Ethiopia Libations Poetry

Somali camps to Addis to PA to IN

Goldfinches hit the thistle seeds in the feeder and crickets are emerging with their night songs.  Dusk is upon me, as is a 3 beer buzz, the third being a Nugget Nectar from the brewery by the Susquehanna River.  It is fairly quiet in my back yard, mind the passing car out front.  My neighbor sits on a chair in his yard, smoking a cigarette while reading something or other.

Two weeks ago I had not yet met Muhammed.  A day under two weeks later and a day has yet to pass where I don’t think about him. 

My Dad’s retired, a man that has worked his body into the earth–farmer, butcher, tree trimmer, roofer, landscaper, painter…  You name it, and he’s done it, manual labor that is.  A party marked the end of his official “job,” though his work will not end until he’s passed on.  Some say he’s a fool to charge so little for his work, but maybe they fail to understand his ethics–ask a person to pay what they can afford, or ask only what is fair.  No need to have excess when it can’t go with you into the grave.

A cardinal, resplendent in its feathered regalia, has arrived to the scene.  Sing me your song too. 

Three years ago Addis wasn’t like it is now.  The gap between rich and poor is more obvious, or has grown more.  This is especially pronounced in the Bole area of the city. 

Perhaps Hafiz would have something to say at this point, but he’s inside and I’m not getting up to fetch him.



the ceramic man face on the garage wall

looking over the unkempt flower garden

is telling me that i should seek out the stars

tonight and have another beer because

why the hell not or why the hell shouldn’t i

when i have nothing to do tomorrow except

wake up and work on a laptop from the comfort

of my american household where the biggest

concern is whether i want to turn on the news and

deal with non-reality or look at the photos of

my time with somali refugees and be reminded of

what life is really about and what really matters


Dusk is near dark, and my bottle is near empty.  The birds no longer are around, but the fireflies–PA’s offical state insect–are coming out. 

I love fireflies!

1 comment on “Somali camps to Addis to PA to IN

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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