Voices For Africa 2
         by Regis Auffray

My sister


I have heard much about you


We all come from you


We are all part of you


Your beauty

Your mystery

Your history


All this is within me


I know you are hurting

in parts

I wish I could ignore

as most now seem to do


I am lost in the magnitude

of trying to understand you

and what goes on within

my soul 

is uneasy


I am insignificant

I am ignorant

I am sorry


I feel helpless

to help


Copyright © Regis Auffray
May 2004
All Rights Reserved
Sudan Savagery
                     by Pam H. Murray
                           British Columbia, Canada

Beautiful Mother Africa, 
My homeland, my Sudan,
How bathed in blood your shoulders are 
Because of hate of man;

Your children, being massacred, 
Forgotten in their plight,
While, far away, so many have 
Their sweet dreams through the night.

Tonight I die in agony.  
My legs are blown away.
With my own blood I write my tale 
And hope that it will stay

Until one person spreads the word 
About our misery
And how this boy of eight years old 
Has faced such savagery.

© 2004  Pam H. Murray
      aka  rhymetimeblue
Main Page
Snapshot #8....Malaikah in the Sudan
                                         by Donna Read, USA
Searching For Angels

I was reading...
"There is nothing so precious
  as knowledge unless it's the understanding..."

Sand stung my eyes as I looked up,
heard screams. My mother
running, tears staining her face,
told us to go, told me to take my brother
and run.

I stood still, 
not believing this could happen again.

Soldiers shooting women, children
just like me. Those who stood still
were falling like leaves, like rain from the heavens.
I did not want to fall. 

I ran. 

My younger brother could not keep up...
my mother, saving us, could not keep up.

Later, when the soldiers left
and I was alone
choking on the smoke of those
I knew..
I looked for angels,
for understanding
or a god who would explain.

I saw only the sun, shining through
quiet ashes.

Donna Read, May 2004
all rights reserved

I am not a very political animal but I can feel the pain of others both here in my small world as well as in the larger context. No blame can be affixed to any of it, after all, we are not long from the trees. Let us all try to live as if we were all the people of the world. 
"All pain inflicted on others is a blight on our own souls." This goes to the smallest of complaints to the largest of inequities. There are no innocents. 
So, off my soapbox I fall. A small bruise reminds me that I am not exempt.

(Posted on the Atlantic Monthly Online website)
         Copyright 2004Donna Read
          Seattle, Washington, USA
Offertory song for the new millennium
                       by Dennis Greene

Give thanks to God for loving men and lambs,
for giving us this Earth to make or break;
give thanks for brains and hearts and blood on hands,
for things that mankind does for heaven's sake.

Give thanks that we who once kept gods alive
with songs of praise and hopes of paradise,
who lit the sacred fires, sharpened knives
and slaughtered countless lambs in sacrifice,

no longer have the need to slit lamb's throats
no longer say our prayers with holy smoke,
much cleaner using greed and Third World debt,
much simpler to say prayers with hijacked jets

and graft, corruption, bribes and well hedged bets,
indifference, lies, half truths, and outright theft.
Give thanks to God for loving men and lambs.
Thank God he's not too fussy which he gets.

Copyright 2004, Dennis Greene
         all rights reserved
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The Dance
          by Jane Flowers  aka Woryn Jay
                   New Zealand (originally from Zimbabwe)

There's a hotel on an African corner
Where the children come daily to dance
For one little piece of your silver
They sing, they cavort and they prance.
And their antics are really quite charming
They will pose for a cute photograph
And isn't it just so enchanting
How their teeth flash white when they laugh.
The culture shock is your pleasure
The ambience sultry and hot.
And your dollars spent will measure
How many parents are shot.

Copyright 2004, Jane Flowers


The Long Leaving
                by Katherine L. Gordon
                       Rockwood, Ontario, 

Rain ages to drought over writhing rows
of plow incisions,
garden gates hinge open
to let frayed garlands
of the dedication times
tumble and drift
on abandoned dream-scapes,
a piped lament divides sky and earth
shredding the flesh of binding,
young girls bow heads,
heavy glory on slim stalks,
weeping through their unbound hair
as the long boxes pass.
The fields bleed lilies.

Katherine L. Gordon,  Canada                         
         Copyright, May, 2005

                         by Andrew Grossman, USA

Physical fitness, mental soundness and social well-being

Constitute the main characteristics of a healthy person.

Not a single person is considered as completely healthy.

Hence, the urgent need to rehabilitate.

A number of primary health care units are operating.

The first step is to walk to the nearest unit.

If you do not know where to find a facility,

contact the local militia for directions.

                The militia is responsible for law and order.

It will  improve the environment

for the return of normality in the life of the people.

It will help you toward the road of healthy existence.

