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Welcome Home Trilogy

A Trilogy Project – that ended up as perpetual work in progress only to be recovered fortuitously after almost seven years from archives saved on an old pen drive!

Introduction

With the proverbial ‘other’ within the socio-political divide along the national context in my mind, some time last March, 2016 I began writing the verses under the heading of Welcome Home. However, the muse was not cooperative as the current work may perhaps demonstrate. Certainly the phenomenon of the writer’s block was under control and I was apparently a helpless victim of. I failed to shape the verses to my liking and simply succumbed to the dictates of the writer’s block and to the treachery or was it the displeasure of the so called poetic-inspiring goddess of old. The work remained as is. But I still had the urge to write and so the “You and Us” verses were born only to stop short of twenty lines or even less. Then there was no escape but to have a little face to face encounter with my familiar foe – The Writer’s Block. That confrontation in turn produced the poem entitled – The Writer’s Block.

Now that all of the three poems were under the mercy of lady muse and the total control of my familiar foe, they all were relegated to freeze on the hard disk just to stare at me whenever I opened my word processor without any progress or addition to them as if destined to remain as a perpetual work in progress, so to speak. Until a few days ago a good friend of mine called up to follow up a poem of mine in the Arabic language that he insisted to listen to over the phone. That was done on the spot, well and good. And as usual generous as he is he lauded and commended but it was not mission accomplished yet. He incessantly asked for more. Reluctantly I said that there were some projects that were adamantly refusing completion and then shared the work at hand with him. No sooner than I read the unfinished poems over the phone for him, he literally said that God-given talents must be exploited to their fullest and must be shared with the creation and not to be buried as certain ancient cultures were abhorrently burying their young living daughters alive! “Haram!” he exclaimed. And when I responded with the proverbial statement that beauty was in the eyes of the beholder and that only the good see the goodness etc. etc. as the saying goes; he abruptly dismissed my remarks adding that if such a work is not shared and published right away as is at awate.com he would keep on bugging me to do so until doomsday. As if he is chosen to be a part in my triangular relationship with this website, this time too he said that he will be literally running after me with a chubby Mokhos in his grasp until these poems are published as they are at awate.com. True to his threats he has being prodding me ever since, to publish the work. In compliance to his wishes and at the risk of me shouldering the responsibility of suffering the reproaches of my perfectionist nature I am obliging to do the same if the website sees the work worth publishing. Although deep in my heart I still believe the stanzas need further chiseling to fill in the grooves here and there and more sandpaper management and of course a lot of polishing. I hope it meets your liking, Dear Reader.

And now as 2022 has begun its breath the work remains as is when the original Desk Top is no longer here but strangely this pen drive popped up the poems – maybe it is time for them to see the light.

Welcome Home!

In plain language in layman’s term and no complication
In simple English, so easy and far from sophistication
Here are some honest words for your kind attention
You who’ve worshiped all despots without distinction
Raising flags of every occupier of our beloved nation
Offering your very own compatriots for extermination
As sacrificial lambs without any remorse or consternation
Listen to me. Can you feel my broken-heart’s pain?

Can you imagine the suffering you put me through in vain?
When out of ignorance you succumbed to the bigots’ chain
Who made you believe and told you again and again
That I am your avowed enemy to disparage and disdain
All the time, and if you can get rid of and never refrain
To expropriate, exile, kill and dump him down the drain
Oh! My Dear Compatriot can you feel my agony, my pain?

