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Tenere taqqal

What has become of the Desert

The Ténéré has become

an upland of thorns

Where elephants fight each other

Crushing tender grass under foot.

The gazelles have found refuge high in the mountains

The birds no longer return to their nests at night

The camps have all fled.

You can read the bitterness on the faces of the innocents

During this difficult and bruising time

In which all solidarity has gone.

The strongest impose their will

And leave the weakest behind

Many have died battling for twisted ends.

And joy has abandoned us

Exhausted by all this duplicity.


This year I’m at rock bottom

My soul is thirsty

Give me water

Where I lay down to rest, not a living soul stirs

I ask my demons to leave me in peace

Friendship has gone. Family has gone

There’s no certainty any more, no commitment

Today we are hemmed in on all sides

The mountains here, the two rivers over there

And I see no escape

Suffering is a thorn

That pierces the depths of my soul

I cry out to God, my creator,

Who loaded this world with such diversity

Who made something pure of love,

Which some display without sincerity

Hiding their treason behind a thousand faces