Embalming The Past Take the horror and turn it into art, into poetry.

The horror
of seeing decapitated babies
row upon row,
bled dry sinewy pale.

The horror
of little temples desecrated,
tender pastries
fit for fat maggots.

The horror
of severed necks elongated by
tight fitting pipes,
crowned indiscriminately.

The horror
of their slack eyed faces,
made-up into masks.
Mouths stuffed with intestines,
devouring secrets,
rich kimonos,
hiding twisted wounds.

The horror
of lies past and present
the dressing up of the dead,
lest we forget.

The horror
at sharing a massacre,
dished up as art
and being applauded.

Pedro Vorster is a Namibian poet, and visual artist. He has worked in the telecommunications, publishing, and civil service fields. His satirical essays were published in a collection called Headfull by Macmillan in 2012. He has won numerous prizes for his photography and painting and has works in the Namibian National Art Gallery’s permanent collection as well as other galleries in Scotland, Germany, and the World Bank Seattle.