Perilous, It Is Perilous

by Said Salah

1.

In the earth’s corners
flames are howling
Ammunition’s hitting
Death heaves forward
Nations head-butting
Habitually, day and night

            Some are underwater
            Some kneecap men down
            Some are in dispute
            As politics divides

Some are catatonic
Some are in combat                 
Some contemplate
Inclined to vendettas

            Some capitulate
            Leave in collapse
            It’s the human curse
            To be cruel to each-other
            Consuming the earth
            This is the puzzle 

2.

In the earth’s corners
A leader; advisor
The heedless behind him
Meandering mindless
With access to weapons
Will this never stop?

            When was the cow milked?
            A bucket of blood
            How was it was lulled?
            With a hail of bullets

Some are diseased
Hungry and desperate
Muddied in ignorance
Dirtied and calloused 

            Some are enflamed
            Some are encouraging
            Enumerating oil
            Against aimless floating
            The global accounts
            This is the puzzle

3.

In the earth’s corners
Some are still fearful
The dust is stirred
Some still believe
Mediation can soothe it
They sacrifice truth

            If only all Africans
            Speaking with drums
            Their faces defiant
            Called with one clear voice

Heroes of South Africa
You were degraded
The Middle-East
Was laden with grief
The Horn of Africa
Is now the target   

            It’s the human curse
            To be cruel to each-other
            Consuming the earth
            This is the puzzle 

The literal translation of this poem was made by Ahmed Ismail Yusuf

The final translated version of the poem is by Clare Pollard

Notes

This translation was commissioned by The Somali Week Festival which is organised by Kayd and supported by Arts Council England.

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