OUR CONTEMPORARY AFRICA
What happened to us?
Our sunrise used to be heralded
By cockcrows and the calmness of
Dew drops on leaves.
Our morning sun was big and bright
Accompanied by the sweet serenading
Silence that lingered till She retired.
We used to smile at Her
With eagerness and hope,
We were thankful we had the Sun.
But all that's left of our beautiful
Morning sun now is a dim shadow
Of its former self, decorated by
Scars inflicted on it by the
Ones it loved; the ones whose paths
it once lit.
Our waters no longer bear their
They no longer possess that pure soul
From which we drew life, in which we
Ourselves were purified.
They were calm, confident and trustworthy.
They once carried us safely, caressed
Our wounded bodies when we flew
Into their arms to find solace away
From the world's harsh realities.
What happened to us?
We used to play in the rain together.
We never cared what mother and father had
to say about dangerous spiritual
We'd still go to the river to play, in the
Pretext of answering nature's call,
Get our butts whooped afterwards
And still go the day after.
The water was our friend after all.
What happened to our bond?
We used to be closer than cloth and skin,
Bean seed and radicle,
We used to hold hands wherever we went,
We were closer than the Binders,
Inseparable like the sky and the stars:
Your errand meant my errand.
I'd fight when you were insulted,
Get wounded when you fought,
Laugh when you made silly mistakes
And correct you.
But all we have now is only a fragment
Of the love we once shared,
Publicised juxtapositions of our recent
Photos, like buttons, boring stickers and tags.
The words we'd say freely to each other
In the past we now say through things
that can't even breathe because we feel
Too embarrassed to say them to each other's face.
Every day of our lives used to be an eternal
glory when the world was sane;
When overgrown boys didn't call
When fully grown men did not go about
Fighting like loose brazen mad dogs
For things that existed before they were
Born and will be here long after they have been reduced to maggot food.
Life used to be beautiful when little things
Like the bird that sat on the tree in our
compound and said words in our dialect.
Life was innocent
When we would all stop what we were
Doing to sing aloud and wave at an aeloplane,
When the aeloplane being closer than usual was a big deal.
Our world used to travel its distance
Peacefully and run its daily course
With inapprehensiveness until we limited ourselves to mere colour
Mother earth would not weep so bitterly
If only her babies would realise
That diversity is the spice of life
And not the vice of life.
Mother earth's heart would not be broken
If only we would realise
That love is the perfect lubricant for
Everything that's lost its natural lustre,
Only love can bring back our
Morning sun and smoothen everything that's rusted.