Ou se/ You are

7 12 2011

Ou se tanbou ki fè m danse gouyad lamizè

Sèl dezi ki pousem fè pwogrè

Ou se souri ki fè odinatè m fonksyone

Kout bagèt ki ka fè m ponpe

Ou se de bouton radyo m

Krèm ki anbeli gato m

Ou se panno kay mwen

Grenn klou ki kloure fèy tol mwen

Ou se alam ki reveye m

Ou se seleri nan soup mwen

Le maten ou se la wouze m

Se sèl ou ki ka toup pou mwen

Ou se kle ki satiyèt machin lavi m

Sèl papiyon ki poze sou flè m

Ou se zeklè aprè kout tonè m

Sèl kout kreyon ki trase plan lavi m

Ou se prefas ak fèy nan liv mwen

Ou se gom nan kreyon m

Ou se mezirèt nan gildiv mwen

Nan sos mwen, ou se sèl salezon

Nan selil mwen ou se nwayo

Nan bouyon m ou se tayo

Nan lanmè m ou se soumaren

Pou ou m prèt poum fè tenten

****************************************************

You are the drum that makes me dance gouyad lamizè

The sole desire that inspires me to progress

You’re the mouse that makes my computer work

You’re the rhythm that pumps me up

You’re the button on my radio

The frosting embellishing my cake

You’re the wall of my home

The nails that fasten down my sheet metal roof

You’re the alarm that wakes me up

You’re the celery in my soup

You’re my morning dew

You’re the only thing that’s everything for me

You’re the key that starts the vehicle of my life

The only butterfly to rest on my flower

You’re the lightning to my thunder

The only pencil that can trace the plan of my life.

You’re the preface and pages of my book

You’re the eraser on my pencil

You’re the measuring spoon in my kleren distillery

In my sauce, you are the only seasoning

In my cell, you are the nucleus

In my soup, you are the malanga root

In my sea you are the submarine

For you, I am ready to do anything.

– Wesline CICERON





Fanm/Woman

12 05 2011

Fanm ou se yon nan pi bèl bagay ki egziste
Gen gason ki kon vale n
Genyen ki pa konnen l’

Depi nou la lanati fleri
Kote n pase, toujou gen vi
Lè n pa la, Djo pa djanm
Li pa miyanm
Li san nanm
L’ap mande
Ban m fanm, ban m fanm!

Gen moun k’ap kritike Djo
Paske yo pa konnen ki plezi li jwenn nan fanm
Tèlman nou presye
Mesye yo ta renmen gen yon fanm nan chak katye kote yo pase
Mwen pap jije yo
Paske se yon fanm konsa yo jwenn andan

Medanm se pa yon rezon tou non
Pou n ap mache debadeblo
Ni tou anvanyen n’ sou do
Fòk nou respekte non nou
Pou nou pa pèdi onè n.

– METELLUS Gerty

********************

Woman, you are one of the most beautiful things that exists
There are men who know our worth
There are men who don’t

When we are there, nature flourishes
Wherever we pass, there is life
When we’re not there, Joe’s not strong
He can’t eat
He has no soul
He pleads:
Give me women, give me women!

There are people who criticize Joe
Because they don’t know the pleasure he gets from women
So precious are we!
Men would like to have a woman in every neighborhood they pass through
I won’t judge them
For it’s a woman like this they find there.

But women, this is no reason
For us to strut about without a care in the world
Nor to lie back and spread our legs every moment
We must respect our name
So we don’t lose our honor.

