! Samem Larenn Sega!
Mo vini!

Elegant feet in harmony with earth
Dig rhythmic links in primordial swing;
Sound vibrations in effortless mood
Shake hips and condition muscles and bones;
Dead goat skin now kindle new life
And in a sound fiesta dancing steps eagerly go.
I come!

I come! Primeval magic words rise
From earth’s entrails to build and bind;
From the depth of beginning the earliest urge
Knows no other course than to bring
Together all denizens through utter joy;
Intimately unite with hopeful promise.

Teelahee! Where? In a gunny sack, in a coop?
Where are they, the Apsaras and Pygmalions
Duty-bound to polish rough diamonds
And break the spell of seductive Maya-Mermaids?
Behold the swinging hip rolling by!
Take her in your arms. She is Queen Sega.
I come!

Mo pei li pa zis enn tapi karo kann,
Zis kristal fangouren ek parfen tamaren;
Li pa zis enn choula pou sof roulman ravann,
Zis kadans souriyan bann trannsenk kas leren;

Mo pei li pa zis kokotie ekzotik,
Zis soley lor laplaz ek douser badinaz;
Li pa zis soulezon dan nisa rom tropik,
Paradi pou touris ek foulous-alanaz.

Mo pei li tousa, me li plis ki tousa.
Li finn gout lavantir dous-amer ras imen,
Konstrikter-destrikter, bouldozer-mazisien.
Li enn gran larkansiel kot zepis tou kouler
Gard freser gramaten dan bourzon nouvo fler.
Mo pei li tousa, me li plis ki tousa.

My land is not just a green carpet of cane leaves,,
Just crystalised cane juice and tamarind fragrance;
It’s not just the flame of ravanne beat,
The smiling sway of hip-shaking damsels;

My land is not just exotic palm trees,
Just sun-bathed beaches and carefree frolic;
It’s not just tropical rum tipsy revelling,
Paradise for loaded aliens and filthy rich.

My land is all that and much more.
It has tasted human sweet-bitter feat,
Builder-destroyer, bulldozer-magician.
It’s a giant rainbow where multihued spices
Keep original freshness in new scions.
My land is all that and much more.

Anba pie tamaren kan peyna pou’al lekol
Mo Tata Iranah, enn ti-frer mo granper,
Atir tou bann zanfan – bann marmay fer laronn
Kouma grap mous dimiel otour fler roz vieyfi
Pou nouri rev sekre kot ti-bout manz gro-bout –
Pou fer nou viv ansam atraver lang Kreol
Zistwar bolom loulou, Tizan gran debrouyar,
Zistwar gato kanet, yev dan basen lerwa.
Mo Tata Iranah depi bien-bien lontan
Finn kit nou, finn ale. Enn gran lakaz beton
Dan plas pie tamaren pe sey efas memwar
Ti-garson Foukalend ki ti aprann reve,
Ki ti aprann koze, ki ti aprann panse
Anba pie tamaren. Peyna pli bon lekol.

Beneath the old tamarind tree when school was closed
Grandad Iranah, Tata’s young brother,
Gathered all children – a ring of kids
As honey bees sucking nectar from wild flowers,
Cherishing the dream of the dwarf killing a giant –
And made us relive through our language
The adventures of Tizan against the big bad wolf,
The story of sweet marbles, the hare in the king’s pool.
Grandad Iranah left us a long time ago
And now a concrete house stands
Where the tamarind tree used to be
To blot out Crazylands boy’s history
Learning to dream, to speak, to think
Beneath the tamarind tree. The best of schools!

Lavwa Gouna, mo mama,
Ankor sant dan mo disan
Kiltir Quartier Militaire
Kan Ti-frer alim dife
Pou sof sawal ravane,
Pou triyang so prop kadans,
Amenn kiltir popiler
Dan sato Samazeste.
Lavwa Gouna, mo mama,
Dan lapousier Foukalend
Kontinie fer mwa rapel
Lagam enn sante fezer
Ki ti ne dan lamizer
Pou pran plas dan diksioner.

Gouna’s voice, my mum’s,
Still sings in my blood
Quartier Militaire’s culture
When Ti-Frer lit the fire
To warm up ravanne’s rhythm
And tingle through beats and bumps
People’s culture
Into the castle.
Gouna’s voice, my mum’s,
In Crazylands dust
Still reminds me
Of a rare cadence
Born in pain
And now mainstream.

(Pou Kardinal Jean Margeot)
Ler soley leve
Fer lesiel riye
Laklos ding-dong-bel
Apel Samarel;
Zwazo tou kouler
Lor pie, dan lezer
Sant for-for, pli for
Ki laklos an-nor
Ler nou tap nou jal
Dan pei mazikal.

Ton Zan seve blan
Efas nou tourman;
Anba pie pipal
Korom amikal
Riye get nou zwe.
Ekout zot koze:
-“Koumsamem lontan
Kan nou ti zanfan
Nou ti tap nou jal
Dan pei mazikal.”

Ler bann tipti fatige
Nepli kapav amize
– Soley al bwar dilo –
Nou jalsa net chombo.
Lor godi zot mama
Gran zanfan, ti baba,
Bann zwazo Makabe
Pe kas kou, pe reve;
Zot chomtayt bann jal
Dan pei mazikal.

(To Cardinal Jean Margeot)
When the sun rises
Makes laughing the sky
Ding-dong bell
Calls Samarel;
Birds of many hues
On trees and in the air
Sing louder and louder
Than golden bells
When cymbals jingle
In magic land.

White hair Uncle Jean
Wipe out care;
Under the peepal tree
Friendly seniors
Laugh to see us play.
Listen to them:
-“Such were our ways
Long ago
When our cymbals jingled
In magic land.”

When young ones are tired,
No more can they play
– the sun goes down –
Fun and games stop.
On mother’s lap,
Big and small,
Makabee birds
Nod or dream.
Cymbals go silent
In magic land.

Dapre nouvo ansien
– ousa ansien nouvo?
Foupamal, pa enportan! –
Dapre ansien nouvo
Gramer iniversel
Bizen konzig ‘pouvwar’

Get Bondie lao dan lesiel
Ar so gran labarb blan,
Antoure par bann anz feminen-pliryel,
Li pa finn kre enn zarden
Papay ek panplemous,
Sousou ek karanbol
Pou so garso, Adam?
Dan lame so profet
Li pa finn met gouvernman
Ki meble so arem
Ar feminen-pliryel?

Filozofi ena labarb-moustas;
Teknolozi ena seve lor ches;
Lekonomi dibout pou fer pipi.
Zouti? Li pa ena enn bataz zom?

“Sa Zom!”, mo kouzen kriye for.
Li admir zefor mo neve.
Me kan enn gro fatra mars lor so kor
“Ayo Mama!” li kriye;
“Ayo Mama!” li gele;
“Ayo Mama!” li plengne.

Maskilen-sengilie! Maskilen-sengilie!
Aret fane do ta!

According to new old
– or is it old new?
Heck! Forget it! –
According to old new
Universal grammar
‘Power’ is to be declined
As singular-masculine.

Take God on high
With his huge white beard
And his company of feminine-plural angels,
Has he not made a garden
Of papaya, grapefruit,
Rhubarb and cabbage
For his son Adam?
To his prophet
Has he not bestowed government
Which people harems
With feminine-plural?

Philosophy has beard and moustache;
Technology has chest hair;
Economy stands to urinate.
Is not tool a man’s business?

“That’s hombre!” shouted my cousin
Admiring my nephew’s skills.
But when heavy weight treads on his toe
He shouts, “Holy Mother!”
He moans, beg and pray
“Mater Dolorosa!”

Singular-masculine, singular-masculine,
Stop your nonsense!

Dan vilaz lontan kot soley timid plore pou leve
Mo finn rod retras plas kot mo lonbri finn anrasine,
Sey rezwenn sourir-tristes gou kininn enn lanfans meg-meg
Perdi bann, debalanse dan rafal tourdisman aveg.
Kifer zordi zot la bien fre dan mo memwar
Zanfan sime Bonnvenn, zanfan lekol Walter?
Eski mo finn ena enn ti sans gard enn kwen
Dan zot memwar zanfan, sifone par letan?

Dan vilaz apre kot soley dife fer lesiel swente
Mo pe sey fer reviv bann dimoun ki finn kit mwa ale;
Sey rezwenn lamizman inosan bann zanfan ki pouse
Kouma pie koronsol, kerdebef, tamaren, dofine.
Kifer zordi zot la bien fre dan mo memwar
Bann gran dimoun Goudlenns ki ti trap mo lame?
Bann zanfan karanbol, eski dan zot memwar
Mo lonbraz tanzantan pas-pase? Dir mwa do!

Dan vilaz dime kot soley mouye tranble kous dan tris
Mo pe sey mazinn boner gou-kininn, maler mil-zepis;
Trip sere, sey aprann dir salam dimoun mo kontan plis:
Fami-pros, fami-lwen, fam-zanfan, kamarad ek konplis.
Kifer zordi zot la bien fre dan mo memwar
Bann ki mo’nn fer riye, bann ki mo’nn fer plore?
Eski mo pou gagn enn seke dan zot memwar,
Enn tipe saler dan liver leternite?

In long ago village where the wet sun weeps to rise
I have tried to find where my cord was buried,
To recall the sad quinine smile of mangy childhood,
Forsaken, forlorn in gusty blind fury.
Why are they today so fresh in my mind
Those kids of Bonneveine road and Walter school?
Have I kept a little place in their minds
Over these years rumpled-crumpled by time?

In the other village where the fiery sun sweats the sky
I try to recall those who are dead and gone;
Recall the innocent fun of kids growing naturally
Like graviola, custard apple, tamarind and mango trees.
Why are they today so fresh in my mind
Those Goodlands seniors who helped me grow?
O you carambola kids, does my shadow sometimes
Fleet through your minds? Who will ever tell me?

In tomorrow village where the moist sun sadly sinks
I try to imagine quinine joy and thousand spice pain;
My tangled stomach quails as I learn to leave those I love:
Close and distant relatives, wife and children, friends and allies.
Why are they today so fresh in my mind
Those I have gladdened and those I have saddened?
Will I have a nook in their minds,
Some warmth in cold eternity?

Buddha anba so pie Pipal
Gagn enn lizour, li satisfe;
Zezi prefer sarye so pie
E mont lor li pou touf lemal.
Sakenn so pie, sakenn so brans,
Sakenn so sans, so konesans.

Me gran malsans! Ena bann zans
Ki nek koup pie pou fer papie
Pou ploy baja-gato-pima,
Ekrir gonaz, soutir fatra,
Pibliy flatri ek mesanste
Depi toultan. Zame zot rans.

Buddha souy so lizie mouye,
Zezi-Kri get lesiel plore.

Beneath his peepal tree
Buddha sees the light, he’s happy;
Jesus carries his tree,
Climbs on it to fight evil.
Each one their tree, their branch,
Their luck, their light.

Alas! Alas! There are those
Who fell trees to make paper
To wrap oil-soaked grub,
Write rubbish, favour nitwits,
Publish sugar-coated or slander-loaded words
All the time and they never tire.

Buddha wipes his wet eyes,
Jesus looks up and cries.

Zot apel li pagla, zot dir li enn fouka
Parski li refiz zwe dapre zot sinema.
Letan zot pe koup pie, kraz montagn, met tou plat.
Touy sourir bann zanfan, sem laenn, koz jat-pat,
Li li koz ar bann pie, mont dadak lor enn niaz,
Sant ansam ar zwazo. So sourir peyna laz.

Zot apel li pagla, zot dir li enn fouka
Parski li refiz zwe dapre zot sinema.
Li pa touy so vwazen pou pran plas lor lili;
Kraz zarden so vwazen ar enn mel kalomni;
Li pa gagn so zwisans dan soufrans san-defans,
Lapeti kont-sezon, letalaz larogans.

Zot apel li pagla, zot dir li enn fouka
Me li pa’enn bachara e mo kontan li la.

They call him nutty, they say he’s crazy
Because he refuses to play by their script.
While they hew down trees, smash mountains,
Kill children’s smile and grow hate and conflict,
He talks to trees, rides heavenly clouds,
Sings duos with birds. O ageless smile.

They call him nutty, they say he’s crazy
Because he refuses to play by their script.
He doesn’t kill his neighbour to take his place in bed;
Nor does he destroy him with mountain high calumnies;
He doesn’t seek thrill in senseless torment,
In abnormal desire and arrogant display.

They call him nutty, they say he’s crazy
But he’s not a rascal. He’s my lovely.

Non, non, non!
Pa sey anbet li ar enn bouke fler,
– Petal deza pe grene –
Parski pandan enn-an
Li finn trime dan lakwizinn
Triy bred mouroum fey par fey.

Non, non, non!
Pa sey anbet li ar enn bwat-sokola,
– Pe fonn deza ar saler tropikal –
Parski pandan enn-an
Li finn rente dan soley
Pou met disik dan to labous.

Non, non, non!
Pa sey anbet li ar fanfrelis,
– Gonaz elektro-elektronik –
Marsandiz dernie model zero-depo,
Parski li kone dime
Pa pou sanz nanye.

Non, non, non!
Li pa bizen sa, li pa merit sa.
Li napa mama bouke-fler, bwat-sokola,
Mama elektro-elektronik,
Mama marsandiz zero-depo.
Limem mama-fam,
Fam ki lavenir zom.

No, no, no!
Don’t try to cheat her with a few flowers
– petals already falling –
Because during a whole year
She has slaved in the kitchen
Picking moringa leaves one by one.

No, no, no!
Don’t try to cheat her with a box of promotion chocolate
– already melting in the sun –
Because during a whole year
She has slaved in the sun
To put sweetmeat in your mouth.

No, no, no!
Don’t try to fool her
With trinkets and gadjets
For she knows
Nothing will change.

No, no, no!
She does not need or deserve that.
She’s not falling petal or melting choccy mum,
Promotion gadget mum,
Higher purchase mum.
She is woman-mum,
The future of man woman.

Matlo, mo matlo
ki pe ariv douniya?
Matlo mo matlo
dir mwa kot St Nikola?
Kifer Fanfan ek Fantine
dan lafore nwar aswar,
dan ti lapli san pitie
nepli pe trouv zot sime?
Kifer anz gardien lao
nepli tann detres zanfan?
Kifer lapli tonbe mem
rant dan soulie inosan?
Matlo, mo matlo
ki pe ariv douniya?
Matlo mo matlo
dir mwa kot St Nikola?

Kifer pe touy ti baba
zis parski li enn tifi?
Kifer mama donn koudme
martiriz sex so tifi?
Kifer zot obliz tifi
disparet dan enn kagoul?
Kifer soley san pitie
pe griye lizie lapen?
Kifer divan san pitie
pe sifonn petal zasmen ?
Matlo, mo matlo
ki pe ariv douniya?
Matlo mo matlo
dir mwa kot St Nikola?

Buddy, my buddy
What’s going on?
Buddy, my buddy
Where’s Saint Nicholas?
Why have kiddies
In dark forests
And rainy nights
Lost their way?
Why have guardian angels
Turned deaf to their distress?
Why does non-stop rain
Soak their shoes?
Buddy, my buddy
What’s going on?
Buddy, my buddy
Where’s Saint Nicholas?

Why are babies killed
Just because they’re not boys?
Why do mothers help to mutilate
She-baby’s sex?
Why are girls forced
To disappear behind veils?
Why is the merciless sun
Grilling rabbit’s eyes?
Why is the merciless wind
Blowing away flowers?
Buddy, my buddy
What’s going on?
Buddy, my buddy
Where’s Saint Nicholas?

Mo ti ena enn verze fri
kalite lor kouler.
Mo pa ti pran kont.
Lane vini, lane ale
mo verze fri,
amoure ek fidel
soul mo bontan
ar delis parfime.

Enn tanto ler labrim pe leve
mo ouver mo lafnet
pou respir parfen.
Loder glase sek sok mo trou nene.
Mo verze fletri finn rant dan leral.

Zordi dan enn po mo finn plant enn fler,
enn ti panse mov, ble, zonn ek grena.
Gramaten-tanto mo okip mo fler
– fale pa refer mem erer ki yer –
me mo leker tris ler mo pans verze
yer ranpli ar fri kalite-kouler.

My orchard was full
Of delicious, colourful fruits.
I didn’t care.
Year in, year out
My orchard
Loving and caring
Fed my good life
With dainty delicacies.

One evening when darkness was spilling
I opened my window
To breathe in sweetness.
A cold dry smell stunned my nostrils.
My withered orchard was dying.

Now I have a flower in a pot,
A multicoloured pansy.
Morning and evening I look after it
– must not make the same mistake again –
But my heart is sad when I think of
Yesterorchard full of delicious, colourful fruits.

Mo ena enn kamwad ki plis ki enn kamwad;
vadire li momem kan mo get dan laglas.
Kan vibrasion plenn-linn finn desann dan nou baz
mo kamwad, mo lonbraz, mo momem diabolik
kouma kamaleon ki exper kamouflaz,
glis dan nouvo bataz, senn lor senn, say parsi,
say parla, fer laraz met paryaz ar touni
manti-manti pou ouver portay sir-reel.

Lerla, ki to kwar li dir mwa?
Pa fasil ar li mo dir twa!

Li dir mwa si Zezi ti revinn parmi nou
Li ti pou al San Francisco an 1960.
Si li revini dan nou zoli ti pei
li ti pou gout enn ti lanbik
aranze ar fri lokal
– leksi, longann, mang, goyav –
fim enn lerb
dan lebra so bieneme.

” Yerswar klerdelinn Li, mwa ek Kaya
ti kas enn ti poz anba lesiel kler,
sant enn ti Seggae.
Lesiel ti zoli
e later osi …
ti ena boukou lamour dan nou leker.”

Pa fasil ar li mo dir twa,
pa pran kont li enpe toktok.

I have a pal who’s more than just a pal;
He’s like a mirror image.
When a full moon vibration creeps onto earth
My pal, my shadow, my diabolical other
Like a chameleon expert at camouflage
Slips into new roles, constantly changing, moving here,
Moving there, furiously racing against naked
Make believe to open the gate of the surreal.

You won’t believe what then
He tells me.

He tells me that if Jesus were to return
He would go to San Francisco in the sixtees.
If he were to visit our lovely island
He would ask for illicit rum
Soaked in lychees, longans,
Mangoes and guavas;
He would smoke grass
In the arms of his beloved.

“Yesterfullmoonnight He, me and Kaya
Sat beneath a clear sky
Singing seggae.
The sky was beautiful,
So was earth …
Our hearts were full of love.”

Don’t mind him!
He’s a crackpot.

To kone matlo zis avan nou rant
dan dernie ferlong – difisil pou dir
longer parkour la, sirpriz ekziste –
nou bizen twa ek mwa met lord dan kont,
mizir seki finn ek tou seki pou
res pou fer lor lapis dernie ferlong.

