‘Return’ – new poem for the Bus by Sai Murray

6 Nov 2015 jane

This summer, Platform commissioned SIMONSai Murray – poet, writer, and spoken word supremo – to write a poem about the Bus’s journey to Ogoniland. Sai made some stunning political connections to other struggles, connections in all these years we had not made ourselves. John Ruskin once said “The best response to a work of art is to make another work of art” (or something similar). We could not agree more.

Thank you Sai. Another gift in the spirit of Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Sai will be performing this at the tribute night ‘Dance the Guns to Silence II’ on Tues 10 Nov, Rich Mix, London. COME. Video to follow.


The bus ticket reads: “Return”
“Back to where you came from”
How far is this journey for us?
To return to the origin of things?

To return to a time
Before monocrops of concrete and glass
Punched skyward,
Fertilised by Afrikan blood.

This journey begins with libation
A baptism
Of water. Fire. Burning free.
Remoulding. Rising again.

We have been here before:
Ocean and air breathe these deaths
Steel sinews hold muscle memory
Ecosystems oil the engine.

The wheels on the bus go round
And round. Round and round
And crack. And judder.
And round.

Turn. Click. Crunch.
Grate. Burr. Crash. Drive.
Chain. Stroke. Chain. Stroke.
Whip. Whip. Drive.

A night time traffic
Over unpaved pot-holed roads
Directed into blind alleys, open waters.
Overboard. Under board. Above board.

The bus will be departing at…
Some time today… maybe tomorrow.
At earliest convenience
To our decolonised clocks.

Calling at all points from:
Trans-Atlantic Triangle to Black Lives Matter.
Connecting Bristol to Montgomery
to Alexandra to Ogoni.

The wind whispers: “Return”
Head looking backward, the bird flies forward.
We turn.
Back. To where we came from.

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