Gabonese truth #Gabon

In earnest beyond the Pings and Bongs of firearms
And call to live your life on the ground with raised arms
I see one dying people
Taking shots from lying people
And, they, dear friends lose again amidst the hearse’s palms.

(c) Nyonglema

 

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

A baby’s smile #smile #baby #innocence #newLife

Can you describe a baby’s smile? Let me try:
A breath of fresh air while the sewage tanks are drained;
That momentary silence when gunshots fill the air;
Cool palm oil on your tongue after your first crab curry;
when you shut your eyes to stop incoming traffic glare;
when a persistent cramp finally disappears;
Taking off your blistering work shoes when the day is done.

The pureness of the lines, and the innocence written in an infant’s smile cast all my stress away.
Unrestrained, untainted. The pure expression of appreciation that says: “Yes, you count”, “Thank you!”, “I love you” without uttering a word.
Those 5 seconds where everything means so much more, where nothing else matters than how happy this human being is of the mutual expression of love, as you smile back.

(c)Nyonglema

 

In the comments, tell us what your baby’s smile is like to you….

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

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

WHERE ARE YOU (PEACE) (2007)

Trudging amidst littered corpses resulting from fatal blood baths,

I asked myself in the middle of one wade: did Peace walk this path?

Did she, in her crystal beauty pause to hold conversation?

No! If she did I won’t be knee deep in human body parts!

 

Then I thought me, maybe she’s off to walk the holy paths

Wherein many kneel to walk closer to He who in Heaven art.

But the squabbling and quarrelling as each said his was the right one,

Made it clear she’d surely set off stealthily amidst their word darts.

 

Certainly, I told my weary self, she’d be found in family hearths.

But lo, the father scolds, the kids into devils moult, and that

Mother weeps, heart pierced by innumerable despicable horrors.

Poor me, I thought the quest past, but I must now restart.

 

Oh dear me! I’d forgotten those tender things she could fancy, children’s hearts!

What more jolly and jovially innocent? So at the door I knocked and dropped my hat

And then dropped my jaw, as all sorts of abuses walked the place.

I ran off discouraged , my energy spent. I lay on a mat.

 

Maybe what I have so sought was here in my heart?

I say to myself with confidence. But amidst my silent fights

Between right and wrong, the conscience bites and cloudy darkness

I knew for sure, I’d never see that fine lass.

 

(c) Nyonglema Pisoh

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