Poems

The Scab

Recently I haven’t recited gabay, I can’t grapple with it;
the task of intoning, chanting masafo and guurow.
I’ve not recited geeraar, not any of the canon,
I’m not prepared to give you a poem which is a half-empty milk-vessel
full of unsealable holes.
Let me gift my opinions with concision and clarity:
 
when Allah formed man from the dust of the ground,
made Eve and the prophet Adam, from whom we were begotten,
O my kin, who swept the grubby earth under the tree and gave you a crown?
Who said you are a leader of high caste granted privilege?
Decisions made in the darkness never meet with success.
O Somalis get a grip, you have been convinced by a lie!
 
A section of our society lives amongst us segregated.
Gall and indignation seeps from this mistreatment,
this ghastly condition, and disasters show no sympathy.
History is twisted, our grotesque deviation lacks reason.
The older generation turns grief into fate, guards the cruelty of caste.
Let’s get this complex knot untied.
 
It is an old, hardened scab from a gash, an infection awaiting remedy.
If we don’t feel disgusted, or hesitate before malignant deeds,
if we don’t gainsay it, we’re complicit.
The older generation turns grief into fate, guards the cruelty of caste.
Let’s get this complex knot untied.
 
People have been set apart, gravely bullied.
My heart beats angrily, is crushed with gloom at this unfairness.
It grinds in my mind, how they were pushed away.
I can’t sleep for thinking about punched jaws.
In a gaping space I weep for their grim treatment.
The older generation turns grief into fate, guards the cruelty of caste.
Let’s get this complex knot untied.
 
Somalis, you profess belief in the noble gob and the lower caste gun,
those black-beards angered over the children you disemboweled.
You goad their married women, brutally rape them, get them pregnant.
Their women of marriageable age are too low-grade for you.
The older generation turns grief into fate, guards the cruelty of caste.
Let’s get this complex knot untied.
 
Summing up my argument and dedication to this cause:
no one lives forever. The world is a fleeting glory.
Just shadows, which shift all day: shape, size, where they’re going.
The Gabooye will one day rise in status,
their destiny will be peace and growth; strength under great pressure.
They will gather honey and supple leaves in our low-lands.
Their female camels will give birth, udders groaning with milk.
They shall overcome hardship one day, God willing.
 
London, 2009

Share this poem

view comments

Comments (0)

No comments yet - be the first:

Leave a comment