Friday, August 10, 2007

A reply to John Ruganda

Back To The Future
(A reply to John Ruganda)

Hurrah to the new millennium!
Hurrah to Ocol,
and his new found sophistication
But what about the pumpkin?
What about the children
feeding from the dustbins
of civilization?

Like rogue elephants
They trampled on the pumpkin
And tucked away lone infants
deafened by the city's din
in a garbage dump
away from the glare
of the green city in the sun.

Ocol, where are you?
Or are you lost
in the bright lights
of the millennium city?

You, shouting your soldier hood
Sticking out your chest
and chanting gleefully
Why don’t you mourn
the loss of the pumpkin seed?

Why do you shun the return journey
When bombs are blasted
Are you not afraid of the peace?
Where is the pumpkin seed?

You are proud to be urbanite
Dead drunk
with the foolish foreignness
of a child
who rejects his mother
but for tin sheet roofing
and polythene walls
at the rotten maize cob
roasting by the roadside fire.

Simba the dog no longer barks
His kernel destroyed; his food
imperialist dregs
Drifting from garbage bin to sheben
Like the July smoke in the whirlwind
Is this the home you desire?

Were you overwhelmed
by the giant government tractors
as they pulled down the pumpkin
at the old homestead
In their hurry to clean
the millennium city?

There is never a better home
When the home we loved is dead.
And this I say again:
The pumpkin will grow again.


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