Pou’ena kouma Nal, prese rant dan bit;
pou’ena erezman ki pa kapav swiv,
zwe kouk ar midi, kol deryer minwi,
les mwa al divan lor dernie ferlong.

Ayo mo matlo ti’a bon to sourir
vey mwa par deryer dan dernie viraz
ler mo pou konplet mo dernie ferlong

You know dear, when we start
The last leg – maybe long,
Maybe short, can never tell –
You and I must audit all
That has been done, that must be done
As we start the last leg.

There will be those in a hurry like sister Nal,
And those who avoid the end,
Keeping well behind noon and midnight
As I rush towards the finishing line tape.

Yes dear, it would be nice to know
Your smile will be watching me
As I end the last leg

Isi lor latet Monte S, anba pie-lafours,
rasinn dan lezer, nou pe sey repran souf,
pans nou blesir, soulaz nou lapenn
pou nou kapav repran larout
laswer ek lapousier ki grenpe kouma enn kout fwet.

Deryer nou, bato Zeremi dan larad;
revolt labourer, artizan, doker;
revolt etidan, bann marzinal, bann exkli –
bann ki gagn kouraz
dir “non, pa dakor gran misie!”.

Divan, lao laba nou bizen replant nou rasinn,
fer nouvo gref, lav lapousier lor nou lipie pou
donn nesans nouvo lavi. Dime li la deryer enn niaz.
Get kouma li zoli!

On top of S Hill, beneath banyan trees
With roots hanging, we stop to catch our breath,
Nurse our wounds, seek comfort
To again take to the road
Of sweat and dust which climbs up like a whip.

Behind us is Jeremy’s ship;
Strikes by field, factory and dock workers;
Revolt by students, marginals and the excluded –
Those who have the guts to say,
“No sir, we don’t agree!”

Further up in front, we must replant our roots,
Make new graft, wash our feet clean
To welcome the new day. Tomorrow is up there behind a cloud.
It’s gorgeous!

Yer nou ti dan zonn soufrans,
blese par britalite, imilie par kriote
me sans pou twa e sans pou mwa,
ti finn ena bon berze, devwe ek zenere,
ki ti gid nou pa lor lapant glisan
ziska ki nou rant dan vale fertil.

Me zordi ki to pe fer?
Antour to lespas ar difil barble?
Plant pikan raket lor sime zanfan?

Zordi dan mem zonn soufrans ena seki ti ar nou
me ki finn res par deryer – malsans zot sef finn prefer
pas blanko lor so deryer.
Twa ki rapel soufrans yer, zet to fwet;
ofer enn fler.

Yesterday we were in pain zone,
Hurt by brutality and cruelty
But we were lucky to have
Good, devoted and generous shepherds
To guide us up slippery slopes
Into a fertile valley.

But today, what are you doing?
Fence the place with barbed wire?
Grow thorn bush on children’s path?

In today’s pain zone are those who were with us
But left behind – ‘tis pity their leaders
Chose to paint their bottoms white.
You who remember yesterday’s pains
Throw away your whip and give a flower.

Lor lezel poezi les nou nam anvole
pou li ranz enn vizion kot lavi diferan
tres petal ek pikan dan enn kolie mervey
kot pikan respe fler. Difisil pa enposib!

Sey mazinn enn site – pa site depotwar –
enn site entegre ar devlopman lavil,
ar progre nou pei; enn site kot zanfan
kapav zwe dan zarden, kot bann vie gran dimoun
dan lazwa ti-zanfan trouv lespwar lazenes,
kot fam pa gagn bate, kot ladrog pa touye …

Ansam anou reve ki pouvwar dominer,
fanatik ek rasis dan lame enn pogne
pa pou kapav tini ler nou tou trap lame
senser ek zenere. Difisil pa enposib.

On the wings of poetry let my soul fly
To work out a vision where something new
Will plait flowers and spikes into a garland
In which spikes mind flowers. Difficult, not impossible.

Imagine a workers’ housing estate – not a dumping ground –
An estate in line with development
And the country’s growth; an estate where children
Have playgrounds, where seniors
See new hopes in present joys,
Where women are not battered, and drugs don’t kill …

Let’s together dream that racist, sectarian
And oppressive power in the hands of a few
Cannot stand our strength when we hold hands,
Loving and sharing hands. Difficult, not impossible.

Zis avan mo somey kase
Mo marenn-fe glis dan mo nam
enn ti-fraz plen ar mister saz,
ki fors mwa reviz mo lespri,
ki fors mwa reget otour mwa
emerveye par seki senp,
telman senp ki nou pa pran kont:
si nou tou isi lor nou lil
nou get bien mem ki nou ete
nou pou gagn sok, gran sok, baba
parski nou tou anverite,
ki nou anvi, nou pa anvi,
nou tou isi, nou tou Kreol,
transplante dan nouvo later.

Endo-Kreol, Afro-Kreol,
Ero-Kreol, Sino-Kreol;
Kreol krwayan, Kreol ate;
Endo-Kreol Endou / Kretien;
Endo-Kreol Mizilman ‘si;
Afro-Kreol Kretien / Rasta;
Afro-Kreol Mizilman ‘si;
Ero-Kreol Kretien / Endou;
Ero-Kreol Mizilman ‘si;
Sino-Kreol Boudis / Kretien;
Sino-Kreol Mizilman ‘si;
nou tou isi, nou tou Kreol,
transplante dan nouvo later.

Mo pe reve ousa vre-vre
realite anverite
li net-net enn lot kalite?
Sirman enn rev iresponsab.
Sirman enn rev vander lalit.
Melanz sanbrani ar dilar!
Iresponsab jati bechwa!

Mo marenn-fe fer enn sourir,
fer mwa konpran tousa normal,
ki mem si nou tou mem nasion
konfli zame pou arete.
Pou’ena konfli ant de lide,
ant lentere diferan group,
ant lepase ek lavenir,
ant avanse ek rekile …
Akoz samen marenn dir mwa,
fit to kreyon, ouver lizie,
ouver bien gran to de zorey,
les bann kouler ek lamizik
pei Kreol koul dan to nam;
plonz to leker dan santiman
ki sort Ganga, la Seine, la Loire;
les labriz maren kares to seve,
les lapli lete aroz to lipie,
les parfen later mont dan to narinn.
Lerla ar lekritir Kreol
skilpte to idantite
e tras sime to devlopman.

Just before I woke up
My fairy-godmother slipped into my soul
A few words of wise mystery
Which drove me into rethinking,
To have a fresh look around me,
Marvelling at simplicity,
So simple that we tend to ignore it:
If we all, on our island,
Sound the depth of what we are,
We’ll get the shock of our lives
Because we are,
We are … Creoles, yes Creoles all of us
Transplanted into new soil.

Indo-Creoles, Afro-Creoles,
Euro-Creoles, Sino-Creoles;
Believing and non-believing Creoles;
Hindu Indo-Creoles, Christian Indo-Creoles;
Muslim Indo-Creoles too;
Christian Afro-Creoles and Rasta too;
Muslim Afro-Creoles too;
Christian, Hindu Euro-Creoles;
Muslim Euro-Creoles too;
Buddhist, Christian Sino-Creoles;
Muslim Sino-Creoles too;
Indo-Afro-Euro- Sino
We are … Creoles, yes Creoles all of us
Transplanted into new soil.

A dream? Reality?
True reality?
Another reality?
Surely an irresponsible dream!
A traitor’s dream!
Mixing pork with clarified butter?
Renegade rascal!

My fairy-godmother smiled
To say that was alright
For even within the same breed
Conflicts often arise.
Conflicts between two thoughts,
Between two groups,
Between the past and the future
Between forward and backward …
That’s why, she told me,
I should sharpen my pencil, open my eyes,
Keep my ears wide open,
Allow Creole colours and music
To seep into my soul;
Dip my heart in emotions
From the Ganges, the Seine and the Loire;
Let the sea breeze caress my hair,
Let the summer rain water my feet,
Let the soil’s fragrance titilate my nostrils.
Then with Creole words
Carve my identity
And chart the road to development.

To’le kone kifer
Mo nam gayar mont dan lezer?

Kan mo’le sante
Mo pa asiz lor liv gramer
Ousa dibout lor diksioner,
Farsfoud dideor.
Mo konpoz mo prop masala.

Mo pran parol zwazo Samarel,
Aroz lor li zepis larkansiel,
Vers ladan dile limanite,
Parfim li ar jafrann dinite,
Met enn pense mo lamour pou twa
E melanz tou ar mo prop ledwa.

Ala sekre mo prop masala.

You want to know why
My sprightly spirit reaches for the sky?

When I want to sing
I don’t sit on a grammar book
Or stand on a dictionary,
Imported fast food.
I make my own curry powder.

I take words from Samarel birds,
Sprinkle on it rainbow spices,
Pour in humanity’s milk
And sweeten it with zafran dignity;
Then I add a pinch of my love for you
And mix it all with my own fingers.

This is the secret of my curry powder.

To pa gagn konpran kifer
Mo pas mo letan ekrir
Sante ge-tris, dous-amer;
Zestaz bizar bann fouka;
Zistwar drol pou bann zanfan;
Nouvo fraz, nouvo parol
Pou bon-tan ek move-tan.

Pa trouv drol! Ala kifer.

Kan mo pran bann parol brit
Pas zot dan enn ben mazik,
Tourn zot pou fer bizou rar
Ki briye aswar dan nwar,
Lerla, mo zoli baba,
Mo zwir enn nisa apar.
You don’t understand why
I spend my time writing
Sad-joyful, bitter-sweet songs;
Crackpot’s bizarre antics;
Strange stories for children;
New words and sentences
For good and bad times.

Don’t worry! I’ll tell you.

When I take raw words,
Dip them in my magic pot,
Stir them to make a rarity
That shines at night in the dark,
Then my love,
I taste a rare delight.

Laba dan enn bout lesiel ble,
lesiel ble
mo gran lamour pe atann mwa,
atann mwa
dan enn tavern kot rom ek gajak bon,
ansam nou pou soul nou bontan.

Orevwar mo bizen ale,
pa les salam fer zot plore,
nou konn bien sakenn pou pran so prop sime,
Salam, salam, salam, salam tou kamarad,
Mo gran lamour pe apel mwa,
apel mwa,
mo’nn kol mo nam
lor kouvertir mo liv,
mo sir mo bann zanfan pou swiv…

There in a spot of clear blue sky,
Clear blue sky
My true love waits there for me,
Waits for me
In a tavern where food and drink are good
And there we’ll have a good, good time.

Salaam, shalom I must just go,
Don’t let farewell shed any tear.
We know each one will take their way,
Their own way.
Farewell, farewell all my good friends;
My great love is calling me,
Calling me,
My soul is there
On the cover of my book;
I’m sure that my children will look …

28. SI
Si mo ti bizen twa
Pou meble mo lavi
Zis pou kwi mo kari
Ousa sof mo lili
Mo pa ti pou dir twa
Gate, mo kontan twa.

Si mo ti bizen twa
Pou swagn mo maladi,
Pou ranplas mo beki,
Fer nou zanfan grandi
Mo pa ti pou dir twa
Gate, mo kontan twa.

Akoz mo kontan twa
Mo bizen tousala.

If I needed you
To furnish my space
To cook my food
To warm up my bed
I wouldn’t tell you
I love you.

If I needed you
To nurse me
To prop me up
Nurse my children
I wouldn’t tell you
I love you.

Because I love you
I need all these.

Mo ti bizen dir twa kikfwa
Ki mo’enn lakok san so pistas,
Enn koko sek nek ar lapay,
Enn fler kann san so gouli;

Mo ti bizen pans pou dir twa
Ki mo’enn lakaz san so kot-mwa,
Enn ti lil san so Virzini,
Enn lesiel san lalinn-zetwal;

Mo pa’nn panse pran mo letan
Pou dir twa san twa napeyna mwa;
Mo’nn pran twa pou larzan kontan,
Aster tro tar pou mo dir twa …
Me mem tro tar mo pou dir twa
To ti toultan dan mo lespri.

Maybe, I should have told you
I’m a nutless shell,
A dry coconut full of coir,
A cane flower without stalk;

I should have thought to tell you
I’m a house and not a home,
A small island without Virginia,
A sky without stars and moon;

I didn’t bother to take time
To tell you without you I don’t exist;
I took you for granted,
And now it’s too late …
And yet I want to say
You were always in my mind.

Kan gran douk pe chombo twa ar lakord traka,
Atrap for to trip sere dan lak brikabrak,
Trangle tou to bann zefor ar ne labaka;

Kan tourman pe tourdi twa ar violans matrak,
Fons twa net dan soufrans sek ki bril lesperans,
Anter twa dan enn trou nwar kot stres fer lalwa,

Napa larg lekor matlo. Al lekol pasians,
Pran mizir to prop lasans, to pou trouv mirak;
Kapav kas lasenn traka, efas lanwit blans,
Krak lalign file lagign ki vwal to lafwa;
Napa rod kasiet lekor pou plor to malsans,
Swiv miraz enn larkansiel lor sime larak.

Get bien for! Li la kot twa! So lamour meksinn
Pou konsol to leker ak, geri to mofinn.

When bitter strife holds you with intertwined cordage,
Grab your twisted guts in wriggling noose,
Strangle your efforts with knots to kill;

When painful strain batters you with violent clubs,
Drives you into sorrow that kills hope,
Bury you in a black hole where stress bludgeons,

Don’t give up, dear. Be schooled in patience,
Measure your luck and suddenly it happens;
The stranglehold is broken, sleeplessness fades,
The nightmare’s net that weakens faith, starts to crack;
Don’t seek reclusion to mourn your fate
Or follow rainbow’s mirage in a glass.

Open your eyes! Love and care are there
To comfort, wipe out acridness, cure adversity.

Dan somey letan, kan mwazi lespri
Kouma verdigri pe soul so bontan;
Dan larouy lespri kan lagal feray
Pe zwe sapsiway ar nou pie toulsi;

Dan lelan dormi kan pianter zafer
Kouma lerb lanfer rod fer paradi;
Dan loder zafer kan dibilision
Pe zwe sot mouton lor fler planeter;

Napa kil parad, do kamwad, napa bes lebra,
Anou ranz bann pon, mo dalon, ar enn gro penso
Nou tras larkansiel, do matlo, kouler Samarel,
Bat sa ravann la, do beta, nou finn trouv bien lwen,
Atas tou bann bout, mo bayo, ar difil sitar,
Bouz sa leren la, do baba, Moris enn lil far.

In time’s sleep when mind’s mold,
Greenish fungus, is in high gear;
In mind’s rust when iron wart flakings
Juggle sapsiwaye with our tulsi plant;

In sleep’s thrust when business stench
Like hell’s grass sketches delusion;
In business foulness when allergy
Plays leapfrog over planetary flowers;

Don’t give up dear friend, don’t back down;
Let’s build a bridge buddy; with a brush
Let’s paint a rainbow dear pal, with Samarel’s colours;
Rat-a-tat your ravanne, son, the future is clear;
Tie up all loose ends my chum, with sitar strings;
Shake up your hip my lovely, we are a lighthouse.

To kone gate, depi gramaten
Mo pe grifone san tengn mo lafen.
Bann parol slogan, bann zimaz rasi
Pe fletri kolaz ar fraz konfeti.

To kone gate, lapli pe tonbe,
Pe mouy mo gete, mwazi mo papie.
Mo plim pe bave; laliann lapat mous
Pe kas mo lelan, atas mo labous.

Mo rod-rod partou enn bout lesiel ble,
Enn kwen lekleraz lor laplaz tranpe.
Zefor kalkile karot mo lalang,
Angourdi mo nam, may mwa dan vavang.
Shakti O Shakti! Demay mo lespri,
Les mo nam sante kouma’enn bagali.

You know, love, since this morning
I have been scribbling nonstop.
Slogans and cliches have been piling up;
Collage confetti-like has buried freshness.

You know, love, it’s raining
Soaking my vision, growing fungus on my paper;
My pen is leaking; shapeless writings
Cramp my style and dumbfound me.

I look in vain for some blue sky,
For some light on the wet beach.
Cerebral efforts thwart my tongue,
Numb my soul, bind me in doldrums.
Shakti O Shakti, free my mind
And let my red-whiskered bulbul sing.

Enn mo? Enn santiman? Enn mit?
Enn lamod? Ki ete lamour?
Sis let, de silab? Samem tou?
Ousa plis? Plis ki labitid
Viv ansam? De nam ki rezwenn
Dan nouvo lavi? Ousa plis?
Plis ki koudfoud Platonik,
Plis ki romans Hollywood?
Ousa enn entwision,
Enn santiman pli profon
Ki rezonnman Aristot,
Ki lozik Kartezien?
Eski li pa enn krwayans for
Ki Lamour kapav touy lamor?

Lamour se enn reyon lalinn som-som
Enn sware liver ler zetwal pe fonn;
Enn dernie bouton fler roz lor enn plant
Ki’nn fini atake par lipou blan;
Sante enn ti-pikpik frazil-frazil
Kan loraz ek zekler pe desir so nik;
Enn not dou saxofonn avan silans
Final plonz lekzistans dan ignorans;
Se sourir tris Gran Ser Silansie,
Se Gandhi ki donn lavi Zezi,
Se silans kan leker pe vibre,
Se sourir lor figir ti baba.
Lamour, vre lamour, se triyonf lavi
Lor lamor; prezans dou mo bieneme.

A word? A feeling? A myth?
A fashion? What is love?
A four-letter-one-syllable word? That’s all?
Or more? More than living together
Routine? Two souls meeting again
In new births? Or more?
More than love at first sight,
More than Hollywood romance?
Or rather an intuition,
A feeling deeper
Than Aristotle’s
Or Descartes logic?
Is it not a belief that
Love can overcome death?

Love is a weak ray of moonlight,
A wintry night when stars are melting;
A last rose bud on a naked plant
In the clutches of whiteflies;
The song of a delicate zozo-manioc
When thunder and lightening tears its nest;
The sweet note of a saxophone before
Silence closes everything;
It’s the sad smile of our Silent Sister;
It’s Gandhi giving life to Jesus;
It’s silence when the heart is blessed;
It’s the smile on the face of a baby.
Love, true love, is the triumph of life
Over death; the presence of my beloved.

Kan ler finn arive, kan finn ler pou ale
Fale pa plore ousa ris leker.
Sakenn so ler, sakenn so zour
E kan zour-ler finn arive
Poz to lakrwa anba enn pie,
Lav lame-lipie, dir mersi Lavi
Ki finn les twa gout lavi.

Tou seki koumanse enn zour bizen fini;
Mem soley galaxi kont segonn ki pase,
Gagn vizion lavenir dan profon enn trou nwar.

Pa atann to ler anpandan dan vid!
Mank lamizik? Amenn to not.
Mank armoni? Met to lakor.
Amenn sourir lor figir bann zanfan.

