A poem: There must be a way out – Liban Obsiye


By Liban Obsiye

Boom! The laughter ends with a violent bang

People scatter like wild beasts in all directions

No time to think, only need to find shelter

Boom! Get down, crawl, sprint, hide, lie dead

There’s no single way out.

Braap! The bullets spray the innocent as they scatter for shelter

People drop like electrocuted flies

There is no direction or purpose, just blind rage

Braap! Get down, crawl, sprint, hide, lie dead

There is no single way out.

The tears burst through the mother’s eyes as she wails by her child

He’s gone, just one among many lying dead in a pool of their blood

Why? The screams of pain and anger fill the air

There’s no reason and no response from the clouds

The look of misery and echo of pain is painted on all faces and blinds all eyes.

The dead lie alongside the ruins of people’s livelihoods

The past, present and future are soaked in blood

Fruit and vegetables role into the streets avoiding crumbling buildings

Crumbling buildings make a last stand to remain firm but are overpowered by violent anger

Cars, buses and bajaaj pile high to hide from the impact

There is no single way out.

“Somalia ha nolaato” scream the politicians

But who is killing it?

“We will persevere” scream the uniformed men

When? ask the demoralised people,

There must be a way out.

I am going to heaven thinks the murderer

How? Asks his conscience

I have eradicated infidels he tells his shaking bloody hand

You have hurt all humanity screams his heart

Boom! All return to normality.

This poem is inspired by and is a tribute to all the victims of terrorism in Somalia. I am moved by the resilience and courage of the Somali people who despite all their suffering at the hands of terrorists, continue to move forward with their lives. The beauty of this is that none of the victims will ever allow you to feel sorry for them. They will pick up the pieces and rebuild.

This poem is structured in an erratic way to illustrate that there is no coherence in explaining a terrorist attack for witnesses and victims. The violence is overwhelming and all encompassing. An attack takes lives, leaves lasting scars ad destroys people’s livelihoods. With one blast a person’s past, present and future is wiped out in most instances.

I hope all readers enjoy this poem and reflect on it. We must find a way to effectively confront terrorism in Somalia and the rest of the world. We must stop simplifying terrorism as purely attacks and understand it better to defeat it ideologically.

The author can be reached at:


@LibanObsiye (Twitter)