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I am the rustling of the world
the swaying between here and elsewhere
the dumb foliage of the cactus
the coarse wood that covers the gecko
the bed for the world-book
whose pages are as many waves of the quest
endlessly begun again

Abdourahman A. Waberi    tr. Williamson 


I scatter my voice to the four corners of the town
the water shapes time there
I mingle my body with the fragrances that emerge from night
I drown my confusion there
I look into your eyes for our past quarrels
clans undone weaving the web of discord
I ask the succulents to give back

my sweet memory
indecisive you listen to the rustling of my cracks
you put off until tomorrow
the approach of night

                    Abdourahman A. Waberi    tr. Williamson


je suis le bruissement du monde
le balancement entre ici et ailleurs
la frondaison muette du cactus
le bois rugueux qui recouvre le gecko
le lit du livre-monde
où les pages sont autant de vagues de la quête
toujours recommence

Abdourahman A. Waberi   


je sème ma voix aux quatres coins de la ville
l’eau y dessine le temps
je mêle mon corps aux effluves remontant de la nuit
j’y noie mon desarroi
je cherche dans tes yeux nos querelles d’antan
les clans défaits tissent la toile de leur discorde
je demande aux plantes grasses de me rendre

ma tendre mémoire
indécise tu écoutes les bruissements de ma brisure
tu remets à demain
l’approche de la nuit

 Abdourahman A. Waberi   

Abdourahman A. Waberi is a writer, novelist and poet. He has won numerous awards notably the Grand Prix Littéraire de l’Afrique noire in 1996 for his short story collection Cahier nomade. In 2000 he published a poetry collection, Les Nomades, mes frères, vont boire à la Grande Ourse with Editions Pierron, France. An English teacher at Lisieux in Normandy, Mr Waberi is also an editorial advisor for Le Serpent à plumes in Paris, and a literary chronicler and writer for Monde Diplomatique. English translations of his work appeared in The Gallery of the Insane, Xcités, the Flamingo Book of New French Writing,London, 1999, which was shortlisted for the first Caine Prize for African Fiction, 2000.

Patrick Williamson was born in Madrid in 1960 and is currently living near Paris, France. Most recent poetry collections: Prussia Cove and Strands, both from Palores Publications. He has translated Yves Bonnefoy among others, and edited selected poems of Tunisian poet Tahar Bekri (Inconnues Saisons/Unknown Seasons, L’Harmattan) and Quebecois poet Gilles Cyr (The Graph of Roads, Guernica Editions). He is the editor of Quarante et un poètes de Grande-Bretagne (Ecrits des Forges/Le Temps de Cérises, 2003).