Every day I use the dialect of lunatic hurricanes.
I speak the madness of clashing winds.
Every evening I use the patois of furious rains.
I speak the fury of waters in flood.
Every night I talk to the Caribbean islands in the tongue of hysterical storms. I speak the hysteria of the rutting sea.
Dialect of hurricanes. Patois of rains. Language of tempests. Unravelling of the spiralling life.
Fundamentally, life is tension. Towards something. Towards someone. Towards oneself. Towards the point of maturity where the old and the new, death and birth untangle. And every being is realised in part in the search for its double, a search which may, in a sense, merge with the intensity of a need, a desire, and an infinite quest.
Dogs pass by - I've always been obsessed with strays - they yap at the shadow of the woman I'm pursuing. At the image of the man I'm looking for. At my double. At the hubbub of fleeing voices. For so many years. Feels like thirty centuries.
The woman's gone, without a fanfare. Along with my discordant heart. The man never even offered me his hand. My double is always at my heels. And the unhinged throats of night dogs howl with the cacophony of a busted accordion.
It's then I become a storm of words bursting the hypocricy of clouds and the falseness of silence. Rivers. Storms. Lightning. Mountains. Trees. Lights. Rains. Savage oceans. Take me to the frenzied core of your articulation. Take me! Just a hint of clarity would give me a living chance. Would let me accept life. Tension. The inexorable law of growth. Osmosis and symbiosis. Take me! The sound of a step, a glance, a touching voice would be enough for me to live happy in the hope that awakening is still possible among humans. Take me! It wouldn't take much for me to speak the sap that flows through the core of the cosmos in motion.
Dialect of hurricanes. Patois of rains. Languages of storms. I speak the unravelling of the spiralling life.
Frankétienne (born 1936) Haiti
Translated by Andre Naffis-Sahely and The Poetry Translation Workshop
Source: The Poetry Translation Centre