Distant Voices

by Shola Balogun

It is not because we have
no laughter left
in the carcasses
of our songs

Nor do our stern voices
dropping like pollens
on a rocky landscape
lack the myth
of ancient griots

It is just that
the grenades
always interpret
the accents of poets

The memory
of several battles
we have won
against the state
is marked

by the number of those
who are put to silence
behind the grotesque
bars of prison cells

or given the rope
of death
when the world
is not enough

The thought of peace
to those of us who must live
now becomes a strange dream
strange because it leads
to many pains that are not only
those of bayonets and tear gas

But of love’s alphabet


Copyright © 2016 by Shola Balogun

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