Ugandan Pride – Laura D

3 Jul

Ugandan Pride – Laura D

Due to issues with processing ive have something a little more devloped than this but its mostly in annotations. This is most likely not the finished article as i am attempting to pick apart each moment for detail and emotion and obviously shorten it maybe to ust one scene instead of the whole story. Therefore i dont think me performing this year is going to happen sucessfully. I will be more focused on being an assistant for whoever i am needed with. But here is the basics of the story . Sorry for th lack of communication and presence at mouthy as of late. Hope everyone is well and getting fired up for the show -x-

Ugandan Pride


Eric doesn’t count birthdays

But guesses at 22


At 12 Eric was drafted as a child soldier

Under the reign of a well-known tyrant


A 14

Word had spread quicker than famine

That upon orders

Eric does not … attack women

Like the other boys

He does not molest or cause deeper distress

Than simple violence

Like the other boys

He isn’t driven wild at the sight of their quivering naked bodies

He can barely even look at them

Let alone claim what he is told is his… to toy with


Eric is thrown at the feet of his commander

Eye to eye

Refusing to cry

Struggling to swallow his heart’s biggest lie



“Then prove it”


At 14

A young girl from the village

Appeared to have already met men like this

Did not falter as they dutifully raised their fists

She had been her before


Both were thrown into the mud hut gun hold

Told one will be shot upon leaving through this door

For the sin of homosexuality

Or another for being a whore


In the drips of sun through the skylight

All courage dissolved

Eric’s tears cascade like hot wax

Burned down his dusted skin

As they meandered down his face


“You cannot be blamed for your heart”


The still young but slightly older girl spoke

Eyes devoid of tears

She tor at her skirt

Told him to hit the walls

Show signs of a fight

She clawed at her thighs

Blackened her own eyes

And yelled through a twisted smile


She fell at his feet

Told him to drag her outside by the hand

She kissed his cheek

Told him one day he would understand


He complied with her request

Beaten- out of breath

They emerged from the hut

To the other boys and men and guns


Commanding officer spat

“See wasn’t that fun”


While hands patted his back

He flinched at the shot

He knew was meant for him

As a young girls silhouette

Absorbed the faults in the definition of what is a sin

Corpse left to fall and become rotten

Thou shall not murder – conveniently forgotten


Ten years from that moment

He tells an English stranger his whole tale

How his eyes still burn heavy

With the memory of a young girl’s body

Broken, beautiful, scars like brail


Now he marches once again

In the same Uganda

Same men

Who have shared a life of ridicule

But march any way with pride

Men allowed to love

The way their hearts decide


Eric marches each year

The young girl’s bones forever

Laid across his spine

For in April 2014

Was the first successful

Ugandan Pride



3 Responses to “Ugandan Pride – Laura D”

  1. mouthypoets July 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    Laura, this is honestly amazing, I could not stop readying some how you maintained meter and rhyme and still told a very deep story that gave me access to a world I don’t understand. it gave me awareness and fear and compassion but also hope.

    I think this is closer to the finished article than you realise, to be honest if you performed this at sst7 I would be proud and I think people would be blown away. So the question is, what are you not happy with? What is this poem not doing that you want it to be doing?

    Furthermore, I am happy to do a line edit and tidy this up for you if you feel that would be helpful… but you seem like you are doing amazingly anyway.

    I hope this helps,

    • laura July 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

      Wow was not expecting that. I think because it’s something I want to make sure all the necessary details is there for the points to make sense to the audience. Reading it is there anything you want to know more about. but without it being too heavy as it would be hard to place in a show. I’ve tried to write it all out and I have versions that more poetic, more political, more descriptive, more brutal, more about Eric?, more about a soldier… and I can’t settle because it’s turned into six different poems. Which is great for content development but if this draft is getting there then I could continue with refining this. A line edit would be interesting to look at if you have time. But thank you for this feedback it’s extremely helpful and encouraging. Really appreciate it x

  2. secondanne July 7, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    Yep, what Debs said…
    We read this out loud on Friday in the session as part of the run through of the show and there was stunned silence – job done x

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