My grandmother was snatched by a lion’s mouth while wrapped up in a goat’s skin
Luckily she slipped away from within
This was told to me through oral tradition
A poet nation’s rendition
My name is written in the Somali red sand.
My roots fixed in Puntland
Where the remnants of my ancestors stand
Where the livestock sit under the frankincense trees
Refreshed by the Indian Ocean’s breeze
I smell the aroma of the uunsi
I taste the purity of the caano
My late awoowe told his story
The colonialists came with their self-proclaimed glory
Forgetting that our most powerful weapon is our tongue.
And from our words the whole nation sprung
Xamar was the Indian Ocean’s white pearl
Africa’s horn… its shell
A place tourists wished to dwell
Fast forward in time
The pearl was stolen
The shell broken…
By deliberate measures
That illegally fished out our sea’s treasures
But showed the world pirates
That exploited our resources
But showed the world riots
Western ships dumped their waste
The water left people sick and displaced
Droughts and drones we faced
I saw the elders lift their pens.
And try to make amends
But their voices for peace are seldom heard.
Diplomacy proven absurd
Their words twisted
Their names listed
The blame was all on tribalism
Any form of retaliation to oppression equated to terrorism
Any form of exploitation in the guise of ‘democracy’…heroism
Hear my voice.
I am a part of the diaspora
It wasn’t our choice
But we are healing
My grandmother was in the lion’s mouth
She lived to tell the story
And so will we.
For the Somalia that once was and will be.