– Gerty METELLUS





Yon monn kè kase/A Fearful World

11 05 2011

Patou sou latè se kè sote
Chak jou ki mete se evenman
K’ap frape nan lemonn antye
Pou elimine kretyen vivan

Sida kanpe lage de pye kole
Nan kolèt tout nasyon
Kraze biskèt lezòm san presize
Okenn koulè ras ni pozisyon

Menm jan ak tranblemanditè tache
Nan festiwèl peyi Japon
Yon chabrak ki byen pwoteje
Se Ayiti ki pa menm gen yon bon pon

Gen kote grangou ap fè moun jape
Pandan grand pwisans ap prepare gwo zam
Pou kraze tipeyi ki pa menm ka manje
Gade sa Tonton Sam fè Adam

Toupatou se lagè k’ap simaye
Nan chèche pwòp enterè
Ki fè chak jou san ap koule
Lèzòm pa itilize fòmil lapè

Mezanmi kote bagay sa yo prale
Lezòm inyore prensip lanati
Nan mete syans devan pou fè sa yo vle
Ki toujou lage yo nan kouri

Lamizè fin anraje
Nan yon monn lanfè
Kote tout moun ap rele amwe
Kilè k’ap fout gen lapè sou latè

Tande yon pati sinyati
Ayiti kapital fatra
Nepalè machann kolera
Somali peyi bacha

Lemonn kowonpi
Grand pwisans piyajè
ONG farouchè
Gade! Mwen gen poum di toujou.

*********

Throughout the world, all are anxious
Every day brings another catastrophe
Striking the world entire
And eliminating the souls who dwell upon it.

AIDS arrived and trampled upon
The chests of all its opposition
Indiscriminately shattering breastbones
Regardless of color, race, or position

Just as an earthquake gripped
Relentlessly the country of Japan.
So what of Haiti, poorly built,
If this can happen to a powerful and well-protected land?

There are places where hunger makes people bark like dogs
As the great powers take up great arms
To break those little countries that can’t even eat
Look what Uncle Sam has done to Adam.

Everywhere, war is spreading
Pursuing its own interests
And making blood run every day
Man does not use the formula for peace.

My god, what are we coming to?
Man ignores the principles of nature
Disregarding science to do as they please
Leaving us in danger, to fend for ourselves

Misery turns to rage
In a hellish world
Where everyone cries “amwe!”
When the hell will we have peace on earth?

Here are their names:
Haiti, Capital of Garbage
Nepalis, Traders of Cholera
Somalia, Country Hunger-Swollen Bellies.

World of corruption,
The great powers are looters
NGOs, ferocious jokers.
Look!  There’s still more for me to say.

– Bazelet ST. LOUIS





Istwa m melanje ak rèv mwen yo/My history, mixed with my dreams

6 05 2011

Mwen se Ayiti.  Depi lontan mwen ekziste, mwen te toujou gen gwo solèy ki t’ap klere m men sa pat enpeche m rete fre.

Mwen te gen pye k’ap pile m, ki vle di mwen te abite pa yon bèl ras yon nasyon po wouj.

Christophe Colomb ak solda li yo te vin dekouvri m kòm yon dezyèm paradi.

Depi lè sa yo wè ke lanati mwen bèl yo wè bèl pye bwa, bèl plaj, yo tonbe de pale yo banm pot non <<Ispanyola>> ki vle di petit espay.

Epoutan se blofe yo t’ap blofe m, yo te vle gaspiye m epi piye m.

Aprè kèlke mwa yo retounen debake pa pil pa pakèt ak yon bann gwo bato pou yo ale ak sa manman yo ak papa yo te kite pou yo

Yo te mete bèl pitit mwen yo nan esklavaj nan travay fòse.  Yo fini pa mouri pase yo pat abitye, se kouche yo te konn kouche tout la senti jounen epi manje vyann boukannen.

La frans tande gen yon ti île, yon ti peyi li batay ak espanyol jiskaske yo twouve yo antant.

Yo siyen yon trete pou yo ka maltrete m.

Lè pitit mwen yo fin mouri (endyen yo) yo debake ale achte nèg an Afrik yo rantre vini ak yo sou yon gwo bato ki rele Negriye.

Nèg sa yo te vrèman imilye, maltrete, yo bay yo non esklav, ki se yon byen mèb, ki gen yon mèt.  Esklav sa yo travay du lever au coucher du soleil, yo menm konn touye yo bay bèt manje.

Tout byen m ak ekonomi mwen te repose sou do esklav sa yo nan travay nan jaden kann, nan sikreri, nan boulanjeri, kòm esklav a talan, esklav domestik.

