Bring me a white goat he said, your fortune is bad he said. Leaning on the shoulder of my uncle, my cells shiver Even as I hear they're hot from the thermometer, My pounding head lets the sound in from his chanting, And my burning nose hugs my sintering eyes. White lines zig zag and jiggle with his dancing skin, The hazy bones on the ground tell him everything. He knows everything, especially things I don't know. He speaks with my grand mother and grand father, And even people further into my genetic past. But my mind couldn't sit still: A white goat? To appease my Uwu, who taught me to pair my socks To avoid tornadoes in the room when I find just one? Would Doh really hate his son's son to the point Of wishing him dead before any stub on his chin? The calligraphy of incensed smoke fills my thoughts, Staring at his mouth calling my aunts and uncles Who seek a slab over my unbreathing head. Is this where dreams all come to die? Where the Maker warned we will be misled into cavorting with Evil? My uncle tells me this is ok, tradition suggests, no, DEMANDS, That in times of trouble, we should guess through bones Which of those who love us in reality, through the smoke Can be declared jealous, heinous, whether dead or here, So we can hate them, and thereby build up this lie as truth. (c) nyonglema
Trudging amidst littered corpses resulting from fatal blood baths,
I asked myself in the middle of one wade: did Peace walk this path?
Did she, in her crystal beauty pause to hold conversation?
No! If she did I won’t be knee deep in human body parts!
Then I thought me, maybe she’s off to walk the holy paths
Wherein many kneel to walk closer to He who in Heaven art.
But the squabbling and quarrelling as each said his was the right one,
Made it clear she’d surely set off stealthily amidst their word darts.
Certainly, I told my weary self, she’d be found in family hearths.
But lo, the father scolds, the kids into devils moult, and that
Mother weeps, heart pierced by innumerable despicable horrors.
Poor me, I thought the quest past, but I must now restart.
Oh dear me! I’d forgotten those tender things she could fancy, children’s hearts!
What more jolly and jovially innocent? So at the door I knocked and dropped my hat
And then dropped my jaw, as all sorts of abuses walked the place.
I ran off discouraged , my energy spent. I lay on a mat.
Maybe what I have so sought was here in my heart?
I say to myself with confidence. But amidst my silent fights
Between right and wrong, the conscience bites and cloudy darkness
I knew for sure, I’d never see that fine lass.
(c) Nyonglema Pisoh