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This is not Poetry

This is not poetry. They are my words handcuffed and carried away in black Maria's by men who play gods with guns. And wearing the official uniforms given to them by those who rule, in order  to protect the people. Yet, they choose not to protect the people. Instead, they extort money from them and have them locked up on trumped up charges, written on statements of air. 

This is not poetry. It is the rage of wasted years. Of youths, considered useless by a system which murders their visions. And buries them in a graveyard of lost dreams. A system which leaves the youths to wander in the wilderness of uncertainty, unsure of tomorrow. Because for many of them, tomorrow might never come.

This is not poetry. It is the cry of the molested and the raped. The detained, and the sold. And the forgotten faces of  those killed in regional genocides,  without names and buried in anonymous tombs. Those whose names might never ring a tune. Because they are poor. And the poor are the first to be forgotten in conflicts. Because they have no money and no fame attached to their names. 

This is not poetry. It is a memorial. For those murdered at the Gates of Blood. For those who came before us. And  those who would come this way again. It is a memorial for all of us. For the living as well as the fallen. It is a collection of all our rage, hopes and fears. It is a memorial of what we are and what we choose not to be.

These are not pretty words. They are the truth. Unadulterated by years of fermented lies and deceit. These are the words whispered in married couples' bedrooms. And shouted in bars by men who drown their troubles in bottles of drink. These are the words raised up in protests by those who refuse to be intimidated by bullets. And whose voices cannot be silenced.

Copyright © Valentine Okolo | Year Posted 2020


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Date: 12/18/2020 7:47:00 AM

Very visceral in its theme and scope.