by Shamsa Bashir Ali
Our Country is wounded
Her oceans are plundered
Her wells are poisoned
Her rivers are running like sores
Her land is filled with the toxic waste of the highest bidder,
and the dark smoke of countless trees set ablaze by greed, blacken her skies.
Somali women scattered from their homeland,
wander desolate and uncertain around the globe blasted by arctic winds
and debased by foreign benevolence.
Somali children born detached in far away lands
grow up unfamiliar with the cadence of their ancestors' tongue,
and unable to decipher the vivid metaphors of their uncle’s poems,
drop their parents’ culture.
In this desert of frighteningly deep uncertainty
some men take refuge in the pursuit of power
through ‘any means necessary’
and leave in their wake death and destruction.
Some become manipulators of illusion and deceit
and hang glittering strands of fool’s gold on their window to bait
those in 'pursuit of happiness'.
Some others, well assimilated in another man’s ordered society,
become weekend warriors of Midnimo Soomaaliyeed,
and spew empty rhetoric on the World Wide Web,
or come together on roundtable conferences and applaud themselves
for using chairs right.
If one faith and Soomaalinimo still dwell in our hearts,
If a free and independent Somalia still exists as other than
a dream lost in the history books.
If Somali men of all tribes
cannot see the wisdom of brotherhood in one God
and cannot come together to create a stronger nation;
Then all Somali women and children, dead and alive, cry out.
We cry out, and our cries are the single voice of this wounded nation.
And that voice will form a powerful wind across the earth: a wind of change.
Somalia ha nolaato, cadawgeedana ha jabo!
Happy Independence Day to all Somalis in Somalia, and around the world!
Shamsa Bashir Ali
Hilliard , Ohio