There Was No Doubt: Poems by Marial Awendit

Image: Valerie Everett via Flickr (modified)


There was no doubt
        He was the mad man
Of our town,
        The only one declared.
He spread his rough hands
        To soldiers for tomato seeds.

He was our own mad man; could not be taken
From us.
    He decorated his hair with weed leaves
        But it was from him we learned
To grow hybrid tomatoes,
        Not the Agricultural Organization.
    Woo! How his tomatoes were tasty
And sane!


        Let a woman not be stolen
From a sleeping rib
        That we may not find
Our path into half-bitten
Do-dare-not-eat apples.

Let a woman
        Come weaving life
Like the moment
        Before a kiss
Or a bud
        Brewing dreams
Of trees not living.

If a woman must pass
        Like one intruding harmattan
And from her veil a man reaps chills
        Then Black Pearl,
Had we not walked under glaring lights,
        One small quiet night, along a freed street?
Were our words not pregnant buds spelling the night’s fog
        Silent witness?
I was blown by her wind
Before time undressed
Her cunning

And I knew we had met
To part.
Who traps the wind?

If a woman must come singing
Like a breeze
But leaves a hurricane,
Shattering life out of windows
        And china,
Then that Weech of Wandy
        Came sowing
Wings of blooms but left
With knives hungry to intercourse
        And I knew she had come to go
To jail.

Again, let a woman not lay herself
A Red Sea to cross
    Where breaking a sea
For one man to cross
    Is strangling an elephant
    To catch a maggot.

Let a woman lay herself
A river where one deep diver
May not drown
But let a woman
Not be one licentious
Nile; getting dirty cleaning crevices.
Poems: Marial Awendit
Image: Valerie Everett via Flickr (modified)

About the author

Marial Awendit

Marial Awendit is a South Sudanese poet and essayist. His poems have been published in Brittle Paper, Kalahari Review, African Writer, Praxis Magazine Online, Best New African Poets Anthology and elsewhere lit. He won the 2016 South Sudan Youth Talent Award for the category of Best Poet and the 2018 Babishai-Niwe Poetry Award.


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