Put on your soft mittens as you mete out punches The stench of despair has sent the flies flying As wretched voices die in the agony of the trenches, Smoke, fire, death, silence, blood slowly crying. Don't let those tears disappear without telling Of how they came to be. From aching gland burning, From swollen heart entrapped dreaming of belling Of events that cause in all for justice a yearning Don't let the fires chew up the browning pages Where once sordid tales told the willing student Of what would come this way, or that way, the wages Of right, wrong; the way of the vile, of the prudent Telling of wretched voices dying in the trenches, Of smoke, fire, and of blood slowly crying. Don't let memory die as they split us into tranches To silence half, then lead both halves into trenches. (c) nyonglema
The fish wiggle in the noise of tweeting birds blocked out by the polluted water
Trickling away in a little creek, under the bridge of my childhood quarter.
I’m laughing, but I know not why, then reach, catch one, reach further
Get a pair in a container, of which substance or colour I can’t recount here.
My friends on my side are mere shadows saying silence that made me chuckle
And we’d take these creatures to our homes to put in spare juice bottles
And feed them, watch them constrained to swim in a narrow aquarium
And I guess I was glad, but must have cried when it was time for requiem.
The trees I climbed with my siblings are still green, and the leaves rustled
As we went up to grab fruit with more shadows. And the wind bustled
By on its journey, bringing farm scents to my nose, the good and bad jostled
There, and I don’t remember which dominated the other in that tussle
But only that they were there, as we climbed and laughed away care
Talking of our stories, football on the tarmac with a whole throng of peers
And I know for a fact we went to the funeral of one of them at some point,
Or their parent…If you ask me which it was exactly, I don’t know it.
I recall as we got older and dared to talk to the girls, shivering like rain-beaten reeds,
And walking together to watch movies straight from Hollywood’s steeds
And the advent of cable, and a bunch of stories of which I can but catch seeds:
My first cigarette, a horror movie, some novel dad bought, buying school needs,
The day I fell into the bush picking up a ball and gashed my shin bleeding,
Or the machete accident, or the shell on the house wall, mum crying at me leaving,
My best friend leaving, projects of flying cars, some intricate software,
Recording my first song, a piano, some notes, a chord, some staves, a snare.
Each meeting with one of these seeds from the shadow that lived before now,
Where I waded in gathering souvenirs which got broken with each new now
Is like a stab to Caesar’s neck, leaving me sad inside, beaten, for they feel I disavow
Our history, the bond…despite my craving to remember each low and each wow,
To recall when we were where with what and why, and how we made it through,
And my cats I fed and petted, and came back to hear had turned to evening food
And the rats we tortured, and the birds captured…all these I wish I still knew
The beautiful and horrible memories lost from my childhood and adulthood.