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 09/12/2019 Tlaxcala, the international network of translators for linguistic diversity Tlaxcala's Manifesto  
A yellow poem from France
Date of publication at Tlaxcala: 01/02/2019
Original: Les veilleurs
Un poème jaune

The watchers
A yellow poem from France


Translated by  Dominique Macabies


Poets don't make revolutions,

 but revolution sometimes makes the poet.


While the good people, crushed by effort,

sleeps the sleep of the righteous (or rather of the brute)

here is another people - and funny bodies -

bustling in the shade, attracted by the Struggle:


I mean the watchers; among them the prophets,

one war and three revolutions behind;

more talkative than magpies or bad poets,

they point their vengeful finger - in what direction?


These enraged ones, just after the year-end celebrations,

their scrawny arms stretched out, banging on and

screaming: nothing is good enough anymore, and: rien de va plus!, like howling monkeys hanging from the foliage.


I’m just one among them... I also am surveying

with detached (but not indifferent) eyes

the heinous spectacle of human injustice,

burdened with insomnia in this erratic world.


Oh Monsieur you lay claim to the elegant sort, don't you?

- Indeed, this is a time for caricature,

you have to get your hands or your gloves dirty,

otherwise you only get a pretty painting.


- It's only in the morning, on American time,

that the good people come out of their giant slumber

awakened by the smell of tear gas,

to put Paris's ass back on its backside.


It's the rising, yellow, fluorescent tide

(more yellow than a Yankee president’s hair)

magnified by anger, blind, repulsive,

and ready to give birth… to what, to whom, who knows?


Paris is no longer Paris... And the people of France

has become a guest in its own home, like at the hotel:

always paying, paying, risking to get a fine,

for a country turned into an amusement park and a brothel!


What good was it to defeat all the gods

if it was to put Money on their thrones instead...

- Let's reclaim from Caesar what belongs to beggars,

and let's leave him with the chicken’s skin, bones and carcass!


The streets reek of a scent of revolt,

the scent that freedom gives to burnt rubber

when cobblestones swirl over low in the air

and rain pours down on tangled bodies.


I see that only love, in the process of copulation

can afford such an explosion of truncheons,

- We'll have to wait for next spring, when it hatches,

to see whether our winter holds out the promise of rocking the boat.


Indeed, it is not enough for Freedom to have its way,

it must be both beautiful, and strong, and desirable;

like the one you see braced upright in the painting by Delacroix,

the one every true Frenchman wants to invite to their table.


To all of you the "Marianne" from deep France:

Rest assured that you are loved, with your wilted eyes,

more than the Parisian woman with her infra-thin waist

- and we'll drink the blood that drips from your flushed nipples!


Courtesy of Tlaxcala
Publication date of original article: 01/02/2019
URL of this page :


Tags: Yellow VestsLogical revoltsSweet France

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