Monday, September 17, 2007

Au revoir!
À la recherche d'une aube éternelle

"For six months I shared a flat with Mike and Susie, who are among my oldest friends. When the time for departure came, I was washed with the melancholia which normally attends moving from 'home' and the physical memories it retains, heightened in this instance by the knowledge that, from being the closest of triads, we were committing ourselves to a separation in which months could easily slide into years. In this knowledge, the last vestiges of hope lay only in a future Utopia and re-joining of the hands.
In the writing, however, the song developed a life of its own (as is always the best way), and the hope becomes much more than that for reunion with my friends. We are all refugees, and there is no home but hope." - Peter Hammill


North was somewhere years ago and cold:
Ice locked the people's hearts and made them old.
South was birth to pleasant lands, but dry:
I walked the waters' depths and played my mind.

East was dawn, coming alive in the golden sun:
the winds came, gently, several heads became one
in the summertime, though august people sneered;
we were at peace, and we cheered.

We walked alone, sometimes hand in hand,
between the thin lines marking sea and sand;
smiling very peacefully,
we began to notice that we could be free,
and we moved together to the West.

West is where all days will someday end;
where the colours turn from grey to gold,
and you can be with the friends.
And light flakes the golden clouds above all;
West is Mike and Susie,
West is where I love.

There we shall spend our final days of our lives;
tell the same old stories: yeah well, at least we tried.
Into the West, smiles on our faces, we'll go;
oh, yes, and our apologies to those
who'll never really know the way.

We're refugees, walking away from the life
that we've known and loved;
nothing to do or say, nowhere to stay; now we are alone.
We're refugees, carrying all we own
in brown bags, tied up with string;
nothing to think, it doesn't mean a thing,
but we'll be happy on our own.

West is Mike and Susie
West is Mike and Susie;
West is where I love,
West is refugees' home.

This poem represents my very first attempt at French verse. Inspired by Van Der Graaf Generator’s song ‘Refugees’, it was written in Switzerland after I had bid a doleful farewell to a dearest friend. In itself, it is a poetic plea for a physical and spiritual presence that I still often yearn for. Nevertheless, the poem hints out at an assured precognition of an epoch that shall reunite us yet again… at an era that shall find the both of us lost, now as one, in the midst of eternity.

À la recherche d'une aube éternelle
(Pour Yakof Azzopardi)

Au revoir mon cher ami!
Désolé, mais désormais
à chacun son chemin
à chacun sa propre partie.
Mais comme je dis, c'est
le manège de notre vie,
ce petit fléau d'être fini
dans ce rêve du monde ici.

Bon voyage mon ami,
mais un de ces jours
on se retrouvera
- qui sait quand
qui sait où -
à la reconquête des époques perdues,
à la recherche d'une aube éternelle
toujours nouvelle et perpétuelle.

Kevin Saliba

Mużika: Refugees - Van der Graaf Generator