Thursday, October 29, 2015

Saluvas

Saluvas

Today the girls were all wearing their saluvas –
all flying colours and light drapes.
I heard them talk about a wedding
or some fancy celebration.
I had no clues and I still don't know what it meant.
Yet, these dresses
all women wear
there in Mayotte
are like flowers covering bruises and dark pains.
I admired Doulfahou's red suns,
surrounded by black spots running away not to be eaten.
Nassurati – though prettier – was wearing a plain pink
piece of plain cloth.
Yasmina's blue flowers or leaves
danced on the brownish dress she wore.
Faïza's was green with strange shapes
going orange, going purple.
I smiled broadly when I saw Hachimia come in.
She had something closer to a shopping net than a scarf on her head,
covered in bright orange
like a security guard's brace.
Raouanti was an Indian princess –
all salmon pink and eastern pride.
The most beautiful though was Sayra –
she walked like an African queen in her navy blue saluva
constellated with brown petals.

First published in The North Chicago Review, January 2013. Extract from Maore Lapwing Publishing, 2013

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Des cendres dans le cœur...

Des cendres dans le cœur
et un homme à côté
la lune rousse
dans la brousse
des larmes sur les draps
et la rédemption
du mouchoir blanc.
Des yeux couleur d’opale
et l’amour oublié
le soleil rouge
sur la vouge
des gouttes de sueur
sur ma vie
perchée dans l’arbre.
Hé ! cette vie est sauve
fauve et tigresse née
la brousse rousse
la vouge rouge
des larmes de sueur
sur la rédemption
du mouchoir blanc.


Première publication Inédit Nouveau, Belgique, mai 1996