It is not now that the dictator is showing the obscene
That monster is as naked now as he has always been
It is only you; it’s your own eyes that were not seeing
The blood has been flooding; you just began lip-tasting
Imprisonments, exterminations, elimination and killing
Expropriation, exploitation, extortion and land grabbing
Are the order of the day here Pal, but you were sleeping
Assuming immunity as if dictators saw you it deserving
Just a matter of time but your turn, surely was coming
For ‘what goes around must come around’ again running

You cared not to see when the poor souls were boiling
The inferno has been burning innocents and churning
You only saw it now as your skin was remotely scalding
Strange, one might say but no, not for the observing
Certainly not for those who have been long-suffering
From your evil machinations and plots never ending
Not for us, we know you inside-out, no need for hiding

Any way with our ever gracious hearts good wishing
We can’t help but hope this be real and not dreaming
That you finally, at least for now you are awakening
Good for you, as you are now recovering some feeling
Feelings that may lead us regain our health and healing
Though a bit late, welcome home, thank you for coming

Again welcome home, how we hope you are coming clean
We hope and pray that this is not deception and cheating
That old familiar game of which you are experts at – faking
Showing the good face while the heart demands cleaning

Then let us let it out all and let us all listen by way of healing
Not for provocation and not as revenge and not name-calling
But only just for voicing out our hurts and solely for revealing
The injustices, the pain we long suffered without complaining
Perhaps it may resonate over there and kick-start remedying

So till our version of Truth and Reconciliation is up and running
Let poetry be the vehicle for love, harmony and understanding
Even at the expense of some feathers being ruffled in so doing
Just as mothers do love and care even when they are weaning
And as when surgeons resort to the scalpel just for life saving

****
Welcome home, better late than never
Covered by the shield of every colonizer
As the pampered lackey of the imposter
Beneath the smelly feet of the dictator
Conceited by the might and glory of the invader
You lived all your life in an elusive glamour

Ill-gotten wealth mixed with blood and butter
Bloody money bitter than mustard and ginger

In sync and in cahoots with the murdering monster
Kissing and licking the shoes of your unholy emperor
Worshiping him ever and currying his favor
Obediently following his all and every order
Mercilessly, shamelessly with ardent fervor
Perpetuating his inequities and immense torture
Executing harshly his terror and horrible horror
On your very own brother, kin and next neighbor
On your sister reeling under the heels of the traitor

You were the ally even the executioner
The ugly hand the tool and the enforcer
That sowed injustice, havoc and disorder
Actually you’re indeed the very malefactor
Not just an agent or a mere foot soldier
Nor another minion serving the dictator
You were and remain to be the evil doer

Eagerly unabashed mimicking your mentor
Fulfilling the desires of his rapacious nature
You burned all living in every niche and corner
Under the protection of the nasty warmonger
You filled the peaceful land with blood and terror
You scorched every green, uprooted the flower
Lifeless became the land and barren no wonder
When you lost your humanity to brute power

In the wings and protection of the oppressor
You chose and courted disgrace and dishonor
Under the swords’ shade of the gladiator
Covered by the shield of every colonizer
You shamelessly assailed every patriotic warrior
Blind to the injustices befalling your neighbor

Now, all of a sudden with no sense and no humour
Having tasted merely a sip from the cup of dishonour
That selfsame cup of which you were the distributor
How come now you dare scream to the loudspeaker
Saying amazedly “How bare naked is the emperor!
Our Lord! Have mercy, save us from this monster!”
Without scruples or regret you now proclaim “dictator”
With no speck or shred of shame you shout “gladiator”
With a brazen face you dare claim to be the liberator!
Welcome home any way it is far better now than later

Welcome home; with you coming we’re even stronger
Remember we’re a family and that you are a member
But a bit of humility, you’re a member and not the leader
Welcome home with no vengeance let’s work together
But remember our collective memory is as sharp as ever
No more fooling, for we know the road and the partner
Welcome home, we aren’t naive you need no reminder
We’re just gracious people choosing to forget and ignore
The injustices of those seeking forgiveness in our door
Properly acknowledging their misdeeds willing to bear
Responsibility for all that happened as you are aware
Welcome home, we’ve reserves of compassion to spare
Leopards cannot change their spots we are fully aware
And the Ethiopian try as may can’t make his skin fairer
As the bible states unequivocally if you can remember
Yet we are still hopeful, hoping against hope we will not despair
Miracles do happen sometimes so maybe it’s fair to say fair
That you will soon change as we have no time to spare
Sink or sale we all are in the same boat, that’s the truth for us to share
Welcome home, we’ve reserves of compassion to spare
Yes we are gracious but dare you think we are fools, dare not dare
Welcome home, we’ve reserves of compassion to spare

