Monday, August 6, 2012

An extract from Nick Makoha’s poem titled Beatitude. He is Uganda born and lives in London.

When a rebel leader promises you the world seen in commercials,
he will hold a shotgun to the radio announcer’s mouth,
and use a quilt of bristling static to muffle the tears.
When the bodies disappear, discarded like the husk of mangoes.
He will weep with you in those hours of reckoning and judgement
into the hollow night when the crowds disperse.
When by paraffin light his whiskey breath tells you
your mother’s wailings in your father’s bed are a song
for our nation, sits with you on the veranda to witness the sunrise,
say nothing. Slaughter your herd. Feed the soldiers
who looted your mills and factories. Let them dance
in your garden while an old man watches.
Then when they sleep and your blood turns to kerosene,
find your mother gathering water at the well to stave off
the burning. Shave her head with a razor from the kiosk.
When the fury has gathered, take her hand and run
past the fields an odour of blood and bones. Past the checkpoint,
past the swamp to towards the smoky disc flaring in the horizon.
Run till your knuckles become as white as handkerchiefs,
Run into the night’s fluorescent silence. Run till your lungs
become a furnace of flames. Run past the border.
Run till you no longer see yourself in other men’s eyes.
Run past sleep, past darkness visible.
Stop when you find a country where they do not know your name.
©Copyright Nicholas Makoha 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment