Sandar Jayat: Off-limits to Nomads

Translated from the French at (see also by cew.

"Off-limits to nomades"
Why not
Off-limits to the moon

"Off-limits to nomads"
But the leaves of the tree-friends
On these impoverished paving stones
The doors of nature
Open three hours
Just three hours
The day becomes blue night
And the faces on cardboard
With the rank smell
Have no truth
But the impossible
Injustice of uprooting
The wood sticks
That have touched my shoulder

Impossible to imprison
The spring water
That has breathed across my haunches

Impossible to crush
The insolent stones
Under legendary feet

Impossible that the desert
Disown its tribes.


Phrases like "Off-limits," ". . . three hours/The day becomes blue night," and, indeed, the entire poem seem to be a response to a French law allowing France's mayors to determine when, where, and for how long gypsies may park or camp. The rights of gypsies, who were formerly enslaved in Romania, are an issue in Europe especially as many Gypsies chose to remain 'stateless,' refusing to carry identity cards.

[Return Home--to "Quai Ouest"]

[Back to Top]