Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Crispin's Poem
(translated from Kinyarwanda)

In foreign lands, it’s foreign.
I knew how to create
When I was still young
And I knew how to fight as well;
But it wasn’t me
I did it because of the forest
Because in foreign lands
There were conflicts.
Those who laugh, let them laugh
Those who talk, let them talk.
I knew to eat forbidden things
Because I detested
Those who spoke to me of the future.
Good things became
Bad for me,
What was cooked became raw.
I wanted to go to the place they spoke of
They spit on my face
And when I asked “why?”
They threw stones at me.
I understood that
In foreign lands, it’s foreign.
When we live in foreign lands
Our emblem is shame.
It’s serious
In foreign lands we cross a strange cunning
Who fixes you in his unrelenting gaze
And who embraces you in reprimanding you;
Instead of asking you
how the night passed
He shouts at you.
I arrived at Nyabihu
With great shame.
I arrived at Marembe
At the end of my strength.
By dint of chasing the wind
I arrived at Kasonyi
Dying of shame
Full of regrets.
At last I arrived at Bunyakiri
I arrived at Kabogoza
And God shielded me with his hand.
There where I lost
Those who I called my family,
There too I lost my irreplaceable one.
I arrived at Kigogo
I found my sight
And I took the student’s path
I smiled for the first time
I studied with courage
As if learning to create
As if to revive my mother.
But those I called mine
Did not permit me
Saying, "Come quickly, we need you
in the army, others like you
have already taken half of Rwanda."
Angry, I asked:
"What is Rwanda? "
They responded with:
"What? "And hit me.
I knew that in foreign lands, it’s foreign.
I take my bow
And I fight
See, I had so many misfortunes
Since I was called soldier.
I plotted
And I amused myself
With the property of others
I laughed and I bashed my head against those I met
Saying: "Those who have no country
Spend their time in the brush. "
It’s there that I decided,
I will take the road and return.
And the road showered me with luck

I went to my homeland
Where I got another parent, RDRC.
He raised me
Today I am an artist.