March 5, 2017

Three Poems by Ngozi Olivia Osuoha: "The Marathon of War," "Jungle Justice a Thorn in the Heart," and "Africa Recounts"

Ngozi Olivia Osuoha is a Nigerian poet/writer/thinker/rhymer. She has been published in journals in the UK, US, Ghana, Liberia, India, Zimbabwe, Canada, Kenya, Trinidad and Tobago and Germany among others.

The Marathon of War 

It is a deep mystery
In the face of reality
An intermediate thriller
And overwhelming horror
Too existential,
With little or no suspense
Burning the atoms of freedom
Boiling the particles of peace
Folding the mat of romance
As we run the marathon of war.

The fear from leadership
And the doubts in the citizenry
The fairness of justice
And the hardness of fairness,
The deadness of equity
And the newness of terrorism
The depth of racism
And the pride of hate
All, not just a limerick
For the pain underneath religion
And the trauma behind politics
All, a dagger of arrogance
With the spear of ignorance
Supporting the marathon of war.

The titbits of deceit
Under the carpet of rulership
The cankerworm and caterpillar
The swarm of locusts
Eating up the freedom of peace
Thrusting a romance of horror,
Tilling a thrilling mystery
A marathon of war
A race of agony
A world of destruction
Winning, losing and losing, winning
A war on humanity
And humanity at war
All, a marathon of war.

(This poem first appeared in "Dawuro Africa," Ghana.)

Jungle Justice a Thorn in the Heart 

Yells, voices, clubs, crowd
Condemnations, chants, choruses
Harsh chase, fierce search
Rods, irons, matchetes, weapons
Tires, fuel, the rage to burn
The anxiety to put to death
Mobocracy, a thorn on humanity.

Some not guilty nor proven
Some either to be jailed or fined
Some either cautioned or gainfully employed,
Some not to die
Some no evidence, mere speculation
Some, a malicious rumour
Some, envy, scandals and gossips
A lot, no reasonable facts
Hidden truths, undisclosed deals
Unknown lies, a trail of vengeance
Jungle justice, shadow of inhumanity.

A common dish to strangers
A dirty garment for visitors,
A note of hate and bitterness
Alien to love and unity
Jungle justice, a barren field.

Mobocracy, a cruel zeal
A harsh treatment and intolerance
A basin of soured dinner
A tree of fruitless branches
An epidemic, a xenophobia
Jungle justice, injustice to mankind.

Superstition and ignorance
Tradition and culture
Religion and belief
Rivalry and opposition,
Not too holy a mob
Seizing, ceasing the hands of time
Inflicting pain and perpertual agony,
All, a box of rags
Wisdom turns it a coat of many colours.

Back, home the trauma boils
Old parents go insane
Hopeful siblings waiting a nurture
Wretched home searching for pasture,
Innocent family praying for future
Relatives needing a gesture
Community abhoring the vulture
Mobocracy, the enemy of justice
A thorn in the heart of the world.

(This poem first appeared in "Dawuro," Africa and "Tuck Magazine," Canada)

Africa Recounts 

African traditional religion
Ethnic cleansing, tribal wars
Horrors of culture and tradition
Human rituals and sacrifice
Ostracism and banishment
Colonization and civilization
Slavery and polygamy,
Africa recounts.

Pieces of bones, chips of flesh
Skulls and skeletons
Malnourished children, sick orphans
Empty beds, dusty wardrobes
Raped girls, dejected widows
Terminated youths, frustrated survivors
Abandoned homes, wreckage schools
Africa recounts.

Politics, terrorism and strangers
Oil and natural resources,
Africa recounts.

Bitter waters, barren fields
War dance, hate song
Diseases and starvation
Epidemy, natural disasters
Africa still recounts.

Lost soul, dark love
Hard life, hardship
Bondage and superstition,
Africa recounts.

War, what have you not done?
Violence, have you not killed enough?
Religion, any more harm remaining?

Africa recounts, she groans
Unborn dreams, unsung heroes
Her pain, her sorrow
Her fate, her destiny
Yes, Africa recounts.

(This poem first appeared in "Meru Jabam," Kenya)

© Ngozi Olivia Osuoha

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