Se yon delivrans lè dwa de lòm te deklare tout moun fèt pou viv lib pa dwe gen kesyon esklav ak mèt.

Sa pot enpeche yo kontinye.

Sou abitasyon breda te gen yon ti nonm ki te rele Toussaint li lite jouk li kapab pou wè sil te ka delivre nèg sa yo men elas lit la te mal pase olye de dyalòg se te zam li te dwe pran.

Mwen kwe dyalòg tap pi bon pou mwen paske ti rès richès ki rete yo tap ret pou pititi mwen.

Dessalines repran lit la pou pi rèd ak yon sistèm koupe tèt, boule kay, aprè seremoni nan Bwa Kayiman anpil kay boule, anpil kout zam tire.

18 novanm 1803 nan batay Ravin Akoulèv anpil blan franse tonbe, anpil richès gaspiye.

An 1804, mwen gen yon peyi.  Yon peyi ki plonje nan kriz ekonomik, kriz politik, kriz sosyal.

Kriz politik ak sosyal la fè anpil san koule. An 1805 Dessalines te touye ti rès franse sou pretèks yo se espyon ansyen metwopòl la.

E poutan yo pral touye nonm an 1806 poutèt tè li te vin ak yon sistèm gran pwopriyete tèrèn.

E poutan ti peyizan ki te libere m yo t’ap reklame ti lo tè, ti tè pa mòso  misye te kont koripsyon administrativ li te sezi tout tè san papye.

Nou konnen nèg milat yo tap mande tè papa yo te kite pou yo, milat sa yo te mete ak ti peyizan yo.

Yo te rive touye Dessalines 17 oktòb 1806.  Aprè sa te vin gen batay de Sibè mwen te vin gen 2 prezidan yon nan lwès ak sid, lòt la nan nò.  Lè nèg sa yo fin mouri, Boyer pran la relèv, li peye dèt mwen yo li reyini île la ki te divize an 2 pati kanpay de lès e kanpay lwès.

Si nou wè mwen rakonte nou tray ak tribilasyon mwen, se paske mwen bezwen chanjman.  Chanjman sou tout pwen ke se swa politik, ekonomik, sosyal.  Fòk nou respekte konstitisyon mwen an.

Ki vle di:

1.    Fòk eleksyon onèt e kredib, òganize chak fwa yon gouvènman fin pran manda li.
2.    Fòk nou sispann sistèm gwo pòch sa kraze kès leta = ogmante plis soufrans.
3.    Fòk nou kraze sistèm chomaj, chomaj sa ki lage pèp la nan zak malonèt tankou nan fè manifestasyon pou yo ka dechouke
4.    Fòk gen inivèsite ak lise pou jèn yo mwen ka edike.
5.    Fòk gen yon rekonsilasyon nasyonal pou tout moun egal e fòk ekzile nou rantre lakay pou kontinye ede m sitou nan kesyon rekonstriksyon m.

Si nou fè sa map vin pi bèl, mwen p’ap debuloze, m’ap ka konbat siklòn ak tranblemanditè.
Gen de bagay ki pase devan je m ki pa fè byen, tankou lè yon ap touye lòt oubyen lè siklòn ap fin pote pitit mwen na lanmè sa fè m mal anpil.

Mwen vle sot nan eta mwen ye ya men sa depan de nou.

Nan tèt ansanm, nan viv tankou frè ak sè, nan konn soufrans youn ak lòt n’ap rive rann mwen bèl.

Lè sa tout lòt nasyon ap vle frekante m ansi nou menm tou être ayitien veut dire avoir un drapeau.

Yon drapo ki senbolize lape, dyalòg rekonsilasyon, libète, egalite, ak fratènite.

– DUVERT Wescando

*********************************************
I am Haiti.  Long have I existed, and I have always been shone upon by the bright sun, but it never hindered me from staying cool.

Long ago, my land was trodden by many feet, which is to say that I was inhabited by a beautiful red-skinned race.

Christopher Columbus and his soldiers discovered me and found that, next to heaven, I was the closest thing to paradise.

