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Jeffrey Shadrack Lokwa

Jeffrey Shadrack Lokwa
22 years old
Democratic Republic of the Congo
WhatsApp: +265-993278627
Biography collected by Bruce Miller
Written by Lisa Gilman

Jeffrey Shadrack Lokwa is a 22-year-old poet. He came to the Dzaleka refugee camp in 2014. He enjoys writing poetry because it helps him cope with all the trauma he has gone through. Poetry allows him to “give voice to what isn’t seen.” He hopes for the opportunity for his words to be heard outside Malawi.


Here I'm standing insensibly
Trying to pull up my breath
My heart stops pumping
My veins running dried
I can hear pulses from my blood
Flowing like the ending raindrops

Why keeping me with care
I break out basket of prayer
My story bin needs fresh air
I am chained in my own chamber
Nothing from me is working
I failed to trust my brain

I make friendship with winds
It brings me an invisible guitar
Teaching me music notes that my hands failing to receive with kindness
Avoiding pain from me is what I can't even try because it sticks my skin like soil on earth

My voice is pleading
For a free burial site
Which I'm ready to dig my grave
Maybe your sweat can count
So I will pay for my tomb
I just need my ears to get no music
This song climbing my pharynx

Million watching me put on
A smiley face
Don't know real place where
My shadow belongs to
I can still pull my feelings
But none can describe their colors
I'm slapped both sides of my cheeks
By depression

Why keeping me with care ?
When knowing I can do nothing,
Dressing me a robe full of thorns
Pouring shame over my shoulder
Like Samuel did to David
So enough is enough, just bury

Bury me together with my trauma
But don't put flowers on my grave.