Image by Кирилл Богомазов from Pixabay

About Abdulkader O. Ali

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  • M/Brhan Idris

    Hello, awatistas,

    DIA’s inteveiw January 08/2022

    The primary audience for the interview were the Tigryan people. He wants the Tigrayans revolt to overthrow the TPLF as the Sudanese did two years ago to the National Congress of Sudan. Hardly DIA reveals his wish, but in this interview, he did. He ceased to be a politician at that moment and became a dreamer. But anyone, except a politician, can dream about trouble between people and the party they chose by a majority vote.

    In the interview, Dia mentioned “The Tigrayan people” more than any other, including the Eritrean people. The Eritrean people are irrelevant to him. The military system protects DIA’s power through the corrupt generals who implement harsh rules, create fear and threat and run propaganda against Eritrean soldiers. The Eritrean people are irrelevant to him except that they have to give birth to boys and girls who join the un-limited military services when they reach their teenage years.

    There was a lot of analysis by DIA to foreign issues. As usual, DIA was contradicting himself. In one way, he calls for non-interference in other country’s internal problems and in another way, he suggests this and that for the other country’s internal matters. No, he even said we wouldn’t sit and watch what is going on in our neighbour countries. So what will be the answer to what about our neighbours suggest solutions to Eritrea’s internal issues, let alone the US? DIA seems to misunderstand the scope of interference. If a country leader comes to the TV and mocks another country’s internal issue, it is called propaganda war, leading to crisis, conflict and war.

    Last but not least, did DIA pay his debt to Qatar? ናታ ገዲፋስ ናይ ሓማታ!
    Why is he worried about US debt to China?

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Idris,

      He is delusional, callous, and with a highly exaggerated sense of self importance. Probably, interfering and commenting on other countries affairs serves him as a form of psychotherapy.

      Even his diehard supporters must admit that he turned Eritrea, a once hopeful, with a bright future and optimistic country into Hell on Earth.

      He is a lonely man, with an ever shrinking circle of friends. Whoever seeks advice from him must be totally dumb.

      He reminds me of the following song by Eric Carmen.

      All by myself:

  • said

    Selam Abdulkader,

    Thank you, unlike anything I ’ve read before, with new insights , you outlined and laid out a sumptuous feast for thought and with penetrating insights. interesting to read, Fresh , Erudite, witty, and rigorous, Your poem lifted us from the grim pessimism and suspicion of our humanity that was destined to fail us, ,and to burn, crash, fade away in lonely desolation . you make us look with fresh eyes, the aggressor and oppressor do not see their victim as they are .Victim don’t see others as they are. They do it to their brethren and our neighbors with no regret . We tell ourselves stories in order to live, and the truth increasingly filtered reality through the prism of their own prejudices. turning the their hatred , angers and fears and energy of the to few of DIA regime against “the rest of our people. Regime construct about themselves , the ways in which they choose to connect or not connect and fears a mirror for what was happening to us and not to turn against them We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the ‘ideas’ with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience. 30 years passed, time passes. Memory fades, memory adjusts, memory conforms.

    Yesterday regime partner and is the same today, self-righteous opposition and movement of spoiled brats who have never known real hardship, irrespective of the recent history of our country. A nation designed to fail from the start. We cannot forget that, DIA actively experimenting from the get-go but it started way before he joined the front and almost in the centuries before with DIA father ancestral generation . they were in high political positions serving their emperor , those ancestors engaged to betray Eritrean independence from get-go . And that appeared over and over among those peoples of 1950th and 60th . they knew how to wage war on pro independence and those who went to sacrifice for Eritrea they were misunderstood and ignored. it was inevitable. And that was backward in time. Although it is unclear in 1991 to most .DAI rolled the dice so many times before eventually snake eyes come up, some loved charismatic authority figures, you cannot put can put old habits aside, they love system of dominance and deprivation for most people. They lived under their loved emperors before , once established, these structures are hard to get rid of . It’s really hard to imagine it can be any other way .

