Dan lenor pei
Kot mo ti grandi
Ti’ena enn kolinn
Kot enn ti lasours
San gran anbision
Ti avoy dilo
San rod ti faver
Dan enn larivier
Ki mari vantar
Ki zet so kouran
Dan enn osean.
Dan ti rwiso la
Ti ena lavi
Enn lot kalite
Me tou bann dimoun
Ti prefer pran kont
Dan gran larivier
Ek dan gran dilo
Lot kote dilo
Apart enn tidev
Ek so tidevi,
De lisien maron
Dan enn gran kazot
Lisien espesial,
Sikse komersial.

(There was once a spring which fed a clear stream, which generously fed a ravenous river betrothed to an all-devouring sea. All living creatures ignored the spring and its clear water, having a preference for the ravenous river and the all-devouring sea, except for two mongrels, tidev and tidevi.)

Ti tann lamizik
Dilo kler rwiso;
Admir larkansiel
Lalimier soley;
Lapes kamaron;
Fer lelvaz lapia.
De kote rwiso
Zot ti ranz miray
Kot ti neseser
E parsi-parla
Zot ti fouy kanal
Pou aroz later,
Karo sonz-kreson.

(They loved the music of the spring and the running water and admired the rainbow beauty of the sun; they fished and bred, picked and grew, built walls, parapets and bridges, dug small canals to irrigate fields, gardens and orchards.)

Kote larivier
Ek kote lamer
Letaz ti pe fer
Piti lor letaz;
Ti vinn depotwar;
Resofman lor baz
Ar kriz klimatik;
Pol nor koumans fonn;
Lamer la monte,
Aval filao;
Bann bato manze
Pe tas lor brizan.
Lafaminn pappa!

(On Seaside and Riverside, there was business growth, dumping, warming and climate-crisis, melting of polar ice, dramatic rise in sea level and food shortage.)

Me kote lasours
Ek kote rwiso
Pie zak, friyapen,
Karo may, batat,
Maniok ek arouy;
Pwason dilo-dous
Ek poul vakabon
Ti pe donn zot tou
Enn bouse manze.

(At Springside and Streamside, there was plenty of jackfruit, breadfruit, corn and tapioca, freshwater fish and roaming chicken for one and all.)

Moral mo zistwar?
Pa mwa ki ti ranz
Lasours ek rwiso;
Ti zis pran konsians
Vital ekzistans
E ti kontinie
Fer travay Bondie:
Fer ordiner vinn
Seki neseser
Exprim so bote.

(My story? I did not build the spring or the stream. I simply acknowledged their existence and helped the creation of ‘a thing of beauty and a joy forever’.)

Kikfwa lasours la
Ek so rwiso kler
Se nou lang kreol,
So literatir,
So nouvo kiltir;
Soubasman solid
Enn nouvo nasion!

(Maybe the spring and stream are my mother tongue, the new literature and culture, strong building blocks of a new nation in the making.)

updated: 10.04.23

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