Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Winner is Susan Piwang with The Music Man

The Music Man An old man sits by the street corner Cradling an old guitar in his weathered hands. His calloused fingertips skim over the strings His leathery palms cup its wooden base. Between the two, man and instrument I cannot tell which one is older. His eyes are closed in reflection His guitar is silent in anticipation Meanwhile, the world waits in silence Birds soar in the sky The leaves whisper in the wind And the people keep rushing by. And then he plays. His fingers race over the frets The guitar vibrates rebelliously He hums It thrums Between the two I cannot tell Which one is in charge of the music. The music! It stops the pulsation of my heart It burns the deepest corners of my soul It breaks the barriers within And shatters the silence without Earth is trapped in a sphere of symphonies Life is paused in a glass of rhapsody All is well within that moment of eternity While he plays. His voice is deep and rich His tune is strong and thick His heart is bleeding through the notes His life is breaking amidst the tones And I am pulled along Breaking and bleeding with his song. And then he stops. The spell is undone. All is as it was. Nothing outside the ordinary And once again he is an old man Seated by the corner Cradling a guitar (Which one, I wonder, is older?) His eyes are closed in reflection His guitar is silent in satisfaction The birds still soar in the sky Silence hushes the rustling leaves And the people keep rushing by. THE MUSIC MAN! WINNER OF THE FOURTH BN POETRY AWARD, 2012. This poem, The Music Man, was written by Susan Piwang and emerged first in the fourth BN Poetry Award. The judges agreed that it was strong, beautiful, transporting readers to a new place. Susan Piwang wins 500 USD, a fully paid trip to the Literary Storymoja Hay Festival in Nairobi in September 2012, an autographed copy of Half of a Yellow Sun, by award-winning author, Chimamanda Adichie and an autographed copy of Eliyeena’s Sorbonne-a novel infused with poetry, by Hannah Saint C.A Nanyanzi. The award was proudly sponsored by Stichting Doen. June 29 2012


  1. This is a beautiful piece. Way to go Susan!

  2. does not appear like a poem, but sounds like a poem. i like!!