Peace by Lloyd Anafi

21st November 1997 at 00:00
This week's poem comes from Malawi, sent by Caro Bastable who has remained a faithful reader of The TES during her two years VSO. Lloyd Anafi has chosen to write about a terrible, and, for him, a very real and local problem - that of Aids orphans in Malawi's villages. His poem is the more powerful for being controlled. He personifies Aids as a terrible visitor, and makes us understand the priorities of the orphaned child through the series of contrasts in the third stanza. The poem gives us a glimpse of a different landscape, where "peace is scattered like trees in the desert".

NO PEACE

I had peace

before your arrival,

You brought sorrow

into my heart,

Peace was scattered

like trees in the desert.

Since your arrival

I have no support,

- no love,

- no comfort,

Unpleasant and bitter

Unwelcome visitor,

My neighbours' remains

are now my food,

Their waste my wages,

Going to school

is now just a dream

Escorting their children

my homework,

Hard work and aching

body my only lessons,

My heart floods with anger,

No place for peace

in my heart,

so full of resentment,

I detest you Aids

for stealing my parents!

LLOYD ANAFI

Lloyd Anafi, aged 18, receives Slattern by Kate Clanchy (Chatto Windus). Submitted by Ms Caro Bastable of Mangochi Secondary School, Malawi, who receives a set of Poetry Society posters with teacher's notes. For Poetry Society events, ring 0171 240 2133.

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