       Andrew Grossman
       Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
           Copyright 2004, all rights reserved

by Safi Abdi (author) 

If She Survives (a poem on the predicament of the Somali woman) 

Poem: If She Survives 

It's her fate to suffer the foolish 
The only glue cementing the ruins 
A dried flower without the care. 

She feeds the baby 
And keeps the man on board, too. 

An expert in ducking bullets 
Graceful to the core 
Though offended, 
The woman 
In the flowing dress's a veteran, 
Voiceless in a tragedy absurd. 

Her plight no hairs ruffle 
Her hopes neglected remain 
Overwhelmed by men 
Sightless in the daylight 
She hawks her wares 
In the sunlit mess; 
Knowing God counts her woes. 

If she survives this reckless age 
It's no thanks to the man on board. 

(Copyright: Safi Abdi, 2004)   all rights reserved
Website: http://www.authorsden.com/safiabdi 

IIn the Arena.
         by Robin Ouzman Hislop,  U.K.

deep in the dark they goad through a tunnel blinking
into blinding explode, wooden spears sinking
blooded brown matted hair, a roaring growling bear
entering arena, where crowds thirst massacre.
we are each one that bear, we are each one that crowd
made in our despair, as we cry out aloud
unto the sun sent day, our lust for spilt blood
on the shifting sands fey, where our lives are rubbed
out. mortal tragedies, destined we compound, bound
in anomynities, to their funeral mounds;

now the gladiators enter the arena:
double, double, double in toil & trouble;
the crowd from their tiers with fluttering banners
mumble, stumble, tumble, crumble into rubble.

Copyright Robin Ouzman Hislop 2004
All rights reserved.

Poverty abounds
              Ch'erie de Perrott.
                              New Zealand
Ah yes Poverty abounds
as welled brewed pot of coffee grounds
bellies stricken with aching need
from all colours, race and creed
Shame be though as plentiful offers
to fill visonary/missionary coffers
ne'er forth in enthusiasm leaps
whilst wrenching hunger untoward reeks
A Dime a Dollar, Euro or Yen
is all that's needed forthcoming when
humanitarians knock upon the door
pleading freedom and hunger no more
There's plenty to go around
why wait till needy go to ground
dig deep a thought spared
turns needless sorrow to live's reared
Whilst on earth the Lord he gave
his Kingly time to that of slave
he owned nothing of earthly treasure
concerned only for Man's measure
Home and pillow he denied himself
crown O Glory left on heavenly shelf
the greatest epitome of humanity
selfless drudgery were known to Thee
Apathetic excuses render nought
heartfelt causes we should support
while thanking the Lord on daily basis
for we live compared, in bounty's Oasis
Ch'erie  de Perrott
Copyright 2003
Homo Homini Lupus Sustained
            by Richard James Van der Draaij
                                 Editor of Ancient Hearts Magazine
                                 Holland by way of the U.K.
Proud women bear the scars of war,
their absent menfolk's hopes and dreams.
The lives of those now lost and more,
still moving gently - kind, it seems.
Men are bigger than they are
when they smite each other down.
God's Kingdom still so very far,
while savagery does wear a crown.
Tears of holy thoughts still linger,
something decent must respond.
Amid the bloodbath points a finger
to Love, of which we once were fond.
Richard James Van der Draaij
   Copyright 2004, all rights reserved

