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Good morning sun of my land
how good it feels to be alive today
so much light
so much light around me
Good morning empty exercise yard
you have become familiar to me
I cross you with a lively step
and you suit me like an elegant shoe
Good morning ponderous and philosophical oxpecker
perched up there
on the wall that hides the world from me
poking at your ribcage
with distracted little movements
Good morning sparse grass in the alley
quivering in opalescent flurries
at the wind’s teasing touch
Good morning great lone palm
erect on your cross-grained trunk
blooming at your peak
like a glorious tulip
Good morning sun of my land
tide of presence abolishing exile
So much light
so much light around me

 

* * *

 

I have a thousand reasons to live
to vanquish day-to-day death
the joy of loving you
and walking in step with hope

 

* * *

 

So many years
without ever knowing
solitude or boredom
so many shooting stars in my head
The reservoir of tenderness hums
in plainsong chant
the prisoner’s peculiar happiness

 

(. . . )

from "Good Morning Sun of My Land"

Donald Nicholson-Smith, translation from
the French written by Abdellatif Laabi

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