When it’s time to go
Don’t break down and cry.
To each their time and day
And when time-day arrives
Put your cross under a tree,
Wash your hands and feet to thank Life
Who has made you taste life.

Whatever starts has an end;
Even suns in galaxies watch the passage of time,
See the future in black holes.

Don’t just bide time and wait and wait!
There’s no music? Bring in your notes!
There’s no harmony? Bring in majors and minors.
Bring a smile on children’s faces.

Ki pe pase dan liniver?
Kikenn kapav dir?
Eski partou mem zafer
Kouma lor Later?
Eski lager san pider
Polie latmosfer?
Eski gourmandiz feros
Ranpli detrwa pos?
Eski pouvwar labraget
Fer dimoun-bebet?

E si Bondie ti enn fam… !
Kikfwa Bondie li enn fam
Ki’nn fer Later lekontrer
Pou lezot aprann.

What’s going on in the universe?
Can anyone tell me?
Is everywhere like here
On planet Earth?
Where stupid war
Pollutes the air?
There as well ravishing greed
Fills a few coffers?
There as well fly power
Makes ferocious beasts?

And if God was a woman?
Maybe He’s a She
Who’s made Earth different
For others to learn.

Enn swar ler soley kouse
Mo ti gagn bien per.
Si mo soley kous enn kout sek
Ki pou arive?
Ki pou ariv mo bieneme,
Ki pou ariv mo bann zanfan,
Mo Ti-Bout, bann poem pa’nkor ekrir,
bann sante pa konn sante,
ki pou ariv mwa?
…mo transpir gro telman mo per…

Aster Sennyer mo nepli per;
Li bet gagn per kan Neseser
Apel mwa dan lot liniver
Mem si nanye gout tou kouler.

One evening when the sun was setting
I suddenly felt deep fear.
If suddenly my sun would set
What would happen?
What would happen to my beloved,
To my children,
To my small one, my unwritten poems,
Songs not yet learnt,
What would befall me?
… intense fear grew cold sweats …

Now lord I’m not afraid;
Why need we fear when Needful
Calls you to the other end
Though nothingness tastes colourful?

Mem si koumadir mwa mo ti’enn ate
– Mo’nn deza konn sa –
Ler mo ti zwenn twa Beatris-Shakti
– Lespri transpire –
Dekouver to nam, fer lamour ar twa
– Angst chombo mo trip –
Retrouv kreasion dan sak gout frison,
Pran sime frengan ver lasours sakre …

Mem si koumadir mo ti enn ate
Akoz nou lamour Beatris-Shakti
Mo ti pou envant Bondie Kreater,
Ranz enn katedral dan limaziner,
Eple imortel pou ki twa ek mwa
Zame separe, Beatris-Shakti.

Even if I didn’t believe
– I’ve been through that too –
When I met you Beatrice-Shakti,
– My mind did sweat –
Read through your soul, made love,
– Angst gripped my guts –
Rediscovered creation in each drop of thrill,
Took the vibrant road to the sacred spring …

Even if I didn’t believe,
To celebrate our love Beatrice-Shakti
I would have invented a Creator,
Built an abbey in my mind’s eye,
Spelt the word ‘immortal’ so that we
May never part, Beatrice-Shakti.

Kan berze nepli protez annyo,
e sadou pe fer krim dan berso;
kan lekol napa donn lekleraz
me plonz zanfan dan pit kafouyaz;
kan legliz napa konn gid nou pa
kaise belona do koko, kaise belona?

Kan lerwa Salomon divage
e Rachel so plore res mouye;
kan Noe so rado pran dilo
e Zozef pe desir so palto;
kan Aya finn fini vinn pagla
kaise belona do koko, kaise belona?

Kan progre met kostim roupi-sou,
devlopman dan lesiel pe pers trou;
kan sikse kas pake nikleer
e viktwar pe beni nou maler;
kan pouvwar dan lame bachara
kaise belona do koko, kaise belona?

Kan servi Zezikri pou modi,
souy malang ar sari Dropadi;
kan alim sanbrani ipokrit,
kan partaz parrsadi pou fer kit,
kan sakre finn nwaye dan paysa
kaise belona do koko, kaise belona?

When shepherds ignore lambs
And sadhus rape cribs;
When schools don’t shed light
But sink kids in cesspits;
When churches fail
What can we do, love, what can we do?

When King Solomon babbles
And Rachel’s cheeks remain wet;
When Noah’s ark leaks
And Joseph tears his coat;
When Ayya is loony
What can we do, love, what can we do?

When better wears dollar uniform,
When growth means a hole in the sky;
When nuke spells success
And victory writes sorrow;
When rascals have power
What can we do, love, what can we do?

When Christ is used to curse,
Dropadi’s saree to mop dirt;
When hypocrisy burns incense,
Temple offerings used to pay debts;
When holy is a dollar bill
What can we do, love, what can we do?

eh matlo anou lev nou ver
bwar lasante lamitie ek lamour
eh gate anou lev nou ver
pou selebre fler tou kouler
si enn zour lamitie ek lamour
tengn dan bobes lalanp nou lakour
samem zour mo pou bes mo popier
samem zour mo pou bes mo popier

eh matlo anou lev nou ver
bwar lasante nou frer, nou ser
eh gate anou lev nou ver
pou selebre lamour ek lamitie
si enn zour violans ek laenn
tengn nou diya, plonz tou dan nwar
samem zour mo pou bes mo popier
samem zour mo pou bes mo popier

eh matlo anou lev nou ver
bwar lasante zwazo tou kouler
eh gate anou lev nou ver
pou selebre lespwar ek boner
si enn zour tilespri ek mesanste
nway lalimier, plonz tou dan trou
samem zour mo pou bes mo popier
samem zour mo pou bes mo popier

eh matlo anou lev nou ver
bwar lasante Dife-Kreater
eh gate anou lev nou ver
pou selebre Nesans-Renesans
si enn zour lendiferans
efas sourir lor figir zanfan
samem zour mo pou bes mo popier
samem zour mo pou bes mo popier

Friends, let’s raise our glasses
And drink to love and friendship.
Love, let’s raise our glasses
To celebrate beautiful flowers.
If someday love and friendship
Were to die in the burner of our lamp
That day I would close my eyes,
That day I would close my eyes.

Friends, let’s raise our glasses
And drink to our brothers and sisters.
Love, let’s raise our glasses
To celebrate love and friendship.
If someday violence and hatred
Were to blow out our diya darkling
That day I would close my eyes,
That day I would close my eyes.

Friends, let’s raise our glasses
And drink to birds of all colours.
Love, let’s raise our glasses
To celebrate hope and happiness.
If someday pettiness and wickedness
Were to drown light in darkness
That day I would close my eyes,
That day I would close my eyes.

Friends, let’s raise our glasses
And drink to Creation Fire.
Love, let’s raise our glasses
To celebrate Birth and Rebirth.
If someday indifference
Wipes out a child’s smile
That day I would close my eyes,
That day I would close my eyes.

Channda-Mama lao
Enn soukoup dan dilo
Enn koko san fetaz
Ekleraz dan lonbraz
Channda-Mama lao

Channda-Mama lao
Enn soukoup dan dilo
Fanal pal-pal aswar
Ekler somey dan nwar
Channda-Mama lao

Channda-Mama lao
Vey mwa kan mo dodo
Tres enn kolie petal
Ar diaman bann zetwal
Channda-Mama lao

Mamma Luna up high
A saucer in water
Coconut coirless
A small light in darkness
Mamma Luna up high

Mamma Luna up high
A saucer in water
A pale lamp in shadow
Makes me sleep tight at night
Mamma Luna up high

Mamma Luna up high
Watch me as I’m sleeping
Plait a flower garland
With night sky bright diamonds
Mamma Luna up high

Kouler rouz flanbwayan pe apel banane,
Enn papiyon oranz dan lalimier dore
Pe kas poz lor fler zonn kot legliz Kaylason,
Pe kas poz lor fler zonn kot legliz Kaylason.
Enn bouke larkarsiel do mama,
Enn bouke larkansiel;
Enn bouke larkarsiel do mama,
Enn bouke larkansiel.
Zis pou twa,
Zis pou twa.

Enn seren-dikap zonn lor pie filao ver
Laba dan lesiel ble pe kontanple lamer,
Lamer ki finn marye laba ar ble fonse,
Lamer ki finn marye laba ar ble fonse.
Enn bouke larkarsiel do mama,
Enn bouke larkansiel;
Enn bouke larkarsiel do mama,
Enn bouke larkansiel.
Zis pou twa,
Zis pou twa.

Soley finn al dormi dan dilo endigo,
Lesiel finn vinn violet, li finn sanz so palto,
Bann zetwal pe briye, tou zanfan al dodo,
Bann zetwal pe briye, tou zanfan al dodo.
Enn bouke larkarsiel do mama,
Enn bouke larkansiel;
Enn bouke larkarsiel do mama,
Enn bouke larkansiel.
Zis pou twa,
Zis pou twa.

Red drops from flametrees are calling the new year;
An orange butterfly swimming in golden light
Alights on yellow blooms round Kaylasson Kovil,
Alights on yellow blooms round Kaylasson Kovil.
A rainbow bouquet Oh mother,
A rainbow bouquet;
A rainbow bouquet Oh mother,
A rainbow bouquet.
Just for you!
Just for you!

A yellow finch on casuarina green
In azure sky admires the blue sea,
The sea which further becomes darker blue,
The sea which further becomes darker blue.
A rainbow bouquet Oh mother,
A rainbow bouquet;
A rainbow bouquet Oh mother,
A rainbow bouquet.
Just for you!
Just for you!

The sun now has gone down in indigo water;
The sky is now violet, has put on its nightgown;
The stars are now shining, children should go to bed,
The stars are now shining, children should go to bed.
A rainbow bouquet Oh mother,
A rainbow bouquet;
A rainbow bouquet Oh mother,
A rainbow bouquet.
Just for you!
Just for you!

So varis dan mole parfwa fer li bwate,
So lekor perdi form finn pran form larg-large,
So poutou seve nwar rey-reye ar bren blan,
Sa fam la bien lontan finn perdi so ven-tan.

So lizie finn ize ar routinn san pasion,
So lalev fatige ar lamour kont sezon,
So lekor finn kraze ar refren kontretan,
Sa fam la finn perdi so ven-tan bien lontan.

So lespri bien souvan lor beki labitid,
Lor beki tradision parfwa li bien rizid,
So desten finn fixe, li nek pans so zanfan,
Sa fam la so ven-tan finn perdi bien lontan.

Me parfwa lor beki li perdi lekilib,
Li anvol dan lavi kouma enn zwazo lib,
Santiman transparan eklat kouma volkan.
Mo lebra antour li, mo retrouv so ven-tan.

Depi bien-bien lontan li pa ena ven-tan,
Nou lamour azordi nepli kouma avan.
Li finn travers letan dan bon-tan, move-tan
Me pou mwa touletan li pou ena ven-tan.

Varicose veins and limping legs,
A flabby, yielding and sagging body,
Black-white-black-white hair bun,
Her twenties were gone can’t-remember-ago.

Eyes washed out by passionless routine,
Lips fed up with out of season embrace,
A body trampled by tuneless songs,
Her twenties were gone can’t-remember-ago.

Her mind often leans on habit crutches,
On custom crutches she may be quite rigid,
Her fate is known, she has children,
Her twenties were gone can’t-remember-ago.

But at times she loses crutch balance
And she flies into life like a free bird;
Powerful feelings burst out in flame…
In my arms she’s twenty again.

Her twenties were gone can’t-remember-ago.
Our love today is not like before;
We’ve been through good and bad times
But in my mind she’ll always be twenty.

Si to pa la enn zour gate,
Si to bizen kit mwa ale,
Mosad pou ranz enn nik kot nou,
Fad-fad pou rant dan gardmanze,
Si to pa la enn zour gate.

Si zour la enn zour arive
Ler to soley pou al kouse
Meg-meg pou rant dan nou lakaz,
Eg-eg pou tas dan nou sime,
Si zour la enn zour arive.

Si to pa la enn zour gate,
Si zour la enn zour arive,
Mem to soley aret leve,
Li li pou la toultan gate,
Limem fer nou soley leve.

Kan sa zour la pou arive,
Mem mo tousel pa trakase,
Nwar-nwar pou rod fer so vantar,
Pa trakase, Li li pou la,
Limem fer nou soley leve.

If someday you’re gone, my love,
If you have to leave me and go,
Sadness will build its nest in our home;
Tastelessness will creep into the pantry,
If someday you’re gone, my love.

If that day one day arrives
When your sun sinks into the sea,
Skinniness will barge into our home,
Sourness will storm our street,
If that day one day arrives.

If someday you’re gone, my love,
If that day one day arrives
Though your sun will not rise again
SheHe will still be here.
They make our suns rise.

When that day one day arrives
Though I’ll be alone, don’t worry;
Darkness triumphant will swashbuckle
But don’t mind it. SheHe will be here;
They make our suns rise.

Dan lizie kler mo bieneme mo kontanple to lalimier,
Dan transparans so lizie kler mo plonz mo nam dan profonder;
Dan profonder so transparans mo rod partou to lalimier
Me transparans so lizie kler li laparans to lalimier.

Dan sourir kler mo de zanfan mo rod konpran tou to grander;
Dan inosans zot sourir kler mo plonz mo nam pou dekouver
Kot lenerzi to lalimier pran so nesans dan liniver
Me inosans zot sourir kler li laparans to lalimier.

Dan lesiel kler mo get soley pou apresie to lalimier,
Dan so pwisans enkandesan mo plonz mo nam pou rod trouv kler;
So lalimier enkandesan bril mo lizie, tengn lalimier
Pwisans soley li laparans vre lalimier nou liniver.

Dan sante kler zwazo kouler mo sey atrap to lalimier;
Dan rezonans zot sante kler mo plonz mo nam pou sey trouv kler;
Dan lalimier zot rezonans mo rod partou tras to grander
Me rezonans zwazo kouler li laparans to lalimier.

Dan parfen kler bann fri ek fler mo sey mazinn tou to grander;
Dan lekzistans zot parfen kler mo plonz mo nam dan profonder;
Dan profonder zot lekzistans mo sey tchombo to lalimier
Me lekzistans zot parfen kler li laparans to lalimier.

Pardon Senier, dan tousala mo pa finn trouv to lalimier.
To lalimier li ti lamem, me mo lizie pa ti trouv kler.
To tousala, to plis ki sa. Pou konpran sa bizen leker.
Bizen senser pou dekouver vre lalimier nou liniver.

In my love’s clear bright eyes I strive hard to catch your light;
Into the brightness of her clear eyes my soul sinks down deeply;
In the depth of their brightness I look around to find your light
But the brightness of her clear eyes is just a shadow of your light.

In my children’s clear smile I try to grasp your greatness;
In their clear innocent smile my soul sinks down to find
Where in the universe your light draws its power
But their clear innocent smile is just a shadow of your light.

In the clear sky I watch the sun to behold your light;
In powerful incandecence my soul strives to grasp the naked truth;
Incandescent light singes my eyes and cuts off light.
The powerful sun is just a shadow of your light.

In the clear songs of colourful birds I try to catch your light;
In the tune of their clear songs my soul strives to see the truth;
In the light of their songs I look for signs of your greatness
But the colourful tunes are just a shadow of your light.

In the fragrance of fruits and flowers I try to grasp your greatness;
In their clear fragrance my soul sinks down deeply;
In the depth of what they are I try to catch your light
But their clear fragrance is just a shadow of your light.

Forgive me my Lord, in all these I did not find your light.
Your light was there all the time but I was blind.
You’re all this and much more. We need a thinking heart!
Only a thinking heart can help us find Creation’s true light.

Poz to lalev lor mo poem
Fer mo sante vinn imortel,
Poz to lamour lor mo lavi
Fer mo lavi vinn eternel.

Dimoun partou pe boufonn mwa,
Zot dir koumsa enn fouka sa;
Zot pa konpran ki dan enn fler
Mo kapav trouv to sourir kler.

Poz to lalev lor mo poem
Fer mo sante vinn imortel, …

Dimoun partou zot tro serye,
Zot pa’le kwar dan lesiel ble
Ler soley dou fann lalimier
Mo kapav tann to lavwa kler.

Poz to lalev lor mo poem
Fer mo sante vinn imortel, …

Dimoun partou zot lespri lour;
Pa gagn letan pou pans lamour.
Zot riy foutan kan zot tann dir
Mo pran letan pou mo ekrir.

Poz to lalev lor mo poem
Fer mo sante vinn imortel, …

Zot riy foutan kan zot tann dir
Mo pran letan pou mo ekrir
Ar mo onet mo santiman
Ki bourzone mem dan koudvan.

Poz to lalev lor mo poem
Fer mo sante vinn imortel, …

Dimoun partou pe fer erer,
Poem damour li neseser
Parski lamour li eternel,
Limem fer nou vinn imortel.

Poz to lalev lor mo poem
Fer mo sante vinn imortel,
Poz to lamour lor mo lavi
Fer mo lavi vinn eternel.

Put your lips on my poem,
Make my song immortal;
Put your love on my life,
Make my life eternal.

Everywhere people laugh at me,
They all say I’m crazy;
They don’t agree that in a flower
I can see your bright smile.

Put your lips on my poem,
Make my song immortal …

People are so rational
That they don’t believe it when I say
That when the sun sheds its sweet light
I can hear your pleasant voice.

Put your lips on my poem,
Make my song immortal …

People are so material,
They have no time for love.
They laugh and sneer to hear
I spend my time writing.

Put your lips on my poem,
Make my song immortal …

They laugh and sneer to hear
I take my time to write
With honest words, feelings
That shoot forth even when it blusters.

Put your lips on my poem,
Make my song immortal …

I say they are all wrong;
Love poems are necessary
Because love is eternal
And makes us immortal.

Put your lips on my poem,
Make my song immortal;
Put your love on my life,
Make my life eternal.

Yoni dan mo zorey ti mirmir enn sante
ki li ti aprann yer ar so ser Capulet:
‘My bounty is boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee
The more I have, for both are infinite.’
Letansa Cain ek Jacob pe pran, pran, pran.

Yoni yer ziska tar ti pran swen, ti pran kont
so zanfan, so bonom, so mama, so vwazen
e zordi bomaten boner li lor lipie
pe okip zanimo, patiraz ek zarden.
Letansa garson Eve pas letan pe tir plan
ki manier pou touye pou kapav sort premie.

Yoni dan Etiopi, dan Bosnia, dan Rosbwa
pe sey tengn lakoler ki pe bril bann zanfan;
pe vers so prop dile pou anpes Lisifer
ek so frer Belzeboul plonz zanfan inosans
dan lak anpwazone. Letansa Esau
pou enn ti bol lanti finn fer gran vinn piti.

