On Sudan

My land, my home, my African heart
You gave me language, character.
You straddled two worlds like a giant.
Now you are still.

They cut you down,
They tore you limb from limb.
They held up your severed head
As an example, a warning of what’s to come.

The scramble has begun.

Your leaders squandered opportunities, squandered riches,
Betrayed you to the Barbarians from across the seas
Who, skillfully playing the game of the ages,
Are now gathered at the gate,
Poised for the right moment to strike;
A moment decades in the making.

They will harvest, with interest,
The bones of your wasted youth,
And turn them into gold,
Into guns aimed back at you.

Where is the sadness in my people’s eyes?
I want to see them cry tears of blood,
Tears like knives,
Like bullets.
I want to see the rage flowing from their pens…

You could’ve been the flaming sword
Brandished from the Nile to the Crescent
Against a common enemy.
The deterrent to the encroaching Star.

But there is life yet in your ravaged body.
As long as you hate, you are alive.
There is a promise in such hate;
Let it feed you and nourish you.
Let it be your memory, immutable and unyielding,
Weaving into your children’s lives and songs.
You are divided, but not yet conquered.

There will be no plunder, they have not yet won.
Your warriors own the future.
So be still and wait in the shadows…
And foster this secret hope under your sheltering sky.

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