Angolan Spectrum

Violet dusk disappears over the children's
everlasting football game on shrinking urban mud.

Indigo storm clouds emerge with dawn
to argue over fertile killing fields below.

Blue, new uniforms adorn the soft torsos
of moto-cops waiting to distort their pockets.

Green in a million hues shades the Kwanza river;
every kid in this eye-candy Eden grows with bilharzia.

Yellow speckles the wings of giant butterflies,
stains the eyes of drinkers drowning their war.

Orange hair marks the innocents with malnutrition,
the lucky ones to have lived so long.

Red, thick, deep, Africa's generous soil
here yields a richer harvest of bones and mines.

Black night sky above the no-tech shanty town;
undimmed brilliant stars light a comrade's komba.*

White flesh on a tramp rummaging amongst rubbish:
mad abandoned relic of the crazy colonial conceit.

Bryan Murphy

* Note: a komba is a kind of wake held 30 days after a person's death.

If you've any comments on this poem, Bryan Murphy would be pleased to hear from you.