Thursday, 8 March 2018

Gorée Baobab Island - Suzanne Tanella Boni

perhaps happiness is so far away
invisible among the tamarind leaves
when my hand brushes the fruit
to share them with spirits laughing at man’s
cruelty to man

perhaps the hope in my eyes drags
the future in clouds of dust where I seek
sparks and the dignity of condemned souls

when the horizon in the early hours
creates images and silhouettes between sun and sea
you are not here to see my eyes
where you have never seen the humour of the world

with the blessing of the island’s
invisible inhabitants I become alive again

as your look is not a poem
but the vast sea that pours infinite pages
at my feet

here too I drank at the source
words covered with mildew
like walls oozing all the sorrows
carved on the doors of time

I drank the life source
that gives us memory and the capped path
of days to come
I lost count of the mouthfuls of elixir I drank
so that the poem
that has forever haunted my steps survives

tomorrow I will return
to hear you talk to me
again of you and me

here too the sheets where history snoozed
are white and empty

the covers of time alone
are green like the last word in the world
when the wind howls
day and night at the gates of chaos

then I wrap myself in the words of your look faraway
beyond the sea that separates us infinitely.

Suzanne Tanella Boni (born 1954) Ivory Coast / Cote d'Ivoire
Translated by Patrick Williamson
Source: Zócalo Poets

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