Ugly beauty #tankaprose #whatdoyousee

Akampene

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.

#whatdoyousee

©judeitakali


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.

65 responses to “Ugly beauty #tankaprose #whatdoyousee”

  1. Jude, this was absolutely stunning tanka prose. I loved learning about Lake Bunyonyi and Punishment Island. Well done! ❤

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you so much, Colleen. It has a tragic history.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Those places with tragic histories seem to hold onto that negative energy too, don’t they? This was a good read, Jude. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

        1. They do, but mostly they give wisdom, I think.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. 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 5 people

    1. Thank you so much, Ami. I’m glad you appreciated this. We do learn from our pasts, even if sometimes it’s just a little bit, but in this case, a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s sad that as a society, as a culture, truly as the world; we often do not learn from the past – or at least, do not heed its teachings.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I knowww😥 this is so true, but we must keep trying.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. I learned about Banyoni Lake and Punishment Island which I never read about. Wonderful tanka prose, Jude!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much Jane. ‘Bunyonyi’ means birds and it’s quite the tourist attraction for bird watchers. If you look in the background of the feature image, you’ll see the rolling hills where Timothy in my book lived and further still you can see one of the Virunga mountains where dwells the Hadiza.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are welcome, Jude.This is the part you described in your novel, great 👍🏻.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Not the lake exactly, but the region where many events in the first book happened. West and South-Western parts of the country.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Yeah, I understand.

            Liked by 2 people

  4. 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 3 people

    1. It’s my pleasure, Sadje. I often use whatdoyousee as part of the foundation for these pieces.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks my friend

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Quite a stunning one this is.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much, Daphny.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. A sad history, beautifully told. (K)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much, Kerfe. It is really sad.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Beautiful poetry, Jude, and so moving. Love it! 💕🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much, Harmony. Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A sad history told well. Thanks Jude for the information. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for the appreciation, Aishwarya.😀

      Like

  9. It’s a beautiful place, butt so much sadness, your poem depicted it well.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. 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

  10. Oh my goodness this lake is absolutely stunning and the images are so serene!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much, LaShelle.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A tragic history beautifully expressed, Jude! I enjoyed learning about Akampene Island.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for the appreciation, Eugi.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Jude!

        Like

  12. Beautiful poetry and I appreciate the history of the this island. Thank you for sharing. 🙏🏽✨💜

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for your appreciation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so welcome! 🙏🏽✨💝

        Like

  13. How tragic that such beauty should be so desecrated with the evil that men do… Beautiful Jude and honouring those who suffered.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much, Sally, for the appreciation.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. It’s unfortunate that its beauty has been tainted with a sad history

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It is, indeed. Though there is always consolation from the other islands and that view, plus the lake is quite a tourist attraction for bird watchers. ‘bunyonyi’ means ‘birds’

      Liked by 1 person

  15. 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 3 people

    1. Thank you Jules. I will read up on it.

      Like

  16. An amazing little history on the island!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much, Delia.

      Like

  17. […] Ugly beauty #tankaprose #whatdoyousee […]

    Liked by 2 people

  18. HI Jude, a most poignant poem. I do know some of the history of your country. Hugs.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Robbie. You do?🤩 That’s amazing to know. We are often overlooked.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not by me.I even researched your stock exchange 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 😃I don’t know if it made for good reading but it’s nice to have acknowledgement as a nation.

          Liked by 1 person

  19. […] Ugly beauty #tankaprose #whatdoyousee […]

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  20. Wowwww… This is breathtaking a description!

    That first paragraph was something dipped in ink😘
    Beautiful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for the appreciation.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. This is truly beautiful! I didn’t know there was such a place on Earth. Both the prose and photos are gorgeous!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your appreciation. Yes, we do exist here in Uganda😁. It’s not called the pearl of Africa for no good reason.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohh, I didn’t mean to say I was unaware of Uganda. Sorry about that! I meant I didn’t know the island you mentioned in your blog.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No offense taken. 🙏🏾

          Liked by 1 person

  22. It’s really called punishment Island?! 😐

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yap, it’s a small Island among others but they were guarded so that they couldn’t escape, and being far along, swimming long distances must have been a challenge. I like to hope that some escaped into exile though.

      Like

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