Teach me a worthy slogan…
When I first heard of silence they used to call it patience
‘It’s early days’… ‘we have only just arrived’…
‘Things can’t be perfect yet’
‘You must be patient’
They said
I heard
I then learnt more silence and this time it was called wisdom
‘We have enemies’… ‘We are not home or dry’
‘They are all waiting for us to wither and die’
‘Things will get better soon’
‘Be wise for now’…’be silent’
They said…
…I was quiet
Then they taught me the silence of prudence… their prudence
‘These people are vicious’… ‘these people are mean’
‘Don’t try and defy them they will not relent’
‘Let someone else deal with them’
‘Just bide your time and stay quiet’
They advised and I heard
I was silent
Then they taught me the silence of absolute fear… of terror…
Terrified I looked at them in shock at their brute force
Their utter disregard… the evil in their wake
My eyes were wide open as was my mouth
But not a word would come out
No need for cautions then
I was totally cut off
I was speechless
Now I no longer have needs for wisdom… no need to caution a corpse
A dead spirit is not afraid or terrified… a carcass is not harmed by bullets
Nor is a cadaver shocked into silence… in the face of the untold…
Today, I simply don’t know what to say or how to say it
My soul was emptied of words
Sounds of prudence
Reasons of wisdom
Stiffness of shock
Twenty years on
I am Mute
And songs
I need ideas
And vibrant expressions
I need metaphors and meanings
I need motivation and stories… of strength
I need an ideology… a set of principles to live by
I need philosophies to examine… theories to explore
I need a fresh truth to uncover and history to discover
  I need to relearn an old slogan to shout at the top of my voice
Awet n’hafash!
Awet n’hafash!
Awet n’hafash!
What a dream!
What a vision!
What a slogan!

Selam Kidane
May 2011