They make me laugh
—When they don’t infuriate me
–They are seeking, they say, tranquillity
To rest from the noise of the cities.
Yet, I no longer hear throughout the day
My winged companions.
Nor deep in his crevice
My friend the cricket.
In each corner of the village: a clamor
The racket of stinking cars
The din of transistor radios
Going constantly, spewing into the air
Wild screams of wild beasts
Escaped from their cages
Or the insults of pregnant cats
When they enrage the neighborhood dogs
And set the roosters crowing on their perch…
Oh Tranquility, my friend
You replete with soft life
It’s they who disturb you
As the splash of a stone disturbs
The calm surface of the lake.
Translated by Lenora Timm