Random Hallucinations: Poems by Marial Awendit

Image: thierry ehrmann via Flickr and pixabay.com


I. wind
when harmattan
is clawed,

devoid of violin
strings; cobwebs.

in its haste,
my ears endure
sterile songs

only brown
crisp leaves,

baked by autumns,
stirring and whirring

whispering the season
is at rust

II. religion
while beside
the market rubbish heap,

a white dog, coiled up,
suckles piebald pups.

III. Kilimanjaro
may not be a molehill;

frozen white ice slides down
grey rocks

as baptism of milk
and ice-cream.

mighty Kilimanjaro
wears cotton-white hair.

tourists come to gaze,
for her quiet

grandeur cannot whine.

IV. racism
a room does no divide
yet our don whines this skin,

my coat, should be black coffee

and this mind, the drop
of fire imbedded,

and time with iceberg tongues
freezes the fire.

V. creation
the river gods
gave us could not shrink

for them to cross.
did not that river

turn red-blooded
with their fury?

VI. national anger
these were droppings,
like ball bearings

sowed all about,
where we reared

government sheep.

does a country shit
with this extravagance?

at what cost would we keep
a government wolf?

VII. fire
I am too cold
to keep the hate

of a brush fire
b r e a k the water
with your brain.

if a stray scent
sent from a nectar petal
be this awful

kiss slow then the red
petals of wild fires.


(after Warsan Shire)

some of these places
may not be homes

they may be ghosts of slain
fat with honest

akin to purple ticks
round with black blood

eyes cannot glean gore
crust their lips
it would rather decorate
the walls of their bellies

how much they are homes
is why we miss places
we have never been to

they may not be homes if they can
be daemons possessing our emptiness
son when you see our crowns
fitfully shake, it is for skull-crashing madness

but which home?
which home must stand on your
skull to proclaim her grandeur?

which home must best
roll one into a sullen grave?
a grave your son stumbles on

when history is a quiet black hole
on the face of dust
when history is a cursed hole
winds are too mute to flute

and truth a lantern
with windy tongues
blown afar

far where dwellers of the dark
cannot see its glimmer
faintly wave its death

there is this one we had
we stole from ourselves
but how could our strange
tongues call it home?



if from discordant
histories we have fused
like death to a corpse
day to one-eyed sun
were we not butter goaded
from black and white teats?
shall we again search
for an envious sun
to severe these cords
between these veins
of words from your petal
and these streams of blood
in my pen?
if parting
be where your passions love
let’s run back we were never.

Poems © Marial Awendit
Image: thierry ehrmann via Flickr (remixed with pixabay.com)

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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