From that moment they saw my beautiful nature, my beautiful trees and beautiful beaches, they christened me Hispaniola, which means Little Spain.

And yet it was nothing more than trickery and lies — they wanted only to lay waste to me and plunder me.

After some months they returned, they came on and all, with everything their mothers and fathers had left them.

They enslaved my beautiful children, put them to forced work.  And they all began to die, my children, because they weren’t used to that kind of work — they were used to lying around all the blessed day eating roasted meat in their paradise.

They signed a treaty so they could mistreat me.

When at last all my children, the Indians, had died, the foreigners left to go buy Africans.  They returned with them on great ships known as Négriers.

These men and women were so humiliated, abused.  They were calles slaves, which is like being an object, a piece of property with a master.  These slaves worked from sunrise to sunset, and could even be slaughted and fed to the beasts.

All of my wealth and economy rested on the backs of these slaves, working in the sugar cane fields, in the sugar factories, making bread, as “slaves of talent,” as domestic slaves.

It was salvation when the Rights of Man were declared, sayng that everyone should live free, that there would no longer be slaves and masters.

This was the beginning of the end of slavery in Haiti.

On Breda’s plantation there lived a man named Toussaint.  He fought as hard as he was able to deliver his countrymen from slavery, but alas, the struggle was greater than his ability to create dialogue, and in the end he had to take up arms instead.

I think that dialogue would have been better for me than armed struggled, because what remained of my riches would have been better preserved for my children.

Dessalines, again, took up the struggle for a better system.  He beheaded, burned houses.  After the ceremony at Bois Caiman, many homes were burned; many shots were fired.

On November 18, 1803, at the battle of Ravine-à-Couleuvres, many French fell, and many of my riches were destroyed.

In 1804, I was born a country.  A country plunged into economic crises, political crises, social crises.

The political and social crises made a lot of blood flow.  In 1805, Dessalines killed what remained of the French on the pretext that they were spies of the former métropole.

However, he too would be killed, in 1806, because of his land reform policies.

And nonetheless, the small peasants who had liberated me claimed my land as their own, and Dessalines was against administrative corruption and seized all the ownerless land to be controlled by the state.

We knew the mulatres would demand the land their fathers had left for them, and those mulatres joined forces with the small peasants.

They killed Dessalines on October 17, 1806.  After that, there was the Battle of Sibert, and I had two presidents, one in the west and the south, and one in the north.  When they at last died, Boyer took advantage of this respite to pay my debts off and reunite the island that had been divided in two.

If you see that I am telling of my trials and tribulations, it’s because I yearn for change.  Change in all realms, political, economic, and social.  You must respect my constitution.

Which is to say:

1.  Elections must be honest and credible, organized every time a government has finished its mandate.
2.  We must stop this system of politicians filling their pockets from state coffers; it only leads to more suffering.
3.  We must break this system of unemployment.  Unemployment leads people to commit dishonest acts, to protest in the streets, to engage in violent dechoukaj.
4.  We must have universities and high schools so my young people can be educated.
5.  We must have a national reconciliation so everyone can be equal, and the dyaspora should come home so they can help me, especially in this period of my reconstruction.

If we do all this, I will become more beautiful, I will not fall apart, I will be able to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes.

There are things that pass before me that hurt me — when people kill one another, or when hurricanes carry my children out to sea, this hurts me greatly.

I want to escape from this state I am in now, but that depends on you.

In putting your heads together, in living as brothers and sisters, in knowing one another’s suffering, you will make me more beautiful.

And when that happens, other countries will flock to me, your desires will be realized, and being Haitian will mean having a flag.

A flag which symbolizes peace, reconciliatory dialogue, liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

– Wescando DUVERT





Photos of KoJePens Members/Foto Mamb KoJePens Yo

20 04 2011

Our friend, filmmaker Lena Jackson of the Democracy in Haiti documentary project took these beautiful portraits of some of the KoJePens members in March!  Thanks, Lena!

Zanmi nou, sineyas Lena Jackson nan film dokimantè Demokrasi an Ayiti pran bèl potre mamb KoJePens sa yo nan mwa d mas.  Mèsi, Lena!

