By Ashley & Poem by Kamusiime Mugisha
It had been one moon since Labongo’s departure. Gipiir watched the village like a hawk over the horizon. His mind nevertheless floated like the smoke of an elder’s pipe. To the west, the children went about their games. To the east, the mothers tended to the daily gossip and chores. “The perfect scenario for any coward to thrive in” Gipiir mumbled to himself only for his brother’s words to ravage his mind
“How do you face it all. “ Gipiri had asked him that fateful night. His question barely a whisper.
“Omego, courage. Do not let your heart dwell in fear.”
Labongo sighed, barely believing his own words. Looking at his brother helplessly. A reflection of his own demons stared right back at him. Funny how Gipiri thought he had it all figured out. “But to hell with that,” Labongo thought, “What would father say?”
“Courage, Gipiri! courage!”
Meanwhile, the oracle lay dead in her bed but could not sleep.
She turned, and laughed hard like a loon but then went on to weep.
The sun, above the clouds was out at the darkest hour of the day.
And the lion that roared meekly had now become the deer’s prey.
Once the king of the jungle, now at the bottom of the totem pole.
The flames blazed and ravaged the fields,
and the smoke snaked through the air and grew over the hills.
To the sky where the star was one, and the moons were countless.
To the earth where the river was two and the people were too.
She had seen so much, but the sense she tried to make of it was too little.
Like the one before her she soon realized that even the ties that were bound by blood,
were extremely brittle.
She then heard a voice, or were they two?
One of a warrior and one of a fool.
To the warrior “You were a friend, but now a foe”
To the fool “We were at peace, but now at war”
To the warrior “We shared a bond, not anymore”
To the fool “So like the rain, you will fall”
You will fall, you will fall
To the warrior “Way deeper than six feet you will fall”
To the fool “Where the devil and earth meet you will fall”
To the warrior “On the ground where I spit you will fall”
The oracle lay dead in her bed and off she was in her sleep
When she woke she couldn’t tell if it was real or just a dream
Her eyes were open but she couldn’t see
Her lips moving but she couldn’t speak
At the break of dawn, she had to go and warn the chief
That at the kingdom’s gate, soon to come was the knock of grief.
TO BE CONTINUED