Wednesday, 8 October 2014

In the Mediterranean - Georges Moustaki

In this basin where
children with black eyes play
there are three continents
and centuries of history,
prophets of the gods,
the Messiah in person.
There is a fair summer there
that fears no autumn,
in the Mediterranean.

There is a smell of blood
floating on its banks
and martyrised countries
like so many open wounds,
barbed-wire islands,
walls that imprison.
There is a fair summer there
that fears no autumn,
in the Mediterranean.

There are olive trees
dying under bombs
in the place where
the first dove appeared,
forgotten people
harvested by war.
There is a fair summer there
that fears no autumn,
in the Mediterranean.

In this basin, I played
when I was a child.
I had my feet in the water.
I breathed the wind.
My playmates
have become men,
the brothers of those
the world has abandoned,
in the Mediterranean.

The sky is in mourning
above the Parthenon,
and "freedom" is no longer
said in Spanish.
But we can go on dreaming
of Athens and Barcelona.
There is still a fair summer there
that fears no autumn,
in the Mediterranean.

Georges Moustaki (born 1934) Egypt
Translated by Sedulia Scott

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