Thursday, 24 March 2011

Where is Dedan’s Body?

"It is better to die on our feet than to live on our knees"

                                            --Dedan Kimathi






                                     [Image from thenewblackmagazine.com]

The spirit of the late Marshall Dedan Kimathi
Attacks me in my sleep
Dedan would sit with me in the fireplace
And tell me: 

“Child of Kenya, my spirit has no homestead
When I lived in a body I had no homestead
For my land had been taken away
And now in spirit I hover without perching”

“And these chains, my child, tie me up
Fellow spirits share with my sorrow”

I only shake my head, look at him most forlon

He laughs, grins, adds,
“Strange, though, my child, that the land I fought hard for
Now belongs to the sons of chiefs and bodyguards
While the rest, the sons of mau mau, live by the roadsides”

“Go tell them,” he tells me, “go tell them to bury me in the
way of our people.”

“And lastly, remind them that I need no statues.
They should live by what I died for.
Whitewashed graves don’t cleanse land-grabbers!”

C) Lorot Salem 2011

8 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow, Lorot! You are my Voice of Kenya. I LOVE this one. Especially "I hover without perching." Your writing speaks truth powerfully and very poetically. Beautiful!

Salem Lorot said...

Thank you Sherry Blue Sky. I had to speak for Dedan Kimathi. He is a legend.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Argh. Salem, I am so sorry, I seem to have gotten your name backwards and have been calling you Lorot. You dont seem to have an email option on your site. I tried sending you a message on Facebook but dont know if you got it. Would you please email me at sherrym2@shaw.ca ? I want to ask you something. Thanks, Salem.

Salem Lorot said...

Sorry for all the incovenience. I e-mailed you yesterday. You could use the names interchangeably. In fact, few people call me Lorot.

Salem Lorot said...

*Inconvenience.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Ack! I came back in here to check - I didnt receive your email yesterday for some reason......please try again:

sherrym2@shaw.ca

Thanks, kiddo!

Andy said...

Very powerful indeed.

Salem Lorot said...

Thank you Andy.

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