Poem: Can You Hear Him?

Can you hear him whispering behind his window

Can you hear the rain tick against the glass ever so slow

To remind him that the rain hasn’t stopped for years

But the pavement isn’t drenched with water but with blood and tears

The revolution has started, and the mob is cold hearted

Can’t distinguish friend from foe, nor those living or departed

All they see is rage and pain

So many different reasons to revolt, but their screams the same

Freedom … Freedom

This is the chant that reaches the sky

These are the words for which many will die

But the revolution doesn’t care

So he stands behind his window with an empty glare

And he looks down upon the fighting, the gunshots and the hate

He looks down upon all those who want control over their own fate

They no longer want to rob, just so they can eat

No longer want to be scared walking down their own street

This isn’t for oil, religious reasons or terrorists … No

This isn’t for wealth, fame or recognition … No

They are fighting for peace

And until success the revolution will not cease

Until they have what they are screaming for

Nothing less and nothing more

Freedom … Freedom

So he stands behind his window, patiently waiting

Until those in power decide to share

Until those in power decide they care

Until they do Africa is bleeding

And with it the economy is dying

This is not rain this is a country crying

And the people are tired of drowning in these tears

Tired of waiting until the smoke clears

So they stand up strong and keep their heads high

If Africa is to be reborn, let it first die

That is the revolution that’s why they fight

Trapped in darkness but there’s a small piece of light

Freedom … Freedom

This is for that child that had to watch his family get shot

This is for that child that keeps watching the sky hoping for blessings to drop

His stomach is round, filled with nothing but air

And I won’t waste your time asking if it’s fair

But this is for that child that had to drop out of school

No money to pay tuition but wants to go to school

The child that rather studies then plays and gets called a fool

Freedom of ignorance, knowledge its tool

So he stands behind the window, realizing he is dead

Shot in the head by the same revolution that said

This is for the people, and he was hoping it was a dream

But it isn’t so he makes two fists and he wants to scream

Freedom … Freedom

But he doesn’t, calmness comes over him

And he realizes one thing

The revolutions first step has finally been made

Sacrifices for freedom seems like a fair trade

So instead of screaming freedom he lifts his fist in the air and starts chanting a soft mantra

 Africa, Africa, Africa, Africa, Africa, Africa, Africa, Africa,

Can you hear him?


This was the first time I tried a crowd participation poem. And I must say I loved it, I was hooked on the feeling. Of having everyone listening and cheering along as I instructed them. Makes me feel like a rock star. I want to thank the girls from Cinnamon Wednesdays for the chance to perform there. And the crowd of course, for joining in and making my poem work.