insane living by Dorothie Ayebazibwe (Uganda)

insane living by Dorothie Ayebazibwe (Uganda)

I leap and clap and in ecstasy sway,

To a beat that –they claim -is only in my head,

I scream with delight at the clouds, all so bright,

In yellows and golds and silvers and reds,

And yet they insist the sky is just blue-white.

The sky softly whispers, a quick contradiction,

“Don’t worry,” it says, “they lack your insight,’

A fly buzzing past; a charming quick blurry…

Of… Thin legs… Neon colors,… Fragile wings.

Whispers  a joke…. I collapse with mirth.

I am filled with happiness, I don’t know why!

The men in white, faces clad in solemn gloom,

Scan me with intensely searching eyes.

Armed with needles and fancy looking tools,

They probe, they pierce, they ask to no end,

Tiring, irritating and never-ending questions,

The women in blue. Ill fitting dresses,

Hand me colored pills and keep a safe distance,

Afraid perhaps of catching happiness?

So I tell them-again- about my husband Mark,

Who sits beside me daily  and makes love to me  at night,

I tell them about…about the twins; they make five today.

The sad men and blue women; sadly shake their heads,

“Your family is no more,” they shamelessly lie,

“You set them ablaze, three years ago,

In a smoldering fit of rage, that lasted three days.”

My husband beside me, tickled by this remark,

Slides to the floor; laughing, clutching his sides,

A gentle rebuke spills forth from my tongue,

“It isn’t nice, Mark, to laugh at the insane”

Blood and Water by Elizabeth Muchemwa (Zimbabwe)

Blood and Water by Elizabeth Muchemwa (Zimbabwe)

He washes his hands in streams she has made

Rivers flowing beneath her eyes have

salted the land with the acrid taste of her


wells have risen to pool within her

catching the cries that would speak her


He washes his hands in streams she has made

She dreams sonic dreams with high decibels to end tyranny

with a speak to raise armies and wage wars

He washes his hands in streams she has made

ignoring the pleas of a maiden body slain

in her shame exposed against her will

half drawn clothes

untidy bundles of blood

laid to waste for a rush

She has made rivers and lakes bitter with the salt of her tears

beneath her breast a molten hold burnishes the light she once had

into a golden strong finish

for those that have laid her to waste

This is for the mother

who has stitched another morsel

into one dish of edible corn for our daily bread

Her who has copied the hands of the creator

and pasted onto the drawing board a new piece  to the picture

so that girls everywhere can smile

She is the surgeon who has carried a knife to battles

to cut open wounds and piece them to their proper places back,

them skins and flesh scurrying to obey her command

she has done so

she has carried life so

She has melded pen and paper to tell a story

not  worrying

whether the caves within her bring forth life or death

life or death   life or death

the ringing bells toll and call all humankind to rest

but   she does not stop taking  life from death

life from death  life from death

building bricks upon bricks

stitching together another life in a war zone.