NINETEEN EIGHTY SIX by Elijah Bwojji - Open Mic Uganda

The echoes of my vanities
Resound in the streets that were once promised to be of gold
The streets in which the children were promised to play in
Now echo with the smoke that lingers still in the pits of hell.
White thick brownish smell
Fill our streets as potholes dug by those who were once promised jobs

The echoes of our memories
Reflect the future our children will never see.
For now heaven has become a myth to the local pedestrian.
The old man with a worn out hat
He that walks the ends of these streets
Memories linger on his fore head
But his lips have forgotten how his footsteps sounded in these streets
The streets that once shone with hope
He takes me to the never ending journey

We journey these streets
Whispering in my ears as he points to the posters of time
Whispering, grunting and telling a story of our life time
The past flashing by and yet the future lingers not even a second

The old man with an old worn out hat
With a little smile on his face
Looks at me with a piercing stunning teary glittering look
He starts to talk, pumping into me the misery of the pasts
And the wondrous failures of the future.

He laments of the stones
Stones that have gone with the age
And with a whistling relentless voice,

“I saw it rise
I saw it rise with the dying hope of my children
And I saw oppression set,
Set like the august sun setting for the cock to sleep for yet another night,
The night when we stood as one
And yet in a nation, cracks developed!!!
On my father’s shoulders I sat in the loudness of handclaps”

A tear strolls down his face
As thoughts that take a man to a time
A time where rivers turned red and heavens darkened
Dark, very dark thoughts redefine
his face.

A new worn out once beautiful face
Tells of the times
Times of a 14years boy,
He takes to those times

“The sounds still linger
Sounds of thunder and of tears
Sounds of a kingdom falling, louder than
The fire that kept it burning, fires that will never ever dance again

Darkness descended on us
Like dusk onto the sun
The light rays disappeared like the warmth of a vanquished forest fire
Coldness rampantly engulfed our bones
And fear made house in our hearts
Now in a cemetery, we worship our gods
18years we were as sheep without a shepherd
A throne was still without the Lion!!”

The old local pedestrian stumps his foot down
As his cold eyes glaze at the soul that resides in me
I make a cocoon in this heart of mine,
Finding a refuge from these burning plights

“These streets drunk the blood
Absorbed the stench of them I once walked along side with
These last 20 years lingering like a fog on Nalubale
So we marched off to war just boys,
To fight and restore fairness and an election into the land

And wives and children, we forgot a home,
To chasse a loot that was never our own
And in the sunrise
These streets drunk of joyfulness
As the stars gave up the secrets that they once held
In the plight.

The old pedestrian’s lament goes like the eerie cry of an owl in the morning
The sun stood still and the rays danced lingala

“Nineteen Eighty Six
Hope stood tall like misty mountains in a distance
They welcomed us like heroes,
Your fathers and mothers gave us space in their void hearts
And the MAN filled it with a peace that came with darkness
A raging stormy cloud now sits on these streets
And your vanities echo in these streets that welcomed us.”

Author: Open Mic

Open Mic Uganda is a company that presents people with a platform that promotes poetry, spoken word and related art forms. It encourages the enhancement of poetry as a recognized art form that can be used as a tool for education, communication and entertainment.