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There Was No Doubt: Poems by Marial Awendit


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; he 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 Agriculture 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)

Marial Awendit
Marial Awendit
Marial Awendit a.k.a. James Marial Matueny Majak, is a South Sudanese poet, essayist, and songwriter. He is published in various literary magazines and anthologies. He is the author of the chapbook poetry collection, The Night Does Not Drown Us, published by Babishai-Niwe Poetry Foundation, Keeping the Sun Secret, a poetry collection published by Mwanaka Media and Publishing Pvt Ltd and Whispers over a Brewing Dawn, published by Carnelian Heart Publishing Ltd. The two full length poetry collections are available on Amazon and many bookstores across the globe. Marial won the 2016 South Sudan Youth Talent Award for the category of Best Poet and the 2018 Babishai-Niwe Poetry Award. He is a finalist for 2023 African Writers Awards.


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