Literary Zone

Poetry-Yenga on my mind

2 July 2009 at 03:27 | 831 views

Yenga on my mind

By Elvis Gbanabom Hallowell, Freetown, Sierra Leone.

No longer at ease!
Sincerity has lost its ceremony to the valley of death.
This purple hibiscus for which my mother died a mother
now walks the Guinea road.
Where is that Sierra Leonean poet
who once bled the moon to quench my thirst?
Yesterday the Cotton Tree madman
read from a deck of cards the obvious pain of loss
exaggerated by the queen of hearts.
Being that the madman too is a poet
I shall not cry over the water that separates us.
This manual calmness in my countrymen
over the affairs of Yenga drinks my blood.
Therefore, I long for the momentary tongues
of Dawa, Kailondo, Bureh and Yoko.
By my blood, Yenga shall not pay
taxes to the conquistador!
Beware Sierra Leone, of your own Freetown!
The cock crowed three times
after you sat in your imaginary quiet
to deny Yenga the Republican dignity.
In spite of itself, Yenga sweats.
The impossible neighbors keep carbides in Yenga
but our politicians will not talk to them until
their French can define democracy.
In short, Sierra Leone shall never be 50
until Conakry reinvents Milton Margai.
O Yenga, when shall these forty nights pass away?
Desert supporting desert in the frontier of your shame.
Your beautiful oases store the veritable bones
of your courage one child at a time.
Yenga, I’m tormented by your lugubrious drums
and I’m hopeless because my hendecasyllabic verses
have not oozed enough the pus of my heartache.
Yenga, my Yenga, tonight I contemplate Okigbo
because I contemplate the palatine country!

By Gbanabom Hallowell 2009

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