The Earth Opens and Welcomes You

(i.m. Tahar Djaout)
The earth opens
and welcomes you
Why these cries, these tears
these prayers
What have they lost
What are they looking for
those who disturb
Your new-found peace?
The earth opens
and welcomes you
you're going to speak without witnesses
Oh, you've plenty to tell
and have all eternity to do so
Yesterday's words tarnished by the tumult
will gradually burn in silence
The earth opensand welcomes you
She alone desired you
without you making a move
She waited for you with none of Penelope's guile
Her patience was nothing but kindness
and it's kindness that brought you back to her
The earth opens
and welcomes you
She will not ask you to render accounts
of your fleeting affairs
wandering girls
heavenly bodies of flesh conceived in the eyes
fruits gifted by the vast orchards of life
sovereign passions that shine
in your palm's hollow
at the end of an indifferent language
The earth opens
and welcomes you
You're naked
And she's more naked than you
You're both beautiful
in that silent embrace
where hands can restrain themselves
and steer clear of violence
where the butterfly of the soul
avoids this semblance of light
to go in search of its origins
The earth opens
and welcomes you
One day, your beloved will rediscover
your legendary smile
and mourning will come to an end
Your children will grow
and read your poems unashamed
Your country will heal, as if by magic
when men consumed by the illusion
will drink from the fountain of your kindness
O my friend
sleep well
you need it
because you worked hard
like an honourable man
Before you left
you left your office in order
neatly arranged
You switched off the lights
and on stepping out
you looked at the sky
which was almost painfully blue
You gracefully smoothed your moustache
and said to yourself:
only cowards
think that death is the end
Sleep well my friend
Sleep the sleep of the righteous
Rest well
from your dreams too
Let us shoulder the burden a little