Featured Poem

Wild Animals

What are you running away from?
Where would you like to be?
Forget your jungle
And come to the city.

Not even one bush remains
Back there. Enough thunder
And the ground always shaking.
Here you can take it easy.

Look, the gate opens.
Leave your fear outside.
Welcome.
Young or old, women or men –
No one should be denied
The comforts of civilization.

Or has the jungle
Already seen it come,
Leaving mines instead of trees
And trading you sulphur
For the breath of freedom?
Better take the city instead

And let that wild man
Sniffing blood
Live the way you used to
But not any more –
Eating his own kind
Dead or alive.

He can have your place.
Come to the city and thrive.
Hey, tiger and deer,
Try a little peace.
Lion, lose the roar.

You can rule with justice.
Snake, you don’t have to bite
The dove when you kiss.
And fox, forget the deceit
When you talk with the rabbit.

In the city we all get along.
The war of every man
Against every man belongs
In the jungle.

Leave it behind you.
Take the leap.
The change will be good.
Try my bed to sleep.

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About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Poet:
Meles Negusse
Translator:
Charles Cantalupo
Original language:
Tigrinya (Eritrea)
Issue:
Series 3 No. 5 - Transgressions

About the author

Original poet

Meles Negusse

Meles Negusse is an Eritrean writer, poet and journalist. He has worked for Radio Zara, Radio Bana, and Tsigenay.

His poem...

» Read more
Charles Cantalupo

Translator

Charles Cantalupo

Charles Cantalupo's recent work includes War and Peace in Contemporary Eritrean Poetry (2009), Who Needs a Story? Contemporary... » Read more

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