come, let us sing a requiem to our former days for past realities become present dreams
and the frazzled glaze of our wrinkled grandeur swiftly flake with the pace of fleeting time
come, let us weep for the humiliation of this empty place that cradled once great hopes of purple realms;
and, spangled with splendour at the time, sheltered gold crowns and sceptres of sovereign royalty
that are now enclosed in crude crates of humble slat awaiting shipment in frozen turn to London’s Museum...
come, let us mourn for our looted troves where, in days of peaceful being,
the radiance of stones alone had eclipsed the light of luminous skies with sweat-less ease;
and the glimmer of gold far brighter than glowing solitary stars of moonless nights!
come, let us grieve amid the remnant glory; this place of tears where new lies unravel as old truths decay...
can we reckon the wives of a broken stead, or the number of concubines that wait in a pillaged harem?
do we count the shoots that live after the root has died?
our golden age of innocence eloped with the itinerant winds...
now we cling only to painful memories of those days when seed yams were prolific in our barns
and belts of tropical palms sang to a happier land the cheerful songs of supple fronds fluttering in the breeze
Redscar McOdindo K'Oyuga (@RedscarMcOdindo) is a poet and writer and many other things. He studied Medicine & Surgery at campus. He writes in both Swahili and English. His work has been published in Lawino Magazine, Jalada, and Breaking Silence, an anthology of poems. His Swahili poems (mashairi) are weekly published in Taifa Leo and/or Taifa Jumapili, Kenya’s nationwide Swahili Newspaper. He is a winner of the Fern Poetry Prize. His work has also appeared, or is forthcoming, in Kwani?, assorted newspapers and other poetry anthologies.