Categories
sadness

Once I held a gun #childSoldiers #stopWar

Once I held a gun in the bush.
That Ak47 was nearly my size but I lifted it.
I was fierce and fearless to my foes,
Taking their lives before they could reach for mine.

Yes, once I killed in the bush;
The men who protected their villages,
The women who protected their children,
The children who would avenge their orphan state.

At that time I was a hero in the army
So decorated by war wounds and scars
That pain became the objective of my existence
And transmitting it my only medicine.

Now I’m 16 years old and peace has killed the need for guns.
My grades and skill set mean nothing.
All left is the emptiness in the memories of maimed men,
Mothers, and children.What to do now?

AH…Once I was told taking lives was the life I needed,
But now I know there was much more to hope for.

Much more to aim AT than innocent targets in the bush

(c) Nyonglema

Categories
joy

Sacrifice #Ebola #nurse #doctor #Liberia #SierraLeone

Dedicated to the soldiers in the Ebola fight: all Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea nurses and doctors, and international volunteers. Below some names of soldiers alive or dead who’ve helped our humanity in no particular order:
Pauline Cafferkey, Abraham Borbor, Samuel Brisbane, Victor Willoughby, Diana Sarteh, Teresa Romero Ramos

__________________________________

The alarm growls “Wake up!” in song into her sleeping ears
As slowly she opens brown blood-shot eyes
To swipe upwards at the pulley menu on the buzzing screen
To dismiss the noise and jump out of warmth into ice
Cold morning brings to her bones with draughty jeers.

Off into the cold she drags her tired body.
Off to the hospital where she spends long days and nights,
Fighting death in guerrilla battles – some she’d win
Some would come back as knife-sharp nightmares and fright-
As she cared for the mildly sick and critically sick bodies.

“Today is special though” her fear-stricken heart surmises
As she walks in and switches apparel and goes working.
Today’s different: the heat in the astronaut gear;
The multiple scrubs; the care to take everywhere you’re walking;
The hope…no….prayer that your bit suffices to grow survivors;

Living the working day through a visor: Different.
This deadly virus vying for plague of the millennium
By bringing entire families to the pier of the Styx,
Fills the ward where she must administer care and calm delirium,
While calming her pulse enough that she would be efficient.

Can they hear her heart beat? Can they smell her fear?
Just a drop from the wrong spot on her exposed skin
And she’d join them here without the white armour,
Swinging on the balance of life from a kinked shoe string,
Unable to bring the love that brought her here.

Yes. She knows it might be over at any time:
Her ardour, her love, her care, her own piece
To the fight against the miniscule giant threat.
But she takes up her arms to fight the disease,
A soldier of love giving new hope to the living and the dying.

(c) Nyonglema

Categories
fear

Fading Smoke #collateralDamage #stopWar #peace #bombs

I wave my blistered hand before my bleeding face,
Waving gunpowder smoke and blood fumes in the mist
To see the survivors, to see hope.
But all I see is crushed bones and leaking skulls;
All around the steaming tarmac lie lifeless lads,
Lost lives fill the air with more choking tears.
But we can’t cry now!
“Run! Run! Before they cast another bomb on us!”
I’m on my feet, staggering forward like an alcohol keg,
Surprised to be running alone to the porous camp shelter;
Oblivious to pain, oblivious to care, I stagger on.
Hoping to get my weapon and answer their fire.

It is then it dawns like a wooden blow on me:
I’m no soldier; they aren’t either!
Infant body parts entangled with women and men’s blood
Litter the town square, and I’m staring at the military shelter:
A wooden icecream stand with holes on the whole frame,
And blood , and burnt flesh reeking in the foetid smoke;
And… I break into tears.

(c) Nyonglema

Categories
anger

The gods are passing

Picture this: the sun engraving sweat streaks

On your sizzling skin, stinging your eyes

As the humid heat hits your cheeks

Painting pain all over your 37°C-and-rising

Body stuck in the thick traffic like on all weeks

Barely breathing, headed home from the day’s trials.

 

And a-blaring come crowding the air those sirens:

The horns from cars speeding as if to mock

Our stillness. The cops with walkie-talkies pulling reins

On all who wish the way home were shorter:

“Order!” “wait!” The horns go from shrill – and since

There’s “order” – to barytone peace while we still sweat.

 

The sun’s still engraving its streaks on me

The heat still heating my sorry cheeks

This metallic cage stuck amongst so many

Others like it, ordered to stop for the glorious horns,

Is starting to feel like a microwave oven to me.

But what can I do? The gods were passing.

 

(c) Nyonglema

Categories
sadness

African Seed

Terror lurks in the darkened eyes of a growing child

As each minute she dips into the shrieks from her mama, 25;

Marked dad curled in silence on the ground, wanting life,

Marked by another man who’d barely seen seasons 25.

