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This poem is dedicated to all Ethiopians who lost loved ones during the ‘red terror’ revolutionary days of the Derg regime. Ambassador Teferra Shiawl-Kidanekal, in his book ‘The New Dawn’ depicts that era in vivid language; and he reflects on how ‘the December 1974 incident shocked the whole world and Ethiopians were helplessly subdued as radicals [as] the Derg fully asserted their authority through the barrel of the gun.’ It was a time in history, sadly not extensively documented, in which thousands perished, leaving a hole in the hearts of many families who could never heal them back to whole.

I was born on the side
where kingdoms reigned,
times of which queens thrived
and made the love of that
of es Sudan's gifted mysterious
blued Nile; gushing in the bosom
of unfathomable nights
to live in the subtlest of passion.

Nights of wisdom turned to
seasons of empty space, time
barn by the flattened storm wind,
it was all erased

words of history
not sided to side me,
history burnt to ash to not
celebrate me and yours, I now
stand with the history I know,
born in thy heart to bloom
to the path inside;
harboring silenced war
that is silenced all the time.

Witness to the dreaded season,
the villain side of red,
armed by cold hearts to terror
the dead out of the grave,
carried storms and thunders
to domiciled love chambers,
as distant calls of the army echo'd
in the ears of love making.

The living story of that season;

drips of red rained to flood bodies
of the dead, as the living
cling’d for life, rouge colored sky
veiling the day into night,
clouding the light, sending the living
to meet the lion's hungry heart,
mockin’ the grace of creation
as it blooded the streets of the heart.

Basest maniacs, dispersing
grasshoppers to invade,
to feed on the living and dead
they clouded light covering the soul,
casting a shadow on all,
leavin’ them with nothing
as raiders left with something.

But you see
nothing turned to something,

as love returned to its history
in ecstasy of union,
celebratin’ an unalike season
of red, in its vital to awake
the sleeping giant
to tell the story of that
which has been kept quiet.

My history repeats
'till I stand and awaken
you and all of you,
to rise to anew
season of red,
to tell the story in truth
to spread the news
of the towering cypress
found in this season of red.


* afro'disiatic © 2010
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