Lafore Amazonn pe fonn dan lafime;
lasemine lizinn pe anpwazonn zwazo;
loto pe fim so pip dan salon nikotinn;
gran bourzwa eroinn, trafikan bal ek bom
ek dirizan mafia, granfrer politisien
pe fouy tom Lesperans ar lapel planeter …

Letansa Yoni ar so zimo Zezi-Kri
trap lame pou konsol enn mama pe plore.

Yoni murmured a song into my ears,
Song she learnt from her sister Capulet:
‘My bounty is boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee
The more I have, for both are infinite.’
Meanwhile Cain and Jacob took and took again.

Yoni yesternight took care and looked after
Children, husband, parents and neighbours
And early this morning she’s on her feet again
Caring for the herd and the orchard.
Meanwhile Eve’s son is planning
Murder to become first.

Yoni in Ethopia, Bosnia and Rosbwa
Tries to put out the fire harming children;
With her milk she tries to foil Lucifer’s
And his brother Beelzebub’s attempt
To drown innocent children in the poisoned lake.
Meanwhile for a mess of pottage Esau sells all.

The Amazon rainforest is burning;
Factory chimneys are killing birds;
Cars smoke their pipes in nicotine parlours;
Heroin tycoons, arms dealers
And mafia leaders, demagogue’s benefactors
Are burying hope with planetary spades. …

Meanwhile Yoni and her twin brother Jesus
Hold hands to comfort a weeping mother.

Zot finn envant enn bondie
ki mars ar sab dan lame;
zot finn envant enn bondie
ki pran enn vierz touleswar.
Aster zot ena toupe
koz lape, egalite.

Zot finn envant enn bondie
ki bizen Satan pou viv;
ki bizen so prop kontrer
pou nou trouv so lalimier;
ki fer nou viv dan lanfer
pou nou envant paradi.
Aster zot ena toupe
koz enn lemonn san pese.

Zot finn envant enn bondie
ki pran braib pou donn faver;
ki anplway larme espion
pou gard kont tou nou erer;
ki pini, modi peser
san pitie, san konpasion.
Aster zot ena toupe
dimann nou respe bondie.

Enn sans Zezi ti vini pou ansengn nou liberte.

They’ve invented a god
Who goes about carrying a sabre;
They’ve invented a god
Who needs a virgin every night.
And they have the cheek
To talk of peace and equality.

They’ve invented a god
Who needs Satan to exist;
Who needs his own opposite
To help us see the light;
Who has made hell
To help us invent heaven.
And yet they have the cheek
To talk of a sinless world.

They’ve invented a god
Who takes bribes to give favours;
Who has an army of spies
To record our failings;
Who punishes, and curses sinners
And yet they have the cheek
To suggest that we obey that god.

Luckily Jesus came to teach us freedom.

Zezi lor lakrwa
selebre lavi
lamor konkeran
oblize kile
divan lavi triyonfan
me dan Washington
lamor triyonfan
fer lavi kile
Eski Zezi finn mor dan vid?

masinn la roul-roule
kras dife, kras pwazon
fer lapli lasid tonbe
masinn la roul-roule
fann diplon, fann merkir
desir vant later pou enstal lamor
fann poumon lesiel
koup respirasion
lavi rekile
Eski Zezi finn mor dan vid?

Li pe signal nou
militan lamour
dres ar bann marsan
marsan dinite
marsan mesanste
marsan lamor

Jesus on his cross
Celebrates life
Triumphant death
Is forced to give way
To triumphant life
But in Washington
Triumphant death
Forces life to give way
Did Jesus die in vain?

The cogwheels keep churning
Spit fire and poison
Pour down acid
The cogwheells keep churning
Scatter lead and mercury
Tear Gaia’s womb to plant death
Tear heaven’s lungs
Induce breathlessness
Life gives way
Did Jesus die in vain?

He’s telling us
Love militants
To stand against traders
Traders who trade dignity
And death.

lavi apre lamor
li pa zis laba
li isi
dan regar zanfan
dan sourir inosan
dan petal enn fler
dan bourzon nouvo boutir
dan enn ti bonzour ki pa rod faver

li isi sirtou
kan diferans ek tolerans
konplet enn serk
kan mwa ek nou
torsenn kole konpleman
kan konpliman ek flatri
kan konsome ek prezerve
bien balanse

li isi sertennman
ler yoni ek linga
partaz parrsadi
olie lager privilez pouvwar
ler resours rim ar bienet
pa malonet
ler pouvwar nepli rim ar
bayonet ek labraget

lavi apre lamor
li posib
isi kouma laba
li dan enn lakrwa
anba pie pipal

Life after death
Is not there only
It is here
In the eyes of a child
In an innocent smile
In the petal of a flower
In the sprout of a new cutting
In the ‘hello!’ that seeks no favour

It’s here chiefly
When difference and tolerance
Make a full circle
When the ‘we’ and the ‘I’
Are genuine bosom friends
When praise and flattery
Are opposites
When consuming and preserving
Have struck a balance

It’s certainly here
When Yoni and Linga
Share offerings
Rather than fight for power privileges
When resources rhyme with welfare
Genuine and honest
When power rhymes not with
Rape and warfare

Life after death
Is possible
Both here and there
It’s in the cross
Under yon peepal tree

Pa bate li misie
Ayo mo gran misie
Li pe koz laverite
Li napa enn pares
So saret finn tas dan labou …

Ou enn gran misie
Ou fwet dan ou lame
Mwa mo enn ti nwar
Mo kone mo anretar
Me mo napa enn pares mo dir ou
Mo saret finn tas dan labou

Respe mo fam gran misie, respe mo fam.
Napa fer sa gran misie, napa fer sa.
Mo napa antor, li napa antor
Partou lapli, gran misie, sime labou
Ki mo pou fer
Mo saret finn tas dan labou.

Ou finn kit ou fwet gran misie
Pou viol mo fam
Ou touni aster gran misie, ou touni aster
Dan mo lame gran misie, dan mo lame
Ou fwet, gran misie, dan mo lame
Ou fwet, gran misie kouma zekler
Pou desir ou laser gran misie
Ar ou disan, gran misie, ar ou disan
Mo pou souy mo larm,
Mo pou lav mo loner,
Ar ou disan gran misie.

Ayo! Gran misie
Ou disan rouz
Parey kouma pou mwa
Ou laser desire
Parey kouma pou mwa.
Kisanla premie, kisanla
Finn donn ou enn fwet gran misie
Pou ou viol lavi gran misie
Pou nou viol disan limanite.

Don’t cane him Master
Oh my Grand Master
He speaks the truth
He’s not lazy
His cart got bogged down …

You are a powerful master
Holding the cane
I’m just a poor nigger
Who is late
But I’m not lazy, Grand Master
My cart got bogged down

Don’t touch my wife, Oh Master
Don’t do that Sir, don’t do that
She’s not to blame, don’t do that
Rain keeps falling, mud everywhere
Nothing doing
My cart got bogged down

You’ve left your cane mighty master
To soil my wife
Now you’re naked mighty master
My hand now holds your cane
Your cane is now in my hand
It will now tear your flesh sir,
Tear your flesh like lightening
Your blood will now
Wipe my tears
Clean my name
Your blood will, sir

Dear God! Master
Your blood is red
Like mine
Your torn flesh is just
Like mine
Who gave you that cane to
Flog and rape, Master
Who did that
Why do we shed human blood
Tell me Master

Bann lalang rouz-oranz-lor pe danse dan lorizon
Anflame. Kouma serpan disan zot pe ranp ver
Lesiel mov. Marenwar pe vini.
Freser ar so gran kapot
Pe anvlop vilaz san lalimier, san lespwar
Ar so bordir karo kann.
Dife ki pa pirifie, dife ki pa sofe,
Dife ki pa amenn lavi,
Dife ki pa detrir me grosi
Li amenn ni koumansman, li lafen.
So laflam kouma bontan dan siklonn.
Menase, grongne, grense, kriye,
Sifle, irle, krake, ronfle, rabase.
Boukou kouler, boukou mouvman me
Kouma enn miraz li disparet
Pou les tou parey kouma avan.

Chiniraja pe ranpli so poumon ar goudron.
Government warning, smoking
May damage your health.
Li fer enn sourir san konpran.
Enn lafnet dan so labous
Montre so lalang rouz
Deryer ledan zonn nikotinn.
Li plonz dan lamer nwar lapay brile,
Lasann profi pe voltize, dan lezer
Kouma tourbiyon li anserkle so lipie,
Mont ziska so nene.
So lakras nwar fer mastik
Dan so lagorz;
So poumon ranpli ar goudron;
Dan enn touf fey karbonize
Enn lonbraz pe sirkile
So laserp dan so lame.
So liniver kouma sarbon,
Lasann profi finn vinn mari.

Lenerzi farata-kari-pomdeter
Pe koule lor so fron
Simiz perkal kole lor so ledo.
Lasann profi ek transpirasion Chiniraja
Pe kol realite ar enn mastik.
So poumon ranpli ar goudron.
Government warning,
Smoking may damage
Chiniraja pa anvi riye.

Tongues of red, orange and gold twist on the horizon
In flames. Like blood snakes they crawl up to
The indigo sky. Night is falling.
The cold in its huge mantle
Wraps up the lightless, hopeless village
Surrounded by cane fields.
This is fire that does not purify or give warmth;
It does not bring life;
It does not destroy
But only increases profits.
It is neither the beginning nor the end.
Its flames are like a cyclone lull.
They threaten, grunt, groan, wail,
Hiss, roar, crack and snore.
Full of colour, sound and fury,
They suddenly vanish
Leaving everything as before.

Chiniraja fills his lungs with tar.
Government warning, smoking
May damage your health.
He smiles not knowing why.
A window in his mouth
Shows a red tongue
Behind yellow nicotine teeth.
He dives into the black sea of burnt straw,
Profit ash swirls up and down,
Round his legs and climbs up
To his nose.
His black saliva like putty
Sticks to his throat;
His lungs are full of tar;
Amidst blackened plants
A shadow is moving
Machete in hand.
His universe is charcoal black and
Profit ash is boss.

Paratha and potato curry energy
Runs down his face.
His dark blue khaki shirt sticks to his back.
Profit ash and Chiniraja’s sweat
Fixes life with a glue.
His lungs are full of tar
Government warning,
Smoking may damage
Chiniraja does not feel like laughing.

Bann disip bazarolozi
Pe ekrir kantik lor kantik
Pou selebre laverite
Iniversel fondamantal:
Lavi enn bazar,
Les bazar diriz lavi.

Premie disip, deziem disip,
Trwaziem disip pe ekout red
Vie kantik nef nouvo disip
Ki finn gagn enn revelasion:
Lavi enn bazar,
Les bazar diriz lavi.

Tou bann mouton, tou bann kabri,
Bann ti koson, bann gro koson
Swiv ankanter, pe sant anker
Refren mazik liberasion:
Lavi enn bazar,
Les bazar diriz lavi.

Bann bazarye aster dan goun.
Tou dimoun finn konpran gordonn:
Ena enn sel laverite
Iniversel fondamantal:
Lavi enn bazar,
Les bazar diriz lavi.

Lisou pouri finn bous bann dren?
Bous to nene. Gaz pe pet for?
Bous to zorey. To pa tro sir?
Bous to lespri. Aprann par ker:
Lavi enn bazar,
Les bazar diriz lavi.

Marketology disciples
Are writing oodles of hymns
To celebrate a universal
Fundamental truth:
Life is a market,
The market must lead life.

First, Second and Third
Disciple are all ears listening
To the new disciple’s old new tune
Who’s just had a revelation:
Life is a market,
The market must lead life.

Sheep and goats,
Piglets and pigs
Follow the auctioneer, singing in unison
The magical liberation song:
Life is a market,
The market must lead life.

Market vendors are happy.
The supreme message has gone down:
There is only one universal
Fundamental truth:
Life is a market,
The market must lead life.

Rotten cabbage clogs the sewer?
Hold your nose. Flatulence is too noisy?
Close your ears. You’re not sure?
Shut down your mind. Learn by heart:
Life is a market,
The market must lead life.

Dan kwen lari, kot laboutik,
Dan karo kann, lizinn zonnfrans,
Dan siwala, dan katedral,
Isi, laba, partou kote
Pa mwa, pa mwa, li sa, li sa
Bouz so waya kouma enn vierz

Bann enfirmie filozifi,
Bann pousari teolozi
Pe diskit red; zot eksite:
Premie pese ki responsab
Tou nou maler, tou nou mizer.
Jean-Paul Sartre trouv lanfer
Dan lakour so vwazen.
Alala bel-bel sousou!
Othello dan dezespwar
Rod red sabo Satan dan soulie Iago.
Abba! Satan finn fini fer nik
Dan so prop leker.
“Non, non, pa li sa, mwa sa!”
Othello-Christ pers so leker, vers so disan
Pou lav lagign lagli-kavchi.

Depi Grangob ziska Souyak,
Grannrivier ziska Titrivier
Pa mwa, pa mwa, li sa, li sa
Fer so piten.
Li touzour vierz.

On street corners, near shops,
In cane fields, in factories,
In temples and cathedrals,
Here, there, everywhere
Not me, not me, them, them
Shake their horny
Chastity hips.

Barefoot doctors in philosophy,
Illiterate shaman in theology
Are vocally excitedly active:
The original sin is to blame
For all our ordeals and miseries.
Jean-Paul Sartre finds hell
In his neighbour’s yard.
Plump chayote up for grabs!
Despairing Othello
Looks for Iago’s cloven hoofs.
Alas! Satan now nests
In his soul.
“No, no, it’s not them; it’s me!”
Christlike Othello stabs himself
To wash away iniquity and sins.

From Grandgob to Souyak,
From Grannrivier to Titrivier
Not me, not me, them, them
Shake their horny
Eternally chaste hips.

Dan tou kiltir kan nou’nn fer enn erer
Ena enn ti-mo ousa enn ti-fraz
Pou dir nou prosen “pardonn mwa mo frer”.
Me dan mo vilaz, pa kone kifer,
Mo bann frer ek ser zot lalang klose
Pou zot rekonet ki zot finn fane.
“Sa mo sir pa mwa, sa mo sir bannla”
Finn fini ranplas nou im nasional –
Pa enn tro gran pert, bann move size
Kapav pe panse; mwa mo pa dakor –
Parski nou, gran pep admirab, nou enn
Exepsion; nou finn re-ekrir proverb:
“Non humanum est erare” ousa
“Humanum est non erare”? Samem!

Enn boug tap ar ou? Li zour ou mama.
Mal fer nimero, li’nn kas ou somey,
Omilie lanwit telefonn sone?
Tansion ou repons fer li sap lor kal.
Dir enn travayer travay finn mal fer?
Tansion enspekter fer lennding lor ou.
Nek dir enn zelev li pa pou pase
Si li pa travay enpe pli serye?
Ayo mo papa! Vit-vit ou tann dir
Ou’enn kominalis. Enn pep admirab!

Pourtan li fasil kan nou’nn fer erer
Dir zis enn ti-fraz: “Mo sori matlo.”
Sori pa geri me li rafresi.

In all cultures when something goes wrong
There is a word or a phrase
To say, “I’m sorry!”
But in my hamlet, I don’t know why,
Tongue blisters prevent us from saying,
“I’m sorry!”
“I’m sure I’m right; I’m sure they’re wrong”
Is now our national anthem
– some unpatriotic rascals say it’s a good thing;
I don’t believe they’re right –
We are a marvellous people
Who have rewritten a universal proverb.
Is it “Non humanum est erare” or
“Humanum est non erare”? You see what is best!

Someone bumps into you. He insults you.
Your phone rings. Wrong number.
Middle of the night. Careful what you say!
You may put them off.
A piece of work is substandard.
Don’t grumble lest you get the law on your back.
Tell pupils they won’t get through
If they don’t work harder
And soon you’ll be branded a communalist.
We are a marvellous people!

And yet it’s so easy when we go wrong
To say, “Sorry mate!”
Sorry’s no cure but it does soothe.

Kouma’nn fanatik mo ti swiv zetwal
Lor lekran, lor disk:
James Dean, Belafonte, Elvis Presley.

Mo pas kot Shelley, mo pa trouv nanye
Telman mazik Hollywood sarye mwa
Lor lezel teknikolor-stereofonik dan paradi rev.
Tousa bien komik. Fer riye-onte.
Rod fer parey kouma zot;
Mem kwar talan pa manke.
E pandan sa letan la
Mo pas kot Shelley, mo pa trouv nanye.
Pourtan li ti dir
Enn poet li enn artizan langaz.

Ler lalimier Hollywood
Koumans perdi so kara,
Kouma berze lezander
Mo rod reyni tou zanfan
Dan gran larkansiel Larivier Tanie.

Kan mo ti konpran mo finn rat sime?
Pa kone. Pa kone, pa’nvi kone?
Difisil pou dir.
Dan miting? Dan renion?
Dan parlman? Dan kaso?
Pratik politik,
Vizion artistik,
Travay poetik
Parfwa mars ansam, parfwa zot lager.

Enn zour, san panse,
Parol ki Shelley ti dir
Kouma enn volkan
Eklate dan mo latet.
E si se sa mo sime?
Si mazik Hollywood,
Belafonte, Elvis Presley;
Si lexperyans lor teren;
Si konesans dan lekol;
Si lamour pou lang Kreol
Ti kapav marye pike
Pou fer kreasion marse?

zordi ni zetwal ni berze
mo zis enn disip
Gran Poet Shelley.

A fan following his stars,
This is what I was:
James Dean, Belafonte, Elvis Presley.

I walked on by Shelley, saw nothing,
Blinded by Hollywood magic,
Swept off my feet by technicolor-stereo into a dreamworld.
Funny? Laughingly ashamed.
A poor copycat;
Talentless ambition.
And all the while
I walked on by Shelley, saw nothing.
And yet he did say
Poets are the authors of language.

When Hollywood limelight
Started to fade,
As shepherds of yore
I tried to lead the children
Of rainbowed Tanier River.

When did I realise I had gone astray?
Dinnae ken. Do not or don’t want to know?
Not easy.
In public meetings? In party meetings?
In parliament? In Prison?
Political praxis,
Artistic vision,
Poetic works
Sometimes cohabit, sometimes compete.

One day unwittingly
The words of Shelley
Burst out
Like a volcano in my mind.
Is this my way?
What if Hollywood magic,
Belafonte, Elvis Presley;
What if grassroots activism,
Book knowledge,
Love for my tongue
Have all rolled into a big lump of
Creative energy?

Today neither star nor shepherd;
Just a disciple of
The Great Shelley.

Lor figir lalinn li trouv so zezer,
Lor reyon zetwal li get so pwenter,
Kan divan soufle, labriz mirmire
Toulde soupire, zot leker bate.
Samem nou apel ti zenes anfler.

Kan niaz plastisinn pe desinn zimaz,
Kan rafal lamer kit tras lor laplaz,
Sakenn dekouver figir so pwenter,
Zot nam pran lezer, resof zot leker.
Samem nou apel ti zenes anfler.

