(Mahjoub Sharif, January 1, 1948 – April 2, 2014)
Sudan’s great poet, dead?
Why hadn’t we heard him?
Why didn’t we crowd the streets,
mourning like the people of his city?
Mahjoub Sharif, the revolutionary
dictators could not suppress,
prison could not stifle,
hard earth could not deny.
Mahjoub Sharif, the people’s prophet
lamenting his riven homeland—
“The Trees Have Passed”;
declaring bullets are not life’s seeds—
“Born Are the Beautiful Children”;
and scorning a despot clinging to power—
Mahjoub Sharif, who viewed life
through the lens of conscience,
one’s soul undying.
Sanguine, inspiriting, egalitarian:
Mahjoub Sharif stands just beyond our door.
How long must he wait outside?
~ Darrell Petska
Darrell Petska worked more than 30 years as an editor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before academia he worked as a psychiatric tech/caseworker and nursing home evaluator. His poetry has appeared in ‘Otoliths’, ‘About Place Journal’, ‘Lummox’, ‘HEArt Online’, ‘Blast Furnace’, ‘The New Verse News’ and elsewhere.