What stories were you told as a kid? Bedtime stories?
The wall whispers to me "You'll be nothing!
It's been rigged, see, the Earth is being pulled off
To show what lies beneath, and "They"
Want a crater beneath that."
"They" sounds like a strange name for anybody.
I hear "They" colonised African countries ,
Then "They" took all the resources,
Then "They" kept Africa under 1 dollar.
"They" have power.
While "We" pilfer the poor's taxes,
Build roads in an Oculus Rift, "We"
Mass-murder those who think different,
Take off those brains so all stop thinking,
Take off the teachers, the doctors,
Lest one takes a needle to stitch one back together.
"They" tell us what to do, and not wanting our welfare
Give "We" loans, and aid, and technology, and more
Well "They" want what's in our soil,
And "We" sell it to them.
Only you can't complain when you sell something can you?
Like Mugabe seizing lands traded for weapons or more
Or Africans asking the return of their wares' descendants,
Or at least some reparation, for the low price got on
Their brothers: some sort of bonus for good performance?
So you get to be paid double, and get back what you sold?
When I hear that wall whispering, I think of the poem
Dad told me to recite: "Mr Nobody" written by nobody.
I guess it's easier to swing your sword at virtual windmills
Than at yourself when you are the source of all the trouble
And "We" still pilfer everything we own,
Thinking what we own are rocks beneath the Earth,
While the children are either buried in those rocks,
Or their education forgotten till all actually become rocks.
Is made of strangers, living next to strangers.
Not with them.
Indifference is king, and the king is indifferent.
Tears have taken Oxygen's place in our atmosphere,
And we breathe them in, and exhale stale
Bravura to match King Arthur.
Only, in my country, hearing aids are radios,
And the television is Braille.
The tales fail miserably to push us to excel
As we look round, and our senses are tricked that
That tears are oxygen, and pain is a toy,
Blood is water, and water is abundant.
So our indifference remains king,
And the king isn't different.
Happy birthday Mums, I wish you more years.
But I am scared of when you die.
I know it is part of life
The sun danced into the room through colourful louvres,
While you smiled at me and held my trembling hand.
Fear showed me my face against the ground, not feet
Yet you pulled my hand to rise off the bed,
Towards the novelty of hope.
And you succeeded right there
To start a new colony of dreams:
Going new places with the newfound strength
Seemed the only reason the muscles moved in tandem.
My leg lunged forward, and you slowly matched that step
And I watched keenly to learn how this would feel later.
Then you took another step, and I nearly took you down
With my weight and St Peter's weight on my shoulders,
My leg lunged forward, and you again matched that step.
The hum of the air conditioner bounced off the white walls,
And the news sad as usual on TV couldn't outdo your smile
To me as you watched me overcome doubt along the way.
Who needs to be ready in such circumstances? Just go.
So my leg lunged forward, and you slowly matched that step,
Smiling, clinging onto my hand trembling no more.
I wasn't going to let you go.
I would succeed.
I had done this before:
Back in Bamenda on baby Bata shoes,
You led the way, I followed.
This time I led the way, you followed.
We didn't fall.
We didn't miss your hospital bed.
We didn't cry.
We lunged our legs forward on an adventure to bring you back,
I led the way, you followed
To give your sinews renewed vigour, renewed life.