  

She recalls how daddy cried out and fell silent to the ground.

Mum recoiled at many punches many staunch “men” had found.

She was 4 back then, and saw as men 12-year olds from out of town

As they ripped her mama’s clothes…she closes her eyes, counting each heart pound.

  

She recalls that red stream that slithered to her hidden corner

Soaking her skirt; soaking in hurt like staring at the sun’s corona.

Outside guns rattled, taking out all who could mourn her.

Lonely, the tears trickled down slowly, spelling “Were’t I wasn’t born, Ah!”

  

Slowly the tears trickled down that lonely jaw…

“Jane”, cried the professor, “What’s the result of this mixture?”

Jane knew not what was before, she stood there distraught.

She wishes she could do better, but her past sticks in the picture.

  

(c) Nyonglema

Categories
anger

Ali Baba and the 40 thieves (aka african governance)

Standing in front of the hidden entrance

On horseback, with loud sacks

Clinking as loot hit loot.

With smiles of satisfaction adorning their faces

The chief said the magic words, and in went the team;

Safe from the spoiled, safe from the world,

Ready to go back out and lay misery on  poor souls

(C) Nyonglema

Categories
joy

FOOTBALL

Zillion supporters screaming, a loud buzz,
Yearning to return home cheered by vitory.
Xerox machines preparing the next day’s papers; Max
Wit for the shame or fame of a member of the show.
Violent vitriols from commentators like engine rev
Unites with supporters’ glee at likes of Eto’o or Kanu
To spur skill at each minute to get even one stunning stunt
Spirits soar, sink, so it is, for here serenity bores.
Roulette, lifté, counter-attack by one party raising the roar.
Quick kick! Oh no! Replay?! Why not? That must join the FAQ
Pray the corner slays the opponent; oh that header was sharp!
Oh he missed that goal again! No replay?! Hell no!
No! Now he’s channelled that ball too late for the man,
May the coach coach correctly and call him to quit the team!
Leave the pitch you little loss-bringing imp! LOL!
Khaki-wearing “messer” I can even get your reek!
Just as our jests are about to milk out laughs, I couldn’t find a word to end with “J”.
Instead I had a whole lof of them J-starting words. So I
Hunched to think, but then looked up at the BROOHAH:
GOAL GOAL!! Oops the scorer is the Mr. Bug!
Fooled? No, I’m still for him leaving,( Scoring oaf!)
Even though this elation, release and joy, came from his device!
Defensive tactics, offensive backing up, I can almost get mad
‘Cos the best defence is attack Doc!
Bye losers, we took this easy. Supporters bob
Away, and the whole stadium sleeps in the starlight bathed by mother Luna.

(c) Nyonglema

Categories
sadness

PEACE #peace #war #stopwar

The soft wind combed her silken hair,

She stood there

Looking at me; a mere mortal she saw

Looking at her shawl.

I saw the accursed bruises she bore

Like a slave at the oar;

Her silver skin striped in black and blue

(She wished I knew).

Her wilted lips losing their colour,

Cut; what horror!

Her clothes told not of misery, but of fights;

Even through long nights,

The clashing of metal. “Oh! Such is not woman’s mettle”,

Myself  I said to.

Then she uttered a ghastly echo, as if in strain:

“In vain

I’ve tried to cross, and have suffered like He on the cross”

I was so cross!

I stood wondering at the sight at Earth’s borders.

But worse yet are the plights of my earthly brothers

Who shunned this beauty. May Destiny forgive us.

(c) Nyonglema

Categories
sadness

WHAT HAPPENS #Africa #Peace #StopWar

What happens when karma turns right around?

What’s clapping to demagogues’ speeches as they mount

Lie on lie,

Promising Sugar Candy mountains,

Each word thought as false as the applaud of the crowd

Gathering round?

 

 

What happens when arms turn your life around?

What’s laughing at demographic decay as bombs amount.

The sun’s less bright;

Dust, blood shoveled on rotting corpse mountains,

Each door wrapt in pain, writhing in tears at the shrouds

Which will cost heavy amounts?

 

 

What happens when mama’s turned down to the ground?

What happens in your heart as that man strips and mounts

Before your eye,

And rips and rakes; all those shrieks you hate mounting,

Each bone crimped in pain at so sad a sound

Tearing your tears out?

 

 

What happens when the army toss your dad around

With laughing? With machete slash his mouth,

Burst his eyes,

Chop him and put another piece to the corpse mountain;

Each part calling your sorrow as flames on the mountain fume in their bout

And your fingers are gripping the ground?

 

 

Mama Africa, can’t you see the arid ground

Soaking up the blood of your children?

Why are you so deaf to the sound?

Why are we cleft so profound into hateful factions?

So many questions,

No answers.

That leaves me pondering:

What happens when we’ve stomped all our brethren underground?

 
 

(c) Nyonglema