Summary

Poems about war and loss of identity, and peace and acceptance by the poet Sun Shadow.

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Transcription

THE FLOWER AND THE DRUM

If I bloomed a flower
On my garden’s borders
And my neighbour
Decided
To pluck it,
What should I do?

Should I silently watch 
As she breathes
Its perfumed colours deep
Or moan as she tosses it, wilting,
To her fat-fingered child?

Should I shout at her gall
And tell her,
‘No I won’t have it,
‘This outrage shall not pass’
Or take up a rock 
And hurl it her way, as justice,
For my flower defiled?

‘Too strong, too strong!’
I hear you say,
‘What’s a flower
At the end of the day?’

And what if
It was more 
Than a flower,
But my garden,
My home 
And my ways?

What then?
What then 
Would you say
Would be right?
What then should I do?
Should I fight? 

Should I sway? 
Should I dance
To the tune
Of the drum 
Marching into 
The end of days?
LITTLE PEOPLE

Little people with sudden power
Checking passes —

'Do you belong here?
You look wrong
Somehow
Somehow foreign
Are you foreign?
Are you a foreigner? 
Didn’t you make this all happen? 
And don’t you know this is ours?
Our country
Our street
Do you really belong here?
In our…
Or should you
Really
Be thinking about making
Your strange way
Back to your own town
Over the water
Somewhere
Else.'
TRIBAL BY NATURE

We are tribal by nature
And tribal by choice.
If I lose my tribe,
By a parting at birth,
I wander an open steppe,
Horseless and hungry,
Until I chance upon a stranger
Who sings to me an unknown song
With a tune sweet and strong
That parts my soul and joins me.