“Bangweulu,” “Ing’ombe Ilede (A Sleeping Cow)” and “Farewell Saliya”

“Bangweulu,” “Ing’ombe Ilede (A Sleeping Cow)” and “Farewell Saliya”
Photo by SA-Pictures on Shutterstock


Like a multi-faceted realm

home to the great wetlands & floodplains

Lies a pool of water

that lures you to stay


Lake Bangweulu

~ where the water meets the sky ~

Its beauty peaceful & calm

A haven of islands

A tender busking warmth

The locals row their canoes


banana boats

Fish, drink & bathe from the pool

But alas!

The dead too found their resting place in this pool

The enslaved bodies

Forced across its waters

May they rest ~ where the water meets the sky

May life flourish ~ where the water meets the sky

Ing’ombe Ilede (A Sleeping Cow)


Spiking Baobab Trees

Some more gigantic than others

A perfect union in nature

As though they were placed rather than grew


Scattered Palm Trees

So many I never knew existed in my own backyard

Many a palm uprooted to garnish city gardens

All from the valley

A place they called Ing’ombe Ilede

~ A sleeping cow ~

 From the roots of motherland

Motions of life


 a motionless gigantic Baobab

they called it

Ing’ombe Ilede - A sleeping Cow

Farewell Saliya

Your poise so astute

from a fragile young village girl

to a formidable village matriarch

Modeled your own calabashes

enameled by the scorching sub-Saharan sun

weathered all storms

You endured the process of life like gold


Like a golden figure in a palace,

your presence garnished your village exquisitely

Life you embraced

But like the calabash seed

You are now buried in the ground

Your clan cries for you

& your great-great grandchildren

only to hear about you

Hush Saliya’s clan,

Saliya lives!

About the Author

Palisa Muchimba

Palisa Muchimba is a Poet, Writer, and former journalist. She holds a BA from Indiana University. She enjoys cooking and many things outdoors.