    But others didn’t love DIA, but now it’s clear for most of us ,we being had, Like all origin stories,, how we got to where we are ? The real story is much more complex and history is full of betrayal. They beat the hell out of our people into submission. The new default paradigm formed the lens through which DAI viewed Eritrea ,in unleashing his brutal and barber savages and plenty of violence. Honorable innocent Eritrean societies banished to the bottom of the ladder of the society . until one must give up basic freedoms , like the freedom to object the ruler . You are expected to sacrifice yourselves for the regime. Eritrean youth are deemed especially suitable offerings to sacrifice. Eritrean are struggling with distrust, powerlessness, and disillusionment…

  • iSem

    Hi All:
    ኸዲጃ ኣድማይ ሓደ ዓርከይ ከይሰምዓኪ
    I stumble upon a new song Kedija Adem called yesterday (ማለ) here is the translation of the lyrics
    Yesterday I came from Gash Barka welcome me I am your guest
    Yesterday I came from Anserba, entrainment me, I am your guest
    Yesterday I came from Sahel welcome me I am your guest
    Yesterday I came from Kebessa enteraiment I am your guest
    Yesterday I came from Dankalia welcome me I am your guest
    Then song veers to the familiar shallow lyrics that plagues Tigray songs these days like: her “shelili” is long and it is wraps around her like a twine. She is the “siray” antidote for disease among them eye disease. I want to meet such girl.
    PFDJ love yesterday and I used to complain about their focus on yesterday instead of today and tomorrow. But now a new year’s revelation brought me to terms with their affection of yesterday and it will come to haunt them when I sing, nay write
    Yesterday I was your prisoner in Ela Ero release me
    Yesterday I was shot at Mai Haber bury me
    Yesterday I drowned in Lampedusa, take my remains home
    Yesterday the shark swallowed me, like Jonas save me
    Yesterday I was a founding father enshrine my name
    Yesterday I perished in the Sahara and my organs were harvested
    Yesterday I paid 30k to save my brother, reimburse me
    Yesterday, yesterday, yesterday, yesterday
    I have a friend, and he is also your friend he hates such lyrics and his put down for such lines is “roaming geography lesson.” But there is exception to his rule with Goitom Afwerki’s Asmara Asmara song where the singers roam every alley from Medeshto to Kombishtat. The friend’s only beef about this song is that he had to wait till almost the end of the song to hear the neighborhood of his child mentioned.
    To give you a hint the next project of this friend is to open a cigar and tea shop in Nefasit but since that is not possible now, he is improvising and he has opened his cigar store virtually and I wanted to improvise as well and when I visited his virtual store for a cup of green tea I was greeted with a song, which is worse than Kedija Admay’s “Yesterday” and all the geography roaming songs. In the song in question that he put to torment me Kahsay Berhe croons DaErona (our Oak
    Our Oak, justice and culture and dignity are found under its shade
    Our Oak, an expression of identity, we debate, deliberate and compromise under your cool shad
    Our Oak is devoid of bribery and bias and favoritism
    Our Oak is the epitome of justice and compromise from antiquity
    Our Oak is the keeper of family values
    Our Oak you own love and jubilation and serenity and unity
    Our Oak And you our alley and refuge against unjust and invaders
    Wow I want to meet such Eritrean Oak tree.
    The oak is known for its long life and sturdy wood for furniture, unless the oak has acquired sentience since I left Eritrea.
    Today’s mighty Oak is yesterday’s nut that kept it ground is a more apt description of the oak as opposed of describing the Oak tree as the citadel of justice and compromise and wisdom.
    Happy New Year friend and thanks for for tormenting with lyrics about the animate songs, the Hobay of the sky sounds genius song now:-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuzzglAM4zU&list=RDGuzzglAM4zU&start_radio=1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOq_Wr_G4x4

    • Haile S.

