In a conflict, the more sensible person should call for a negotiation, whoever that person is. Guns only call more guns. Where the sunlight gives a dying kiss to the watery ripples Of orange despair, my mind wanders like a lost soul. Souls get trampled under dusty boots on the drying Bahama grass, bent over and trying to recoil when The foot leaves it; it has lots to say but its lips are sealed: Children played here under hopeful stars yesterday, While their crease-browed parents argued about the Next stop in their journey to nowhere. The neighbours Looked at their Cicam cloth on the floor in jealousy; Theirs was bare soil, and little food for their brood. Children sprayed bullets at soldiers yesterday While their wide eyed friends laid in red cells, Staring into the distance, avoiding the sight of Brother hacking brother. The macabre sacrifice of Cain, The macabre machination of Nagato Pain unleashing Upon the calm Harmattan smoke-laden wind. My mind wanders where hope and despair clash with rage. Everybody's right in the painting. All that's left, Are corpses, explosions, revenge, decapitations, and a Government that threatens extermination of vermin For foiling their plans of total control and greed Makes you only vermin to be eradicated, cost what may Come what may! Vermin is vermin even in a cradle. (c) nyonglema
Spare the son.
But kill the father, kill the mother, kill the brother,
Kill the sister, kill the baby, and let the son get vengeful, and
Spare the son.
But kill the father, kill the mother, kill the brother,
Kill the brother, kill the dog, kill the baby and let that son get vengeful, and
Spare the hospital,
But burn the houses, burn the father, burn the mother,
Burn the cousin, burn the uncle, and let the healed get vengeful, and
Spare their buddy,
And let hell drop red upon the fuming ashes of fresh baked
Black human flesh in their wake, and let their buddy get vengeful and
Spare a cousin,
I see… I see bird droppings zoom out the sky and
Humans drop looking for luck in different spheres.
The crowd panics. Not felled yet, trees stand
And run for the woods where leaves shield.
I see droppings hit the leaves, souls leave the trees.
Truth or dare?
Silence is the ether that burns the soul of the soldier.
Nobody believes the wood was felled,
As no noise was made when it fell in the woods.
Everybody says deforestation is a lie.
There were no birds, there were no trees,
There is no Earth, there is no you, nor me.
Just truth caught in a dare:
Dare to exist,
Dare to pervade,
Dare to be exchanged or dare to grow.
It lurks in the backdrop of wood becoming coffins.
It seeks to become a speaker box,
It seeks the Carpenter to heal the wounds,
But as is the case often, nobody wants to be true or dare.
Pride rides the pain of the thuds on Atlas’ load,
Rippling through his bones, and he bumps on the trees.
Then he screams: “Speak ye truth! speak to each other, in truth!”
And the leaves rustle,
And they listen.
And the felling stops,
And the yelling stops,
And truth dares to bare itself on the forest floor as
A shoot luscious green, midribs transfigured
In the shimmer of the star of the amber dawn.
Communication can hurt or heal, it all depends on the wielder. But I’ve seen the simple exchange of perspectives lead to new solutions yet unheard of, which lead to bright futures for people whose positions hitherto seemed so radical that no consensus was possible.
Let’s dare to challenge our status quo. The future is ahead of, not behind us
There’s a call from the depths of the shadows of the trees.
No, it’s but a whisper…no a whimper
A finger pointing to the sky as if to hold back its ghost,
By passing through the hook in the tail, where it anchored once
And gave purpose to the mouth, seeks the words.
Yesterday adrenaline threw a party and welled up,
As the radios piled up the tension in the atmosphere
In the warehouse of his soul. The finger lowers, slowly.
Maybe not this time. Maybe it will have to let go. Maybe the eagle
Will fly away with the message and alert the angels, or
Inspire a new way to change, a new way to love.
Just a whimper in the bushes, now red and black,
With caking blood clinging to the midribs as if
Scared to touch the screaming ground, where many dead lie.
Just a whimper, oblivious to those running around it, defending,
Taking bullets, giving bullets. This looks like some buffet
In Hell. Brothers are sharing a beautiful meal of hate,
While the future hangs on a finger, which wished for more
Than dying slowly in the clamour of unwanted war.
1st of October 2017, my kids almost lost their only great grandmum, but many parents shall have to bury their children, and some children will have to bury their parents. My deepest condolences brothers and sisters.
I don’t know about you, but a bullet never solved any problem. When the protagonists are all dead, all that’s left is hate in the hearts of the grievers, and revenge hangs heavy like the reek of putrid grudges. Hate begets hate, love begets love. Let’s be humble and love each other, for like with everything, you can only decide when the war is born, you don’t know the day nor the hour when everything is so torn that the war must die
Like with every positive message, I fear this will be read and blacked out…please share. Let’s stop the spiral of hate!
Breathe, breathe…I wish I could breathe.
The infant’s face crimped into morbid contortion by pending asphyxia
Breathe, the breath Adam received
The breath we all so very need,
Will dad listen? Will mum listen? Do they care about pending hypercapnia?