Kan zot lame zwenn bel bourzon frison,
Pli tipti kares provok explozion,
Lame dan lame zot koumans fer plan
Pou zot lavenir kan zot pou vinn gran.
Samem nou apel ti zenes anfler.

Ti zenes anfler dan zot ti leker
Pe santi zekler anflam zot boner.
Napa fer fezer, nou tou pas par la!
Nek fer enn zefor, rapel premie fwa
Kan zis enn sourir ti zenes anfler
Ti fer nou leker gonfle ar saler.

On the face of the moon they see their love,
On a star ray they see their flame,
When the wind blows and the breeze murmurs
Both sigh, twitter and flutter.
This what we call blossoming youth.

When plasticine clouds draw pictures,
When sea gusts sign on the seashore,
Each one sees the other’s face,
Their souls brighten up with feeling good.
This what we call blossoming youth.

When their hands do touch thrills trespass,
Explosions follow a loving caress,
Hand in hand they plan
The bright future ahead.
This what we call blossoming youth.

In blossoming youth’s heart
Lightning kindles bliss.
Don’t sneer. You too knew that.
Just try to recall the first time when
The shy smile of a blossoming youth
Made your heart swell with love.
57. ETA!
Kan li ti zenn lontan-lontan,
Li rapel bien toultan-toultan
So papa koz ar so mama
Parey kouma enn komandan.
So labitid pa konn sanzman.

“Eta, mo fatige, tir mo manze;
Eta, tir mo soulie, lav mo lipie;
Eta, ki to kone, bous to labous.
Eta, to pa tande, eski to sourd?”

Ler li vinn gran so tour vini
Pou gagn enn fam lor so lili
Pou kontrole, pou dirize.
Pa kil parad, zot tou dir li,
Bizen konn zwe vre rol mari.

“Eta, mo fatige, tir mo manze;
Eta, tir mo soulie, lav mo lipie;
Eta, ki to kone, bous to labous.
Eta, to pa tande, eski to sourd?”

So bann zanfan azordi zour
Dan mem lekol pe swiv mem kour.
Zot pe aprann ar zot papa
Kimanier kok dan so baskour
Kontrol bann poul ar so diskour.

“Eta, mo fatige, tir mo manze;
Eta, tir mo soulie, lav mo lipie;
Eta, ki to kone, bous to labous.
Eta, to pa tande, eski to sourd

When he was young, long time ago,
He remembers without much ado
His dad spoke to his docile mum
As a captain to a foot soldier.
Nothing unusual. No change.

“Oy silly! I’m tired. Where’s my food?
Oy silly, remove my shoes. Wash my feet!
Oy silly, shut up will you!
Oy silly, can’t you hear, are you deaf?”

When he grew up he had his turn
To have a woman for his bed
To boss about and bully.
He was well briefed to be a man
Who knew how well to wield power.

“Oy silly! I’m tired. Where’s my food?
Oy silly, remove my shoes. Wash my feet!
Oy silly, shut up will you!
Oy silly, can’t you hear, are you deaf?”

His children now they do follow
In selfsame school the selfsame class.
They are taught by their father
How cockerels in poultry yards
Keep tight control over hens.

“Oy silly! I’m tired. Where’s my food?
Oy silly, remove my shoes. Wash my feet!
Oy silly, shut up will you!
Oy silly, can’t you hear, are you deaf?”

Ferdinand ek Gabriel Oak
ena rezon. Lamour ki vre,
pa zis enn emosion ki tengn
kouma labouzi dan labriz;
pa zis enn dezir tanporer
ki pe atann prosenn sezon.
Lamour, vre lamour se dimiel-
manteg klarifie ki nou vers
dan hawann koun; se enn ofrand
ki nou poz kot lipie Zezi;
se enn mantra ant de lespri
ki finn swazir pou donn zot tou;
ki trap lame, travers kouran,
divan, lapli, toultan … toultan.

Ferdinand and Gabriel Oak
Are right. Love, true love
Is not just an emotion that goes out
As a candle in the wind;
Is not a transient desire
That waits for the next season.
Love, true love is honey
And clarified butter that we pour
Into the sacred fire; it’s an offering
We place at the feet of Jesus;
It’s a mantra shared by two souls
Bent on giving all;
Two hands holding each other
Facing the weather for ever.

59. MOIZ
Revini Moiz, nou bien bizen twa.
Nouvo Faraon finn remet lasenn
dan lipie to pep; pouvwar dominer
finn akapar tou e finn ferm to pep
dan nouvo Lezip, Site Depotwar.

Bann berze ki to ti les par deryer
telman atire par bote Marianne,
par laglwar lapo, par L’Académie
e par De Sela ki zot finn desid
pran enn ben minwi dan bafon Paris.

Revini Moiz, vinn montre to pep
kouma pou travers nouvo Lamer Rouz.
Me rann enn servis pa revinn tousel.
Vinn ar Zezikri ek Marimadlenn.

Come back Moses, we need you.
The New Pharoah has put your people
In chains again; ruthless power
Has robbed everything and enslaved your people
In New Egypt, Dumping Ground City.

The shepherds you left behind
Are so enticed by Marianne’s beauty,
By fair skin, the Académie
And nobiliary particle that now
They take midnight swims in Paris slums.

Come back Moses to teach us
How to cross the New Red Sea.
But please don’t come on your own.
Bring Jesus and Mary Magdalene with you.

Enn gramaten toufe dan brouyar nwar
Kot mo lafnet li ponn so dezespwar;
So lavwa kontsezon degrengole
Piktet pe kraz lor later pel-pele.

Zwazo lagign ris to kales!
Kifer to kas somey pares?
Soley napa ankor leve,
Kifer dimoun bizen leve?

Zordi soley pa pou leve,
So lekilib finn savire;
Dife ranpli dan lorizon,
De gran fouka finn pez bouton.

Li finn tonbe laklos fele midi;
So son lamok kouma enn fri fletri,
So son fele kouma enn vie goble
Kas zorey ar lamizik desire.

Laklos lagign fou mwa lape!
Ar to lanzelis kabose
To finn fer soley al kasiet
Dan lonbraz skelet enn niaz tret.

Zordi soley pa pou leve,
So lekilib finn savire;
Dife ranpli dan lorizon,
De gran fouka finn pez bouton.

Bann zetwal anpwazone pe grene
Kouma lapli konfeti ver kraze;
Enn ronfleman leral finn sap lor kal,
Partou-partou, tou finn vinn bien golmal.

Zetwal lagign, grate ale!
Zot pa trouve zot pe fane?
Zot zemisman kouma lamor
Pe fer lalinn kasiet lekor.

Zordi soley pa pou leve,
So lekilib finn savire;
Dife ranpli dan lorizon,
De gran fouka finn pez bouton.

A morning bird breathless in black fog
At my window lays its desperation;
Its weird voice crumples and falls
Headlong onto the cracked earth.

Calamity bird get off my way!
Why do you disturb my idle sleep?
The sun is not up,
Why ask me to get up.

The sun today will not rise;
It’s off balance;
The horizon is in flame,
Two nitwits have turned the knob.

The fractured midday bell has fallen;
Its dull bland sound like a rotten fruit,
Its scratchy noise like an old rusty can
Offends hearing with discordant sound.

Calamity bell leave me alone!
Your dented Angelus
Has forced the sun to hide
In the skinny shadow of an evil cloud.

The sun today will not rise …

Dying stars drop off
Like confetti rain made of shattered glass;
Death rattle is everywhere
And the world looks stange.

Calamity stars vamoose!
Don’t you see you’re a pain?
Your rattling moan
Forces the moon to hide away.

The sun today will not rise;
It’s off balance;
The horizon is in flame,
Two nitwits have turned the knob.

Enn ti labriz ti pe kares lamer,
Soley ti pe aroz later ar lalimier.
Enn etranze bronze mars timidman ver mwa;
Otour so likou miskle enn lasenn larzan;
Anplas lakrwa enn bal fizi anpandan.

Etranze, kifer bal fizi dan to likou?
Kot to sorti eski tou dimoun ape vinn fou?

Li dir mwa namaste vadire enn Endou,
Li dir mwa enn fraz li’nn aprann ar so gourou.

“Dan mo pei desire par laenn
lamor kontsezon toulezour apel bann zenn;
dan Soweto, lor frontier Angola laba
bann poem tou kouler pe plor lamor bann anz.
Si enn zour Zezi desid pou retourn isi
olie lakrwa, enn bal fizi pe atann li.”

Etranze, kifer bal fizi dan to likou?
Kot to sorti eski tou dimoun ape vinn fou?

Li dir mwa namaste vadire enn Endou,
Li dir mwa enn fraz li’nn aprann ar so gourou.

A light breeze was kissing the sea,
The sun was spraying light on earth.
A suntanned pardesi walked shyly towards me;
Round his neck was a siver chain
But in lieu of a cross there was a bullet.

Pardesi, why a bullet round your neck?
Are people mad where you come from?

He namastes me like a Hindu
And says a mantra from his guru.

“My land feeds hate;
Every day premature death grabs our youth;
In Soweto, on the border with Angola
Poems of all sorts lament the death of angels.
If Jesus were to come back,
In lieu of a cross, there’s a bullet awaiting him.”

Pardesi, why a bullet round your neck?
Are people mad where you come from?

He namastes me like a Hindu
And says a mantra from his guru.

Enn zenn mama dan so lebra pe pran so ti baba;
So tete nwar ki bien gonfle pe donn li so repa;
Ant mama la ek so baba kontak pe kontinie,
Lasours lavi pe donn lavi dile limanite.
Me dan rajo enn ti sante
Ki peye pou fer ekoute
Pe dir tou bann mama
Aste, aste dile dan bwat
Ou pey pou trwa nou donn ou kat
Plis bon pou ou baba.

Bann komersan, gran kouyoner, finn desid pou explwat
Bann dimoun senp fer zot aste tou zot dile dan bwat,
Bwat kolorye tou kalite dan magazen lavil
Peyna traka pou prepare so teknik bien fasil.
Dan rajo ek televizion
Reklam pe explwat konfizion
Pe kouyonn bann mama.
Aste, aste dile dan bwat
Ou pey pou trwa nou donn ou kat
Plis bon pou ou baba.

Piblisite pe rakonte ki bann mama modern
Pa gagn drwa gat zot silouet, bizen gard tete ferm;
Si lanatir ek so dile pe koul kouma lagrek
Al farmasi ena pikir pou fer zot dile sek.
Dan rajo ek televizion
Reklam pe explwat konfizion
Pe kouyonn bann mama.
Aste, aste dile dan bwat
Ou pey pou trwa nou donn ou kat
Plis bon pou ou baba.

Bann gran misie dan zot biro finn fini fer zot kont;
Zot panike, zot trakase, zot dir li enn laont:
Enportasion pe kas pake, vit bizen met enn fren;
Balans deviz pa favorab, nou aste Morisien.
Zot kol lafis partou kote,
Fer enn nouvo piblisite
Konsome Morisien.
Zot finn bliye ki letansa
Tete finn sek, dile nayba,
Bann ti baba pe fen.

A young mother in her arms is holding her baby;
Her full black breast is nourishing her child;
Between mother and child the cord is unbroken:
The source of life is feeding life with humanity’s milk.
On the radio hearken a song
Sponsored for your good.
Mothers listen! Mothers listen!
Tinned milk is best! Tinned milk is best!
You pay for two, we give you three.
A blessing for your child.

Free marketeers, oh-so-clever, they just know how to
Get the poor simple people to consume from a tin;
Tins of various shapes and sizes are piling on the shelves;
No fuss, no hasle; easy to make, and use.
Radio and television
Promote profitful perturbation
To win motherly matronage.
Tinned milk is best! Tinned milk is best!
You pay for two, we give you three.
A blessing for your child.

Adverts educate all mothers to have a new outlook:
Don’t spoil your figure; firm breasts make a woman.
If nature’s milk starts to leak? No fuss, no hassle!
Your chemist knows best how to turn off the tap.
Radio and television
Promote profitful perturbation
To win motherly matronage.
Tinned milk is best! Tinned milk is best!
You pay for two, we give you three.
A blessing for your child.

Bwanas and sahibs in power offices have reached the bottom line;
They panic; they flip out shouting,”What a shame!”
Imports are too, too high! We must stop this nonsense!
Trade deficit is shocking! We must buy Mauritian!
Posters and billboards everywhere
Have all just one slogan:
“Buy, buy, buy Mauritian!”
But by that time all things have changed:
All breasts are dry, there is no milk
And all babies are hungry.

Beti, mo beti, fale pa reve
Pa perdi letan, lavenir dan liv.
Beti, mo beti, mazinn lekzame,
San sertifika kouma to pou viv.
Papa dir mwa papa, kifer laba
Lor pie filao bann zwazo sante,
Bann papiyon tou kouler dans bale
Dan zarden parfen kolorye laba?
Kifer niaz pe sot mouton dan lesiel,
Bann pizon lor lerb pe zwe lamarel?
Kifer soley pe desinn larkansiel
Laba lor ledo later Samarel?

Beti, mo beti, aprann to leson,
Papa pou sagren si to pa pase;
Beti, mo beti, to bizen fer bon,
Lerla mo pou donn twa boukou-boukou gate.
Papa dir mwa papa, kifer laba
Divan pe zwe kouk ar zepi may tann.
Lalinn pe zwe sapsiway ar fler kann,
Fourmi pe zwe gouli-dannta laba?
Kifer mous dimiel dan touf sitronel
Pe tourn-tourne dan enn gran karousel?
Kifer soley pe desinn larkansiel
Laba lor ledo later Samarel?

Beti, mo beti, vit fer to devwar,
Zet to lagitar, bliye lamizik.
Beti, mo beti, ferm to liv zistwar,
Mazinn lavenir, fer matematik.
Papa dir mwa papa, kifer laba
Bann solda, bayonet dan lame
Pe zwe boul ar fler ar gran-gran koutpie;
Bann zouzou lamor kras dife laba?
Zot pe devir tou ar zot manivel,
Zot pe fouy bann trou ar enn gro lapel,
Zot pe pers bann trou dan mo larkansiel
Laba lor ledo later Samarel?

Beti Oh Beti, stop daydreaming,
Don’t waste your time, the future is in books.
Beti Oh Beti, think of your exams,
If you fail how will you live.
Dad dear dad, oh tell me why
Birds are singing on casuarina trees;
Butterflies of all shades are ballet dancing
Over there in a garden of colourful fragrance?
Why are clouds leapfrogging in the sky
And pigeons hopscotching on the grass?
Why is the sun drawing a rainbow
On the back of Samarel’s ground?

Beti Oh Beti, learn your lessons;
Your papa will be sad if you fail.
Beti Oh Beti, be good my child;
Then you’ll get lots and lots of love.
Dad dear dad, oh tell me why
The wind plays hide and seek with corn cobs?
The moon juggles sapsiwaye with cane flowers?
Ants handle guli-danta over there?
Why do bees in the lemon grass shrub
Go round and round in a carousel?
Why is the sun drawing a rainbow
On the back of Samarel’s ground?

Beti Oh Beti, do your homework now;
Put away that guitar; no time for music.
Beti Oh Beti, close that book of tales;
There is no future but in the Maths.
Dad dear dad, oh tell me why
These gun carrying soldiers
Are playing football with flowers?
Why are death toys spitting fire?
Why are they cranking all upside down?
Why are giant spades digging holes everywhere?
Why is my rainbow on Samarel’s ground
So full… so full of holes?

Ler li ti ena katorz an
Li ti fer enn gran axidan
Dan site kot li ti reste
Enn swar dan nwar li zwenn tase
Grengale la ti so vwazen
Ena mem dir ti so kouzen
Li finn vinn vie a vennsenk an
Pou tou dimoun li enn pastan
Kan tou dimoun finn al dormi
Li leve pou rod so kari
Li finn ne dan lonbraz lavi
Li pou mor dan lonbraz lavi

Dan enn ti fet kot so fami
Li fer konesans Ti Gaby
Ki promet li bel lamizman
Si li swiv li dan enn kanpman
Depi sa zour la touleswar
Li fer roupi dan marenwar
Li finn vinn vie a vennsenk an
Pou tou dimoun li enn pastan ….

Vit-vit li gagn repitasion
Ti Gaby konn fer promosion
So komision rekta li pran
Depresiasion pa dan so plan
Fer maximem avan liver
Zenes ize peyna valer
Li finn vinn vie a vennsenk an
Pou tou dimoun li enn pastan …

Zordi li finn gagn vennsenk an
Deza bann kliyan koz foutan
Zot trouve ki li finn vinn rann
Ti Gaby finn rod enn pli tann
Enn marsandiz dernie model
Pou so bann kliyan dan lotel
Li finn vinn vie a vennsenk an
Pou tou dimoun li enn pastan
Kan tou dimoun finn al dormi
Li leve pou rod so kari
Li finn ne dan lonbraz lavi
Li pou mor dan lonbraz lavi

When she was fourteen
She had a great mishap.
In the ghetto where she lived
One moonless night she had it.
The young rascal was her neighbour,
Some even say it was her cousin.
She’s twenty-five years very old;
For all of us she’s just a thing.
When we all go to bed at night,
She wakes up to earn a living.
She was born in the shadow of life,
She’ll die in the shadow of life.

At a party at some friend’s place
She met someone called Ti-Gaby
Who promised her an exciting life
If she would follow him in a chalet.
Ever since that time, everynight
She’s been making black rupees.
She’s twenty-five years very old;
For all of us she’s just a thing …

She very quickly made a name;
Ti-Gaby was a good salesman.
Of course he claimed a very fat share
– Wear and tear not in his plan;
Make hay while the sun shines;
Market value declines with age.
She’s twenty-five years very old;
For all of us she’s just a thing …

At twenty-five she’s quite oldish
And disgruntled patrons speak out ;
They all yearn for brand new flesh
Which Ti-Gaby quickly provides:
The latest upmarket goods
For refined hotel visitors.
She’s twenty-five years very old;
For all of us she’s just a thing.
When we all go to bed at night,
She wakes up to earn a living.
She was born in the shadow of life,
She’ll die in the shadow of life.

So lalimier filtre dan bann niaz alienan,
Li prozet bann zimaz lor enn vwal transparan,
Li fer manti vinn vre, li fer vre vinn manti,
Kouma enn mazisien li angourdi lespri
Soley fenean

Bann reyon lalimier fer rikose lor vag,
Zot may-may dan lezer, fer fofil dan enn bag,
Bann masinn magnetik finn manitiz soley
Aster dime finn vinn parey kouma lavey
Soley fenean

Lesiel ranpli ar bos, larkansiel pe fer wit,
Niaz pe fer kolizion, lalinn finn gagn enn fit,
Bann reyon elektrik vit-vit nat enn lekran
Pou prezerv ilizion, gard tou kouma avan
Soley fenean

Soley finn al Lerop pou vinn sivilize,
Bann gran espesialis finn poli so sixe
Pou kouv dizef Lafrik, eklo miraz Lerop,
Fixe bann prozekter, ekler zoli lanvlop
Soley fenean

Mem bann zwazo Lafrik pe rod imit Konkord

Its light filters through alien clouds;
It projects pictures on a transparent veil;
It makes truths with lies and lies with truths;
Like a magician it numbs the mind.
That no-good sun!

