Mothers Sing a Lullaby

(after the 1994 Rwandan genocide) Mothers sing a lullaby As the dark descends on trees Shutting out shadows. The sensuous voices swish and swirl Around shrubs and overgrown grass Hiding mountains of decapitated dead And the glint of machetes That slashed shrieking throats. In these camps without happiness Mothers maintain the melody of life Capturing…

Circle of women

Your head is a hiveyou are not sure you will survive.Women form a circle around youIn their eyes, your stories flow like The Nile.They collect themand hand you the cup.         Go aheadthey saybut you hesitate.        It’s okaythey sayand you receive. You raise the cup to your lipsand pass…

Unmarried

Mama said I atemy husbands.Seasoned themwith my saltyattitude andboiled them ina black pot onthe night of thewaning moon. She claims thatmy saggy beastsare an attestationto my disgraceas a womanand my mortarisn’t fit forpounding groundnuts. My body isa fictional tale.She claims thatI’m not fitto lay on the groundthat holds thesemen of myancestors.My complaintsunder the sunare equivalentto…

Take me to the river

We say “take me to the river”but what the river wants is the body of a stonethe kind of stillness that can be worn.It runs from its destructive natureand we run to its healing waters. What the mouth wants is wetnessa torrent of forgivenessto baptise flesh with abandon. We sing of the rivers of Babylonand…

Born To Gain or To Suffer

Grandmother! Our sage of our grandmother gathered us Beneath the big oak tree On a very beautiful night She began to sing: Born to gain or Born to suffer Born to gain or Born to suffer She began to utter to us: Great men are sons of good men Whose hearts are walls Weak men…

A Beating for Love

Your fist pounded my face In shock I stood there Not moving, not screaming The first time it happened You said you beat me because you loved me You put the blame on me I don’t remember doing wrong Your gambling and drinking Your womanising and flirting Your problems and woes Were all my fault…

Last Supper

Lay me soft on green grass like an offering. Take off my clothes one at a time like you are opening the Holy Book. Read the verses of my body until you master all chapters. Drink from my river of life Make me your altar wine your last supper. Welcome to my ecclesia! Let’s sing…

Treason

How do I plead? Guilty. Today I committed treason. My eyelids separated before the birds could disturb the tranquility of the dark right after the morning stars stood bright and firm. I took my gun a BIC well-oiled with blue ink and my dog eared notebook and boom! I killed you Mr. President emptying seven…

Mooncycles

My heart is broken fragments disintegrate into sand laid upon a beautiful beach. As my moon creates tidal waves to wash me away. What once intertwined between my licorice laced thighs? Now matted and sharp thorns grow there, where my love once lay to blossom. I am rotten. Heart wrenched like torn ligaments on strange…

Silence

Silence shall not Calm the waters nor free us. Silence shall not Prosecute nor stop them. Silence shall imprison us Enslave our souls. Silence shall tie our hands While they strip off our clothes Please their hands in our lions. And even then Silence shall not Let us moan in ecstasy. Link to the Italian…