Thursday, November 13, 2014

How Dare You--By Ndongolera C. Mwangupili--Malawi

How Dare You

For Denis, my nephew

How dare you die and leave us wondering
How you dared dying? Is this one
Of those games you like playing -
Missing in action - and your fellow men
In uniform coming to look for you?

How dare you die and leave your child wondering
How possible it can be to know no father? Is this
How silly life can be that you come back
From a soldierly mission only to die of malaria
On a silly Wednesday like an Ash Wednesday?

How dare you die and leave your wife wondering
How a morning bye can lead to widowhood? And how
Stupid life can be when what we see becomes
An illusion of what really is. And there we are -
Fools, chasing our own follies. And life remains life.

Ndongolera C. Mwangupili works as a Senior Inspector of Schools in Malawi. He has vast experience as a teacher of English and Bible Knowledge. Many of his short stories, poems and essays have been published in the Malawi News and Weekend Nation. His stories are anthologized in Modern Stories from Malawi and The Bachelor of Chikanda and Other Stories. His poem “The Genesis” was anthologized in The Time Traveller of Maravi: New Poetry from Malawi. His other poem “Letters to a Comrade” is published online in India on He believes that there is a thin line between fiction and reality. All that people write is a re-creation of what is already known to the writer and exists not only in the mind of the writer but also outside the writer, therefore, fiction is actually facts written as if they are not facts. He is married to Angella, and they have a daughter Mary Magdalena.


  1. Chris, this is a well-written piece. A unique ,touching dedication.

  2. Hi Ndongolera. Thank you for your passionate and touching piece, "How Dare You." I really enjoyed reading it.

    -MJ (

  3. I thought it is a nice piece. I love the components in the poem. yet as a human i share the pain that you are going through, as the poem exudes.

  4. How dare they indeed! Your poem touches a nerve in anyone who has lost someone they love in the throes of war anywhere in this cold world........... and, how dare they, our leaders, that is, blatantly agree to put the innocent in this position? How dare they! Great poem, Ndongolera. I am so sorry for your loss. Your nephew is a hero but that doesn't help the pain the diminish or go away. The fact there are so many in this big world going through much of the same pain, doesn't help either. Your dedication to him is unselfish, sensitive and touching. My love and prayers are with you... Sheri

  5. a fine poem, appreciated - ayaz daryl nielsen
    welcome to send poetry to bear creek haiku -

  6. Dear Ndongolera,

    A passionate, heartbreaking poem written for your nephew and pieces left behind that his family must now deal with. My condolences to your family.


  7. Hello Ndongolera,

    A moving poem. MHSRIP.