Beyond Violence 

Dzaleka series: My Delirium

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Dzaleka Refugee Camp, picture taken by Suzanne van Hooff

***Warning: Graphic language***

My delirium

Our mutilated lands sweat blood,
Our toppled trees spill tears not sap,
Our rivers blush,
Purity moved from our sources.
The candid image of Africa saddens,
His cries of distress barely loosen the net of terror,
His children are victims of his immense wealth,
The vaginas of his little girls are profaned:
At the age of dolls
Their virginity torn from them before seeing their first period.
In the wind we hear the muted roar of hate,
In the air we breathe poisoned arrows.
The underwear tears and leaves naked erect violence,
In the dark
A black hand
Black text
With black paint
On a blackboard.
Our fertile lands house anti-personnel landmines,
Corpses swim in our lakes,
Birds replace their songs with weeping,
Heavy rains fall on a duck’s back.
Our festive songs are funeral poems
Our scars segment sadness,
Our hens incubate rocks,
Hope is a cousin of the tenth degree,
Damn proud,
We walk with fear in our pockets.
Bazookas masturbate with human fat,
The big metal bird
Flies over the sky
And ejaculates missiles.
The sun is frigid,
The moon is anxious,
Trembling, the stars piss with fear,
Wisely, they retreat.
The nose of the world oozes turmoil,
The tubercular planet coughs earthquakes,
Human souls spit conflict,
The innocent catch colds.
Our fertile lands house anti-personnel landmines,
Corpses swim in our lakes,
Birds replace their songs with weeping,
Heavy rains fall on a duck’s back.

- Menes

“My delirium” is part of the Dzaleka series which features poems written by Menes la Plume and other poets and writers from Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

Menes la Plume & the Dzaleka Cultural Association
Menes la Plume (Trésor Nzengu) is a Congolese songwriter and poet originally from Lubumbashi. Trésor had to flee the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2008 and he has been residing in Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi ever since. Dzaleka Refugee Camp was set up in 1994 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide shelter for the many refugees fleeing the conflicts in Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As of July 2014, the camp hosts approximately 19.000 refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from these three countries, and to a lesser extent Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Trésor explains that Dzaleka Cultural Association’s vision is “to make Dzaleka and its surrounding villages a better place to live, with people living in peace, harmony and collaboration, understanding and proud of what they have as values. It’s the DCA’s mission to take concerted action of socio-cultural development, to contribute to the psychological rehabilitation of people who have been affected by the various conflicts through engagement with the arts and cultural events.” One of its many aims is to educate the population about peaceful cooperation within and between communities.

On July 28th, blogger and deputy editor Suzanne van Hooff visited Dzaleka Refugee Camp together with Trésor, meeting many of the artists aligned with the DCA.

Written by Suzanne van Hooff and published on 29-July-2014

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