Poetry: Kabedoopong Piddo

Kabedoopong Piddo Ddibe'st

Life


Life is but an onion,
You peel, you weep;
And wipe the tears.

Life is but a dream,
You dream, you scream;
And you wake up dead.

Life is but a whole madness;
You show, I see,
But you are pretty sane.

Life is but a wind;
You feel, it blows;
And gone is the wind.

Life is but an onion;
You peel and weep,
Anytime is weeping time.

Life is but a tea,
A burnt tea in a cup,
Fill and feel your tea.

Life is but a comedy,
You show on stage,
And a coldblooded tragedy,
We all, then, watch pass.


The Living Dead

Hell is empty;
All devils have broken their chains,
And escaped to Uganda,
Down here on earth.
God is searching for them
With inorganic Hell's fire.
Don't fear them,
Though you see them climb;
Those are ladders to the Hades.
Don't envy the disciples
Of darkness,
Though they crack laughters;
Cankers are happy.
He that deceives,
Deceives you once
But twice himself.
They masquerade
As angels of lights;
But dark like gun bellies
At heart they are.
Their unfinished mission;
A vision to slay and steal
And destroy forever more,
As they return to their
Eternal peace of fire.
Their Dance Heaven
Is Dance Hell;
Hell is empty,
Yet to be filled forever more,
Her inhabitants have fled
For fresh air in Uganda,
Down here on earth.
Her Brimstone Flood,
The walking dead
Want to swim in,
Her tongues of fire,
The living dead smell,
Whose skins are etched
With sixscore figures
On their beauteous facades,
They fan the flame,
Screaming against the roof of skies,
For some living waters
That don't drop even a grain.


Inside the Grave

(Curtains open• Amphitheatre congregated • Clown the Drunk, with a masked face of a witch, enters• The band already on standby • A microphone on its stand is in his hands, ready to entertain• His black waistcoat flies about• There is yelling, shouting (necessarily or unnecessarily), clapping to welcome, shrieking cries of joy etc•)

Song of the Clown
(Oh, No, Yes!)

The teeth may laugh, but the heart cries,
Don't have to cry, O baby,
Don't give a fuck! Fire in my eyes,
Weep not for me, world's crazy.

Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
Y'dont know how we roll in the game,
You may laugh till you cry,
Don't know how the game keeps the fame,
We sold it! Ready to die.

Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
Like white ants, the light fetched us,
The souls paid the bills about,
The black sun of the world fetched us,
There's way in, no way out.

Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
Seeking the truth, can't find the way,
Memories black still haunt my eyes,
The world's stage, what's your story?
Tattooed beast! Its heart colder than ice.

Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
Going back home, removing away my black mask,
Tears run fast down my eyes,
An empty flesh is like a broken flask,
Lustrous flesh, broken vacuum, O lies!

Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
From the earth, I envision the burning hell,
O God, save my dead soul,
I envisage the end, all won't end well,
Laugh but gatta save your soul.

Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
O tonight, the future begins, the future begins;
Sing my song:
Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
O tonight, the future begins, exposed our sins,
Sing my song:
Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
O tonight, the future begins, the future begins,
Sing my song:
Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
O tonight, the future begins to repent our sins,
Sing my song:
Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
Me sinner man! Me sinner man! Repent the black sins.

Oh no yes! Oh no yes! Oh no yes!
O well well! O well well! O well well!
Now open your eyes, listen to me,
Don't burn with your ears in the hell,
O well well! O well well! O well welcome,
Tonight — the — future — begins•••

( The drumsticks roll on the drum kits • The band looks gay• Their energy is loved• The audience cries for more• House-shaking handclaps roll• Tears of happiness gush out from their eyes• Ululation • Whistling • Oppressive silences rule again• Monologue kicks off, still by Clown the Drunk•)
I have a dream tonight,
A dream that haunts my life,
In my dream to live, I die.
But before the daytime nightmare
Rises like a cloud of nitrogen gas
And suffocates us all to death,
I must break the mother drum.
You don't know what you don't know,
But you should know the death that kills your father,
You must know the death that kills your mother,
But you don't know the death that will kill you.
You must find the root of the death...
Exposed! Light exposed!
The light ain't supposed,
Exposed! Light exposed!
Under the candle light, you are lost,
The light to you prosposed,
Exposed! The grave promised!

Bang laughters,
Let them ripple like troubled Red Sea,
Or like waters kicked by ducks and drakes,
But open your eyes wide tonight,
Open your eyes to see,
To see the secret system
That you and I they stalk,
To demolish, steal and slay,
The industry.

