A song for IDPs

A song for IDPs

by Noel Ihebuzor

(For BOSSASO and other  IDPs)

 

Hope lies here poorly shriveled and shriveling,

withered and withering

once high hopes now desiccated dry

the hot tropical sun sits on the dying camp

oppressive and roasting, quickening rot,

a constant rain of dry dust flows

roams freely in this place of captivity

slowly drying and dimming the voices of the trapped dying living

 

Do you hear their voices, can you touch their pain, feel their shame

do you care to listen, do we dare to hear, care to share

do we need a third eye to see, a second tongue to speak up

 

 

No water runs here as life slowly runs out

no food grows here, despair bounds and grows,

this place of rock and stones arid

by a sea that rolls, simmers and boils

 

This place bursting at its seam with suffering in the sweltering

scorching suffocating heat

betrays the jungle in the hearts of men and women

for there is no logic to this place, no sense it

 

Good sense departed so many moons ago

care and compassion suffocated and hope now orphaned

The animal in us runs raw, ragged, ranting and dimming all sanity,

rages, savages, pillages in a sad presage of the triumph of the beast

 

Do you hear their voices, can you touch their pain, feel their shame

do you care to listen, do we dare to hear, care to share

do we need a third eye to see, a second tongue to speak up

 

 

Mothers and females, forlorn drag around their feeble frames

full of fear in this fiery place, haunted by fear

humiliated by hunger, haunted by anxiety

sagging flesh sits ugly awkward on tired bones

violated mothers their pride sold to nourish those they once suckled

suffer the chuckle and derision of their temporarily satiated invaders,

armed predators chuckle as victims hide their shame

and their pain in sphinx-like empty stares

hoping against hope that they caught nothing else

in the unequal exchange

 

 

Do you hear their voices, can you touch their pain, feel their shame

do you care to listen, do we dare to hear, care to share

do we need a third eye to see, a second tongue to speak up

 

 

 

Fathers and sons sit around sullen

avoiding each others’ gaze

hiding their fear and shame and hate

wedded to woes and wants

souls trapped, feeling man-less and impotent,

empty yet full and over running with rage

in this cauldron, hatred and anger cook, slowly, simmering

raw rage grows and fills every crevice

in bitter emptied dried out souls

 

Outside and beyond, the voices of good intentions, of

actors and reactors, benefactors and beneficiaries mesh

while the victims die in large numbers

their groans and hisses drone on

and are drowned by distance

 

Do you hear their voices, can you touch their pain, feel their shame

do you care to listen, do we dare to hear, care to share

do we need a third eye to see, a second tongue to speak up

 

 

The shrivelling thinning hair on the enlarged heads of children,

Fontanels fallen in

sad sullen eyes, empty sucked into large sinking sockets,

wrinkling, flaking aging skins, bursting balloon bellies

enlarged heads sit ugly on tiny martian-like necks

frames as if of new born lambs adorn once chubby children, all

announcing ungainly early return trips and escape from this place

where fear is fertile

 

Flies buzz around, settling on the yellowish phlegm that ooze from nostrils

drawn by the foul stench and litter of littered humanity

of wasting and decaying humanity

 

Do you hear their voices, can you touch their pain, feel their shame

do you care to listen, do we dare to hear, care to share

do we need a third eye to see, a second tongue to speak up

 

 

Hope runs dry in these running noses,

in running temperatures and running stomachs

and soon the earth will take into its already distended bowels

these ungainly sacrifices and the earth is desecrated.

 

Do you hear their voices, can you touch their pain, feel their shame

do you care to listen, do we dare to hear, care to share

do we need a third eye to see, a second tongue to speak up

Or do we simply continue to stare

 

 

***** I wrote this poem when I worked in Somalia somne seven years ago and after visiting IDP camps in Bosasso in Puntland, NE somalia and in Hargeisa. This particular sad song was triggered by the human misery I saw in those camps as we struggled to bring help and hope to victims of human folly! I saw the same misery in eastern DRC when I worked there!  Noel

 

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5 Responses to “A song for IDPs”


  1. 1 Susan L Daniels May 29, 2012 at 10:33 am

    God bless you for trying to help, each and every one who did, and who continue to help people caught in such suffering. The fact that such is and was caused by “human folly” is horrifying.

  2. 3 Susan L Daniels May 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I would really like to share this with a friend of mine who runs a local refugee services org–would you mind?

  3. 4 Noel Ihebuzor May 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Please do, Susan. I will be glad and grateful!


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