AN ELEGY FOR YUM YUM

I weep for Adonais—he is dead!

O, weep for Adonais! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

—Shelley

1

O, death, may your name perish!

Though we are all bound

Deathward

Godward

Homeward

Death

Our inevitable host

Noseless one

Death

Is Yum Yum really no more with us

In the light of the living

Is Yum Yum

The genius that wore the mantle

That covers the shame of us naked Somalis

Really laid low down

In the grave

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

11

Dear dusty grave

Ages ago, The Sayyid

And now

This morning

Dumb with grief

Gone gaga with grief

Am I giving sorrow sword words

Over the grave

Where my friend, Yum Yum lies

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

111

O, history!

How you hijack whore and hajji and hakim

How you never grow up

How you never come of age

How you never age

How you never act your age

How you always rage

How you always hog the stage

Did you finally overthrow

Your Yum Yum who girded up his loin cloth

To trace your blood soaked Somali steps

How did our Galol tree

Yum Yum

Deserve to disappear without a trace

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

IV

O, Gob tree!

People pick up your scattered berries

But pray tell me

How does one get over

How does one sleep

How does one pick the brain of Yum Yum

When death has just bashed in

The teeming brain of Yum Yum

Who had yet to glean so much more

From our Somali years of yore

From our Somali years of lore

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

V

O, thankless Muses!

Where is Yum Yum

The wit that loved you so

Your right hand man

Your factotum

Your gofer

Your must-go-to man

Whom Death has just removed to the hereafter

In your daze

In your amaze

Dress anyhow

Wear your epaulets of aghast grief

Sing your despair & dejection

In mighty ululating long lofty lines of alliteration

Standing hair on end everywhere

Amidst goose pimples

And to this death-tolling knell of mine

Beat your drums

At every town square

At every sheltering tree

For Yum Yum is no more

And shall never return

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

VI

O, pen!

Seize up

Freeze

Thaw no more

Flow no more

Scour

Scratch

Range over the alphabet

Enter into your annals' archives

Lamenting lays

Acquainting Muslims & Monkey infidels

With your tears

For Yum Yum is no more

And shall never return

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

VII

O, wisdom weep!

Wise up

Rise up

Bite your nether lip

Wake up the Muses with your wailing

Lament

O, you literate ones

Who labor in ordered word orchards

O, you purveyors of our Somali folk culture

To alien tongues

Let the word go forth

Let the world know of our severed orphaned Somali tongue

Let the world wear sackcloth & ashes

For Yum Yum is no more

And shall never return

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

VIII

O, Gob tree!

People pick up your scattered berries

But pray tell me

How does one get over

How does one sleep

How does one pick the brain of Yum Yum

When death has just bashed in

The teeming brain of Yum Yum

Who had yet to glean so much more

From our Somali years of yore

From our Somali years of lore

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

IX

O, Yum Yum!

Master of Urania!

The ewe constellation lost luster and drooped

The moon sloped and sank

Into the swallowing sea

Into the valley of the shadow of death

When death had halted to hijack you to the hereafter

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

X

O, you sounding sighing sea!

Suspire for Yum Yum's soothing songs

O, you crawling clamor-fingered breakers

Break

Rage & roil

Rock & roll on

Deep dark black teal blue ocean

Upon your shingled shores

For your Sheikh Yum Yum has just quit your shores for sure

Convulse & swing you mighty swells

O, you teeter-tottering towering torrents

O, you seesawing waves

Hop on your wild white horses

Let loose your rock-splitting surf

Split spit splutter

Splash your spume & spoondrift

Way out of your confines

For Yum Yum is no more

And shall never return

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

XII

O, grave!

O, you worms of the grave!

O, you termites of the tomb!

If you dare boast a conscience

Or a hero amongst you

Grant Yum Yum

This Somali bard

This Somali pard

Peace

From your roaring razor wrath

From your licking chops

From your grinding grinders

For you have been feasting

For hundreds of soggy seasons

On corpses

And can't be hungry now

For this honored guest of yours

For this Yum Yum

For this peerless immortal Somali swain of the Muses

Whose brain teemed

With ancient Somali lore

With the wisdom of Punt's yore

O, grave!

I commend to you now

His shrouded body

That lies now

In an untimely sleep

In your dread death abode

In your death bed

O, you worms of the grave!

O, you termites of the tomb!

Grant him peace

For Yum Yum’s last burning gasp

His last rasping breath

His last death rattle prostrated him

And needs now

Neither your gnawing

Nor your nudging nuzzle

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

XIII

As for me & my house

We will sing abroad

In a rue of runes

Our grievous loss & lamentation

To all those who girded up

To defy Death & Degradation

To defeat Despair & Darkness

To denounce Disgrace & Dishonesty

In this Somali slaughter house

In this sad Somalia

In this mad Somalia

In this suicidal Somalia.

In this Kipling’s Somalia

Of the “lesser breeds without the law

Half devil

Half child”

I weep for Yum Yum—he is dead!

O, weep for Yum Yum! though our tears

Thaw not the frost that binds so dear a head!

XIII

O, Allah!

Now

Upon Yum Yum’s soul

Mercy we all beseech

Upon Yum Yum’s spirit

Peace we all pray

Amen!

Amiin!

Reader!

Now you say

The last amen

The last amiin.

—Mahamud Siad Togane

Nota Bene

The above elegy is Yum Yum’s own Baroor Diiq, Yum Yum's own elegiac gift upon the death of Hajji Musa Galaal, Englished by Togane who feels now that the best way to mourn the untimely death of Yum Yum is to reprise his own Baroor Diiq in this here English rendition.