Saturday, April 8, 2017

Listen more often to things than to beings;
The fire’s voice is heard,
Hear the voice of water.
Hear in the wind
The bush sob:
It is the ancestor’s breath.
Those who have died have never left,
They are in the brightening shadow
And in the thickening shadow;
The dead are not under the earth,
They are in the rustling tree,
They are in the groaning woods,
They are in the flowing water,
They are in the still water,
They are in the hut, they are in the crowd:
The dead are not dead.
Listen more often
To things than beings;
The fire’s voice is heard,
Hear the voice of water.
Hear in the wind
The bush sob:
It is the ancestor’s breath,
The breath of dead ancestors
Who have not left,
Who are not under the earth,
Who are not dead.
Those who have died have never left,
They are in the woman’s breast,
They are in the wailing child
And in the kindling firebrand.
The dead are not under the earth,
They are in the fire dying down,
They are in the moaning rock,
They are in the crying grass,
They are in the forest, they are in the home:
The dead are not dead.
--Birago Diop

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