                 by Virginia Westbook
                                Des Moines, IA, USA
Aree was a gem among Sudanese girls,
she glowed with the radiance of ebony pearls.
Her skin was as smooth and dark as the night,
her smile, the essence of warmth and light.
One night Janjaweeds stormed through her village,
killed her family and took all they could pillage.
Aree tried to run but she could not escape,
Eight Janjaweeds beat her, then took turns in her rape.
A woman named Casma found Aree near a shed,
where vicious Janjaweeds had left her for dead.
She removed duct tape that had Aree bound,
then picked her up from the damp filthy ground.
Casma knew she’d better not wait,
Aree seemed to be in a graven state.
The woman dropped down to her knees
and prayed, “Lord  help this child, please.”
Aree withstood more then any child should take
she had courage and a will that was hard to break.
Aree’s temperature was 104° yet she felt cold,
her fight was valiant but king death took hold.
Aree hung on through great chills and moans,
this woman-child, now only skin and bones.
Finality flashed across her small ashen face,
She was buried in a white dress trimmed in lace…
Aree saw her sisters, and grabbed their hands,
they laughed, they pranced on the cool wet sands.
Death and sorrow are things of Aree’s past,
She’s with her family now and is happy, at last.
V. K. Westbrook
A Song Of Africa
                   by George Carroll
We haven't ignored
The plight of
Those on a distant shore.
Whose starving masses
Lay dying in the dust
No food or grain in store
The swollen bellies
And tearful eyes
That tomorrow may not see.
And many have sung
A song to this sight
That moved the world's
Heart over night.
Many lives this song saved
For the money people gave
Brought hope where existed none
We can only hope and pray
Starvation has had its day
And our love the battle has won.
                 Copyright, 2004
                 George Carroll
                        by Dr. Karen Springer,
                              New Jersey, USA
They are not like us.
Strange, extreme beliefs they flaunt;
So kill them
To get the oil we want.
They are not like us.
Their skin is black as night;
So rape the helpless women
Until that race turns white.
They are not like us.
So have their children sold
To be camel racers and sex slaves.
We’re entitled to the gold.
They are not useful to us
So look with blinded eyes
As Hutus exterminate Tutsis.
What matter if they die?
They are not our reflection
So we’re wolves and they’re our prey.
Why do we watch these holocausts
Then simply turn away?
Copyright, 2004
Dr. Karen R. Springer
        by John Horvath Jr.
            Editor, Poetry Repair Shop
I fell next to him. His body rolled over.
It was tight as a string before it snaps.
The men all piss
nine miles from here
the haystacks and houses burn
men, animals, wagons, and thoughts.
They are swelling
bodies dreamy eyed
unwilling to live
here in the mountains
among frightening rumors.
For me, there are grasshoppers, oxen, church steeples,
gentle farms.
In the grass, it is growing dark.
And in time, silence drizzles again.
A world of nothing but water!
Water to fill narrow gutters,
bursting, overflow murky
The woman touches her bun
of thinning hair. She laughs.
The traveler stands in frozen tableau
surrounded by drowsy old men
who wish to ask why he returned now.
From early morning they stood at the gate,
shuffling their feet, coughing now and then
Where's my father now? Where? Where's my pride of those days?
I became a rainbow, and he maggoty clay.
You do not fathom it, though you outlive me.
You raced against danger: for as long
as you glided soaked to the skin; but, she feels not a thing.
They were shouting in a language foreign to me,
yet as intelligibly and with words as clear-
shining as the brilliant glitter of the sun
on water.
we have gone
["Torte" includes lines from poems by Miklos Radnoti,Ferenc Juhasz,
and Gyula Illyes]
Copyright, 2004
John Horvath Jr.
Buried in the Sand
                  by Annette Nasser
                       Massachusetts, USA
Bearded old man, are you
really who you say you are?
Do you disguise the facade
hiding beneath truth or lies?
Innocence looks upon you
yet some say looks are deceiving.
Perhaps you play upon
others' feelings, creating
trust among the brotherhood
only to act upon the naive at the end?
Under the turban, lies
an ordinary, simple-looking, old man.
Beard longer than his hair, laying
gently upon his chest, well-tanned and wrinkled,
he has aged in years
and his stories have been told of the past,
now old, one can view,
hear of his ancient life in appearance.
Does terror lie hidden in his stories told,
to act upon, to have already played?
He looks at all with eyes that see beyond the crowded street.
He stands and while he gazes,
silently, some feel terror; others who stare, see solitude.
He has been through much in his life.
Murder, violence, mayhem and chaos among men;
feudal arguments, undesired,
genocidal atrocities of the innocent
tolerance taken away,
old and young, now buried in the sand.
Annette Nasser
(c) 2004
Kum ba ya ya
                by Ann Cantu
The Holy Spirit donned Her sunbonnet
And set out to visit the sick,
The unruly and overindulgent
Who had misplaced mercy, grace,
And the lost art of generosity.
When joie d’vive impairs the senses,
Souring the milk of human kindness,
God might go on holiday,
Since no one listens anyway.
Heresy is blaming
Not ourselves, but Divinity.
Why would He let innocent children
Die of starvation,
Or let oppressors obliterate nations?
God’s question is
Why would we?
©Ann R. Cantu
  July, 2004
Weeping Mother
               by Àmarice Moon Ravenwolf
                      Mississippi, USA
A mother runs into a wartorn valley, bloodied and in tears
Weeping for her children, murdered in their cradle
She cries "WHY" with all her remaining voice
But nobody heard her call or nobody wanted to listen
And it remained still, in a valley where only the dead have words to say
And where only the dead listen to the living
She was so deeply hurt that nobody thought she would survive
But her remaining hope gave her the power to heal
And to hold her sword to defend her lands and the children who survived
She stands tall and proud, like an image of the Goddess
Her pride, love and courage rallying her peers to her cause
She could have thought there was no hope after her children's death, yet she held up to hope and fought
She could have died from her wounds, yet her will allowed herself to heal
She could have thought that she had no power to fight, yet she took that power
And her struggle kept her alive
She gives us the message to never give up even when hope seems to be dead
To never leave our wounds take us down
And that we have the power to fight to forge a better world
That woman is around us and also lives within us
She is a weeping mother in Iraq or Africa, Mother Earth or the Amazon who lives into our inner psyche
We all live into symbiosis and if we don't fight to defend each other
We condemn ourselves to die
Àmarice Moon Ravenwolf)O( (Melanie)
My Lai
      by Namvet Poet
              Allen L. Shemke
          California, USA
A hamlet in Vietnam –
It was spelled My Lai.
Most pronounced it
“Mee Li” (long “i”).
I remember there was
A Captain Medina
And a Lieutenant Calley
Who were blamed
For the massacre –
The My Lai Massacre.
It was in the newspapers
It was on the TV news – for
Weeks it was the scandal –
The talk at the student union.
But in Vietnam, the bodies of
Children, women, and old men –
Victims – simply decomposed.
In Vietnam, the war raged on –
Massacres don’t stop a war’s
Fighting, carnage, and destruction.
My Lai seemed to be when
I started hearing our soldiers
Being called “baby-killers,”
And I started to hear about
The U.S. committing genocide
Against the people of Vietnam.
After all of that, I was inducted –
To Vietnam, to the later war.
Thank God I didn’t have to
Kill any babies over there.
Later, post-war, I worked
At the V.A. with other vets.
I think I saw there a couple
Of V.A. benefit awards for
Vets who wanted to attend
A helicopter flight school
Run by the same Medina,
The Army Captain of My Lai.
Suddenly, the war was in
My head, and memories of
The My Lai Massacre story.
I wondered whatever became
Of Lieutenant Calley, who,
I am told, was convicted but
Later pardoned by President Nixon.
I doubt that we will ever know
All the grim truth and sordid details
About My Lai – just as surely as
Those civilians who died there
Will never come back to tell of it.
Copyright 2004
A Dark Year
        by Sondra Ball, Editor
                Autumn Leaves
            Pennsylvania, USA
War in Iraq, Afghanistan,
genocide spilling through Sudan:
yet fools still say, "This is not hell.
God's in his heaven. All is well."
Children shrieking in their despair
belie the myth that all is fair.
Yet as I toil and as I brood,
caught in a most unhappy mood;
while hostile armies take their toll,
and midnight reigns inside my soul;
I find that I, just like the fools,
believe that love will one day rule.
copyright 2004 sondra ball
A Desert Dream
           by Wayne Adams, Fort Dodge Iowa, USA
In a dream I took a journey
to a place unknown to me,
a scene of desolation
I was not prepared to see.
A white desert stretched for miles,
farther than the eye could tell.
It would have looked like heaven,
but for the signs that it was hell.
I gazed out on the horror
and I soon began to weep.
Great sorrow filled my being
as I mourned wthin my sleep.
Many objects lay all around me,
placed there by an evil hand.
I was stunned by the sight
of human bones upon the sand.
No peace was there to greet me,
no life was to be found.
Just stillness, grief and emptiness,
my crying was the only sound.
I struggled to awaken,
but couldn't leave that desert sun,
as if it was to remind me
there was much work to be done.
One thing can be expected
as the fires of hate are fanned;
the death of many people,
and bones scattered on the sand.
  Copyright, 2004, by Wayne Adams
I Cry
     by  Susan Eckenrode
                 Ohio, USA

