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Two Poems

By Saïkou Yaya Baldé


The two poems below (the first in English, the second in French) appear as a part of a series featuring fellows in the New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program. Read Saïkou Yaya Baldé’s essay about his relationship with language here.

 

Gloom and doom

Life
            Death

what if I died
now
ten last breaths

it         
  has
       been
             an
                incredible
                             journey
                                       but
                                           please
                                                    never
                                                            again!

Again.
            Here I am
not my time

Why do I feel dead already?

The mountains are too steep
the skies too high
the oceans too deep

I am torn apart
a man on a cross
set on fire

         The demons seated for the banquet

Come feast on me!
bite into the flesh
bring me closer
to the source

As the dark skin is ripped
from the bones
red blood spills

My voice echoes
unheard

I have lost hope.

Nothing but pain
and sorrow
the heart fumes
ashes of an alien soul.

 

Fils du Fouta Djallon

Hier
Homme premier
Aujourd’hui
Homme dernier

Sombre noirceur
contraste avec innocente blancheur

Jour et nuit
malédiction et bénédiction
migration et isolation
déportation et humiliation
assimilation et annihilation

ADN atrophié
et l’on me demande d’oublier
car je n’ai plus les chaines
aux pieds

On tolère ma présence au banquet
et je devrais être reconnaissant
pendant que le seigneur pille mes terres
et a l’audace de me rappeler que
je ne suis qu’un nègre savant

Otage des fabulations d’un cerveau malade
le nourrisson spirituel m’explique que
pigmentation est causation

Sombre blancheur
contraste avec innocente noirceur

 

Read Saïkou Yaya Baldé’s essay “Living and Writing on the Colonizer’s Soil”


Published Nov 21, 2017   Copyright 2017 Saïkou Yaya Baldé

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