African Son, Child of Earth
The Great One, the Horn of Peace
Embarrassed I am to pen a poem of your profile
I am a nonentity.

I have read your biography
I have read your speeches
I have watched mankind welcome you
Just to be close to who you really are.

But I have no inkling of being in jail
For people’s liberation.

Now in sunset of your years
With power struggles
Famine
Poverty
Corruption
Our continent is still poisoned
Mzee Madiba, what apt lesson should we extract?

What lesson of selflessness
Told to the world at Robben Islands
Should we seek?

Mzee Mandela, African Son, Child of Earth
The Great One, The Horn of Peace
What tribute do we pay to our fallen gallant fighters
For self-determination?
What shall we say of Sharpeville and Sisulu?
Did our forefathers have to die in vain?
Where is Matunda ya Uhuru?

I have an idea, Mzee Madiba
Let every elder from every hamlet meet you
Let them pour libation and ward off evil
Let them unearth arrows and bayonets
Let them speak blessings.

Call this meeting soon, I beg of you
Let our sons and daughters who lead us converge
Let them tell the elders why they are poisoning our land
Let them tell us why they keep kola nuts to themselves
Let them tell us who bewitched them with failed leadership.

Call this meeting soon, I beg of you
The Great One, the Horn of Peace
Then call poets who can chew words
Let them sing for peace
Let them sing dirges of buried dreams
Let them chastise our sons and daughters who shame us
Let them craft rhyme and meter to laugh at us
Let them satirize our pretence and hypocrisy.

Call this meeting soon, I beg of you
The Great One, the Horn of Peace.

© Lorot Salem |blog|