      Selam iSem,

      Happy New Year! Here is my version & a gift for you, modified from ጥዑም ቃንኡ ዘርኢሰናይ ግርማይ https://youtu.be/tKfbKb-6ER8

      ከዛርቡና እንድዮም ደልዮምና
      ስቕና ካየንብሩና

      ለምለም Sycamore እንከሎ ጽቡቕ ቆጽሉ
      እንታይ’ድሎም Oak Oak Oak ዝብሉ

      ዓቢ ዳዕሮ እንከሎ ባይቶ ዝውዕለሉ
      እንታይ’ድሎም ኦክ’ዩ ዝብሃል ዝብሉ

      ኣብ ቋንቋ ሃገርና ሽም ዘይብሉ፡ ዝፍለጠሉ
      ናቶም ዘንጊዖም፡ ዝጥቀሙ ናይ ዝቕመጥሉ
      የፍርሃኒ ኣውሊዖም Maple’ዩ ዝበሃል ካይብሉ
      ምሕረት የውርደሎም ነዊሕዎም ስደት ምኹብላሉ

      ዓዶም ተመሊሶም ይፍጠረሎም መልሓስ ዘጽርይሉ
      ኣይንደልን ኢና ብእኡ ቢሎም ጽርግፍ ክብሉ
      ኣይንደልን ኢና ጽርግፍ ክብሉ
      ኣይንደልን ጽርግፍ ክብሉ

      • iSem

        Hi Haile S:
        Happy New year to you to
        And this is a put down, while those who are in Shire and Wollo are EDF/PFDJ in support of ENDF so the singer to me is an other watta not an artist. I am not sure where he lives but apparently he cannot critique PFDJ’s incursions to murder Eritrean youth, he is unable to to utter a word about Ela-Ero and the others so he is telling us about the sycamore tree that are no more due to deforestation “fahham” So you should put takedown from your mind’s pedestal. Probably a good new year resolution get over him:-)
        in an other song your beloved sings : ኣታ ንህዝበይ ዘይኽውን አንተ ሪአስ ክዛአርብ አየ ክድሕድሖ!So has he ever? or does he think that what PFDJ is doing ንህዝበይ ይኽ ውን አዪ.
        To me he is an other PFDJ gun unless you prove me otherwise. And you know what guns do

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Sem,

          This guy’s song is an antithesis to “Daerona” by Kahsay Berhe. So also his supporters.

          Regard

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Sem,

      ዳዕሮና ጽላል ባይቶና
      ዳዕሮና መልህቅ ሓድነትና
      ዳዕሮና መኤንገዲት ሓሳብ ኩልና
      ዳዕሮና መመንጨዊት ፍትሕና
      ዳዕሮና መምሃሪት ልቦና
      ዳዕሮና ልጓም ቀይዲ በተኽና
      ዳዕሮና ጸረ ኣባገነናውያን ኣሕዋትና
      ዳዕሮና መግለጺ ሰብኣውነትና
      ዳዕሮና መሐለዊት ሰላምና
      ዳዕሮና መብረሆ ሕብረተ-ሰብኣዊ ንቅሓትና
      ዳዕሮና ምልክት ኩለኤንታውና።

      ስለዚ ሓው ሰመረ ምስ ምቅንጻል ዳዕሮና፤-

      ልቦ-ኣልባነት ሳዕሪሩ፤
      ምልኪ ዓምሪሩ
      ሰላምና ጠፊኡ ጸሪሩ

      መኣዲ ሓሳባት ስኢኑ፣
      ቀይዲ በተኽነት ገኒኑ
      ኣራዊታዊ ተግባር ሰሲኑ
      ሰብኣውነትና ከም ትኪ በኒኑ
      ሓድነትና ማህሚኑ

      ልዕላውነትና ኣስጊኡ
      ፍትሒ ጠፊኡ
      ጦብላሕታዊ ምትእኽኻብ ኾይኑ መርኣይኡ
      ኣብየት ኣብዩት እንታይ ክኸውንዩ መወዳእትኡ

    • saay7

      Haha iSem:

      You are relentless: you didn’t respond to the poem in the article. You didn’t even comment at length on Khedijah poem: instead you used it to veer off to your commentary which is quite the norm in discussion forums like Awate U.