Breathe, no I won’t breathe till they care
Till somewhere in those stones a rose springs
Till within their souls they yearn to listen to me
Listen to my tears choking within my lungs
Curdling under my eyelids, hanging on a lash
As the echo of my dying complaints.
Did they hear it? I know it escalated from whimpers
To murmurs to screams…but all are now dying.
Like me, losing my life each dying second,
But nobody cares.
Is it the dark tunnel through which the bullet
Travels to draw blood and replace breath
With the reek of death?
Is it the bland plunder in schools of the culled kids
For their colour or deep rage born
From the system’s scorn?
Is it the grab-n-lockup foolishness you’re pulling
When any born cause is a menace for you:
Jail or the Reaper’s costume?
Is it the canisters seeking kids’ gullets
With gaseous odours of real painful
Teary eyes, pitiful?
Where’s your power? In the uniform or weapon?
In the blood on the floor, or the one on your hands?
In the lives of the sons and daughters not to see tomorrow?
Where’s your power? I would have thought of more
In food for the poor, sick souls’ solace, in infrastructure!
Where’s your power? I guess we’ll never know.
RIP Farhad Ebanje Akale (March 15, 1985 – October 5, 2013)
Monopoly is quite a peculiar board.
It has always fascinated me from the days we
Heard the rain drops play on the roofs on Bamenda mornings,
But played on, played on…I won some, you won some,
Our siblings won some. The air filled with a peculiar
Smell of joy which only the carefree spirit of youth
I remember the whole Griffin collection
We dove into and made believe and had fun, diving
In and out of the books until the holidays were
Over in 1993, and we separated never to see again.
What got me thinking about you is a monopoly board, Farhad.
Got me wondering in the cold being I’ve become where
The fountain of youth in the memories we both had
Hides. Life has surely thrown it’s curved balls at you too,
But I was sure within me you’ll be ok. You always were cheerful.
When I typed “Farhad Akale”, I was expecting to scour through
Myriad faces on Linkedin and Facebook to find my old friend.
I wasn’t looking for an obituary page!
I didn’t want to see Slink performing a tribute to you.
I didn’t want to drown in the words of a father washing the
Lifeless bundle of memories from cradle to mischief
To a bullet hole.
To the bullet hole, I say, why did you take my friend?
I’m here teary eyed to the kid I left behind,
And for the adult I never got to meet.
This is not even a poem, I’m not even on technique. My hands
Which are usually still in the face of the most horrid gore
Are trembling. I’m stuck in a loop of pain at the stranger
You’ve become but what part of me you go with is considerable.
Those were the days we smiled roses and laughed daffodils
On lilac plains, dancing in the fragrance of a dozen
You probably forgot childhood too, but I hope the Griffin is proud of your
Life, and that you find peace beyond the coffin within which is your shroud.
By the way tomorrow is your birthday, so to all the ones I missed, these words
And prayers are for you till we are on the other side re-imagining our worlds.
Home’s laughter and joy, where good thoughts mature;
Home’s water for life, and without colour or odour;
Home makes eyes water, but beneath blesses each smile.
Not home the seat of vile yoke-wielders Satan couldn’t beguile.
Not home despair growing from the tree you didn’t help spawn.
What’s home when your peers relish as sadness does you a turn?
No! Not home if I can’t rest at night and wish the morrow.
Home’s children in the present hopeful and eyes turned to the future;
Home’s elders drawing the past to give the present’s pleasant contour;
Home’s youths building the future with the puerile and senile,
All hand in hand lifting Home higher in each while.
Not home hearts buckling under unfulfilled dreams, hearts that yearn!
What’s home if children’s present shames elders’ past, and in turn
Home’s youths’ future condemns their very life so hollow?
Home’s working for your bread and to your produce more manure;
Home’s doing what you crave and in your grave be happy manure.
Home’s scorn for the hedonists, respect for the agile.
Not home the heart-tearing feeling of drying the Nile!
Not home where your greatest achievements meet the urn!
What’s home when greater achievements are mere kindergarten turns?
No! Not home my teary eye sharing in my fellowmen’s sorrow!
Home’s being satisfied that all one needs is secure;
Home’s not wants achieved, but necessities from the store;
Home’s absence of frustration at getting blamed your job’s an empty vial
Because home didn’t offer the tools you needed, though they’re there all the while!
Not home when the doctor gets blamed that the propellers don’t turn;
What’s home when the shoe mender mends body burns?
No! Not home a place where squares fit circles in a mentality so shallow.
There was home in my heart as TV waves my growing heart would lure.
Homewards, I’d think, into prospects of rejoicing in a reality so pure;
Reality, home to opportunities, possibilities: me and my dreams down the aisle,
With home’s resources building a mighty Rome in the eyes of a little child.
That was home as my blood pumped and I awaited my turn
To give home all my feeble self could afford. All I could learn
As age called was broken dreams, and the pain of a morose morrow.
(c) Nyonglema Pisoh