Assephie Petit-Frère

Elie "Atom" Dupalis

Gerty Metellus

Bazelet St. Louis

Wesline "Tibebe" Ciceron

Wilgens "Scott" Laguerre

Emmanuella Francois

Depilye (Benes Vincent)

Claudine St. Fleur

Dénold "G-Love" Joseph

Lo-Rushama Marie Lynda Joseph





Pa jije an analize/Don’t judge, let’s analyze

20 04 2011

Kisa nou ye

Ki fè lom parey nou fè yon aksyon?

Nou toujou prè pou n fè l siki yon kondanasyon

San nou poze tèt nou kesyon

Mande n si m te nan te l sitiyasyon l

Ki reyaksyon n

Lè n gade Magalie

Tout moun ap pale 2 li

Paske li pran lavi l

Li fè l tounen yon bwat plezi

Nan simaye

Yon ponyen nan men preske chak sitwayen ayisyen

Pou li trase chimen l

Ak pwofesyon l ki se brase bwase ren

Eske n pral konpare l

Oubyen mete l ak Kristel

Ki se pitit intel

Materyèl se tout afè l epi li se yon profesyonel

Anplis, diplom li menm se rel

Mezanmi li lè, li tan

Sispann fè jijman

An chanje mantalite n

An viv nan reyalite

An chache rezon nan yon move aksyon

Pou n ka jwenn yon solisyon.

– METELLUS Gerty

********************************

What have we come to

Taking action against our fellow human beings?

We are always ready to condemn

Without first asking ourselves

Asking if we were in his place

How we would react…

Let’s take Magalie

Everyone gossips about her

Because she took control of her own life

And turned herself into a thing of delight

Spread herself around

A handful for nearly every Haitian

So — she forged her own path,

Dancing and swivelling her hips.

Are we to compare her to

Or throw in the same category with so-and-so’s daughter, Crystal?

She’s a student of life, and a professional

And her diploma is her voice.

My friends, now is the hour, it is time

To stop judging

Let’s change our mentality

Let’s live in reality

Let’s look for the reason for every bad action

So we can find a solution.

– METELLUS Gerty





Mizè timoun nan lari yo/The misery of street children

20 04 2011

Vwa m pap ase pou m pale nan zorèy tout

Ede yo tanpri an kolabore

An brase lide

Pou n ka wè si n te kapab trouve solisyon

Pwoblem timoun yo

Nan lari,

Y’ap grandi san fòmasyon

Depi 10 zan

Yo responsab tèt yo

Mwen ta ka di yo adilt

Timoun yo pa gen pèsonn

Pou yo bay tèt la manjay

Yo oblije fè tou zak

Volè

Prostitiye

Droge

Mwen dwe kritike, oubyen imilye timoun yo

Se pa fòt yo

Yo pa edike

Menm nou menm nou konn di

Chen grangou pa jwe

Pi fò pa an santé

Tèlman lavi maltrete yo

Yo pase tout sot de mati

Gen ladan yo, yo itilize pouf è vye tak malonèt.

Mesye danm an panse pou eranjman timoun yo,

Paske se yo ki avni peyi a

An verite, verite si se konsa

Lajenes ap peri sou pye.

– METELLUS Gerty

**********************

My voice alone is not enough for everyone to hear me

Help them, please, let’s collaborate

Let’s brainstorm

To see if we can come up with a solution

To the problem of street children

They are growing up untrained and unwatched

As young as ten years old

They are responsible for themselves

I would say they’re like adults.

These children have no one

To give them food

They have to do anything to get by:

Steal

Prostitute themselves

Deal drugs

I can’t criticize or humiliate these children

It’s not their fault

They’re not educated.

As the proverb goes,

The hungry dog doesn’t play.

Most of them aren’t healthy

Life mistreats them so.

They are martyred in so many ways.

Some of them are used dishonestly by others

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s think of how to bring change to the children

For if it is truly, truly so,

If things remain as they are

Haiti’s youth will die on its feet.

– Gerty METELLUS








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