Light rays ricochet on waves,
Get tangled in midair tacking a ring;
Magnetic machines have hypnotised the sun
So much so that tomorrow is like yesterday.
That no-good sun!

Humps in the sky, the rainbow makes an 8-turn;
Clouds are colliding; the moon is punctured.
Quickly electric rays weave a screen
To preserve illusion, keep the past intact.
That no-good sun!

The sun has gone to Europe to be civilised;
Top specialists have sexed it up
To brood Africa’s egg and hatch Europe’s mirage;
Fit projectors and make wrapping shine.
That no-good sun!

Africa’s birds are now aping Concorde.

dan vilaz kot mo’nn grandi
tou dimoun konn Ton Toulsi
ar lepase li finn mir
li zenn kouma lavenir
toultan li sant mem sante
zame dimoun rasazie

dan batem ek dan fiansay
dan karem ek dan travay
dan maryaz ek dan lamor
ar bann feb ek seki for
parmi zenn, parmi vieyes
zame li montre febles

dan traka li pa tike
dan treboul li pa tranble
dan bontan li pa kontan
exite kouma zanfan.

li respe entelizans
matirite, experyans
lavi li pa enn mister
pou seki anvi trouv kler

anou ekout so sante
ki bon pou limanite
ki kapav sanz sosiete
dres enn nouvo destine

lasaler fer dizef vinn ti poul
lasaler pa fer ros vinn ti poul;
dizef poul napa donn ti kanar
nou kouraz par limem pa ase
nou bizen dekouver bon sime
sinon nou fini kouma nanar

napa tap nou latet kont miray
– enn lamas li kapav grenn miray –
nou lespri li bizen kouma far
lasaler fer dizef vinn ti poul
lasaler pa fer ros vinn ti poul
dizef poul napa donn ti kanar

in the village I grew up
we all know uncle Tulsi
ripened by the past
refreshed by the future
he sings the same song
and everybody keeps listening

at baptisms and engagements
at prayer and at work
at weddings and wakes
with weak as well as strong
with young as well as old
he never shows any weakness

worries do not baffle him
troubles do not worry him
when it’s ok
he keeps cool

he respects intelligence
maturity and experience
life is not a mystery
for those who want to know

let’s listen to his song
which is good for us
which can change life
make things better

heat turns egg into chick
heat turns not stone into chick
hen’s egg does not yield little duck
courage on its own is not enough
find the right way
to keep on track

don’t use your head to knock down a wall
use a sledgehammer instead
the mind should show the way
heat turns egg into chick
heat turns not stone into chick
hen’s egg does not yield little duck

Mo anvi dir ki mo santi
Dan fon mo nam, dan mo lavi;
Ki mo trouve, ki mo tande
Dan mo lakaz, dan mo vilaz;
Dan mo pei ki pe’arive;
Difikilte ki fer ravaz
Lor nou Later kot fler ek pie
Ek zanimo finn perdi pie.
Me mo leker dir mwa tansion
Repet seki yer mo ti dir;
Tansion-tansion zoli parol
Glis dan klise, vinn rabase.

Lespri Kreasion gid mo pa;
Pa les traka kas mo kalpa.

I want to say how I feel
Deep within me
What I see, what I hear
At home and in my village
What’s happening here
Where troubles on the rampage
Get us all out of depth
My heart tells me to beware
Not to repeat myself
Beautiful words
Soon become clichés
And lose in meaning

Please guide me Oh Creative Spirit
Let not angst blur my path

Enn ti lafoul ankoler
Ler zot finn may enn voler
Desid donn li enn rakle,
Fer li pey tou so pese.

Enn disip Profet pase,
Dir zot for aret fane.
– “Eski zot finn dimann li
Kifer li’nn koken de fri?”

Malere la li reponn:
– “Travay mo peyna Misie;
Mo madam dan lopital;
Mo zanfan pe mordefen.”

Disip Profet pa tike:
– “Donn li vit enpe manze
Pou sov zanfan so lavi;
Donn li travay ek zouti
Li pou nouri so fami.”

A group of angry people
Having caught a thief
Decides to lynch him
For all his crimes.

A disciple of the Prophet
Tells them to stop their nonsense.
– “Did you ask him why
He was stealing a few mangoes?”

The poor soul answers:
– “I’m jobless, Sir;
My wife is ill;
My children are hungry.”

The Prophet’s disciple does not hesitate.
-“Give him some food
For his starving children;
Give him work and tools
So he may provide for his family.”

Enn papyon zonn lor enn fey ver
Pe kas poz dan soley liver.
Ti-Rajou tourn vit so ledo.
Ayo so lespri lor tablo!
– Kot to pe ale mo bayo?
Kifer to prese do matlo?
– Mo pe al lekol pou aprann abesede,
Mo pe al lekol pou mo vinn enn gran misie.

Pa tro lwen enn seren safran
Pe soufle so refren frengan.
Ti-Rajou ferm vit so zorey.
Ayo so lespri pa parey!
– Kot to pe ale mo bayo?
Kifer to prese do matlo?
– Mo pe al lekol pou aprann anglefranse,
Mo pe al lekol pou mo vinn enn gran misie.

Boukie banane rouz anfler,
So fler pe parfim liniver.
Ti-Rajou bes vit so lizie.
Ayo so lespri finn vinn vie!
– Kot to pe ale mo bayo?
Kifer to prese do matlo?
– Lefrayt-lefrayt mo bizen konn mo tab par ker,
Defwadekat, sinon mo pou pey sa bien ser.

A yellow butterfly on a green leaf
Relaxes in the winter’s sun.
Young Raju refuses to see.
Alas! His mind is on the board.
– Where are you going, mate?
What’s the fuss, friend?
– Off to school to learn abeeseedee,
Off to school big boss to be.

A little further a safron bird
Is whistling its bright song.
Young Raju shuts down his ears.
Alas! His mind’s bizarre.
– Where are you going, mate?
What’s the fuss, friend?
– Off to school to learn abeeseedee,
Off to school big boss to be.

The flame tree is full of redness
Which fills our lungs with sweetness.
Young Raju closes his sight.
Alas! His mind is not right.
– Where are you going, mate?
What’s the fuss, friend?
Left-right-left-right I must learn my tables,
Twice two makes four, don’t want any trouble.

Mo ti ena enn pie mang dan lakour
Ti donn mwa so lonbraz toulezour
Ti ranpli mo labous ar douser
Ti tranp-tranp mo lizie dan kouler
Mo pie mang ti toultan zenere
Ti protez mo gazon kont soley
Ti nouri orkide lor so fre
Pa ti konn fer santaz ni ravaz.

Me pov mwa, bachara! Ki mo fer?
Mo priye pie lafours kot lotel gouvernman
Li pli gran, li pli ot
Li li omniprezan
So lao, so anba melanze
Kot li tal so kadav
Kot li poz so deryer
Kot li bouz so bann pion
Nanye nepli pouse
Li pli gran, li pli for
Akoz sa mo priye pie lafours
Kot lotel gouvernman

Pie lafours finn tom plat
Ti koutvan ti ase
Pou fer li manz later

Mo pie mang ankor la
So lonbraz, so douser, so bonker
Kan mo ferm mo lizie
Mo sir li pou donn mwa
Detrwa ti bout dibwa
Pou fer mo samadi

There was a mango tree in my yard
Which gave shade every day
Filled my mouth with sweetness
Bathed my eyes in colours
It was kind and generous
It protected my lawn from sunburn
Fed my orchid plants with its sap
And never blackmailed or hurt

And what did I do, fool that I was?
I worshipped a banyan tree near Government House
It was big, it was tall
Present everywhere
Its top was its bottom
And where it rested its corpse
Or placed its bum
Or chose to play
Nothing grew
It was big, it was tall
And so I worshipped the banyan tree
Near Government House

The banyan tree was flat on the ground
A little gust did it
The giant fell

My mango tree is still here
Its shade, sweetness and kindness
Will, I’m sure,
When I close my eyes
Give me some wood
For my samadhi

Fit to kreyon, aprann to tab,
Pa les masinn siz dan to plas.
Servi masinn pou dekouver
Limansite nou liniver;
Fer to serfing, pa per piti,
Me pa bliye ki to ete.

Naz dan lespas sibernetik,
Servi rezo, explor bann sayt,
Ramas otan lenformasion,
Fale pa rans bwar konesans.
Me atansion! Pa perdi gou
Ekout zwazo sant so sante.

Fit to kreyon, aprann to tab,
Pa les masinn siz dan to plas.

Sharpen your pencil, learn your tables,
Don’t let a machine take your place.
Use the machine to explore
The immensity of the universe;
Surf on the web, don’t be afraid;
But never forget what you are.

Swim in the cyber sea,
Use networks, dive into sites,
Collect data,
Drink glassfuls of knowledge.
But careful, son! Don’t lose
Your love for bird songs.

Sharpen your pencil, learn your tables,
Don’t let a machine take your place.

– “Kifer fors-forse to rod lwen laba
Dan pikan loulou enn petal fler rar?
Kifer fatig nam dan rod kas montagn,
Deplas gro mel ros pou zis enn ti pier?
Kifer bes latet, fons drwat divan twa
Dan lagel kayma pou enn ledan lor?
Pou enn bout mazik, enn kwen lesiel ble
Kifer, kifer, kifer to rent to kadav?
Parfen yapana pourtan li bien dou;
Kouler saponer pourtan li bien kler;
Saler sitronel pourtan rafresi.”

– “Mwa, mo enn pagla, pa sey konpran mwa!
Parfen Yapana, kouler saponer,
Saler sitronel gagn gou pa ase.”
– “Why do you strive hard over there
In thorn bushes to find a rare flower?
Why do you strain your soul to smash hills,
Remove boulders to find a little stone?
Why do you hurtle headlong
Into hell’s jaw for a piece of gold?
For some magic, a piece of blue sky
Why oh why oh why do you ruin your peace?
Yapana leaf smells nice;
Saponaire flower looks pretty;
Lemongrass warmth does refresh.”

– “Don’t mind me, I think I’m odd!
Yapana smell, saponaire hue, lemongrass warmth
Still leave something to be desired.”

Ki to pe dir?
Lerwa lontan fer dominer
Konstrir pale ek ‘pleasure ground’,
Kre moniman pou grav so nom?
Lerwa zordi fer dominer
Fer morselman ar pleasure ground,
Fer grav so nom lor komision?

Gete matlo!
Pa vinn dir mwa sesi-sela;
Entel antor, lot anrezon. …

Lapli finn mouy lapo kabri;
Riye zanfan pe retresi …
Nou sey desinn enn ti sourir
Lor figir tris zanfan dan dif.

Pa les mwa tousel monwar!
Get deor kouma fer nwar!

Pa ale matlo!
The rain it raineth every day.

What is it you say?
Long ago kings were bastards
Who built palaces and pleasure grounds,
Built monuments to be remembered?
Kings today are bastards too
Who fragment, parcel and sell pleasure grounds
And are bribe-remembered?

Hey friend!
Don’t tell me this or that,
That this is bad and that good …

The rain has soaked our goat skin;
Kids’ laughter is shrinking …
Let’s draw a smile on the faces of children
Who are in deep dirtress.

Don’t leave me darkling;
It’s dark outside!

Don’t go, friend!
The rain it raineth every day.

Sime goudron drwat-drwat
Desann priz, kraz lagel
Lor parwa bazaltik.
Terminis eternel.

Sime serpan, ranpe monte,
Korde-dekorde, tras lapis,
Kontourn parwa bazaltik.
Souf koupe!
Get laba lor enn ros pre kot niaz!
Koumansman eternel.

Motorway straight ahead
Goes down at full speed
Against basaltic wall.
Final station.

Serpentine trail crawls up,
Pushing, pulling, trying,
Avoids basaltic wall and suddenly
Oh Lord!.
There on a rock near the clouds.
Eternal beginning.

Dokter Fos dan so laboratwar
Pe rod prev ki Big Beng ti koze par gravite
Me Toktok anba pie lafours
Pe pans Bhagavad-Gita
Parski sak kiksoz ena so kontrer
Parey kouma so pie lafours:
So latet vinn so lipie, so lipie vinn so latet.

Toktok admir Darwin ek Einstein
Ki, afors obzerve, finn dekouver
Volonte misterye deryer realite.
Nanye vinn tou; tou vinn nanye;
Enn vinn milion; milion vinn enn.

Liv siyans neseser pou konpran vizib.
Bizen osi konpran envizib:
lamour, pardon ek partaz.

Si koumadir dan vilaz Toktok
Tou ti lir Bhagavad-Gita,
Ansien Testaman,
Nouvo Testaman,
Pa ti pou pli bon pou tou dimoun?
Toktok pous enn soupir.
Li tris, li anvi al kasiet.

So gourrou dir li atann.
Komie letan pou atann?

Bizen atann poul gagn ledan?

Dr Faustus in his lab
Tries to prove that gravity triggered the Big Bang.
Nutty under his banyan tree
Thinks of Bhagavad-Gita
For life is a contradiction
Just like his banyan tree
Whose head is his feet and his feet his head.

Nutty admires Darwin and Einstein
Whose observation led to the discovery
Of the mysterious will behind reality.
Nothing becomes all and all become nothing;
One becomes a million and a million become one.

Science books help to understand the visible.
We must also understand the invisible:
Love, mercy and sharing.

Imagine everyone in Nutty’s village
Reading the Bhagavad-Gita,
The old Testament,
The new Testament
And the Holy Koran.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Nutty sighs;
He’s sad,
He wants a place to hide.

His guru tells him to wait.
Wait for what?
For hen to grow teeth?
For pigs to fly?

Dan vant mo mama, Larivier Tanie
Ti konekte mwa ar lasours lavi;
Parol sante la depi mo rapel
Finn toultan dir mwa ki mo nam ete.

Ena ki bizen rod dilo sakre
Lor laplaz Lerop. Lezot letansa
Rod dilo sakre dan lasours Ganga.
Me mwa dan dilo Larivier Tanie
Depi mo soley enn zour ti leve –
E mo kwar ziska li pou al kouse –
Mo finn res tranpe; kan mo fatige
Mo finn tengn mo swaf ar dilo sakre
Enn sante zanfan – poezi lamour
Finn montre mwa kouma lapes kabo.

Kan nou lagorz sek sakenn parmi nou
Al rod so basen pou li bwar dilo.
Nenport kot nou’ale bann basen parey!
Dilo planeter dan basen lavi
Finn zwenn, melanze, finn fini vinn enn.
Kot pou gagn letan rod separ dilo?

Larivier Tanie koul dan mo lavenn,
Koul dan nou lavenn. Depi koumansman
So roulman likid, so refren lenpid
Dousman-dousman finn permet nou isi
Desinn bann kontour nou prop zinndagi.

In my mother’s womb, Lataniers River
Connected me to the spring of life:
The words of the song since day one
Have told me who I really am.

Some look for sacred water
On the shores of Europe. Others
Seek it in Ganga’s fountain.
As for me it is in Lataniers River water
Since my sun first rose
– It will, I think, till it sets –
That I have been soaked and when thirsty
Have drunk the sacred water
Of a nursery rhyme – poetic love
Has taught me to fish gobies.

When we’re thirsty each one of us
Looks for their pool for a drink.
But they are all the same!
All the waters of all pools
Have kissed each other and become one.
Why waste time separating them?

Lataniers River flows in my veins,
Flows in our veins. Since day one
Its liquid steps and limpid music
Have taught us to draw
The contours of new life.

“Tande, mo fami, tande!
Rachel anlarm, enkosolab
Pe kriye-plore
Lamor so baba;
Ekout larm koule
Dan zarden lamor.
Tande, mo fami, tande!
Enn lavwa lwenten
Pe travers dezer
Pou pous jab lizour
Ki finn ranz lakaz
Dan profon nou nam.”
Profet pe koze, personn pa tande.

Roulman tamasa pe donn bel sawal
Dan sant-komersial, lor laplenn Sannmars,
Dan lakour legliz; kouler madigra
Marsande-aste, marsande-vande
Not dezakorde; Panndit Gous Foulous
Pa konn kas koko, pa konn fer koko
Parski li gagn bon viol konsians, konfians,
Konesans, konpetans ek inosans –
Samem so zwisans. Zenes pa kone
Ki sime pou pran; plen pikan raket
Pe minn zot larout; bann gran-gran koze
Ar enn son bien maf pe grene lantman,
Oralanti mem, dan korne grimas
Gramofonn gonaz. Parol koz parol
Epeser golmal; fraz may-may ar fraz
Dan galimacha; son lamok korde
Eple konfizion. Letansa, babou,
Boukou-boukou douk ar mastik gabzi
Pe fer kataplas dan nou gard-manze;
Ena ki pe fer zoli-zoli fraz
Ki pa dir nanye; ena ki kol-kol
Pake mo ronflan pou gidi zorey;
Ena pa kone ki li anvi dir
E ler li koze – mem si finn dir li
Tou dimoun kontan so silans an-or –
Inondasion mo nway filozofi.

Profet pe koze, personn pa tande;
Rachel pe plore, personn pa gete.
nenport, divers, fer ler
finn vinn profeser liniversite, prezidan pannchayat
konseye spiritiel, sef sirk, sef Sir…

“Listen, friends, listen!
Rachel is sobbing,
Uncontrollably moaning
The death of her baby;
Listen to her tears
In the garden of death.
Listen, friends, listen!
A far distant voice
Through the desert
Wants to drive away evil
Which now squats
In our hearts and souls.”
The prophet talks, nobody listens.

Raw delight rules the roost
In shopping malls, racecourses,
Church doorsteps; ill-assorted colours
Discordant notes; kickback pundits,
Faith and love illiterates,
Masters in the rape of conscience and trust,
Of intelligence, competence and innocence
– their preferred joy. Youth doesn’t know
The road ahead; their path
Is littered with dangers; grandiose empty slogans
Fall slowly and heavily
In slow motion out of
Rubbish speakers. Words follow words;
Nonsense thick and deep; phrases and sentences
Intertwine in mismatch; dull sounds
Spell confusion. Meanwhile
Mountains of woes mixed with stupidity
Fill our pantry with sloppy pulp;
Some are concocting high-sounding
Meaningless expressions; putting together
Sound and fury to tickle ears;
Others not knowing what to say
Will nevertheless say it
– even when told silence is gold –
And flood culture with nonsense.

The prophet speaks, nobody listens;
Rachel weeps, no one cares.
nitwits and slugs
are professors and presidents
and spiritual advisers and circus chief and chief Sir …

Fennsifer zordi bien tris.
Ti-bebe fek ne,
Ankor touni
Pe fini dan labatwar
Avan zot soley leve.

