Ugly beauty #tankaprose #whatdoyousee

Ugly beauty #tankaprose #whatdoyousee


I gaze upon an island once so beautiful every heart leapt at its sight. Until it bore an injustice so deep its waters remain stained to this very day, salted with the tears of bereavement. In windless moments the water still ripples, echoing wails of forsaken souls and unborn descendants. Boats float empty. No one will go there. None will fish those waters. For a curse lies upon that ugly beauty. A curse that infects my soul with anger. And I dare not go there myself, except to kneel at those shores, and weep for those long taken.

rift valley island
dreaded land of punishment
souls lost, souls unborn
pregnant girls out of wed-lock
cast aside to die alone

May yee descendants curse your fathers’ sins, and weep their repentance. Weep as countless girls once did. Weep for a better world.

winds of change billow
yet memory stays the same
hurts unforgotten
where once was pain, now regret
grown in wisdom, grown in choice

Akampene Island, more commonly known as Punishment Island, is located on Lake Bunyonyi in the south-western region of my home country Uganda. Like all rift valley lakes, its waters are salty. The beauty surrounding it is breathtaking, but for this one particular island defiled by man.



The feature image(at the top) is of lake bunyonyi, on which punishment island is located. It is officially the 2nd deepest lake in Africa. Distressingly, punishment island is in the deepest part of the lake.

Tanka prose for Colleen’s #tankatuesday and for Sadje’s #whatdoyousee.

Stay safe everyone, stay loving.

56 responses to “Ugly beauty #tankaprose #whatdoyousee”

  1. Oh my goodness! Jude, this rips at my very soul and my heart aches for the agony and pain both physical and emotional, that was inflicted on the innocent ones to protect those who were not innocent at all. A tragic story, beautifully crafted! ❤️💔❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What tragic history that place has. But perhaps people have learned from those mistakes and are wiser and kinder now. Thanks for joining in Jude with this heartbreaking story/poem

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Elizabeth. The sadness is limited to the one island. Everything sort of goes silent when you approach it but that’s because people are usually shocked into the past, imagining the horror, silent. It doesn’t have animals though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I recently learned of North Brother Island was once home to an infectious disease clinic, in New York… it was also where Lepers were sent. There is more history here; History of North Brother Island

    Such sadness seems to be in many places. One can only hope that well wishes get to those in need… even if ‘they’ are long gone.

    Liked by 1 person

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