Poem by Amira Ali | Illustration by Solomon W. Jagwe


It’s October 16, 2014

sitting between the sunset

November is slowing coming as it keeps asking:

how will you say, not for tomorrow but today

when the future remembers you

how will you say

you made the world a better place, today?

November is slow coming,

it seeks beyond sensationalized headlines

the fear mongering that seems to enlarge pride,

it seeks beyond the old-age theatrical style

a legacy of colonial times

that keeps peddling schisms,

it seeks beyond perjury and a monotone styled

of binary structured narratives

that erect lines of exclusion

of villain vs. victim

of clichés that tramp muscular allegories,

it seeks beyond medical racism

beyond denial of what matters most

beyond sense that fails to imagine

fixed on political prostitution

immorally selling stories of “smuggled bush meat”

criminally hurting man of his dignity and truth.


this will not survive

we hear the angels saying

November will be coming,

for we know the brainwashing ploy

we are awake, fist up

rising from the depth of our afflictions

we refuse to be abstracted; we will not cave in

to the invasively stigmatizing

“black body porn” of reductive representation,

we will not cave in

to the dominant language of othering

of the objectification,

this will not survive

we hear the angels saying,

we are not enthused

with bounds of prudence

vibrations from past prayers

we African bodies know our value

our dignified self in self,

guided by the sun and moon

we come armed

a lineage of ancient resilient souls

radiant hearts, love worshippers, light bearers

freedom fighters who for centuries

fought the resistance wars,

grew twice as many lost

prevailed even with their aching love at sea

seeing the strength in wisdom and healing

emanating light beyond seas,

we come from nature worshipping spirits

from the beautiful ones

that make the inconsequential beautiful

knowing what matters most,

we are nations of equilibrium

nature feeding our breath

as we seek, sprout, spread

love, with each breath.