Poems by Kabedoopong Piddo Ddibe’st

Poems by Kabedoopong Piddo Ddibe’st


Building the Nation

I have grown the heart of giving
And I no longer keep anything
For myself — Oh, never!
For the hungry world must not
Die in the face of stormy hunger,
She must be always fed first;
Yet, though I must be giving,
And though I must be feeding
And nursing my rottening wounds
On the backs of my hungry flock,
My stomach is still my stomach,
With the generosity of a selfish man,
My stomach must grow first,
And the stems of my hands I lick,
For I must be exemplary,
Like a mother who dies a Virgin
Would be to her children,
I must be exemplary
To the men of rod to come;
Thus, all men at the table of brotherhood dine,
And all men must be fed and made fine,
BUT these national cake and wine
Held paralysed in my greedy hands,
These cake and wine are mine.



Let me pretend
That I am the tree,
And she’s the passing wind.

I lie for her truth of falsehood;
And we two liars
Tell a lot of truths,
A bubble out of the gap of water.

The wind’s breasts tremble,
And beat me sideway
Like a wave-beaten rock,
White washed ashore.

Let me pretend
That the passing wind
Bent my backbone,
And passed unnoticed,
To build her kingdom;
Better to let go the wind
Than keep it and feel its eternal fist.

Finally, let me pretend
That that passing wind
Never touched my bones,
It just bent me down
And I let it safely pass.

If the wind bends you,
Be happy for your hunchback;
A hunchback is better
Than a broken backbone.

What bends you down
But does not break you up builds you,
And so I am.

©Kabedoopong Piddo Ddibe’st

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