My people are a nomadic people.
The camels roam, our lives strapped to their backs.
Mile after mile,
red dust lick about our feet.
Sun beating down our backs.
When night falls, we sit close and gather.
Sing songs of love and war.
Of heroes lost, and the beginnings of tribal brotherhoods.
That is how our legacy is passed and protected.
Generation through generation, across nations.
I may not be the most cultural individual, but I do value what the poets before me have cultivated. I would listen to my Father, sipping his tea, sharing the same story that his Mother had whispered to him underneath the star flecked East African skies. As I age I find myself listening to Somali love songs, smiling wryly. Their innocence is nothing I can relate too. Much too saccharine. It is for this reason that I am thankful I’ve stumbled upon Warsan Shire’s poetry. Her words bite. As they should! Her words move you, and I find her boldness so refreshing in a society so desperate to mute modern movements. This Kenyan born Somali poet has been my blessing this morning! Below I’ve posted one of my favourite works. A must read for any woman that has loved with all of her heart and fiery soul.
For Women Who Are ‘Difficult’ To Love
You are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.