Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi/Files. Who is numbering the dead?

There is partying in the oceans of this world. Long before it became fashionable for Syrians to join up, brothers and friends from all of Africa, fleeing lands that have ceased to be hospitable, drunk too much of the Mediterranean, ending up in eternal stupor from which there is no rousing. The world cared little about their party, as long as they did not end up on the other side. Gaddafi bargained them as fodder for Italian money and Europe did not flinch about helping them. They were the scum of the earth. Flotsam and jetsam of the sea.

The world noticed and Europe was roused after Syrians joined the party. There is a body that can be mourned and another which is unmournable. I have written poetry in the past for African refugees who died as they tried to reach Lampedusa. The situation has only worsened.

This poem is for anyone who will cross an ocean on this tiny ball of dirt called earth, in search of a better life. Live long!

Of Earth and the Sea, We Have Already Sung
We are people of the land
Our fathers did not swim
And neither do we.
Our only knowledge of water was rain
Our land was too dry
To court a river
Our eyes too dry
To shed a tear.

But we have been intimate with the sea
Our land has turned upon us.
What could hold no water
Has learnt to drink blood
Our land frightens us.

So we shall make new friends with the sea
We who have known no water
Shall be remembered as the men of the sea
We who only sung of the earth
Shall make new hymns for the water
And if there shall be any more singing yonder,
We who died in this crossing
Shall plead:
Of earth and the sea, we have already sung.

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Mercenaries.

Mercenaries.

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. I am not joining the American National Poetry Month Write A Poem A Day Challenge because this blog is sinlessly African only. But I think it is a worthy challenge and writing a poem a day for a month may not be too difficult a thing to do. In place of missing out on the Challenge, I’ll do my best to flow with the spirit of poetry and blog more African poetry this month. Maybe, I should set a personal challenge to update this blog everyday of April. That is quite a Challenge in itself. I have written poetry for the first two days of April already, the first being my April Fool’s Post and then this one written yesterday. Hope you enjoy it somewhat.

LIFE AND DEATH

Life and death.
We trudge on
From one to another.
Mercenaries. Bound.

If only death was life
And life was death,
Then we’ll die first
And live forever

Still we rise..

We breath.
We live.
We live.
We breath.
We sleep.
We wake.
We live.
To die.

Yet we live still…
To die soon…

This poem is actually a response to the epidemic of lost lives the world has seen in only three months of this year. An earthquake in Haiti, floods in Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan, an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries across the globe, brutal after-effects of elections in Cote d’Ivoire and bomb explosions in Afghanistan and many other countries. The list is endless. I am sure I have missed something still. But it gives a though to the contemplative: how valuable is life today? We have collectively cheapened the value of life through our misdeeds. But even if we did not, wouldn’t we all die? The poem says it all that life and death are the cycle we all shall experience. We trudge towards death, whether by quake, tsunami or revolution, each day brings us ever close to our graves. Yet we trudge on. I hope it made for thought.