Ben Banda

Rookie (1975 / Kenya)

What Is Joy? - Poem by Ben Banda

What is joy
If the teacher’s cane
Comes out of classrooms joyfully
Hugging conmen and murderers!

What is joy
If the temples' doors swallow
Society’s deviants to let out masks
On masks for masks joyfully!

What is joy
If our Orchard’s nurses,
Rains chase away to woo for pay
Rain’s waters by the riverbanks!

What is joy
If our fathers and mothers
Sow their bedrooms and roses
In the courts' law lords!

What is joy
If our chosen captains
Sail on these courses of woe,
Our only nation’s Ark!

What is joy
If you’ll hear and bemoan these
Just tomorrow’s nights to find you
Camped against your vows!

What is joy
If you hate my voice
To yearn for it when ruined in the next
Ship-wreck you can salvage!

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Comments about What Is Joy? by Ben Banda

  • Linda Hepner (3/9/2006 12:05:00 AM)

    Lyrical and tormented, almost like an anti-prayer. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, July 14, 2005

Poem Edited: Saturday, May 15, 2010


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