Zom pouvwar-lotorite,
Swadizan zanfan Bondie,
Plen laenn dan labraget
Pe defons inosans.
Violans partou.
Dan lakaz, dan lari, dan lekol, dan travay,
Partou, partou.

Fennsifer zordi bien tris.
Tir bann oriflam,
Desann bann pavyon,
Aret lamizik,
Ferm konsomasion,
Dimoun finn vinn koson;
Tengn labouzi,
Lapriyer kasiet piyanter;
Aret pres sermon,
Langaz finn vinn ipokrit,
Papie mouslinn tou kouler
Pou degiz pese lanfer.

Depi ki zot finn separ
Sex, ki ti senbol lamour,
Expresion sansialite,
Lasours lavi ek plezir,
Finn vinn enn zouti tortir,
Enstriman dominasion,
Expresion violans modi.
Bes rido,
Ferm laport-lafnet,
Tengn radio-televizion,
Dekros telefonn.
Lemonn finn deraye;
Lamour, lamour, lamour lib
Finn nwaye dan pisar
Represion kastre-steril-zalou;
Dezir natirel
Finn vinn lapeti voras
E – maler lor latet zanfan –
Lapeti finn detrake.
Zot pe konsom ti-zanfan
Dan banke sivilize.

Fun and fancy fair today is very sad.
A newly born babe,
Naked cherubim,
Goes to the slaughter house
Before its sun can rise.

Men of power and authority
Claiming to be godsends,
With groins full of hatred
Are storming innocence.
Violence eveywhere.
At home, in the streets, at school, at work,

Fun and fancy fair today is very sad.
Remove banners and bunting,
Bring down the flag,
Stop the music,
Close down sales outlets,
People have become pigs;
Blow out all candles
For prayers hide stench;
Ban sermons,
Hypocrisy couched in flamboyance,
Coloured fancy paper
To hide deadly sins.

Since they decided to split
Jesus and Mary Magdalene,
Sex, symbol of love,
Expression of sensuality,
Spring of life and joy,
Has become an instrument
Of torture and tyranny,
An expression of cursed violence.
Close curtains,
Doors and windows;
Switch off radio and TV,
Plug out the phone.
The world has derailed;
Love, sweet love and free
Has been thrown in the latrine pit
Of castrated-sterile-envious repression;
Normal desires
Have become ferocious appetites
And – beware children –
Appetites have gone mad.
They are consuming children
In civilised banquets.

Zanfan larkansiel pe sey koste
abba, abba!
Sefdorkes pe dir li
li pa konn sante;
sef-sirk pe dir li
li pa konn admir kouler;
sef-konsians pe dir li
pa bliye lepase;
sef-lespri pe dir li
aret reve.

Zanfan larkansiel pe sey koste
abba, abba!
Zot pe dir li li enn gounga,
li enn pagla,
enn bachara
ki pa konn lir, pa konn koze,
pa konn panse, pa konn nanye.
Zot finn donn li enn kompyouter
pou al may li dan enternet …
les li debat
ziska li plen.
Samem manier zot pou prouve ki zanfan larkansiel
li enn gopia.
Zot finn bous so zorey, so lizie, so nene;
angourdi so pale; paraliz so lapo
pou anpes li tann lapo kabri gazouye.

Zanfan larkansiel pe sey koste
abba, abba!

Rainbow kids try to move in
Alas! Alas!
Band master says
They cannot sing;
Circus master says
They’re colour blind;
Conscience master says
They’ve forgotten the past;
Spirit master tells them
Not to dream.

Rainbow kids try to move in
Alas! Alas!
They say they’re dumb,
They’re crazy,
Illiterate, inarticulate,
Cannot-think ignorami.
They are given tablets
To drown surfing the internet …
Leave them helpless
To die.
That’s their Q.E.D proving
They’re morons.
They’ve atrophied their ears, eyes and nostrils;
numbed their taste buds; dull their skins
so that they don’t hear goat skin sing.

rainbow kids try to move in
alas! alas!

Enn zoli tablo, enn sedev!
Depi oter kot li ti ete
artis la finn chombo bien relasion ant
pie lila la ek so vwazinaz
dan enn konpozision
kot form, kouler ek mouvman
zot dans an-armoni ar later ek lesiel.

Me vinn ar mwa gate,
nou desann ver sa vilaz kasiet deryer feyaz la,
nou al anba pie lila
respir parfen dan lonbraz …

To’nn trouve?
Get diversite form, kouler, mouvman
dan lekzistans vivan ek reel.
Enn koloni fourmi pe rod manze dan pie lila
me anmemtan zot pe nouri nou pie lila;
peyna zis fey,
get mous-dimiel pe fer laronn otour bann fler ek bann lagren;
nik mous-zonn sarze ar lavi ki dime pou anvole;
get sa kamaleon la laba, exper kamouflaz,
lor ti brans lao laba,
vadire enn ti brans sek!
To tann bann zanfan laba
pe zwe ar lagren lila
lakaz zouzou?

To pa kwar li enportan ki nou get nou pie lila
ar lizie lekor, ar lizie lespri depi anba, depi lao, sirlekote
ziska ki nou bien chombo
konplexite kontradiktwar?

Beautiful painting! A masterpiece!
From where the artist stood
They had grasped the fine links
Between the neem tree and its habitat
In a clear vision
Where forms, colours and movements
Swing in harmony with earth and sky.

Come with me, love;
Let’s get down to the village behind the foliage
And underneath the neem tree
We’ll breathe sweet smell in the shade …

Diversity in forms, colours and movements
In real living existence!
A colony of ants find food in the neem tree;
And at the same time feeds it;
Not only leaves!
See there! Bees dance round flowers and fruit;
A wasp nest full of life waiting to fly;
See there a lizard! Camouflage expert
On a dead twig
Looks like one. Do you hear children playing
Household game
Using neem fruit?

Must we not watch our neem tree
With sharp physical and mental eyes
From top to bottom, left, right and centre to grasp
Contradictory complexity?

Li dibout gran, pans gran, get gran;
so latet andeor niaz, de oter montagn;
li get dan profonder mil ane-limier.
Gratsiel grat so latet,
li mazinn lanpir;
fabrik diaman sentetik ar leklips zetwal;
remork lalinn Zipiter
pou aroz dezer;
pers enn trou dan enn trou-nwar,
souk so lenerzi.
Li get gran, pans gran;
so exitasion mari gran-gran.
Li gagn bon, li anvi danse;
So gro lapat pe bouz-bouze …
Tansion matlo! …

Tansion, tansion matlo!
Kot to lipie enn ti baba pe mars kat-pat.

He stands tall, walks tall; thinks and sees big;
His head is above the clouds, higher than mountains;
He probes thousands of light years.
Skyscrapers scratch his head,
He sees empires in his mind’s eye,
Makes synthetic diamonds with star eclipses;
Tugs Jupiter’s moon
To water deserts;
Digs a hole in a black hole
To suck out its energy.
He sees big, thinks big;
His passion is mighty-mighty big.
He’s carried away; he wants to dance;
His mighty paws are out of control …
Careful …
Careful mate …

Hey, mate, watch your steps!
Near your paws there’s a baby on all fours.

Yer tanto sizer
lavwa telefonn dir mwa
Zelani finn dir nou tou
Enpe pli tar ki minwi
kosmar chom mwa dan sanglo:
Enn vie Rover ver
Finn kraz lor miray desten.

Lame desten san pitie
finn desir enn paz bien ge
dan mo istwar tourmante
me aswar dan mo somey
mo servo finn konekte
pase lwen ar azordi.

Zelani, kamwad lontan, kamwad lwenten,
kouma pou bliye bann sware zenes
parfime ar zepis rom-kari-poson
kan nou ti kwar …

A voice on the phone told me
Zelani had bid us
Later, some time after midnight,
Bad sobbing dreams choked me:
An old green Rover
Had hit destiny’s wall.

The relentless hand of fate
Has torn a page full of pleasant tones
In a life story not always cheerful
But midnight sleep
Has rewired
The distant past with the present.

Zelani, yesterfriend far from sight,
I cannot forget our youthful tunes
Seasoned with spicy rum and fish curry
When we believed …
Gone are those days!

Linet labitid ki finn tranpe dan
lasid vie lide lontan
kabos nou gete, met fit dan zorey,
fer realite vinn seki li’le,
fer soufrans gratis rant dan destine
e lerla dezord normal
vinn nesesite dan lavi golmal.
Linet Prens Fer Nwar, sef Obskirite,
kouma enn nanye ditou
ansenn bann neronn,
anpes elektrisite
alim nou lespri.
Pa fasil baba
tir linet obskirite,
get realite kri-kri
pou reysi tras nou sime
dan galimacha lavi.
To vwazen ki pe zour twa
parski to pa pans parey
– kouma tou li bizen panse
pou ranz sivilizasion
ki repoz lor armoni
silans simitier –
li ‘si li dan mem pens ki twa ek mwa.
Linet routinn
tranpe dan lasos lontan
finn sem brouyar lor laglas
pou kal nou gete.
Nou pa trouv seki ete.
Nou trouv zis seki lezot
finn plante dan nou lizie.

Eski ler nou tir linet
nou bizen met lot linet?
Glasses of routine soaked in the
Habitual acid of old perennial beliefs and views
Bend our sight, puncture our hearing,
Stunt and fashion reality,
Make suffering mainstream
And then non-toxic mess
Becomes fundamental to the general.

Glasses of the Prince of Darkness
Playfully and casually
Bind all neurons
And sweep out light
From our minds.
It’s not easy, love,
To remove glasses of darkness
And watch raw reality
While we try to find our way
In this megamess.

Your neighbours who offend you
Because you don’t think like them
– Just like the rest of us
Has to think of life
Built on harmonious
Unanimity of the graveyard –
Are caught in the same vice as you and me.
Glasses of routine
Soaked in timeless age
Have planted mist on mirrors
To blind us.
We don’t see what is.
We only see what others
Have planted in our eyes.

But when we remove these glasses
Need we put on some others?

To kone mo Nal, toultan mo ti kwar
zour mo gran depar to pou pre kot mwa
pou poz lor mo fron enn ti-petal blan
mo Nal, enn ti-petal blan.
Ti-ser, mo ti sir to pou res deryer
pou poz kataplas lor leker kase,
pou kalme soufrans ar ti-petal blan
mo Nal, ar ti-petal blan.
Me lavi finn vir tou anbalao,
les mwa par deryer pou poz lor to fron
glase ar soufrans enn ti-petal blan
mo Nal, enn ti-petal blan.

Me si koumadir ar to prop soufrans
to finn aste tou soufrans deryer twa?

You know, Li’l Sister, I always thought
When I had run the course, you would be there
To put on my forehead a small white petal
Li’l Sister, a small white petal.
Li’l Sister, I was sure you would be there
To put some balm on broken hearts,
To soothe pains with a small white petal
Li’l Sister, a small white petal.
But life had other plans,
Leaving me behind to put on your forehead
Cold with pains a small white petal
Li’l Sister, a small white petal.

Have you, Li’l Sister with your own sufferings
Bought all sufferings left behind?

Larenn Vashti ti’ena rezon
ler li dir non ar so mari
ki ti dir li montre piblik
so bote rar dan gran banke.
Larenn Vashti ti’ena rezon
ler li swazir perdi kouronn
me gard entak so dinite,
refiz vinn enn lartik nenport
dan vitrinn vis sa mazeste.

Ena pa mainn vinn marsandiz
si tranzaksion donn promosion,
larises ek repitasion.
Mwa mo’ankor kwar Larenn Vashti
ti’ena rezon ler li dir non.

Queen Vashti was right
To say no to her husband
Who wanted her to show in public
Her rare beauty in a banquet.
Queen Vashti was right
To give up her crown
To keep her good name
And not become a commodity
In His Majesty’s showcase.

Many don’t mind becoming goods
If the benefits are promotion,
Wealth and fame.
Yet I still believe Queen Vashti
Was right to say no.

Lafontenn ti bliye dir
seki ti pase apre.
Li vre sigal ti nachannya,
nek pans zordi, bliye dime
e fourmi ti’ena rezon
fou li enn bon kamoufle.
Enn ti-sok ti neseser
pou fer sigal retrouv kler.

Me seki nou poet pa finn dir
se ki kan movetan vinn pous bor
e sigal pe tranble, mordefen
fourmi la ti alim enn reso,
ti donn li enn kouyer dile so.

Fourmi la ti disip Zezikri.

La Fontaine forgot to say
What happened later.
True, the cicada was happy-go-lucky
Thinking only of present gratification
And the ant was right
To give it a piece of its mind.
A little sanction sometimes helps
To see the light.

But the poet forgot to say
That when bad weather came
And the cicada was in danger of death,
The ant lit a stove
And gave it some hot milk to drink.

The ant was a disciple of Jesus.

Lamour li pa enn lasenn, enn serman,
enn promes fizionn de, fer zot vinn enn;
pou atas lotla dan ritiel routinn,
dan douser sanglo soufrans egois.
Lamour li pa enn pasion ki chombo
zalouzi par likou menas pou touye;
pa enn depresion ki dimann lamor
parski dan pran tou pa finn gagn ase.

Enn lame ouver, ledwa ver later
pou les emosion al aroz zarden,
fann laroze lor tou bann petal fler;
enn leker senser ki ofer lotla
sekirite ek liberte, konfor
ek lape. Samem lamour detase.

Love is not a chain, an oath,
A promise to fuse two into one;
To bind the other in routine rituals,
In the sweet sobbing of selfish suffering.
Love is not a passion that holds
Jealousy by the throat with death threats;
It’s not a death claiming depression
Because the taking impulse knows no end.

An open hand with fingers pointing towards earth
To let emotions water gardens,
Spray dew on all flowers;
A sincere heart offering to the other
Security and freedom, comfort
And peace. This is liberating love.

88. DIYA
Diya, mo beti, zour to ti vini
Lor to prop sime trase par Latchmi,
Laport nou lakaz ouver so lebra
Pou akey boner kot ti ena traka.

Diya, mo beti, ler to rant kot nou
To’nn amenn ar twa boukou disik dou
Dan nou gran lakaz ki ti bien-bien vid
Parski pa ti’ena prezans enn ti gid.

Mo bien foupamal ar palab piblik
Ki pe fer lanket lor to lorizinn
Pou konn to rasinn, to lien zenetik.
Diya, mo beti, bliye zot mofinn!
Seki enportan se lamour mazik
Ki pe aroz nou ar douser lalinn.

Diya beti, the day you came
In your own way guided by Lakshmi,
The doors of our house opened their arms
To welcome happiness where there was none.

Diya beti, when you came home,
You brought in a lot of sweetness
Into our big house, an empty shell
Without the light to guide us through.

I don’t care for the gossips
Of those who want to know your origin,
Your roots and DNA.
Diya beti, ignore their folly!
Think only of the magic power of love
Which blesses us with the goodness of moonbeams.

Mo tantinn Mango, depi li zanfan
So soley leve toutan ar tourman.
Kot li’nn sers kouraz dan so desten tris
Mem kan li dan douk, gard enn sourir lis?

Dan so lekzistans zame li’nn gagn sans –
Mem enn ti lasans vit-vit gagn gou rans.
Zordi li tousel. Kisannla pou kwar
Malgre marenwar li pe gard lespwar?

Mo tantinn Mango finn pas tes lor tes
Ki – nek gete – finn kwens so lazenes
Dan koutvan mesanste ek zalouzi
Bann seki tro bet pou apresie li.
Kan Tantinn Mango pou al zwenn Shakti
Nou tou pou bwar lank, mazinn sa beti.

Auntie Mango, since her first day,
Her sun has been rising in dismay.
Where did she get the grit in her sad plight
To smile when knocked about by life.

We can’t say she’s ever been lucky
And even a minute lucky streak soon fades.
She’s now on her own. Unbelievable!
In spite of gloom she keeps on hoping.

Auntie Mango has stood tests upon tests
Which have ruined her youth
With the sharp knives of wickedness and jealousy
Of those who could not appreciate simple innocence.
Children remember! When Auntie Mango goes to Shakti
We’ll all drain the bitter cup of sorrow. Remember!

Site ouvriyer kouma palto nen
Lor zepol zean pe krake partou.

Laba dan sant-vil nouvo magazen
Tal so vantardiz; dan biro biznes
Modernizasion, globalizasion
Nepli konn frontier. Peyna zes do ta!

Site ouvriyer kouma’nn asmatik
Ki pa finn gagn swen pe koumans mank ler.

Laba dan sant-vil bann senier pe koz
Trwaziem milener, lespas dizital,
Rezo miltimedia, lespri-siber…
Peyna pou per beta. Dime peper.

Site ouvriyer sou anestezi
Ankor pe dormi. E! Tansion li lev brit.

Workers’ housing estates like dwarfs’ jackets
On the shoulders of giants are bursting.

In the city centres new shops
Proudly show their goods; in business offices
Modernisation and globalisation
Know no bounds. No kidding, mate!

Workers’ housing estates like untreated
Asthma patients are gasping for air.

In city centres, business tycoons talk of
The third millenium, cyberspace,
Multimedia networks, ICT culture …
Why worry, son? Tomorrow will be superb.

Anaesthetised workers’ housing estates
Are still asleep. Beware! They may suddenly wake up.

Dan zarden soumaren vinn ar mwa!
Nou pran ben minwi dan nirvana,
Anba parasol koray fleri
Nou get pwason tou kouler danse,
Bann alg alert bouz-bouz zot leren,
Bann omar ek seval akwatik
Fer zimnastik ar konper mourgat,
Katover, krab-karle, kapitenn
Ansam fer koustik oralanti.
Pa bizen tike, vini gate!

Vinn ar mwa gate, napa tike!
Dan zarden soumaren mo lespri
Nou promne dan lonbraz enn lare
– Vantilater dan lesiel ble –
Divan nou bann dofen dan enn serk
Pou fer pirouet oralanti.
Reken ar lasenn lor dan likou
Ler nou pase pou fer gardavou
Dan mo paradi manti-manti.

Dan zarden soumaren vinn ar mwa!
Pou tidezene tomat zean
Dan benitie dantle-nakre
Lor ledo enn torti milener.
Bekinn, dorat ar tabliye blan,
Sakresien ar so tok kwizinie
Pou okip nou konfor ek plezir,
Bann oursen mov ar zot gran labarb
Lef-rayt pou vey nou sekirite.
Pa bizen tike, vini gate!

Dan zarden soumaren mo lespri
Fabrike ar limazinasion,
Trike pou kasiet tou bann konfli,
Kapav repoze dan nirvana.
Me nirvana limazinasion
Li kourt kouma enn zetwal filant.
Sove mo gate! Realite
Akout bom pe eklat zarden la.
Reken lasie finn fann so pikan.

