Sorrow for Sin


And almost forgotten

In the callous weekend grave

Relatively dug for getting rid of her.

In the midst of the village for remembrance,

Yet the mound danced flat for ignoring.

It's too painful to recall, so let's forget,

And the sooner the better.



For respect,

Griefless, wailing crocodiles,

Just to keep up with the Joneses.

Yet they are mourning with all the hurt of heart-felt separation

From mother, inspirited as one who hovers.


These Christians -

Have they no sorrow either? 

Or is theirs the kind that's mine just now

Listening to them remind me of what I'm like.

Guilt, remorse, my wretched self;

Shunned from my mind

In the temporary happiness of make-believe

That a wearied conscience brings.



The sorrow becomes real;

Stimulated into thinking of it all again

As the drum emphasises their words.

But go on; relax, put it out of the mind.

What can a drum do anyhow?


Our drum

Will drive them away -

Treacherous disturbers of the peace,

We'll disturb theirs.

Dance every dance that you can remember,

Drum every rhythm you might have known.

Leave us and go; let us cultivate sorrow

For grandma.


So they go,

But His spirit stays grieved.


An open-air meeting in a mourning Zambian village.


October 1969