Blood Sunday

by Kithaka wa Mberia

I

The reggae beat
Roars through the air
Fusing
With the sunrise.

In the village
Mirrors, windows
And doors
Greet the commands
Borne of devastation
Of two decades
Of hunger
And longing.

Inside the shops
Waves of people
Rise and fall
And rise again.
These shelves and walls
Change faces
Like the leaves of trees
In the hot season.

Family belongings
Clothes of all colours
Balance on heads
Swing from hands
Rest on backs
Gripped under arms
Changing their dwellings
And rulers.

II

Bullets
Start to whistle

Furiously
Slam into walls,
Telegraph poles
Cars of all colours
Meat and bones.

People stagger
Blood spills
Life slips away.

III

Suddenly
The reggae beat
Fades
And yesterday's anthems
Resound
Like the stench
Of paradise destroyed
Reinvading the nose.

The road is visible
From my kitchen window
Cars of many colours
Camoflaged tanks
Move like a river
Guns trained to the left and right
Ahead and behind
Lethal machine guns
Are erected in the sky.
This movement is a replay -
The god of expedience
Is back on the watchtower.

IV

Many thoughts
Flit through the mind
like butterflies and moths.
Smiling
I remember Obasanjo
And his clever move.
But with sorrow
I recall Bokassa and Amin
Mobutu and Doe.
Blood and skulls.
So many skulls!
Thoughts wheel around
Reach a crossroad
And get bogged down.
Even though they are
Guided by ghosts
They start the journey again
On the empty roads
Of the government.

The literal translation of this poem was made by Katriina Ranne

The final translated version of the poem is by The Poetry Translation Workshop

Comments

  1. April 15th, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    april williams says:

    so beautiful i was so in tranced