31 DAYS OF POETRY- DAY 7- A CHIBOK MOTHER’S HOPE- by Obari Gomba


Perhaps I should wrap this frail hope
With rag and put it under sand.
Perhaps I am over forty days late
To start the mourning fast.
Perhaps I have lost my child forever
To those who came by night.
When a road runs into the house of death,
Does it find its way back?
Does it find itself and the child?
It seized at night?

Is any bit left of this faith which has lost
Its moon to the jaws of a sand-whale?
A terrible storm has come into my womb.
A terrible storm has come into my life.
A terrible storm has come into the world.
Clouds of dust, clouds of sand,
Clouds of terror, clouds of death,
Clouds that swallow moon and stars,
Clouds that eat up children at night,
Clouds of faith pushed out of joint.

Perhaps your beard is as long as a python.
It cannot swallow the world.
Do not quench the stars.
Do not drown the crescent
In the blood of my child.
Never dress insanity with the toga of faith.
If you need the skull of a child to earn your virgins,
Allah does not need it to be Allah.
Truth is an open house; you must hear it.

Come here, hear me, dear Mullah.
Listen to the voice of a woman.
The hijab is not blindness.
I too know the book.
The purdah is no prison.
I know the weight of a child.
Do not trifle with the gift of life.
I know the weight of a man too.
A man is not the length of his beard.
Sooner hang in your keffiyeh and iqal.


Come here, hear me, dear Mullah.
Worse than the rustler; you chop off
His limbs for theft of a cow. 
Tell me why you steal a child.
You mouth the words of the Prophet.
For adultery, you behead women.
Tell me why you rape a child.
Time is on its feet, Lover of Caves.
Time is no camel’s piss:
It does not flow backward.
           
Time is far into tomorrow.
Time’s limbs are beyond your machete.
The earth is not your urinary.
The earth is not your washing trough.
We did not will the moon into its orbit.
Nor did we set our eyes in their orbits.
We have met the earth and its jewels here.
We shall leave them for our children.
The earth belongs to all of us.
We all own the title deed: each one of us.             

Do not drown the crescent
In the blood of my child.
Leave the crescent in the sky.
Never dress madness in the raiment of faith.
Never raise your piss in the face of the wind.
Bring back the child you stole at night.
Bring back the children you stole at night.
Swallow your phlegm all you like;
Do not force it down the throat of others.
The earth is not your pigeonhole.

Madness weaves a warped logic.
Madmen bring war to their home.
Madmen bring war to their parents.
Madmen bring war to their siblings.
Madmen kill their children.
Madmen claim sole patent on truth.
Madmen make the earth their spittoon.
Madmen know no limits.
Do not smear Allah’s beard with blood.
Allah does not need skulls to be Allah.


Listen to the voice of a woman.
The last bomb you threw fell in a market.
The last bomb you threw fell in a mosque.
The last bomb you threw fell in a church.
The last bomb you threw fell in a school.
The last bomb you threw fell in a restaurant.
The last bomb you threw fell in a motorpark.
Madmen bring sorrow to their own.
Madmen bring shame on their own.
Madmen bring death to their own.


The earth is older than all of us.
Come home to its arms of health.
Leave the wasteheap alone.
There is medicine to wipe
The froth of hate from your heart.
There is healing for your sores.
There is love to banish your horde of flies.
There is healing for your cataract.
Come home from your feast of dung.
The earth shall clothe you and heal you.

The earth is older than all of us.
Do not turn it on its head.
Leave the crescent as we have met it.
Do not drown the crescent
In the blood of children.
Come down from your horse of hate.
Never push down the firmament.
The earth has a common canopy.
Madness cannot wear the mask of faith.
Sooner dethrone Allah himself.

Gueno is coming down again
To save his primal drop of milk.
His sword is sharpened on flint with salt.
He comes with stone, iron and fire.
He comes with water and air.
He comes to knead us anew.
Either submit to his healing hands
Or fall under his flaming blade.
The earth is a common patrimony.
The earth rejects your deluge of blood.






OBARI GOMBA (PhD) is a poet and public intellectual. He teaches Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Port Harcourt. His poetry collection, Length of Eyes, was listed by the jury of the Nigerian Prize for Literature as one of the best eleven books of poetry in 2013. He is also the author of The Ascent Stone.










 

Comments

  1. Come here, hear me, dear Mullah. Listen to the voice of a woman. The hijab is not blindness. I too know the book. The purdah is no prison. I know the weight of a child. Do not trifle with the gift of life. I know the weight of a man too. A man is not the length of his beard. Sooner hang in your keffiyeh and iqal.

    Here is a very long poem, fascinating to its end.

    With a lot of wisdom and truth. I think this is the kind of poem to hanged at the muzuem for the sake of history.

    Wonderful is all I can say

    Adelaja Ridwan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Chime Jọstis Ndụbụisi writes:
    Nice poem...sorrowful and contemporary with a little twist to the origin of things via Fulani creation story. I like this:
    "Gueno is coming down again
    To save his primal drop of milk.
    His sword is sharpened on flint with salt.
    He comes with stone, iron and fire.
    He comes with water and air.
    He comes to knead us anew.
    Either submit to his healing hands
    Or fall under his flaming blade.
    The earth is a common patrimony.
    The earth rejects your deluge of blood"

    ReplyDelete

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