A Stain Of Liquid Gold And Blood

The people forget their origins
Forget their long ties to the colonial masters
But the memories of things
Won't fade in me
I know much of the atlantic south
And the sahel much as I know my country.

I know about the British swift
Race from the streets of lagos
At the time of unvailing
The clouds of freedom
I know about the the jihads
Of conquest mounted
Under a big umbrella of faith
The warriors ceremonially on horsebacks
As in a durbar with spears and cudgels
That maimed and killed and conquered

Distant visitors
From foreign lands
Visited to enslave the people
And variegate some cultures
Somewhere in America
And I am speaking with tears
Brought to stupor by the elicit gin
A bamboozle brought about
By the visitors to stop the people's
Invented industry from growing.

I am worst off for't
Now that a licit liquid gold
Is found at Oloibiri
The hoe that the people bent over
To create the pyramids of peanuts
Has faded into the smoke
Of the billowing rigs without replacement
The pyramids themselves consigned
To history and oblivion.

I am a witness to the southern forests
That bore games, cocoa, rubber, palms and its produce
And the men who bore hoes and knives and guns
To harness from the wild national income generators
That brought John Holt, UAC, PZ and Elder Dempster
To Calabar.

I can see barrels of liquid gold
Exuding a slime, the glue of
The bond of my country
And the life-line of individuals
Who have pelted the commonwealth.

I was the sunbird that perched
On the bough of the locust bean tree
Watching a battalion of soldiers
Marching at Gakem
Blocking the infiltration
Of the the federal forces in a task
To keep my country one.

I could hear the bugle sounding
And the bombs and canons
Of ogbunigwe grumbling
Secession was going to succeed
But it failed in the short supply
Of stockfish from Sweden
Emasculating the seccessionists
In the scarcity of even lizards
The war was won on both sides
Still there's a tragedy of victory.

The red sight of blood
Away from this war
Has shifted to liquid gold
And to who holds the power
To distribute it
That is the war now
And there is blood stain everywhere
Corpses flying and landing in the blood
The maimed limping
Unable to function in their niche.

It is not a war for democracy
It is not a war for liberty
It is not a war for freedom
It is a terrorists war
And churches, schools, banks and
Markets are no more
And Chibok stolen girls are somewhere
In a gulag.
The soldiers have joined the terrorist insiduously
And my country is confused
One step forward
Another step backward.

by Tony Adah

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