I think about you, Mogadishu

Posted: January 10, 2014 in SOMALI POETRY
Tags: , , , ,


Mogadishu - Pic cred: wiki

Mogadishu – Pic cred: wiki

 Following from my previous post on the admiration I have developed for Somalia and Somali literature, I have spent a couple of days reading and writing about the country. It is some sort of romance tempered by distance and the fact that we have never met. So I stay thinking about my new literary love and the product is poem after poem after poem. I have written three poems (finished two) about this country I long to visit and experience, all the poems bearing the same title, ‘I think about you, Mogadishu‘. I share here with you the second and will be grateful if you read that first article of longing for a country that tugs at the heart of an artist. It has had a difficult history  but one day we shall sit on the shores of Mogadishu, forget all that has been, and talk about poetry under moonlight accompanied by a little happy dance. We shall talk about love.

I think about you, Mogadishu

You star in my nightmares
You seduce in my temple
You challenge my sleep.

You keep me up till 11:30
Then you wake me at midnight
You should leave in the morning
You should leave in the afternoon
But by evening you’re still here
Strange damsel of my dreams
I think about you.

You hide many secrets in your hijab
I cannot unravel nor understand
Your smile is brighter, embarrasses the sun
You frown darker than night.
When you turn and walk away, I know you want me to follow
You tell me nothing; only in your eyes I see everything
Strange damsel of my dreams
I think about you.

You have been intimate with sorrow
Worn heartbreaks like a thousand wristbands
Each one for each day
Your arms are short or you will wear
One for each hour.
And even now there is no space for more.
Maybe underneath, you hide the scars of many lives
One life lived many times.
Because you have died. And resurrected.
And died again. And you’re here
Tattooed with eternity
Going in and out of my dreams, strange damsel
I think about you.

You have shores but they have no sands
Sand is flimsy; you have rocks.
Rocks for engraving the names of past loves
Love rocks.
You love rocks.
Your love rocks.
But the rocks are bare.
Your loves have left you, craving you, reaching
But unable.
How does it feel to be loved and left alone?

Strange damsel of my dreams
I have not seen you before
But not a day passes that I don’t think about you
One day
I shall look for you
Carrying my album of dreams and fantasies,
my only pictures of you.
Pursue you across museums of the brokenhearted
Are you black like I am?
There is no colour in a dream.

I think about you
Fair lady on the rim of the rising sun
Your love has taken me prisoner
And you don’t even know me.
I will show you the cuffs when I arrive
Where it burns a golden brown into my wrist
Night comes and my sleep is threatened
For you will stand again at the gate of my sleep,
Commanding new nightmares.
I think about you, Mogadishu.

  1. mj says:

    The soul has a memory that reaches beyond and behind lived life… those old lives reach out to us often, telling us about ourselves more than natal charts can.
    Your poem to Mogadishu echoes remembered want, a life that might have been unlived – or partly lived.

    It is full of sorrow, and stirred with the honey of love and nostalgia…. difficult to believe you have never been to Mogadishu.


    • Dela says:

      Beautiful, beatiful response, MJ. Your poetry is always alive, always breathing, always fresh. Mogadishu has become to me a concept, an idea that precipitates desire, even though it is shrouded in much secrecy; from me, from itself, from us. Trust me, in my mind, I have been to Mogadishu a thousand times. Only in my mind. She’s beautiful beyond the words of three poems.


  2. Samuel Ezebunandu says:

    Love rocks
    You love rocks
    Your love rocks…

    That was simply awesome!


  3. Sun-dipped African says:

    This is beautiful Dela, your love of my home always makes me tragically nostalgic. Mogadisho, you gleaming pearl of the Indian Ocean, how I wish I could lay asleep on your shores again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dela says:

      I identify with you on the love for Mogadishu and sympathise that your nostalgia is tragic. I’m looking forward to that day when we shall all gather on that shore and talk about being loved and not left alone.


  4. Lista says:

    awesome blog to read…love to read it, thanks for all.


  5. mj says:

    Hi, I came by today because I felt I needed to read something from your pen. I hope you will give us something soon.
    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lul says:

    I am left speechless,,,,I am 100% sure all Somali’s everywhere have dreamed about Mogadishu at least once in their life time and this poem sum’s it all up. I think about you, Mogadishu..LOVE

    By the way who wrote it?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reading poems that pull memories never had is very rare.
    This poem is more than beautiful imagery. It is the sort of piece that I want to read everyday to remind myself that we are not mere humans but extraordinary vessels of thought and imagination with the ability to create beauty….
    I enjoyed reading this, word for word, line for line…
    you’re a great poet.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Safia Mohamed says:

    enjoyed it very much. thank ladan.


  9. LegendaryCJN says:

    I’ve read these lines again and again, but it seems I still can’t say much.
    Simply put, I’ve been awestruck by your creativity. You are so good. Keep it up bro.
    Πo wonder I keep coming to this blog and tweeting it.


    • Dela says:

      Yeah I saw that tweet. So glad you find this beautiful. Pray for Mogadishu if you can. Someday we’ll read this poem together on its peaceful sandy shores. ;)


  10. […] I posted my first poem of this same title on Mogadishu more than a year and a half ago, I wrote in the introduction that I was writing three poems of the […]


  11. […] Read the rest of the poem […]


  12. joseyphina says:

    Lovely piece there. Made me eagerly curious to experience the place for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. geelayo says:

    Wao. This is simply awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hamstar says:

    Reblogged this on hamstarcreatives and commented:
    i feel the deep emotions expressed…check this out


  15. Hamstar says:

    .beautiful. you write too well


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