“Azabo Revisited” A poem by Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin

Seeing is what eyes are for,

Before the spell on life span is dimmed,

Fourteen years have gone by,

And to Azabo I
returned …

I observed her confines,

And gave ear to her vibes …

Hearing is what ears are for,

So long as body parts are active,

I salute Azabo, hooray!

After fourteen long years away;

Her voice then was distant, nil,

Like cough of the deathly ill—

A phantom, all downhill;

Shadow of nightmares,

Terror of evil days;

Mist above the plaza, whirling vulture wings;

Earth, like cutting file ridges;

Teeth clashing, gnashing like church bell,

Lamentation as no sound could ever tell;

Humanity, field mice in the underbrush,

Squeaking, groaning, sudden hush,

Birds of prey above rooftops cawing,

Not any tone, wailing, clawing;

Today well-being is on display,

Children everywhere at play,

Cattle leisurely grazing,

Villagers cackling, buzzing;

“All things considered,” they’d say;

The hearth is awoke,

Every hut pluming waving smoke;
Seeing is what eyes are for,

Till the spell on life span is broken,

Fourteen long years later,

Hooray! I am in Azabo again.

Poet: Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin, 1971

Translator: Mitiku Adisu, © 2019 All Rights Reserved.

“አዘቦን ዳግም አየኋት” | ጸገመ 1963 ዓ.ም – መቀሌ እሳት ወይ አበባ፣ 1999 ዓ.ም. ግራፊክስ ማተሚያ፤ ገጽ 206—207

Source Article from https://www.ethiopiaobserver.com/2019/04/15/azabo-revisited-a-poem-by-tsegaye-gabre-medhin/

“Azabo Revisited” A poem by Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin