Marie-Leontine Tsibinda, an African poet kirmen uribe   Marie-Leontine Tsibinda was born in Congo-Brazzaville in 1955. She has written five books of poetry. Sony Labou Tansi, the writer who had set literature written in French in Africa on its head a generation before, was from the same part of the world as Tsibinda. The novel La vie et demie, published in 1979, is regarded by many as the beginning of modernity. Marie-Leontine Tsibinda, Werewere Liking, Ananda Levi, Veronique Tadjo and Tanella Boni are those writers who have written from women's point of view the longest. The conflicts between the individual and society are strongly present in their poems. Banishment, troubles with our physical being, ancient rites, forced marriages and motherhood... They have inherited an oral tradition and have tried to combine it with the influences brought by western culture. MOTHER
You know mother
that I still dream of you
still dream of you and
how we walked together
on great feast days
how we walked together
on those rocky and twisting roads
together along the nasty twisting road
we were not alone
you know mother that silence
is a wise companion that
covered us in a mysterious blanket of mistrust
your steps, those of a small woman,
conjured me up the image of a starry dove
a starry dove, aurora
in the star-filled sky over Girarde
you walked and I your trustworthy shadow
your trustworthy shadow, I followed you
I followed and was happy in your presence.

I am alone in the room
the song of the sunbirds.

The exams are on their way, I don't know what to do, what to say.

Nonetheless, I know too well that I must work.
Unfortunately, the winds of effort do not swell my ears!

Happiness and sadness
are so joined in me that I cannot separate them.
It is then that through the bars of my window, the street comes to me,
men, children, bicycles
passing, running, in a flash.

The exams are on their way, I don’ t know what to do, what to say.

The leaves of the avocado pear tree shine in the May sun.
Suddenly, a shriek wails across the wind, a woman.
Her scalp, breasts and arms beg the wind
as two men, in silence, drag her away.

She cries: "bandeko; bebe a boyi n'gai o
natikali n'gai moko o o, nasala nini oo"

The woman's voice dies away
the May sun is but a cold shower to her.

Agh! A thorn has pierced my heart!
my soul has become one with the woman.

Sadness overcomes happiness.
The exams are on their way, I don't know what to do, what to say.
A woman in tears.

Just as the dawning frees
itself from witchcraft
the death bells
ring out.

Footsteps, screams, voices
are to be heard
wounded by rain
comes on us sadly.

Thief! Thief!
stop! don't move!
are hooks not worth
what they used to be?

whistling bullets
beating sticks
caught for breath
a man bleeding

- Officer, sir
a man is dying (as the sun rises...
must we all die at the same time?)

- What do you want me to do?

- Wh... at?

- A local thief is not a person.
Go and sleep at ease. One thief less. What's so bad about that?
The cars not working. There's no petrol...

- Look, nurse

- We're short of medicine here at the hospital. I'm not going anywhere.
It's too late....

The flies intone the wake.