Poems

What Is A Nation?

If you can't hold back from that which harms you
you end up hapless with no handle on events:
the one who never hesitates goes headlong in the fire -
we all can lose our way but to choose to stray is hateful.

Somalis, here's a cause we failed to lift on high
or hold to, whether in times past or presently:
until our heritage or our habitude is harrowed,
until our nation's bounty has been branded by a foe,
and till his host invades us and claims our own inheritance -

Lay down your arms, do no hurt, and hold back from war!
A bitter heart forgets how blaming bruises kinsfolk:
let this morning hear your harmony, your ardour to be whole;
have no designs except to heal and hold fast to our hope.
Either with God's help decide what is a nation
and from that hour in that endeavour help yourself,
or harbour grudges in horror since you have no head for crisis.

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