Three Poems by Riak Marial Riak
sea-breeze, the waters of compassion,
my soul is bathed in the yellow ponds of affection.
the yolk is fading out,
when eyes watch the episode
what do they want?
This winsomeness is dusting,
the scent known for nostrils
is going through my eyes
as the walls of my heart are painted yellow.
Blossoms of affections,
we toasted our heads
in the river of yellow symphony
but was baited
I see affection passing
your iron nose
when axes become blunt
the trees will never cry.
I glance and minnows dance round my house
and by the by-pass many swans
are striking my ears
will i call this affection
or the colour of your worthwhile?
when the heart sinks and flees
do not count this on individuality
some are not independent,
it is a matter of confidence that drives them
it is seldom to see a sinking stone
but this water is herb
for quenching affection.
hold my hands to worthwhile
this passion is taking me to the grave.
Morning trumpets blow your name
the fluttering of the wind,
puttering of the water
and sounds of the nature’s nestlings
still spring in my memory
when the cock crows
i no longer see with an eye of Simon Peter
or do i want to be Judas Iscariot
i am the worth of your symphonies,
the littleness that cycles
round your red-house
(seeking a burning heart),
a house built on the shore
of a yellow river
i will go out and whistle
unto your ears these souls’ music,
let me enjoy this glee
for we may dance in the yellow waters of beauty
or in the yellow pools of symphonic world
In Our Old Days
We loved to talk of revolutionaries
like John Garang, Karbino Kuanyin,
Brainstorming of unexplained powers of Manyang Jok
and the unforgiving power of Tong Luoc –
about how he could dance in fire
without burning his skin.
The moon was always bright yet we could be blind in plays,
plays like to go and hide under the crops,
plays like to tie your face and blindly chose your girlfriend,
we still remember those days when we sit here in camps,
when we run to queue to be given free grain
My grandfather always swore when he saw fish packed
that I would never eat that which my hands never cut open.
when a bullet would be left to your house
and our night playing girls gathered to prepare food for the revolutionaries.
Sweet tears dripped down our cheeks
although it was said to generations to never think of the past,
how could our minds let them be bygones
when we could leave homes for weed and moss.
Ah, now Lonhmagok roamed like a rejected harlot amongst enemies,
If I could be snow to come and fade later in the day
I could come and glance on my old days, calmly on a giant rock.
I am sorry that I see in these dim skies,
wandering about the beauty and instant freeze of the taillight –
I’ve forgotten of night walkers told when we were young and naive
That they sprang from a night’s secret caves to suck man’s blood red and dry
I’ve forgotten of the birds that visited children to monitor their growth
as my hands grow bald of the clicks on this screen
I’ve forgotten of the frightening barks of mating hounds.
-where someone may rise from dust and ashes,
These men have crushed skulls craving justice.
But I rose to count the voices I heard in the grass
And kept one that roared most,
Thinking over the frog’s dullness in blabbers.
and to forget of the dream I had when I almost approached midnight.
when I was told some years back,
tales of an old woman living in a filthy house,
who, very old, gave birth to an old baby.
Riak Marial Riak is a south Sudanese poet, writer and dramatist. His works have been featured in Kalahari Review and African Writer. He spends most of his time writing poems about life, death, love, nature and war.