      The oak is a sacred tree in many cultures, no? It is supposed to be a sign of shelter, resilience, and in our case እሂን ምሂን which is why it made it to the Nakfa currency, no?

      As I get further encamped in exile, I understand there is sometimes some value for the geography roaming songs, perfected by some of our greatest artists. Alamin Abduketif was interviewed by Dehai (omer kekya) in the 1990s and he talked of what his songs meant to Eritreans in Sudan: they loved that he was singing in their language and that he did a lot of name-droppping of towns.

      You can have these towns mentioned in love songs or battle zones, as has been the case in Ethiopia during the stupid war, or absence of infrastructure connecting them (any Isaias interview.) So you gotta pick your poison buddy.

      Happy Slightly Used Year!

      saay

      • iSem

        Hi Sal:
        Correct, I did not comment on the article, but of course I did comment on Khadeja’s lyrics. And the way I commented on. I was trying to draw parallels between KA’s yesterday song and the inanimate Daero, which I found in Nefasit teashop and Book and cigar store.com:-)
        And if you got who it was addressed then I think you know I commented on the KA’s Yesterday song. You can replace Yesterday with tomorrow and you get the same thing but no Today in PFDJ’s land
        I also commented on the lyrics in its often used lines of “shelila wo siray etnat wo dimma” 🙂
        Have I veered again

        • saay7

          Hi iSem:

          Yes, you have veered, but it’s beautiful stream of consciousness. Thought we had lost you during the ትግራይ ትስዕር season of madness 😎

          I love that you remain outraged at NNNN. This is their story:

          “I have squandered my resistance
          For a pocketful of mumbles
          Such are promises
          All lies and jest
          Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
          And disregards the rest.”

          Now, who wrote that? No googling.

          saay

          • iSem

            Hi Sal:
            Easy Oscar Wilding. Any good writer/poet is Irish.
            Can I google now? I honored your humor system of not googling.

            outraged agaisnt NNNNN is a constant

          • saay7

            Happy Friday iSem:

            In the immortal words of Trump: “WRONG!” :). Yeah you can Google it or take my word for it: the decidedly non-Irish Paul Simon.

            saay

          • iSem

            Thanks Sal:
            I will take your word. who needs google when we have google:-)

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dear Abdulkader,

    What a talent! I read it thrice to rejuvenate my thoughts and my engagements in the current struggle. The rhyme of the poem and it’s content is breathtaking. Indeed, if I were an acquaintance of you who knows your talent, I wouldn’t spare you from nagging you, like your friend, to share this beautiful poem with Awate community. Let it flow, let it flow, to quench the thirsty of our minds.

    Regard

  • aklilu zere

    Dear Brother Abdulkader:

    Thank you, Thank you…Million times for sharing with us this revealing and illuminating poem. It is an all encompassing work of ART. Beautiful, Elegant and Truthful.

    God Bless you and I pray that you continue fulfilling the very Gift that God endowed you to share with us the Misérables!!

  • Haile S.

    Selam Abdulkader,

    Exquisite!

    Bring out the pain
    Loosen, unrestrain
    So to hear, us the ‘sane’
    Cold is better for bloodstain
    Wash & dump it away down the drain
    To let the space for warmth to install & remain

  • Ismail AA

    Selam Abdulkader O. Ali,

    Excellence at its prime. An all round literary gem – simple to read, easy to follow the coherence and rich in content and mission. If your perfectionist nature still goads you to do more refining, the humble mine has already been saturated with too much perfection the poems depict. Thank so much for sharing them, and gratitude is also shared to the brother who had persuaded you to have it published.