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Hearing things more than beings,
listening to the voice of fire,
the voice of water.
Hearing in the wind the weeping bushes,
sighs of our forefathers.

The dead are never gone:
they are in the shadows.
The dead are not in the earth:
they’re in the rustling tree,
the groaning wood,
the water that runs,
the water that sleeps;
they’re in the hut, they’re in the crowd,
the dead are not dead.

The dead are never gone,
they’re in the breast of a woman,
they’re in the crying of a child,
they’re in the flaming torch.
The dead are not in the earth:
they’re in the dying fire,
the weeping grasses,
the whimpering rocks,
they’re in the forest, they’re in the house,
the dead are not dead.

–┬áBirago Diop