The industry,
Play the game, win the fame,
Lose the game, shed your name,
Climb upon the kingdoms,
And drop down the bed of hell,
With brimming rimming sulphur,
Boiling, melting and burning beyond.
The grave is built with golds,
Ribbons of rainbows,
Painted with petals of blood.
Bang the gong, dance the song,
Taste the blood, dance along,
Jumping Jack jumped in the jambled jamboree
In the bandwagon,
Only to starved himself with the stings of bees,
Soon, he disappeared alive like a naked knife,
` Divide your brain once, but twice your heart,`
Something he was told.
` Worship fasces,
And the kingdom will be yours`,
Something he was promised —
The Industry.

The industry,
Tongue-ties my mouth,
Why watch the nights,
But not see the darkness?
Why dance the music,
But not feel the pain?
Why hear the song,
But not have the brain?
Why? Because:
They block your brain
And impair your nerves,
The Industry.

The Industry,
Like valve,
Lets you in the labyrinth,
And loses your way out;
Seals up the secret truth,
And breaks down the breaker.
Silence seals the mouths,
They act blindfolded like slaves,
Dumbfounded sex machines!
Dumbstruck not by surprise but fear to die.
Bitches gotta pay the price,
In the Industry.

O what would I do if I were not me,
Nothing but a drunken clown?
What would I do?
I am asking me myself.
You see, me can't answer myself.
But is this a dream?
Oh, no, yes, I don't think so.
Well, the Industry.

Clowning am I?
A drunken clown, ain't I?
Inside the grave,
Dead souls cry for life,
But only death appears to them.
On the walls of the grave,
Only Jolly Rogers,
Secret codes and secret symbols,
Crown of the conquering child,
Exposed!
Golden Ring glitters like the morning star,
It is the morning star itself,
The lethal eye of the black sun,
Stay away from the light,
I love you, but not it.
Torch of darkness lights the world,
Till the ultimate revelation
Of the beginning ruptures like a New Year fireworks.
Bundled sticks for massacre,
Fasces like ocean waters,
The moon and stars still bow
The knees of the divided nations
In the Industry.

The Industry,
Where you die to enter,
You hope you live,
Only to wake up once day dead.
False dawns blacken the eyes,
In petals revelation inscribed,
Embedded in their blood
In the chicken and chips•••

(Audience laughs with gaiety)
They have got the lives we all dream of,
The stars in the movies
Or the movies in the stars —
Dropping dead for stardust of stardoms,
With silent shuttered dreams,
And deep inside their bottoms•••

(Audience laughs again)
••• they cry in silence,
Searching for the way out
Of the Industry.

The Industry,
That has done more good...
Sorry, more harm than good,
The heavenly stars followed,
In the garden of treasure,
Struck themselves with silent pain,
In the city of pleasure,
Like flies follow corpses till the graves...
Don't be beguiled that the beautiful hell is an ugly heaven.
Ask the ex- soldiers if bullets don't eat some people.
O their lives? Who controls their lives?
Ask the pyramid for the answer.
That snake! That snake with pregnant belly
Is ever hungry,
I mean the grave is hungry.

The Industry,
Where incense is burnt
To wake up the sleeping darkness,
Wolf plus sheep skin the trophy.
Many a holy wizards,
Many a-burn-a-incense...
Can't keep your health,
You driving for the pearls,
Can't keep your pearls,
You driving for the ill-wealth...
Pinch your skin to feel the pain,
Pain that pangs like the fangs of venomous anaconda,
That anaconda exposed.
Lightenings,
That lightening exppsed,
Lightenings come with the rain,
And so is the pain.
The game played plays the game unplayed.
The fame sought seeks the fame unsought,
The thought thought thinks the thought unthought.
The name got gets the name ungot.
Things ain't what they seem,
Far much more than you deem,
The Industry.

Kindly, I ask you ladies and gentlemen,
If I may ask: what future are we building?
If I may ask: on whose name and what foundation?
Let me know: on what religion, politics and philosophy?

Ironically, you get what you hate,
Lyrically, that become a monster,
Lustfully, the lightening grabs you like a lobster,
Ultimately, your innocencies ruinate.
Mind what you wish, be careful,
Intoxicating desires murder you quick,
No, the global system? Yes, dreadful!
Arrows of the devil run fast to Dick,
Tainted his temple, dulled his workshop,
In the heart of the night, Dick rose to suck blood.

