Monday, 21 March 2011

Come O, My Brother

(Today, the 21st day of March is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This poem is about this subject.)

Come O, my brother,
Come we sit under the tree of justice
Come we sit under the tree defoliated of prejudices
Come O, my brother

There was once a time, my brother,
Long time past in the age of our grandfathers
When the scorching sun dried this tree
Men never enjoyed this shadow

There was a time, my brother,
When this tree was accursed
Cursed to mediocrity, cursed to low heights
Sad times were those

There was a time, my brother,
When this tree was once uprooted
Severed from the forest
Because it was not “tree enough”

This tree, my brother,
Knows the loneliness without a forest
This tree is a plant of man’s past
This tree is the hope of man

So come O, my brother
Come we sit under this tree of justice
Come we sit under its shadow
Come we let our breaths sync

Why not, brother?
This tree is a mausoleum
Sad lessons are decorated;
T’was watered by blood
These leaves are tomb flowers
If you look hard enough, the bark
Is a paint of deferred dreams
This tree grows in no particular soil
It can pitch its roots in the Atlantic
Or clamp it in Sahara
This tree, my brother, is Time
It is in the lips of Martin Luther
It is in the lips of the Xhosa

So come O, brother
Let us escape the sun
To cool our frazzled nerves
After all, this tree is our bequest.

                                  [Image from]

C) Lorot Salem 2011


Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love this one so much - the longing for all to sit under the tree of justice, which is having a hard time holding onto hope. We do seem to peer through the same lens, Lorot! In spirit, I sit there with you, and with your sad wise elders who remember too much pain, and dream of a less painful tomorrow.

Salem Lorot said...

And how beautiful the world is under that shade, the wind blowing across our lands and the windmill of time propelling in two or more running leaps into our future...Thank you Sherry Blue Sky.

Lynette Killam said...

This poem is wonderful, Salem, full of amazing imagery...a beautiful write for this day of hope! My very dear friend, Sherry Blue Sky, suggested I stop by your page and I'm so glad I did.

I visited your country five years ago after a lifetime of wanting to see East Africa. I saw much beauty, and of course much inequality, and have written a few posts about it. I hope to return to Kenya one day, not as a tourist but in a capacity to be of some help.

Thank you for your moving and meaningful poetry...

Imagination Lane

Salem Lorot said...

Thank you Lynette for stoppping by. "Koko" Sherry Blue Sky is a kindred spirit in matters I hold dear. I appreciate both of you for this.

As you rightly put, amidst the picturesque landscapes and scenic beauty of this end of the world, you will find God's children pushed to the limit of bare-knuckle survival without much of the laughter and bliss that mankind was designed for.

I pray to Tororot, God of the Rising Sun, to grant you your wish, bless your paths and plant a seed that will germinate into a tree with enough shadow for a little more equal and a little more just society.

Commendable is your blog. I will come there to roost, again and again. Keep up the good work.

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