Sing to me’, said the boy to his mother.
As much as she wants to, the woman bows her head in sadness.
‘Dance’, chirped the little girl to her father.
The once proud man only stood up to pray.
A solemn silence after the clashing cymbals long silenced in the earth.
Silent footsteps gently swirl powdery dust
Dancing smoke weaving into nostrils and stinging the eyes
Howling cries pour into the night like terrifying shadows
Lingering too long under the mango tree
Another soul gone from this life.
A young girl waits for the boy at the market
Her melanin skin fragrant with coconut and frangipani
A shout goes up and a stampede begins
Pushing the girl into the street.
Her eyes lock onto the eyes of her friend
Sunlight touches her falling tears,
but the young man on the road will never again rise to comfort her grief.
A man pushes an old wheelbarrow
The wheels groan under the weight of a child.
Beside the man walks a woman, her face in her hands.
Her baby sleeping soundly in the fabric cradle, on its mother back.
The child in the wheelbarrow as still as a mouse
Peers at his father walking straight and tall
His eyes dart from side to side
But his feet never miss a step
Walking away from their home
Into the silent jungle.
Another man walks their land
tears down their home
Intruders enter the school rooms
Spits them out from their own gardens
Ferocious like a red-eyed boar
Impaling anything in its path
Those who dare to stand up to it
Is trampled on and wrapped in a blanket of shame.
An old and ancient culture
Trodden upon like a forgotten tombstone
A troubled tribe, an unforgivable loss of identity
A wandering soul
A people at wits end scrambling for the stars in the blackest of nights
Who will hear the cry of the little child?
Begging his father to sing in the jungle
The boy sitting in the wheelbarrow
A father’s torn feet stumbles on the path
Taking his family into the safety
Deeper into the jungle
Away from the intruder that roars like a cowardly hyena
Seeking it’s prey among the nation who stare defiantly back
If no one will listen, make them hear
If they are denied, keep knocking until doors break open on their hinges.
Do not let the little child sing alone in the dark
The hyena lumbers arrogantly
But even a tiny pebble will break his filthy paw.