(Sings without the band's help •)
O Dick! O Dick! O Mother cried for Dick,
Her one and only son left, born blind,
Couldn't follow the way to wealth like Nick,
Unscrupulous Dick! Nothing he'd mind,
Unlike Nick whose sweats rolled to the ground,
Dick wanted Easy Come, easily found.
He held the realm of the world in his hand,
Little did he know he'd have a comic tragic end.
They told him All Roads Lead To Rome,
Not knowing, it'd lead him to eternal home,
For they told poor Dick, `Get Rich or Die Poor!`
O how Dick dropped dead by his mother's door,
For he couldn't sacrifice anyone anymore,
In mournful numbers as he used to do before,
Now Mama knows stars die young,
They hate what they love, Stars die young.
All roads lead to Rome,
Means,
All roads lead to grave•••

(At this point, tears roll from the audience's eyes: Happy tears and Unhappy tears alike• The clown has fallen down• A trickle of laughters still heard• Silence, then a cry of horror • Everyone sad• Shadows of unhappiness cover the amphitheatre • The MC, McKee, lifts him up on his feet• He stands up• The band soon resumes in full swing • The energy is applauded for •. Everyone is happy once again • The audience cheers up• The music, with the first song, reaches its climax • Full blare• The audience rises up to cheer him for more, but the stage is empty •)
(Excerpts from COMEDY OF TRAGEDY)


 Ballad Of The Five Foolish Virgins

I.
Five foolish virgins, once upon a time,
Sent to dry grains, to dry wet grains;
Five foolish virgins wisely did combine,
Spread the grains, couldn't see the rains.
(Couldn't see this could bring some pains)

II.
Cloulds, dark and pregnant, soon came,
Grains on the bare rocks, the girls with some boys,
The rains came with furious sword and flame,
They played hide and seek, sowing seeds with toys.
(Fish love, blind love! O little coys)

III.
The eldest of all had the strongest voice,
A voice to make all play far way;
The little girls had but no other choice,
But to follow where the corpse would go play.
(At the end of the day, we all must pay)

IV.
Off to play, out to play, little fellows,
With those heathen cowboys, young and gay,
Friendly matches — matches in death-rows,
We little'uns gotta lot of games to play.
(One frog spoils the whole water source, pray!)

V.
Rap! Rap! Were the legs of rains on the grounds,
Washing grains for food far away.
Tap! Tap! Were the rains with silly sounds,
Wetting grains of girls in the broadday.
(Since twelve O'clock, the girl still did play)

VI.
Ngio! Ngio! Were the grains on the bald rocks,
Dried enough, brittle, to be collected,
But these rains cut like the teeth of mattocks.
Rok! Rok! Were the rains, soon started.
(Two O'Clock, the girls still well played)

VII.
Pat! Pat! With their long snakes of ropes,
Little good girls still skipped so high,
Their heads touched and troubled rainsdrops
From the blankets of the world in the sky.
(Four O'clock, the good girls still skipped by)

VIII.
Wak! Wak! More incessant rains soon begun,
Still good girls in the rains played too much,
And back forth, they couldn't anymore run,
O these rains, nothing could ever touch!
(Six O'Clock, good girls still played in a rush)

IX.
Tac! Tac! Hailstones soon started to pour,
Cold like death, they really did fall,
Striking to startle someone to remember;
O Akumu soon remembered, reminded them all.
(Too late to hurry; grains gone to rains call)

X.
Down, down, bend down, virgin girls;
In your Calabashes, in your baskets,
Pick the wet grains before the nightfalls;
No Calabashes? No baskets? Use your pockets.
(No pockets? Rush back home like Newton's rockets)

XI.
Good girls, run before the end of the rush hour,
Mother's pacing like her house's burning;
Run to the best of your youthful power,
Chase the day! Keep your worlds turning
(Till father's fury and fire stop burning)

XII.
Empty handed, Kwet! Kwet! The girls returned;
Except Akumu, they'd all got a dirty trick:
That some bad boys their baskets overturned,
Some bad boys, like monsters, ugly and black.
(Sleep with your mother-in-law under water, bubbles strike back)

XIII.
Father's got lies-tester, he couldn't believe,
Whip swung in his right hand, ready to swish;
`Little minds do little deeds,` mother gave him a relief;
She wanted his fury and fire to be off-switch.
( Mother's love plays big games in the fury pitch)

XIV.
Here, father's fury and fire boiled greater!
Little virgins, we're all players at best,
But for your mother's pity, you'd see whip better!
We all must admit truths for the sake of the jest.
(Duty at hand, hands on duty than the rest)

XV.
Go gentle, father, go gentle and cozy,
Whips don't whip out the wrongs,
Wrongs, like spilt milk, can't be collected, worse when tipsy.
Hear me, Akumu, hear my wounded songs!
(We overdid overdose of our rights for too long)

XVI.
Father, forgive us, just go gentle,
Mother, I take refuge behind you, speak for us, speak!
We met some good demons with cattle,
And really overplayed that hide and seek
(Little did we know our mud-walled house over leaks)

XVII.
We met devils face to face in the wild,
Promised to marry us after the sweet taste,
But our hearts now yearn for more, wilt with guilt,
Because the devils surly won the test
(And here, lost sheep stand to embrace the bitter taste)

XVIII.
Yes, little girls, the devil really tempts,
But, you see — to be tempted is not to sin,
Only you wrought my heart with contempts.
`It is written ` would have made you win!
(Once the angels sin, twice the devils win)

