POETRY: Child Soldiers – Human Rights Lit.

Written by: Lee-Ann Mudaly

Dum-taka-tak, off in the distance


Doom! Ominously growing louder,

We hear that sound bellow (within)

the core of reddened African earth

Doom! Thunderous roaring beat

from the depths, Da-dum. Da-dum.

From one to all

Resonating deep within the soul

of a world no longer united.

Da-dum. Da-Dum.

Life. Breath. Exhale.

A screeching scream stirs the heavens (long gone)

Smoke rising on the horizon, of this forsaken land

out stampedes heavy desperate steps

A run from time of expiration

towards nothing, but the gloomy  unknown.

Ba-boom. Gunpowder hangs

in the air like a necklace

of gasoline burning rubber to flesh (a torturous device)

While in the bush and jungle deep

Blackened-body, big-beady soulless eyes

glow wide and keep

trapped as prisoner the once-pure soul

now rabid blood-lusting he creeps

down low in the shadows of night

like a predator on the prowl .

Da-dum da-dum-taka-tak.

A fearless pace his mind, body and heart do take

His fix of Brown-brown shot straight up

his bravado, the little man now made brave soars high

Da-Dum Da-dum stronger in his new gear

Our little man Rambo from his mold has appeared

King of this new-found jungle of his mind.

The master of arms, braces his automatic tight

Kill-shots taken on all in sight!

The loud, banging, beating, screaming of the drums must be shut down.

Get down! Traitor!

This is my town!’

Ba-Boom! Ba-boom! Guns blazing forth goes young Rambo in his arcade.

Da-doom. Da-doom. Silence

The drums fade out

to their detrimental end

As does the ever-fixed high now a downer bout

A ghastly long-lasting low

Game over.

Sticky smelting scarlet

Iron tasted he

A prisoner set free

To a hell now brutal reality.

Reach out you try

From your high seat in pride, ignorance and luxury

Dust off the sand embedded in my wounds

Inflicted by you.

The red, the white and the blue

(Red) Blood, not my own?

My neighbours. My friend’s. My mother’s. My brother’s.

(White) Acid tears burn as they roll down

etching lines, symbols and stories

on my face with no meaningful symmetry.

(Blue) Almost black will the skies remain for me

In these darkish pits of hell I’ve condemned my self

I know not if I cry out

For if I do no-one shall hear me.

Reach out you and try to undo,

Oh! the righteous red, white and blue

pick me up and comfort me.

Though it’s too late,

I sift through your fingers like desert sand in an hour glass

Your Time’s up

That moment now passed

Winds blow, for drums no longer roll

Remember that.

Know that.

Feel that.

Vibrating sound resonate deep from within your soul to another

That is me

I am the sand you let slip

I am the blood you let drip

I am the wound you could not clean

I am but the wind now

Blowing restlessly

I am no more (Dum-taka-tak)



Far off in a distant land

The wind blows through the lively village

Where sweet cow’s milk flows with honey,

Sloshing around in a calabash passed from hand to hand.

From brother to sister (Da-Dum)

From sister to mother (Da-Dum)

The fire of life still roars, the flame still sparks

The drums here beat endlessly

Life. Breath. Inhale. (Da-Dum taka-tak, Dum!)


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