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Ngengi, Kelly and Behroozian


The Seeds of Freedom



Freedom lovers are there.

Many know the pain

Freedom lovers get.


Freedom seed is there

in all races.

Doesn’t germinate, doesn’t grow, doesn’t last.


No water to grow:

pour blood, it grows

missing blood, it withers.


Freedom not available

to cowards and the shaky:

heroes are far apart.


G.G. Njuguna Ngengi. G.G. with three other human rights activists was falsely charged with attempted robbery following an alleged raid on the Bahati police station in 1993.  G.G. and Kigiwa Wamwere, a Cornell educated African and former member of parliament, were sentenced to prison after a controversial trial that was condemned by the European Union and Amnesty International. After his release from prison, G.G. traveled to Chattanooga, Tennessee, for medical treatment.  At McCallie School he described his five-year stay at the Kamiti prison in Nairobi. On January 2, 2008, G.G. was killed during a meeting as he tried to broker a peace between angry communities after the contested 2007 Kenyan presidential election.



bone rd



it was a two-track road made out of bones,

stinging bones to be exact.


the road, according to the road, was not

not okay with being sad.


but the road, according to the road, would rather

you were less melancholy.


stinging bone road did not abide,



stinging bone road does not capitalize its name,

does not like its name, does not not want for others to like it too.


bone road runs jagged and gnarly, things it once was and

wants to be. bone road fancies itself straight: arrows.


bone road stopped running,

started sprinting: home.


one day, you’ll pass by and know,

I shouldn’t not turn here.


Katelin Kelly. A recent graduate of Davidson College, Katelin promotes reform through her work as a writer, artist, and educator. Katelin teaches and lives in Kyle, SD on Pine Ridge Reservation. Her work is rooted in the belief that understanding one’s self through writing is the single greatest way to affirm and promote social change.






I am tired,

So tired.


Tired of old dreams that never come true

Tired of having no new dreams


I am tired,

So tired.


Tired of seeing children working instead of playing

Tired of hearing crying young girls, forced to get married instead of getting education



I am tired,

So tired.


Tired of hiding behind this mask,

Tired of living as they wish, not the way I want


I am tired,

So tired.


Tired of living in nowhere

Tired of corruption and cheating


I am tired,

So tired.


Tired of reading the stories that never been written

Tired of listening to all these sad songs


I am tired,

So tired.


I want to move,

I want to fly


But I am tired,

So tired.


I want to shout

I want to cry


But I am tired,

So tired.


I am scared of being kidnapped

I am even more scared to be killed by a suicide bombing


I am tired,

So tired.


Tired of seeking a smile on Face book

Tired of looking for freedom just on YouTube


I am tired,

So tired.



Tired of crying for all the years I have lost

And tired of all the coming years with no hope


I am tired,

So tired.


Tired of all leaders who have deceived us

Tired of seeing all the people being deceived


I am tired,

So tired.

Ahmad Shafiq Behroozian. Shafiq is a poet who lives in Herat, Afghanistan.


Kemmer Anderson, a poet, has taught at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for 36 years. He has published 8 chapbooks and authored a volume of poetry, Wing Shadows Over Walden Ridge. He continues to work on a series of essays, Milton at Monticello: Milton’s Influence on Thomas Jefferson.

I chose these three poets whose sense of place represents a common thread in a weave of words that speak for the muse of justice. These poems cross international borders in an attempt to remove the boundaries that keep us from listening to our common cry for peace.


Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting) Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work). Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where. For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights. Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response. Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology. For more details, tips and links to past installments, visit Thanks!

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