Who would have thought, 30 years ago,That we would be here today?
The words of Tabu Ley, Franco, drifting into the
From the LP prayer,
Carrying with them
Memories of a
When we were us,
Conscious and comfortable in our skins.
We would remember those times as good times?
It was a
time before Mayi Mayi and UKIMWI,
Janjaweed and Mungiki.
It was also a time of ashes and blood.
But the hope that the phoenix
Gave us hope.
We didn’t know this then.
We had no sense of
what the future would bring.
We had no idea that we’d forever be turning
Looking on past horizons with longing.
We lived in the present
Now we live in the past,
Testing it out,
Hoping that it won’t burn.
The present is too
heavy to experience.
So we save it up,
Burn it onto DVDs and print it out
on bleached paper.
We will return 20 years hence with wisdom and
Ready to analyze and to dissect,
Ready to understand.
Listening to them now,
The Congolese greats,
We forget that the
past and present are separate.
We skirt around those complications, the
ethnic nationalisms and the refugee camps,
The IDPs and the illicit small
We hang suspended between the notes,
Pausing in the silence
between then and now,
Taking a brief respite from the consequences of being
who we are.
This poem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Please feel free to use my writing for non-commercial purposes and do credit my
name, Rose Kahendi, as the writer.
Friday, June 20, 2008
You take a step to the right,
Hoping that this time you’ll finally emerge
From the maze.
But nothing doing.
You end up in the same spot
You started from yesterday.
You wonder, is that the forked path I took before?
Did I branch off to the right or the left?
Then you realize it doesn’t matter.
You tried both paths before,
And both led you back to the same spot.
Are you destined to walk round and round in circles,
Viewing the same limited horizons,
Yoked to the same relentless destiny?
Is there a way out of the maze
Or is the perception that a maze exists
The biggest illusion yet?
Is that an ironic smile on your face?
Are you defeated?
Is that emptiness in your soul?
Is there really a point to any of this?
When will you finally know that your heart has toiled and labored so
For no reason at all?
Will they ring a bell to tell you that it is all in vain?
Or is this it?
Is this sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach the only notice you will get?
That man who said that all was vanity,
That all was meaningless
Was probably right,
But honesty is something you’re better off without right now.
Some things are better not articulated,
Better not acknowledged.
Ignorance is bliss.
Why can’t they let you bask in the joy of not knowing,
Why can’t they just let you be?
This work is licensed to Rose Kahendi under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.