Hommes de tous les continents/people of all the continents
"People of All the Continents" by Bernard B. Dadie, Hommes de Tous Les Continents, page 19 Translation by Margaret E. Wright-Cleveland, 2016
For Pierre Seghers
I come out of the nights splattered in blood!
Watch my back Labor for the hunger and thirst I was arable soil See my calloused hand, Black By the strength of the world’s kneading. My eyes bright with the passion of love.
I was there when a guardian expelled the ancestor, I was there when waters ate the mountains There again, when Jesus reconciled the sky and the earth, Always there, when he smiled over the top of the ravines We will bind/knit the same destiny.
People of all the continents The bullets pollard the roses in the hands of dreams.
Out of the night or artificial smoke I would like you to sing You who carry the sky in outstretched arms We who try to find ourselves in the false day of street lights. I, myself, also know The cold in the bone, and the hunger of belly, Awakening to the rattling of the rifles But always a star twinkling in the eyes The evenings of fire, in the giddiness of gunpowder.
People of all the continents Carrying the sky in outstretched arms You who like to hear the laughter of the woman, You who like to watch the child play, You who like to give the hand to form the chain, The bullets will once again pollard roses In the mornings of dreams.