(To confined Eritrean journalists and writers)
You are there, where
No word, no light, no hope comes from,
Jailed by cursed men
Who are enjoying
Your incessant pain.
You are there, where,
Your vintage-young photos in mind,
We try to envisage about
Your interminable pain,
Caused by your gallant pen.
And you are always here,
In our enduring thoughts
From that we may learn a lesson
To prevent our children’s
Impending cloud of pain.
But you are always here,
In our hearts, where
We are longing for a moment
to console your endless torment.
But you are still in your cells
Where your jailers’ psyche
Bewildered like Cain’s conscience
And we, we are here
Befuddled to figure out
What and how to do about
Longing to borrow Orpheus’ magic Kirar
But casually embracing Christ’s wooden tower.
Ermias Ekube – August 2023
Ermias Ekube is a Sweden-based Eritrean contemporary artist born and raised in Addis Ababa-Ethiopia. He studied at the Addis Ababa University, Alle School of Fine Arts and Design. In 1994, he co-founded the Asmara School of Fine Arts and taught for several years. Until he left Eritrea in 2012, he had monitored young and emerging artists.
In exile, he continued to work in his studio and to exhibit at different venues in Sweden and abroad. His art works are found in many public and private collections worldwide. Ermias publishes his poems in most of his exhibition catalogues as part of his creative process. He is represented by Ed Cross Art Gallery in London – UK. Ermias is the current president of Pen Eritrea in Exile. firstname.lastname@example.org