I saw ten people blown and burned to bits
because a young man wore a bomb for Cause.
I saw a mother and her daughters raped
because their men would not support the Cause.
I saw the children starving without food
because officials stole to feed the Cause.
I lived with death and dying everyday
because I fought the authors of the Cause.
I feared that I would never feel again.
My crying's proof that I still have my soul.

Copyright, July, 2004
by Susan Eckenrode
True Madness 
          by D. P. Robertson
                       Melbourne, Australia

("Five to six men would rape us, one after the other,
for hours during six days, every night.  My husband 
could not forgive me after this, he disowned me."

Sudanese refugee woman- Darfur 2004)


Have we all gone mad?
Have we lost our humanity?
When does a husband not comfort
His wife in such insanity?
Where is the safe harbour
When blood runs like rivers
What are these stone hearts
That makes good people shiver
In sadness, so desperate,
In whose blood thirsty name
That makes us all wonder
There's no end to this pain
Through a sea of misery
Of the butchered and raped
When it all happens again
And we all see it too late
But there they will starve
Be tortured and maimed
In the death camps of Darfur
Man is going insane

Copyright, 2004, by 
   David Peter Robertson

Each Day
           by David Fraser, Editor Ascent Aspirations Magazine      
                   Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Each day we drink
the filtered water of the news,
gulp the gossip down,
those headline incidents
of pain and suffering;
tsunami now
lurking for a few more weeks,
the fiery crumbling towers before,
their echoes back and forth each day,
bombs, bullets, body bags
fill the air, catch the eye,
slaughter trees, use up ink
so groups both small and large
can feed their obsessive greed.

A new day’s headline is waiting now
while by the billions
bloated babies lie and wait
to give their water to the flies
each day.

Copyright, David Fraser 2005