Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Death Be Not Proud


"Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not soe..."

                ---Extracted from John Donne's Poem "Death Be Not Proud"

Image courtesy of google: faqs.org

(The poem below is a tribute to my paternal uncle, Joss Jack Situma, who passed away a few years ago. He encouraged me to venture into poetry. I honour him today, like I always do in the other days.)

Though you be departed
O Little Gracious Soul
Your Photographic Lens
Remain afloat
On Zambezi River

Though you be buried
O Skilled Mentor
In me, your protege,
you live on

Though lens I carry not
My art is the self-same
Kaleidoscope: of tapestries
Of satire, of humour
In much the same way
I peer into man's idiosyncrasies
I do edit them, too,
With my mind's software

See, what sorrow should I bear
If your strength I cannot share?
How I wish you could be here
As I crack up one poem
And another and another--
How you will write
"Another publishable piece"
How I wish you could sit here
And see how I dissect into human's foibles
Gently,plainly, touchingly

But then again, My Mentor,
We hold these conversations
Every other time
Of course in our
Mentor-protege medium
I would hear you say:
"Lorot, the Voice of the Voiceless,
Write it to them, tell them,
Speak for the voiceless
Whose whisper can't be heard"

To honour you, My Hero,
I would listen to you
And put my heart to it
Didn't you say that
"I do it as if it were my last"?

I still keep that E-mail you wrote me
And of course what you commented
On my poetry before you passed on
Reminds me of the times we shared

Had I been keen I would
Have written a movie-script by now
Remember the enter, exit, day, night?
Well, a little confession

Africa remains pretty much the same
The terrific wildlife, safari and the like--
But of late, tyrannies are being given
A run for their money

But more shockingly, Mentor,
You would not believe this
Chatterboxes have tripled in town
You see them everywhere--
In the rallies, on the streets, in funerals
If only you were around, for them
To see you click away African beauty
Reveling at man's greatness
Looking at life as a sitcom
If only you were around, for them
to see you with one sweeping glance
O, the world would be a little noisier a place

Not to saddle you with sad stories
I was just wondering what you are up to
On those ends-- I mean, who or what
are you photographing?
The Pearl gates? The Golden streets?
Stolen clicks of hell? Surreptitious clicks of God?
How do you find singing?( you were always complaining)
What tourist sites? You watch movies there?
I know these are many questions
I am trying to clear the backlog

There are other things
I am saving them for next time.

Poetically your Protege,
Lorot Son of the Hills

C) Lorot Salem 2011


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh Lorot, Son of the Hills, what a beautiful and loving song to your uncle. I come to know him through your words. And through his voice , I hear you, Voice for the Voiceless. Keep writing these poems, Salem. They are so beautiful. Through your words, every day I visit Africa.

Salem Lorot said...

@ Sherry Blue Sky, asante sana. I will, for sure. If you love it, then he must be smiling broadly right now. Now that is cool, if you are visiting Africa...coolest ways, if you ask me. I will keep them rolling.

Post a Comment

Echoes of the Hills is all about you. I would love to hear your echo...

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Disqus for Echoes of the Hills