Stank with Sweat

The brave face I wear is never washed It stinks with sweat my mother’s and mine She taught me how to put it on to fit my wobbly bones to be the face that you would know My brave face has a smile it lasts for thirty seconds and plays back after a minute It…

Forget (Arua) Remember (Pakwac)

Forget how the rolling hills stopped rolling and began unfolding into flatlands. You have left the badlands. Forget how the sky opened and left behind skyscrapers and scraped knees bleeding into pavement and how blood paved your way into estrangement. Your scraped skin already belonged to the streets and the wounds flowering on your body…

Greet Africa when you return

I greet you AfricaI greet you from Cape to CairoI hug you with arms of my sister from SomaliaShe implored me:        Greet Africa when you return. At Southern Theatre we metOn a gray Scandinavian eveningBut the African sun still shone in her eyesThe effusive Nile flowed into our handshakeConnecting us in an…

Sponging

Maybe you will be a chronicle that none reads Except the one who makes the entry Or you will be a Facebook post Few will skim through Their fingers automated To click the like button. I don’t know and cannot tell And don’t care what you will turn out to be Because all I need…

The sun e sons of Africa

They come here with empty faces Looking for the sun The equatorial sun rays hit their eyes, They blink and find the son, Poised, smiling at their wallets With a hot, hard, black, cocked gun. There is no argument to be had with such a gun between your legs. Between sips of badly brewed, black,…

My son Nok

You turn your head away“He is my son”, I say“He was taken out of my grip”, I sayHe learnt how to shoot with a gun. He shot from village to villageenemies we all becamelapena leaves couldn’t hide uswe were handed blankets, beans and poshointernally displaced we became. Then I heard he was dead.“He is my…

Rebel Queens

Milky waters crawl down my fingers As I discover layer after layer Of flesh Of tightness Of beauty My garden wets as I gaze at her delicately sculptured folds Her fruit bursts with juices and flavor I snake lower charmed by her feminine aroma Lips plant kisses on petals Beautiful black petals, pink on the…

Mother’s Touch

In the village compound which was cleanly swept and tidy a compound not easily accessible by road a group of old women sat huddled together. Sticks and pipes jutted out of their mouths which occasionally moved in unison. A sigh here and a look to the sky up here. Some sat with their chins in…

You Are Woman

For a season barely eons old Immersed myself in quietude Awaiting the day woman shall step into her own Trapped in this cloud of silent obscurity How does the world blithely pretend? For all the good there is out there Permit me to lay it bare How they sweetly make compelling claim Liberate the woman;…

Jambula tree

When Sylvie and I are six we eat jambula till our tongues turn indigo then we travel home with night licking our heels. In the morning, our foreheads still anointed in violet blessings, we twine our stick-arms around its branches and stuff banana fibre dolls in the hollows of its roots. We swaddle make-believe babies…