Eyes of Age

Youth waxed us with ideals

But age has shown us the real


Love is a maiden’s song

Of an eagle beyond the clouds


Beauty is a boy’s dream

Of a dove beyond mountains


Generosity burns to stumps

Fingers trying to stretch out


Charity is the arrogance driving

Those who keep others indebted


Unity is a shadowy pool where

Minorities are silently drowned


Truth is what lions posit

And that which guns guard


Lies are the bulwark of power

Crowned with a veneer of gold


Equanimity is the diamond tip

Tapering arrows of suffering


It draws out poetry from anger

Coiling out of incinerated hopes

Bruce Zondiwe Mbano (Mzuzu, 1984) is a lecturer in the Department of Language and Communication Skills at Chancellor College. He has authored short-stories, plays and poems, some of which have been published in The Fate of Vultures (BBC prize-winning poetry), Heinneman and The Haunting Winds (published by Dzuka). His poem The Viphya won second prize in the 2000 Peer Gynt Literally Award.