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25907 Posts in 9964 Topics by 982 Members Latest Member: - Ferguson Most online today: 37 (July 03, 2005, 06:25:30 PM)
+  Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum
| |-+  Poetry (Moderators: Tyehimba, leslie)
| | |-+  Tales
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Author Topic: Tales  (Read 4433 times)
Posts: 67

« on: March 11, 2004, 03:26:55 AM »

To A Child:

Once, when silenced men stood vigil in the night
- With their hooded forms and shielded eyes -
Before a mourning owl began hooting out of sight
As alien towers mushroomed forth with might,
We waited to glimpse God’s face, kind and bright,
Or of any effulgent god dreamed on our side,
But beheld a gazing dark Devil in mock disguise:
In imitated clothing, his red horns aimed at us.

Our men rested and they slept;
Then all forgot when to rise,
And we forsook how we felt
Or heard not our own cries,
Nor of trees where we knelt,
If they took our place and wept.

When we saw things as they seemed, child,
- Or when our fainted minds painted signs -
Some nodded sadly that they lived in hell,
But so many others in God-made paradise;
That, day after days, night upon the others,
Their nights were bright, our days were dulled,
And all the other nights just like day, child;
Yet we lost your eyes to wander without aim,
Aping others as you quarrelled all the time;
And then rested our fights, teasing your folly:
Leaving blindness and these useless stories.

Before, they flogged you as if cows;
Now, you’re still moaning like one,
Whimpering through your meek vows
And then whine as if caged in a can;
Yet some dried their well of fears.

We felt those welling tears would end
And that we - as men with claims -
Would take our chance and win them;
Then flock as sheep, but not stampede.

When we saw with a decent child’s eyes,
Or still ran around as a naked one does,
Who grows up suddenly to cover its nude,
Each day fled away with the mute in time
And we know not now just how we looked,
Letting not eager lovers, but others, define:
Feeding fast food in our dead-en’d mind.

Before the next day’s dawn unfolded,
When we had slept as if blindfolded
- Sailing ever nigh in the hazy dreams -
We met God seated upon the Devil’s gate
But could swear not that it was God,
Though it sure did seem to be Him;
They asked: 'Was it there that God abode?'
Or if not, they thought, where was it then?
And so they dreamed: that was the end;
Yet that night just went on and on.

But even this wild land has no fate,
Though nights upon days may meet;
They just melt into two and greet.
Then, one...by the other..., depart:
Footprints erasing fast in the past,
When men were slain while asleep.



- 2/3 January '96.
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