A visit to Kiambaa

One of the things that David did during his recent trip to Kenya was to visit the massacre site at Kiambaa. It was a profoundly disturbing and moving experience and he wrote this poem afterwards:

Mourning’s devotions, Morning’s death.

On the morning of 1st January 2008, near Eldoret, approximately 70 people were hacked or burned to death around and in a mud church where they sought refuge. No one is certain of the numbers, but the victims included a wheelchair user, and many women and children. A discarded woman’s shoe, a burnt handbag, some wooden markers and a femur remain.

Have you been to Kiambaa?

It’s not far,

Just round the corner

From your bed,

And you’ll be dead.

I have been to Kiambaa,

And it’s not far.

A journey round the bend,

A rough road’s lurch,

And there’s the church.

They came to Kiambaa.

It was not far.

With murders’ fire,

Mercy forgot,

They burned the lot.

Let’s walk to Kiambaa.

It’s not far.

Down savage tracks,

We fall so fast

To our dark past.

Let’s walk on Kiambaa.

It’s not far.

A bone protrudes,

Look what we’ve found,

Graves, names and mounds.

Let’s talk at Kiambaa.

It’s not far.

Stand on razed ground,

And learn perhaps,

Not to relapse.

Copyright ©, David Cooke, 17-07-2012

The project we will be joining in December is addressing the legacy of such events.        What a challenge, yet what a privilege!


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