Zarden lespwar finn vinn simitier.

Into the submarine garden come with me!
We’ll have a midnight swim in nirvana,
Underneath a flowery coral umbrella
We’ll watch multitudes of coloured fish dance,
Sexy elegant algae swing their hips,
Lobsters and seahorses
Demonstrating acrobatic skills with squids,
Cateau vert fish, carle-crab, and capitaine-fish
Performing somersaults in slow motion.
Don’t hesitate, love. Come along!

Come along, love! Come along!
In the submarine garden of my mind
We’ll wander in the shade of a ray
– a roof fan in blue sky –
Watch the dolphins in a
Transparent, colourful, bright circle
Pirouetting in slow motion.
Sharks with gold chains round their necks
Stand at attention as we walk by
In my all-made-up paradise.

Into the sumarine garden, come with me!
For breakfast we’ll have giant tomatoes
In pearly benitiers with edges like lace
Sitting on the back of a thousand year old tortoise.
Becune fish and dorato with white aprons,
Snapper with chef headwear
Will look after our comfort and pleasure,
Bearded mauve sea urchins
In military outfit will ensure our security.
Don’t hesitate, love. Come along!

In the submarine garden of my mind
Wrought by imagination,
Tinkered to hide the distasteful
One may rest in nirvana
But fancy nirvana
Is as short-lived as a shooting star.
Run away, love! Reality
Is bombing the garden.
Steel sharks have planted desolation.

The garden of hope is now a graveyard.

Mo ti matlo,
souy to lizie mo ti koko!
Anou ansam travers aswar,
obliz soley lev so latet
mem nou kone li pou’al kouse.
Ayo matlo,
To papa finn ramas maler,
amenn lakaz donn to mama;
dan so dile to pov mama
san li kone finn les maler
ranz nik amer, touy to boner.
Mo ti matlo,
souy to lizie mo ti koko!

Ayo matlo,
To granpapa so granpapa
ti bril karo, ti bril danbwa;
ti sem disab dan plantasion,
dan lesiel ble ti kras pwazon.
Aster to mank respirasion.
Mo ti matlo,
souy to lizie mo ti koko!

Ayo matlo,
to tonton ti enn gran saser
ki ti servi so konesans
pou efas net tou diferans,
kraz lopital ek dispanser.
Aster peyna ners pou swagn twa.
Mo ti matlo,
souy to lizie mo ti koko!

Ayo matlo,
To lizie dir to pa kone
ki to ete, ki bizen fer,
kot pou ale, kifer to per.
Mo pov matlo, bann gran peto
finn deside to enn zero.
Mo ti matlo,
souy to lizie mo ti koko!
Anou ansam travers aswar,
obliz soley lev so latet
mem nou kone li pou’al kouse.

My little friend
Wipe your tears my dear, dear one!
Let’s together cross the night,
Force the sun to rise
When we know it’s setting.
Dear little friend,
Your father picked a bad thing,
Brought it home to your mother;
And your mum, not knowing it,
Allowed the bad thing to build its nest
In her milk and kill your joy.
My little friend
Wipe your tears my dear, dear one!

So sorry friend,
Your grandad’s grandad
Burnt fields and woods;
Strewed sand on fertile soil,
Spewed poison onto the sky.
And now you’re hard-of-breathing.
My little friend
Wipe your tears my dear, dear one!

So sorry friend,
Your uncle was a great hunter
Who used knowledge
To wipe out difference,
Bomb hospitals and dispensaries.
Now there are no nurses to take care of you.
My little friend
Wipe your tears my dear, dear one!

So sorry friend,
Your eyes tell me you do not know
Who you are, what must be done,
Where to go, why you’re so scared.
My poor little soul, the high-and-mighty
Have decided you’re good for nothing.
My little friend
Wipe your tears my dear, dear one!
Let’s together cross the night,
Force the sun to rise
When we know it’s setting.

( Pou Kardinal Jean Margeot )
Lor larout later
Ant lamer ek simitier
Mo’nn rod mo lekilib.
Lor lapis koray,
Lor santie grabo,
Lor larout koltar
Ki fonn dan soley
Mo’nn rod mo lekilib.

Lor lapis fleri
Borde ar fouzer,
Dan douser kouler parfime,
Senier mo ti perdi
Mo ti-parapli.
Lapli frete, soley griye,
Retresi mo inosans,
Deses mo lesperans.

Lapousier lor sime
Bous mo lizie;
Koltar gransime
Kol mo lipie;
Trip sere, lagorz amare
Mo rode, rode, rode.

Lor larout later,
Ant lamer ek simitier,
Enn Larkansiel,
Parapli Bondie,
Enn zour vinn dir mwa
Ki kote bizen gete,
Ki kote bizen rode.

Ler somey kase,
La kot mo lipie,
Mo ti-parapli
Gayar pe get mwa,
Pli gayar ki yer.

Frete lapli, griye soley
Aster nepli fer mwa tranble.
Mo finn regagn mo lekilib
Grasa mo ti-parapli.

(For Cardinal Jean Margeot)
On earthen road
Between the sea and the graveyard
I looked for balance.
On coral path,
On gravel lane.
On tarred road
Melting in the sun
I looked for balance.

On grass lane with flowers
With ferns on both sides,
Amidst sweet colourful smell,
Lord, I lost
My umbrella.
The pouring rain and broiling sun
Shrank my innocence,
Dried up my hope.

The dusty road
Blinded me;
My feet got stuck
In melting tar;
Breathing and speaking difficulties;
Unable to find …

On earthen road
Between the sea and the graveyard
A rainbow,
God’s umbrella,
One day told me
Where to look
And where to find.

When I woke up
At my feet
I found
My sprightly umbrella
More vivacious than ever.

The pouring rain and broiling sun
Frighten me no more.
My umbrella has restored
My balance.

Mo aryer-granper anba so pie mang
Ti kontan kas poz ler soley lete
Ar laraz Desam bril Montagn Signo.

Mo aryer-granper anba so pie mang
Ti kontan partaz ar zanfan vwazen
Douser mezon-rouz, parfen dofine.

Ler li ti’ankor zenn mo aryer-granper
Ti met dan later detrwa loyo mang,
Rod e trouv letan pou koz-koz ar zot.

Bann vwazen riye, zot dir li toktok,
So koko pike. Ar balti beton
Zot swazir pou konstrir zot anbision.

Bolom la touzour anba so pie mang.
Bann vwazen pase, zot dir li ere,
Li ena lasans. Li ena lasans?

Under his mango tree, my great-grandfather
Used to relax when the summer’s sun
With December rage would burn Signal Mountain.

Under his mango tree, my great-grandfather
Loved to share with his neighbours’ kids
Maison-rouge sweetness and dauphiné fragrance.

When he was young, my great-grandfather
Did bury a few mango kernels
And looked after them and talked to them.

His neighbours laughed, said he was crazy,
Good for the bin. They chose to build their future
With concrete pails and shovels.

The old man is still under his tree.
Neighbours walking by say he’s happy,
He’s lucky. He’s lucky?

Pa dir mwa sant enn sante fos
Repet mo ki zis lor lalev
Fraz ipokrit aprann par ker
Ler ek parol artifisiel
Pa dir mwa sant sante forse

Pa dir mwa fier enn bout latwal
Kouler ki santi ipokrit
Ki fabrike san emosion
Ki flote akoz ki’afer
Pa dir mwa pans panse forse

Pa dir mwa lwayal ar enn mo
Ousa reper zeografik
Kot nenport ki bebet feros
Lib pou fer annyo pas mizer
Pa dir mwa koz koze nenport

Pa dir mwa priye enn bout ros
Swiv to sistem lizie ferme
Gob bann lalwa letan margoz
Ki ferm mo nam dan enn prizon
Pa dir mwa sant sante forse

Mwa mo pou sant vilaz-lakaz
Aring-bouring dan lakrwaze
Lamour onet, lamitie vre
E finalman Gran Lalimier
Pa dir mwa sant sante forse

Don’t ask me to sing an empty song,
To pay only lip service
With memorised cliches
With dubious tune and words
Don’t ask me to sing against my will

Don’t ask me to take pride in a piece of linen
Dyed with sham
Made without genuine feelings
Which flies because it has to
Don’t ask me to think against my will

Don’t ask me to be loyal to a word
To a dot on the map
Where any brutish beast
Is free to torture lambs
Don’t ask me to speak against my will

Don’t ask me to worship a piece of stone
Follow rituals with closed eyes
Gulp beliefs of days gone by
Which locks my soul in a cell
Don’t ask me to sing against my will

I will sing my home village
The games kids used to play
Honest love, true friendship
And finally The Great Light
Don’t ask me to sing against my will

Emosion-Lentelizans Siprem
Dan sant so explozion-kreasion
Ti met lentelizans-emosion
Pou ki twa ek mwa, mo lamour,
Plizier miliar lane plitar
Kapav mizir lespas-letan
E dekouver nou Kreater,
Koumansman san koumansman.
Li bizen nou kouma nou bizen Li.

Neandertal ti kwar nou tann dir
Ki apre lamor ena lavi
Sapiens-sapiens parey nou tann dir
Akoz sa nou de, mo lamour,
Plizier milie lane apre
Kapav mizir lespas-letan
E dekouver nou Kreater,
Koumansman san koumansman.
Li bizen nou kouma nou bizen Li.

To kwar zis isi otour Soley
Ena santiman entelizan
Ki selebre grander So Lamour?
Pa kwar zis nou de, mo lamour,
Dan imansite liniver
Kapav mizir lespas-letan
E dekouver nou Kreater,
Koumansman san koumansman.
Li bizen nou kouma nou bizen Li.

Supreme Emotion-Intelligence
At the centre of the big creative explosion
Did put intelligence-emotion
So that you and I, my love,
May several billion years later
Measure time and space
And discover The Creator,
The beginning without beginning.
He needs us as we need Him.

Neanderthals believed, we hear,
In life after death
Sapiens-sapiens too, we hear,
And so you and I, my love,
Thousands of years later may
Measure time and space
And discover The Creator,
The beginning without beginning.
He needs us as we need Him.

Do you believe that only around our sun
Is found the thinking heart
Which celebrates His Great Love?
You’re wrong to think that
Only the two of us can
Measure time and space
And discover The Creator,
The beginning without beginning.
He needs us as we need Him.

Laba lor bor montagn koste akot dilo
Tou zanfan eksite, zot pe pans zot kado.
Depi soley leve ziska zot al dormi
Zot nek pans Bonom Noel ki pou pas zis minwi.

Bonom Noel, Bonom Noel pa bliye mo kado;
Bonom Noel, Bonom Noel mo’le enn mekano.
Mo finn bros mo soulie, li anba mo lili.
Bonom Noel pa bliye mo’nn dimann enn fizi,
Enn loto fer rali, enn avion anvole.
Bonom Noel pa bliye mo’nn dimann enn poupe,
Enn poupe ki koze, enn bwat zouzou menaz.
Bonom Noel, Bonom Noel pa bliye mo lakaz.

Laba kot laboutik zot nene lor vitrinn;
Dan enn soukoup volant zot lespri lor lalinn;
Laba kot pie sapen zot lizie pa bate;
Enn poupe mars ar pil pe dir zot namaste.

Bonom Noel, Bonom Noel pa bliye mo kado;
Bonom Noel, Bonom Noel mo’le enn mekano…

Bann paran trouv bien drol bann zanfan pa pe fen;
Bann rev zoli sirpriz finn fer zot vant bien plen;
Zot limazinasion finn koup zot lapeti;
Aswar mem finn fer tar zot pa ole dormi.

Bonom Noel, Bonom Noel pa bliye mo kado;
Bonom Noel, Bonom Noel mo’le enn mekano…

Bann zanfan finn tir plan pou fer sanblan dormi,
May Bonom Noel anplen ler li vini minwi;
Me ler minwi sone bann zanfan pe reve:
Otour enn pie sapen zot pe sant zot sante.

Bonom Noel, Bonom Noel pa bliye mo kado;
Bonom Noel, Bonom Noel mo’le enn mekano.
Mo finn bros mo soulie, li anba mo lili.
Bonom Noel pa bliye mo’nn dimann enn fizi,
Enn loto fer rali, enn avion anvole.
Bonom Noel pa bliye mo’nn dimann enn poupe,
Enn poupe ki koze, enn bwat zouzou menaz.
Bonom Noel, Bonom Noel pa bliye mo lakaz.

There by the mountain side and by the sea
Kids are all excited thinking of gifts to come.
From sunrise to sunset
They think of Santa coming at midnight.

Dear Santa, dear Santa don’t forget my gift;
Dear Santa, dear Santa I want a meccano set.
I’ve polished my shoes, they’re under my bed.
Dear Santa don’t forget my gun,
A rally car, a flying plane.
Dear Santa don’t forget I want a doll,
A talking doll, a kitchen set.
Dear Santa, please don’t miss my house.

They’re at the shop, noses against showcases;
In a flying saucer they are on the moon;
There by the tree with eyelids wide open
They watch a doll namaste them.

Dear Santa, dear Santa don’t forget my gift;
Dear Santa, dear Santa I want a meccano set …

Parents are surprised, children aren’t hungry;
Dreams of pleasant surprises keep them going;
Imagination gives them their fill;
When it’s bedtime they think not of sleep.

Dear Santa, dear Santa don’t forget my gift;
Dear Santa, dear Santa I want a meccano set …

The children will pretend to be fast asleep,
Catch Santa when he comes at midnight
But when the clock strikes twelve, the children are dreaming:
Around a tree they’re singing their songs.

Dear Santa, dear Santa don’t forget my gift;
Dear Santa, dear Santa I want a meccano set.
I’ve polished my shoes, they’re under my bed.
Dear Santa don’t forget my gun,
A rally car, a flying plane.
Dear Santa don’t forget I want a doll,
A talking doll, a kitchen set.
Dear Santa, please don’t miss my house.

Lentelizans maskilen,
sofe, bate, tourne
dan laforz Lisifer-Belzeboul;
maskilen sengilie
koule dan beton-arme,
miskle ar lasie
ki koupe-transe kouma sizo-frwa,
finn arm destine ar pwisans kanon,
finn sof fourno eternel
ar radiasion nikleer.

Lentelizans maskilen sengilie
ar rezonnman frwa mizir lapeti,
kalkil so profi, grat ledo maler,
giji-giji douler dan vant lavenir.
Lager, viol, piyaz pa ase;
aster ar ladrog li koze,
plen so pos ranpli ar dolar,
fer zenn gramaten vinn aswar.
Lentelizans maskilen sengilie!

Yoni, Yoni, desten pli divan!
Vinn donn enn koudme do beti
Pou nou ranz ansam do baba
destine feminen pliryel.
Masculine intelligence
Heated, hammered and shaped
In Lucifer-Beezedub smithy;
Masculine singular
Combined with concrete,
Fortified with steel
Which strikes and slices mechanically
Has armed fate with powerful guns,
Heated up the eternal oven
With nuclear radiation.

Masculine singular intelligence
With cold logic measures appetite,
Works out its gains, wakes trouble up,
Tickles pains in future’s womb.
Wars, rape and looting are not enough,
Now drug trafficking is the main course
To fill coffers full of dollars,
Make old evenings with new mornings.
Masculine singular intelligence!

Yoni, dear Yoni, tomorrow’s future!
Come and help us, Beti
To build together, love,
Feminine plural fate.

Ti lapli kontinie-kontinie pe grene
Lor later rasazie, tranp lezo bann zwazo,
Pouri tou bann rasinn, fletri tou bann pie fri,
Anfle lentelizans. Bann rev pe retresi.

Dan-nwar-dan-nwar lonbraz skelet Lerwa Karya
Tik parsi, trik parla, tray-traye san traka,
Devor tou nouritir dan karay so vwazen.
Balye tou mo dir ou, mem restan pou lisien.

Sakaryate Karya, poumon plen ar lagli,
Finn ordonn ti lapli kontinie mouy lavi,
Mouy lespri, mouy bann rev, mouy lanvi reflesi,
Mouy mouye tou kote ziska li gagn rebi.
Ti lapli gagn lagam dans sega lor nou nam.
Me ravann finn tranpe.

Li nepli sonn kram-kram.

It drizzles, dribbles and mizzles non-stop
On saturated earth, soaking birds to the bones,
Rotting all roots, killing trees and all,
Swelling up the brain. Dreams are shrinking.

In total darkness, King Termite’s skeleton shadow
Nibbles here, nibbles there, seduces and forsakes,
Empties altogether its neighbour’s karahi.
Devours all, even leftovers meant for the dog.

His Majesty King Termite, lungs full of sticky mess
Has decreed non-stop drizzle to soak all,
Soak the mind, our dreams, our reasoning power,
Soak even soaking until it gives up.
Drizzle with gusto dances the sega on our souls.
But the ravanne is wet.

Its sound is no longer crispy.

O Gran Lespri Siprem, Entelizans kosmik,
Lasours mizerikord, lamour, bonte, pardon,
Ekler lespri dimoun. Fer ki sak pa nou fer
Fer nou koste ar twa; fer ki sak mo nou dir
Vinn petal fler kouler; fer ki tou nou aksion
Fer lemal rekile; fer ki tou nou panse
Fer solidarite, lamour ek lamitie
Vinn kiltir mesianik, enn vizion profetik.
Nou tou ki viv isi, nou zis enn etensel
Ki sorti dan laflam laforz dou eternel
E pandan nou vwayaz andeor nou lakaz
Nou aprann sak segonn profonder To langaz
Pou ki liberasion absorb nou lenerzi
E lerla nou tou gout eternel paradi.
Tanki nou ankor maf nou ne ek nou re-ne
Pou fer fas nou lanfer andeor To lape.
O Gran Lespri Siprem, Entelizans kosmik,
Donn nou sazes itil pou fer nou gagn konpran
Veritab rekonpans li pa fer ar larzan,
Ar ilizion maya ki angourdi nou nam;
Veritab rekonpans se moksha zom ek fam
Ki fonn pou vinn enn sel ar Lespri Koumansman
Ki pa konn finision dan prezan permanan.
Mersi To finn donn mwa entwision profetik.

O Supreme Spirit, Cosmic Intelligence,
Spring of Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love,
Shine on our minds. Let each step we make
Get us close to you; let each word we say
Be bright blossoms; let each thing we do
Roll back evil’s way; let each thought we have
Make of solidarity, love and friendship
A messianic culture, a prophetic vision.
All living creatures, we’re just a spark
From your blissful soothing furnace
And during our journey on earth
We learn your thoughts
On the path of liberation
Until we reach our Home-Destination.
Until we are ready we are born again and again
To face hell outside your Peace.
O Supreme Spirit, Cosmic Intelligence
Make us wise to understand
That true reward is not of gold,
Not maya, sheer illusion which numbs the soul;
It is moksha, liberation
And we become one with The Beginning
Who knows no end in eternal present.
Thank you for your gift of prophetic vision.

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