Poem: When Evening Comes

When evening comes
and duty is done,
the sky comes down
with a gratitude veil
to carry home,
he who has completed his job
and teach a lesson to those he has led;
that progress at home
is not without sacrifices
and whatever our deeds,
the evening exposes
in the going of the sunlight
what we took for granted.

We mourn him,
who has joined our ancestors:
our lion and pride from the land of Serengeti,
our treasure and giant from the land of tanzanite
our torch and light from the land of Kilimanjaro
our servant and liberator from the land of union
our awakening messenger and warrior from Tanzania,
our very own and now gone, John Pombe Magufuli.

Evening has come
The land is dark
The embers die
The winds not speaking
The ocean screaming
The mystical hour arrived
Man wails
Animal howls
Harvest withers
The blow is marked
Sinking hopes grip tight
Webs of shadows cut the sky
Will the mountain dissolve to the ocean?
Will the generations surrender to gloom?
Will the heirs stand crippled?
Should breaths be held
as sunrise is awaited?
Should hope fill chests
as God’s own ray is anticipated?
No, darkness will not take over.
Tanzania will walk with heavenly grace,
as morning will come.

When morning comes,
And tears have stopped flowing,
The heirs will come together
To share their inheritance.
When generations of tomorrow gather,
From the western Rift Valley, the home of Lake Victoria
to the Indian Ocean in the heart of Zanzibar,
they will drill into his legacy and build
their own path to bravery.
The duty is done.
Barriers torn,
way paved,
to a greater nation.
So, sleep well John Pombe Magufuli.
Sleep well among the giants of Africa.
Sleep well with the giants who paved the way,
for daring boldly and greatly.

*Elegy for the late John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, the fifth president of Tanzania. This poem is co-authored with Sandra Aikaruwa Mushi and Nasikiwa Susie from Tanzania.

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