Wednesday, 7 September 2011

For the Fighters & Lovers

A poem by Inua Ellams - 'Fighters and Lovers' calls to mind the plight of the Saharawi, and urges that we must hope. That there will be a future which doesn't conform to the present situation in the Western Sahara. That this future is destiny. 

When dawn breaks
like a stretched sonata silence brown handling
the fantastic blue, when dust litters this new quite
like the substance of prophecies before its period
of bloom, when life lulls the living back to its true paths

Our change will come.

It will come after a tumultus multitude of fighters
have expired for a reason not worth the breath
it is uttered with. It will come after the structures
of global lies fall, sparking the Exodus, movement
of the people with their minds in tow, it will come.

Then those born by the river will gather around
camp fires and finally stop running. The metronomic
yet melodious humming of tired mothers will reach
a crescendo and pause -  sailors will let up their oars
and let the current take them there

the powers of imagination will be fully revealed
to men, they will exactly who they are
and who they can be.

This will set us free falling towards a second of sensory
sovereignty as our senses go insane. That moment
will taste, like a teaspoon full of forbidden fruit shake.
Mixed with Lotus water and lugubriously ladled onto
a parched tongue till the whole mouths is rendered
rhapsodic reeling with intent wonder and hope.

It will smell like fresh pharaohs of the new sun, ancient
and young, like old wisdom riding a BMX between
freight trains in a freezing rain stained
with child’s play and laughter.

After, it will sound like a cello made of rosewood
exhaling soft poetry over a brown village at night
in the quite after the tempest goes making
the atmosphere finally feel good.

and it will feel like a hug
from God.

with a squeeze
saying “your time has come”.

And then our time will come.

Our suffering will be the greatest stories ever told.
Symbols of our heartache will be treasured in sacred
places as constant reminders that Love never fails,
never folds. Our tears will be recognized as rain clouds
and they will be danced beneath, this will be a reflex,
uncharted, untold, and our silences will be reincarnated
as light, after years of just being golden.

This is not fantasy; this is reality
with a dream complex.

I have seen it written in old books, it is the subject
of Negro spirituals, it has been spoken of by those
who trespassed in paradise and returned whole.

This is our destiny, we are destined to reach that goal.
Though weeping may endure for the night, joy comes
in the morning and as we suffer, we gain
the passage right. So grasp your tempest,
never let go, hold on, stay strong,
hold tight.

Malainin Aomar, soldier of the Polisario Front watching the Moroccan wall near Auserd. Photo by Andrew Mcconnell.

Inua Ellams is a 'word and graphic artist'. Born in Nigeria in 1984, he has been creating word and visual art with his own distinct style, described as "influenced by Classic literature as it is by hip hop, by Keats as it is by MosDef." He began is creative path by working with a pencil, which inspired him and drew him into the visual world. His current work is in graphic design, visual art and word art, both online and in print. If you'd like to know more about Inua, his website can be found at

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