June 1, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Aaron Minnick photo



Alem Hailu G/Kristos




Legacies (A poetic one scene drama)



Introduction before the curtain is opened.

–>The stage conductor addresses the audience.

Instead of non-stop
Condemning the past
Let us do our part
To lift our country
From economic morass fast.

Better than licking a wound,
Taking corrective measures
On former leaders’ mistakes
We could,
Capitalizing, on what
They did good.

(Open Curtain)

–> Enters Emperor Tewodros II

I had tried
Citizens to unite
So that
They will not
Stop short of might
When invaders they fight!

I had also exemplified
Portraying a spectacular
Self dignity and pride
Whatever sacrifices
Trying times demand,
A coward,
An Ethiopian must not
Yield a hand.

To convey
I had also tried,
Though possible
As a tourist, explorer and
Even a covert spy
To enjoy oneself in
Ethiopia, famed for
A hospitable land
The impossibility
To carry away with
A shoe
Ethiopia’s golden
Silt or a sand.

–> Enters Emperor Yohannes IV

In the battle of Gundat
And Gura
I had shuttered
Egyptians’, Khedivi’s,
Their European advisers’
And North Americans’ aura.

Revolted by
A scramble for domestic power
Or salivating for wealth
And abhorring
Stooping to things glittering,
Defending my country
And faith
Valorous, on the forefront
Of a battle
I did shake hands
With the angel of death.

There are lessons
You should learn,
Adoring your country
Rent seeking
You have to shun,
Putting my country first
A notable self sacrifice
As I had done!

–> Enters Emperor Menelik II

Simply with
A sword and a spear
Carrying a shield
And riding a horse,
I did chase out
To its teeth
With modern weapon
Armed invading force.

When citizens
Join force and unite
With a golden pen
History they can write
History that flickers light
The oppressed, worldwide,
Could win if they fight
For their
God-bestowed right.

Also to modernization
According focal attention
Must be the task of
A given nation
If ignorance and disease
Their tight grip
Must cease.

–> Enters Emperor Haile selassie I

When many warned me
“You will live to regret
Your good gesture!”
To the development of
My country giving
Focal attention
I allowed students pursue
Further education.

I also allowed many here
And abroad a broad-array of
Subjects learn
And their poor country
Serve in their turn.

A prophet
I exposed League of Nation’s
Double standard
So that
They all understand
“Though today
Ethiopia’s turn
The flame of fascism
And Nazism
Supper powers too will burn!”
It was my wont
In the diplomatic mission
To bring
My country to the front!

Along with fellow leaders,
It was my dream object,
To de-colonize
And unite the continent.

That is why many
Saw for a continental seat
—OAU later AU—
Ethiopia fit.

–> President Mengistu Haile Mariam

As revolution
Was the day’s talk
With the progressive
I broke
On peasants and
The proletariat
Imposed yoke.

Sied Barre’s
Unexpected attack
And intrusion
I had managed
To reverse back,
Also fighting
Mass illiteracy
Was my
Outstanding task.

In fact,
I did try to keep
My country intact.

–>Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

My long-cherished bent
Was ensuring
Political pluralism
And democracy’s advent
For which cause
My youth and adulthood
I spent.

I and combatants
After tyranny
To a grave sent,
I invited
Marginalized states
To come aboard and
Equally enjoy
Development’s boon.

In an astounding
Developmental feat
I was out
The unconquerable

—Blue Nile—

To defeat.
Also against poverty
A similar victory repeat.

What is more
On the road
Of Renaissance
I did inspire
Over 80 ethnic group
Forward to run
Actualizing a leap in
Their life span.

A win-win
Environment smart growth
Was what, charismatic,
On the global arena
I brought forth
Making super powers believe
Giving attention to Africa
Is worth.

–> Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn

In trying times
Not to allow
Started mega projects
Suffer a setback
I saw to
Things are on the right track.

More than one cabinet reshuffle
In the leading party
Deep renewal and reform,
Together with members,
I did perform!

To a peaceful power transition
I have set a glaring example
A move
In Africa many took unthinkable!
Averse to rent seeking
I am patted on the back
“You have done a nice thing!”

(Close Curtain)

–> Introducer

To grab the rein
Of power
At the cost of harm
Allowing one ethnic group
On others to tower
Sluggishness in resource
Utilization, not allowing
Development to equally
And fast flower,
Harboring fright
When citizens exercise
Their allowed democratic right
Are follies
The coming generations
Have to fight
So that
Ensues peace
And days bright,
Off springs of Lucy
We have to always unite!






What a lesson it got



History has it that
“United we stand
Divided we fall!”
Was the secret
That helped
The victorious
stand tall.

Similarly A,B…Y and Z
Ethnic groups all
Some major, while some
In number small
For ages were
on the ball
Whenever there is a call
Eveready nation’s
development spur
Or aggressor to deter.

Pursuant of a trick
“Divide and rule!
Fish in a troubled water
Putting siblings asunder”
The formula for the cruel, Z
Tried to thwart A,B…Y’s
social fabric
Not sparing a single brick.

An upstart z drove a wedge
Among A, B….Y, on the sly.
But they asked “Dissension why?”
Isn’t UNITY what in our
Formative years we bought!
And together they went
For z’s throat
To deprive it the devilish power

it terribly sought
Now z is fighting a
battle lost
What a lesson it got!






Alem Hailu G/Kristos

A published poet, novelist, editor, translator of masterpieces, literary critic, playwright and journalist from Ethiopia. M.A holder in literature, Addis Ababa University.

Looking for a traditional publisher of a collection of poems. My novel: ‘Hope from the debris of hopelessness’.

Editor review


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