XIX.
The devil tempts feeble hearts and wins,
But mother's love wins twice with forgiveness,
Father's heart, a chasm where fire oft burns,
Soon is healed by a touch of loveliness.
(When fire catches water, fire dies)

XX.
Go, my invirgin girls, next time be careful,
Don't die for your unknown desire;
Be heedful, be punctual, be helpful,
For your mother's love has extinguished my fire.
(Fury and fire end in mother's love's desire)





Serve the Poet
Serve the poet more papers,
The first ones are done;
Then listen how to serve him:
Take the poet
In a big, a very big hotel,
Where blood is served,
(In the chapel of soldiers)
—Then serve him not
Any cup of coffee,
Tepid, cold or hot,
Half-burnt, or black burnt,
Serve him the cracking clips
Of the blood bathed quill,
And just a pot of paint,
To dress the wounds.
Only unnursed wounds
Smell worse than weeds.
Greater miracles are performed
By the barrel of the pen
Than the world has ever known.

Serve the poet more papers,
With dog-eared pages,
Over stained with perfect dirt,
Life is not well-shaped,
It has wounded lips
Like the lips of abnormal godchild,
Take the poet
In a big, a very big hotel,
Where diabetes are served,
Sucrose in the salt,
Or salt in the sugar,
—Serve the poet chloroquine
To mend our broken shoes
Eaten by teeth of nails on our beds,
For the healing power
Of chloroquine lies in its bitterness,
Once the bitterness is over,
The sickness is healed.

Serve the poet more papers,
For your silent lamentations
Outnumber the seashore sands,
Only grieved words can describe,
Words are sharper than swords,
Tears shed on papars are easier heard
Than the thudding feet
Of ten thousands swordsmen
Marching for genocide,
In the still of the night.
Serve him not the people's meat,
But the barrel of the pen;
Sit back limbo quiet
On your bed of pain
As he surges the panting pus;
Don't bite the hand that treats you.
Once the pus is pierced,
The pain is over;
And what is more —
The sick world is healed.


Cosmetology
Welcome, my beautiful class;
Today we gonna look at a new topic
Called Cosmetology.
If I may ask:
What is cosmetology?

Me, Sir — Study of Cosmoses.
No, not very correct.
That is cosmology•

Sir, it is the study of the white man's
Coming for colonies in Africa.

No, that's damn wrong•
Hmm. Me, Sir — it's the study of the squalor
And poverty of the African city's slums,
Their corrupt and despotic leaders
And soil erosion of African cultures.

No, Suubi. Listen now, class:
This is the study of cosmetic industry
And its effect on your mothers and sisters.
What are some of the cosmetic products your mothers
And beautiful sisters use always?

Sir, me — ashes!
Ashes? Oh, no! Think deeper again, Kaka•
Me, Sir — Curry powder!
Oh, that's wrong, dear Phiphi•
Hmm — skin burner, Sir.
Yes, you're quite right, Nancy.
Class, give Nancy thunderous handslaps•
(Handclaps)

Very good!
As heavy a handclap as an angry thunder.

Now — in Senior One,
We learnt some few examples of cosmetics,
But this time round,
We shall look at them all today.
The first one is — emery boards, nail clippers, ambis•••

No, you're wrong, Sir.
Suubi, we have nothing like wrong answers.
All answers are correct,
But some questions are wrong —
For the given correct answers•

Then me, Sir — the devil's fingernails
And dead White man's hair.
(Class laughs)

Foundations,
Concealer,
Blusher,
Powder,
Eyeliner,
Eyeshadow,
Lip gloss,
Lip liner,
Lipsticks •••

Those are makeups my sisters use, Sir.
And lip metal, Sir.
No lip metal,
But mascara •••

And lips of a lion licking its kill's blood, master.
Don't call me `master`, Suubi.
I am not a slave driver.
(Class laughs wholesomely)

What are makeups used for, class?
Me, Sir — To close heaven and open hell.
No, Sir, Toldo is wrong. Me, Sir — To whiten the blackness of an African woman.
A white woman in black skin...

Clap for brilliant Suubi, class!
It's a pleasure — a short clap (RRRAAAP!) — the best Girl.
Now listen — their hideous effect:
A black woman dies a white death.
That is the effect!

I have a question, Sir.
Ask me, Suubi•
What do you mean — a black woman dies a white death?
I mean we have come to the end of the lesson.
Thank you — have a good day.

Thank you, Sir, for your service;
Your service is highly welcomed,
You, teacher, teach so well!

(Class sings)
Thank you, teacher, for teaching us,
Everywhere we go,
People admire us,
We can't get tired because of you.

(Teacher goes out. Class laughs)
I woke up relieved.
It was just a sweet dream.


(From: `Flood Of Rainbows`)

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