Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Poems by Diego Mwesigwa Donald

Jul 9, 2021 | Poetry | 3 comments

The Long Cry

The long cry comes from the future and echoes in the past
But it’s so sad to see that you of the present cry about the now.

You my people have sought retrieval in the eyes retribution
In the sullen streets of stench ridden suffering
where a hand out is an electric current of life support for you, my people.
You have willingly bathed in the torment of your inability to believe in change and progress even a moment.
Like soulless beings you lack a sense of what is good.
Yes my people think a trench is for rubbish and the road for dirty water.
Confusion is served daily to future generations.

My people are spelt in illiterate just to literally define them.
My people are fed on ignorance to sensitize their arrogance.
My people think to climb heights at the bar means leaving their problems below
Only to tumble and hit the floor to signify how low we have set our bar.

I have smelt the desperation of those who toil for pennies.
Those who feed on the sounds of cars ignoring their plight.
I am disgusted by those who think leadership is a big pig advert.
Calling out to those who can devour best and fast.

Why do we that understand the struggle coward behind our big brains?
Have you lost your ways so much that to find yourself
is like looking for a drop of rain in a puddle?
Has your patriotism been stripped from your bones?
Or has it ever been in existence?
Have you forgotten that you are inherently Ugandans first?
Has your selfishness become so thick in your skin
to see that we are not just living for ourselves
but for our children too?

Can you not hear the long cry of our motherland?
Why do you that adorn ears ignore the long cry of our people?
Have you heard the wail of songs
Of the poverty that has itched the back of my people?
Have you felt the sheer anguish of loss a mother dawns in miscarriage?
All because the right to health is a by the way, right?
Have you seen the deep crimson potholes in dark corners
full of the innocence of maidens’ that has been raped out of them?
Can you hear the teary sobs of battered submission
stifled under heavy hearts of unconsented wives?
The plight of the woman is now like a nursery rhyme
that we forget when we join a different class.

The long cry comes from the future and echoes in the past
But it is sad to see that you of the present cry about the now.

Have you not heard it carried in the wind
like an echo of thunder with a sting of lightning?
Our motherland cries!
A long cry comes from the future and echoes in the past.
But it is sad to see that you of the present weep about the now.

__

If this is me

Within the cover of our flesh there is a soul;
The soul is said to be the essence of our being.
Our souls wear our stories as skin
and act our experiences as character.
However the key to understand one’s soul is love
And the door way to that epiphany
Is our eyes.
I say to look deeply into a loved one’s eyes is to unlock their truth.
To unfold chapters of their story they never knew were written.

You say you want to know me
To understand my truth and embrace my past.
But I try each day to look into my reflection’s eyes
To know my truth and my story
But I cannot see through the walls.
I guess I do not love myself enough unlock it all.

I am an embodiment of pretense
From behind this facade I pull the strings of emotions
But because I cannot see my face I always get them wrong.
I smile during times of pain and death
And grieve during time of joy
All because I believe I see the bitterness of joy
and the beauty in pain and death.

I have an insecure sickened soul
Caged in old tattered bones
marked with evil sins and human faults.
That is a slave to the stroke of the rod
Because I spoiled the child
Exposed him to self-satisfaction as means
To purge loneliness.
I see myself now in the drowned life of intimate discharge.

I see myself in different eyes;
The lost eyes see loneliness
They see me as the hollow space of a mute rib cage.
The shadow of a rainbow
That hoped to see the brightness of a sunny sky
For I am only cast when it rains and cannot be seen.

The broken see me in the tears of an untold story of compassion.
They feel I have the agony of a hungry lion in an abattoir
That is bathed in abundance yet cursed with indecision.
They hear my pain like a backward tick of a wall clock.
For I harbor the hopeless beat of a broken heart.

However I have dreamt of life quenched with ecstasy.
Where a thought of pain was a myth
And love a monotony
but in the eyes of a dreamer
I am a pen that erases the lines on which
it wrote dreams that never took life
Yet were lived in virtual sight (in my mind)
My dreams sprout weed rather than fruit
Because I am storyteller reading off tombstones
Telling soundless dreams that turned from
Flesh to dust.

This is who I am to the world
And this is the facade I wear
because I have been forsaken by love
Comforted by loss, fed on pain, molded by hate and bathed in lies.
Now I sit in the corner of my mind
Afraid to face my truth and embrace my story.
Since I cannot love myself therefore others cannot love me?

Though all I see in me I see in you
But if this is me then what are you?

__

Diego Mwesigwa Donald is a renowned Poet/Spoken-word Artist, Writer and Actor and Lawyer by trade. A performer of many stages such as Kampala International Theatre Festival, Kelele, Ntebeza, National theatre, Open Mic, Kwivuga,Standup and Slam among others all in Uganda. Performance is in my blood and love to captivate audiences through seductive clinical delivery. Currently acting in a TV series on DStv Pearl Magic Prime.I am an extrovert with an appreciation for silence. I love to act, create and write and believe inspirations to write are limitless because I believe it takes just about anything to move a writer into creation.

3 Comments

  1. Justin Teopista Nagundi

    You’re doing us proud, Diego. Whoop. Whoop.

    Reply
    • Nyapal Grace Aloyo

      The first poem is a gem! All Ugandan government officials ought to read and make not just something but everything of it. Bravo Diego, I’ve never been more proud ?

      Reply
  2. Obed Obedgiu Kwokuboth Jalmeo

    Great stuff bro…great stuff. I love the second poem. It honestly speaks volumes.

    Thank you.

    Reply

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