SALAAM MY MOTHERLAND AFRICA Last night I dreamed of arm stretched Africa Last night I dreamed of borderless Africa Last night I dreamed of brothers and sisters living in harmony I dreamed of thriving vitenge industries in Africa Salaam, Salaam my mother land Africa, Salaam Last night in Kenya I saw spears and arrows turned into farming hoes Last night cotton, coffee and tea industries steamed I saw genuine smiles with sparkling white teeth in Sudan I saw brothers in Nigeria disarming and disowning Boko Haram I saw a serene Somalia soldiering on building Al-Shabaab ruins Salaam, Salaam my mother land Africa, Salaam Last night, Africa in unison echoed political stability Last night, Africa in unison echoed social cohesion Last night, South Africa was umbrella for all blacks in the rain Ethiopia in black mourned Hachalu Hundessa raising a white dove Salaam, Salaam my mother land Africa, Salaam Last night black trader bought jewellery from Djibouti Last night black trader bought oils and perfumes from Tunisia Last night black trader sold exquisite African style fabric from Dakar Last night black trader sold beautiful baskets from Zimbabwe Salaam, Salaam my mother land Africa, Salaam Last night African leaders kissed Africa, we loaned west Last night Africa imported and exported within Last night African industries revived, African sweat streamed Last night corruption was hanged we sang freedom songs Salaam, Salaam my mother land Africa, Salaam Last night P.L.O Lumumba reminding us of modern slavery We condemned vestiges of slavery in Sudan and Libya He paved path for Pan-Africanism and asked pertinent questions Last night we asked why African conflicts are manufactured outside Africa Last night I saw one Africa, one heritage loving our language and culture Salaam, Salaam my mother land Africa, Salaam Today rise Africa, from the grave W.E.B Dubois chant RISE Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah, George Padmore chant RISE Haile Selassie, Mwalimu Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda chant RISE Aime Cesaire, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Nelson Mandela chant RISE Bob Marley and Miriam Makeba melodies echo Africa unite Salaam, Salaam my mother land Africa, Salaam I CRAVED PEACE I whispered, hoping it will crawl to the bush Auch! An arrow fell on its side, my heart bled! Getting from the bush was courting death The innocent child played with the arrow I still whispered, but clothed in God’s suit ,it played on Lying next to it were bodies chopped Nearby bodies wrapped in cloth were tied to long poles Screams of women being raped echoed in the desert_ My heart was lame! Why fight for soil they soaked with blood? Another arrow missed the child’s head by a whisker I threw my camera, crawled towards the baby Three years gone by, I watch him draw He draws dead bodies, guns and arrows He doesn’t talk or smile. I lost my arms but I am teaching this poor soul Teaching him to draw a dove How would peace look in his silent troubled world?
Jerusha Kananu Marete, a Kenyan writer, is the author of power-packed-package anthology of poems titled Echoes of Military Souls.
She has her heart in narrative poems
Jerusha is a graduate from University Of Nairobi (English & Literature) and currently a MA student at Kenyatta University. She’s a teacher, a performing artist & a film and theatre enthusiast. She is also a loving mother to Emmanuel. Her poems have been published in anthologies and journals, including Libero America Journal, Reconnoitre: Official Magazine of the Kenya Military Academy 2019, Best “NEW “African Poets 2019 Anthology, African Writers Caravan Journal and Millennial Voices; East African Poetry.