Politics

by Jaamac Kadiye Cilmi

First I spot nine colours
Next I read eight names
I hear thirty different speeches
With eighteen disparate views
And thirteen different faces
All poisoned by pessimism
Lacking focus and direction
Strangers one and all.
 
Is this really what's called politics?
It looks like a nest of vipers to me!
Politics unsettles everything
It turns the world upside down
It divides all the people
And foments great unrest
Everywhere it goes
It infects them with its poison.
 
Politics sneers at moral excellence
And thinks goodness is an irritant
It promotes evil deeds
And makes friends with deceit
Hiding behind the interests of the clan
While it takes a swindler along as a pal
It confides in deception
And flags up failure
In order to profit from what's going on. 
Politics turns its back on the inspirational leader
It corrupts law and order
And spits out justice
Like a locust it gnaws at wisdom
And infects equal rights with its sickness
So that injustice can rule the roost
Politics greases the ladder
It is simply prejudice in action.
 
I tell you there are two sorts of politics -
But the Somali version
Is doomed from the outset
 
All the people who've been good
Just because they fear Satan
Politics strikes down with an evil spirit
This is the prize it is after -
When people line up on two sides
And set to attacking each other
When throat-slitting begins
When body and soul are sundered apart
Politics cheers from the sidelines
Shouting out ‘keep up the good work'.
 
I tell you there are two sorts of politics -
But the Somali version
Is doomed from the outset
 
Politics kidnaps the innocent
It auctions off people's provisions
Swindling huge sums of cash
By impersonating the owners
Anything related to guns and machetes
Anything resembling weapons and ordnance
It purchases in bulk for the people
How on earth can we stop this from happening?
Believe me, that is the aim.
 
I tell you there are two sorts of politics -
But the Somali version
Is doomed from the outset
 
Politics is hostile to patience
To people who are calm while they wait
To those who are always thoughtful
It hires contract killers
Employs bullying and force.
 
Politics sets traps
And lays down a noose
If someone slips free
Who loathes deception
Is untainted by evil
And immune to Satan's spells
That person should be safe and secure
Because ‘crime never pays'.
 
I tell you there are two sorts of politics -
But the Somali version
Is doomed from the outset
 
Politics conjures up sorcery
It brings on fits and infections
It cooks up poison and wounds
It flourishes razor-sharp blades
Blades that can cut with a word
Politics nurtures the greedy
Who stockpiles goods for himself
It brings on alcoholism
And stunts children's growth
Politics is a lethal virus
Spreading sickness and crime
Politics is a wild beast
It provokes danger and terror
Terminal illness and pain
It sets relatives against each other
It tears families apart
And it marks the death of friendship
 
I tell you there are two sorts of politics -
But the Somali version
Is doomed from the outset
 
If we could disembowel
A so-called political ‘expert'
If we could take him apart
And probe his insides
Anyone within reachWould keel over unconscious
Anyone who comes within its orbit
Turns into a mealy-mouthed swindler
Someone who speaks solely in euphemisms
Who manipulates his erratic behaviour
Into a version of normality
Claiming his is the only perspective.
 
A politician can't give a straight answer
He won't listen to what you say
Before you can open your mouth
He comes out with something
That is utterly incredible
 
Like a madman
Teetering on the edge of a cliff
He fixes his eyes on the crowd
He projects multiple signals
By wildly flapping his hands
He conjures figures out of thin air
And weaves strange predictions
Based on anonymous data
 
What a travesty is displayed
What forgeries are created
What false statements are written
All those misguided people
Have been damaged by their politics
Which they think is normality
 
But one day sincerity will be rescued
Those who've escaped will be safe
Those who've waited will get their reward
And the deceiver will be destroyed
Because ‘crime doesn't pay'.

The literal translation of this poem was made by Maxamed Xasan 'Alto'

The final translated version of the poem is by Sarah Maguire

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