Thoughts from Last King of Scotland

written 2009 on a long flight from USA to New Zealand.


Too much noise
In my head and all around
Cannot sleep
so choose to watch
The Last King of Scotland.
An absurd flight.
A portrayal of Idi Amin.

He is heart-rending.
When he says
I did not want to be prisoner
of the people
I think of all those people
whose circumstances bring their wrong side
into the space.

Then like fixed in rusted bolts
on a hubcap
they go round and round
however weak the wheel
and even it falls off
mired in failure
they cannot get off.

When he speaks of independence
and black power,
the hearts of all who hear must break.
For the history told
will hold
so often
our own fractured story.

Unable to bear our need
unable to find anyone to hear
unable to share
we invent a world
and in it
stay stuck, bemoan the chance
which brought us here.

Refuse to own
the feet on which we stand
which just might walk
to risk some different danger.
Like, unlike, to Idi,
We endlessly ask
Who will change the dance?


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