In the sky above my homeland,
Drawn by a curse under the earth
And the smell of death.
These days, when roosters crow at dawn,
Urging us to rise and shine,
Many a child in my homeland
They depart untimely to the other side.
Emaciated, and stomachs distended,
They die asleep with faces cold,
Contorted with the pangs of hunger.
This narrative of prosperity,
The growth forecasts peddled unabashedly,
These empty talks, this GDP,
Is not for them; they’re not a part of it.
As the poet once said,
The tide is not with them who are poor.
In voices quivering with sadness,
Mothers lament at graveyards.
At dawn, they came to bury Hope,
Cut short in time,
They have come bury a dream, in its prime
Broken , my folks bury themselves in the bottle.
When we were imbued with humanity,
Our hearts broke upon a death
In the community.
But a spectre of indifference haunts my homeland
Now we look the other way when the poor die.
Brethren, the death knell of my homeland
Has been sounded; the tree has fallen.
What held us together has fallen.
Greed and untrammelled consumption
now walk our streets unabashedly.
We are rural farmers and fishermen,
Our ancestors have sown seeds in the land,
We belong to the land.
It is where our memories
And identity is located
I weep for my homeland.
Vultures are swooping on it, grabbing it,
Pouncing on it, logging it, drilling it, polluting it,
Poisoning it, raping it, raping the rainforest, the mangrove,
Pristine land, they tear to shreds.
Brethren, in my homeland
The brotherhood of man and earth is in turmoil
as they pollute, drill and drill for oil
And extract ore;
They re crushing the womb of the earth.
A curse has been spat on my homeland,
The curse of hunger; eating away
At our children’s stomach.
Compassion has evaporated into the air,
As a poet, I mull over this trajectory
With forlornness, wondering; what
this simmering anger, so palpable, would unleash:
A boiling rage?
Idle and disenfranchised,
The youths migrate in droves to the cities.
The ‘leaders’ have sold them out
They have sold us out.
They have sold the family heirloom.
As a poet, my gloom-laden thoughts
Over this treachery abide unabated.
Written by: Dollin Oghenerieboruen Ovaroh Holt
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.