A nation is born

Dawns had been long and weary-

Twenty-two years dissipated

Marred by shifty pounding of our remaining brains;

Daily rapes of our fervent flowers

And the unceremonious hikes of our daily bread.

Today, a nation is born from our strenuous strives.

They said the camels we had are barren

And wildy, we searched for the fertile youth

But it wondered farer from our trestle.

Never had we stopped wandering through the showering heat.

Finally the new nation is in our worried palms-

An egg facing a rash rock japping in our backyard;

a rosy garden coated with fusty quills.

From birth, most of us had chanted the sacred song:

For The Gambia our homeland,

We strive and work and pray…

But never had it come that cheap,

Babies grew to the wild children of social media

who strayed in the streets hunting for the last coins,

Some brewed green tea in unending terms

And others eddied in the howling waves of the Atlantic.

But the new day never came swiftly as anticipated

Rather, it came with costs beyond our earnings;

It came with tears that flooded our river;

And unending nervousness to our weak populace.

But today, we have a lofty dawn,

Thick clouds shadowing the course,

And days ahead full of dismay.

Comrades, split the colanut

A nation is born from our union

And today is the last we have to guard

No matter how costly it might lead us to sweat.

The youths are hopeful about the next pantry

They will not be uncultivated but to help pad the eager nation.

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A contradiction of smiles

We had waited, waited in a keg, clouded by hairy heat,

The sun melting our rancid faces and no scarf needed to wipe the sweat

For the river went dry.

We never moved away, but moored to the torpedo

Silently, with our ‘maslaha’, we endured the pain, only for a smile.

We waited and waited, and our skins got drier than a lizard’s

Our throats dried out, our trunks elongated, crying for the lost parole

The eyes without tears; all shed along the unending journey.

We never moved away, because we ought not to empty the kraal

We waited for two decades, just to get the first smile on our faces

And today it came, amidst all the odds: anger, frustration and shallow fear.

We smiled, tried to laugh but you want to tether us again

You rant, especially on Fridays

And today, you try to smile, but do you think you can snare us with your mug;

After baptizing us in sleepless nights with fitful thoughts.

We will tell you that you can’t coax us anymore

Our smile, this kismet is our blood and we will lump the contradictions of smiles.

Our kind of pain

Our kind of pain is obscene

A broth of pride, revenge, relief and sadness

This dolor bellows, it swells day and night
It’s of anger, anguish, disappointment, desertion.
Our pain is silent; it’s our enigma

Daily, we submit everywhere, we bruise our knees,  bruise our pale foreheads

but the grief is a tick.
Our kind of pain perturbs, and no one feels it but us;
And who are we, the us, I mean?
Some say it’s the diaspora, but some insist that it’s those in the stew;
Whoever it may be, I know that the caustic aggro befalls all.
Because it’s us, it’s our nation, a withering foliage.

Children can’t play in the streets; schools shelving.

Men are mice; perturbed by the off-color remarks.

Our homes are deserted, families  like chicken in rain.
Our kind of pain extorts the last saps as we near the inauguration.
Our pain, this twinge slays
But you don’t care about it,
If you’re not us; the disintegrating polity.

Careless whispers

It’s time for you to listen to the candid wind

Seems we all hear it approaching, but you;

We’re not deaf anymore, nor aghast.

Listen to the silent voice from the fated;

It’s we, not you,

It’s in the hearts, not the billboards you’re undressing in daylight;

Nor in the institutions you’re raping.

It’s the wind in us,

It’s our weary hearts, we have changed the course;

It’s not your toothless sermons nor your careless whispers swelling everywhere;

It’s us together, no more a loner, sassy.

We won’t hear your whispers anymore; worn of your careless whispers.

Eugene: Take me

Take me with your golden hands

Thrust me into the immortal furnace of your eyes

Hand in hand, let’s drown into the wilderness,

For every second, I see pale hull in the mirror;

My hair that flared is dull; the skin that fired the dark, is flabby.

Daily, the curtain is drawn nearer, I hallucinate childhood,

A time when with friends, we scouted for hairs, yearned to youth, to mount the wheel.

But today, here they are, hairs everywhere, oppressive, mousy;

My chin, divorcing the bold-face; my skin, wrinkling.

Eugene, take me into your warm arms

Wrap my defoliating skin, grease my throbbing heart

They’re tearing apart, plunged into ice that never melts.

Take me in, for the heat encysting me is baneful

It matures daily, creepy.

Eugene, take me to the summit

Where I can court the pain of living and accost aging.

Enough Sirens: united in hope

United in hope, we can rest the dust around us,

With the ardor, we can gyre the wilderness; push the course; settle the confusion.
Did we ever know that we can be married, in a wish to see the bull’s eyes?
That one day, we can remove the cocky mammoth from its mantle;

Without mushing, but with our tied, flabby hands?
Did we ever know that we can raise the flag
With one finger, without shivering?

But we did it, mixed in a mortar;
Though, day and night, we’re being severed,
Derailed with derogatory tirade; thick tribal and holy division.

But today, the hope of being free is our glue, our compass;

And we thrashed the swanky mammoth, mixed in a mortar.
We should not let the glue melt, it’s our last fragile hope.
Our hope is nigh, a month away.

Our hope is greater than us,
But it is dust, whirling; it can be eased;
It’s the last drop of water from a spoilt tap, but can be fixed and collected;
It’s with a flea, consuming us, but the vermin can be negated;
The hope, today, is wispy but only together, we can hold the dust;
Together, our might can secure the lost courage;
Together, we can rest the plague and build our nation.

Our Sons and Daughters: negotiating with Jammeh

Our knees are bruised and the marrows spewing

We had begged, day and night, for the bitter end,

We had begged for our snap but his madness hikes.

There are people who oppose our plight, sever us, dock us in a burnt prairie for their selfish desires,

They strangulate us, rip us of our rights, of being freemen,

But today, we are tired of the incarceration;

The barbwires, chained around our serrated necks have maimed us, one by one.

Our sons and daughters, tell the devil that we are tired of the chains, and will no more be confined.

His gape had been scary because of the machineries, but tell him, it’s never again

There are no machineries, they now know who’s the devil,

And the sensible uniformed-men are aware, that his days are gone

And they’ll never be used as brutes, which they’re not.

They are, but our sons and daughters.

 

We couldn’t write, talk, stand nor walk; the suppression was bitter, and piling up.

But today, we will write, talk and walk;

Our itch for freedom will never ease; for we are leaning on the baobabs, our men in uniforms, our book and our rightful votes; so our bearing will be forever.

We will not turn our backs to the wind,

Today is our liberation day;

Our sons and daughters, today is our sunshine.