Paradeigmania

By Wardley D. Barrry-Igivisa

 We gather what’s left of our past and look

West toward tomorrow on silver fields,

Hoping to re-find what we twice forsook.

 

We fill our baskets and billums with yields

From farmlands that lie in regions far-flung,

While we trample down our Hausmans to build

 

White houses where we listen to strange tongues,

And scribble our ignorance on white sheets,

And speak like strings of tuneless guitars strung

 

Over broken boards. We now live on streets

And blocks; we scatter in stag settlements,

Where once there were villages of close-knit

 

Families. Yet our friends don’t know what’s meant

By kanderes, tambus or masalais

For their stupidity we pay 10 cents.

 

But when we cry who will wipe from our eyes.

The tears that collect like torturous boils?

Oh! They gave us boom-boxes and Wi-Fi’s.

 

Each weekend we stumble home from our toil

— Only that home has a father without

A dad and hoards of strangers in turmoil.

 

We hear drum beats we know nothing about,

And twirl cancans though we don’t know the dance.

We’re abused within, though adorned without.

 

With motion pictures we take innocence

From our children and induct them into

Adulthood, amplifying each pubic sense

 

With the sensuality of Reehannas,

And Bret Peats; with the colours of rainbow

We tell them doughnuts can be bananas.

 

When marks of awareness begin to show

We clothe them in their birthday suits, and then

Let them graffiti on their eyes and toes.

 

We sacrifice our old chiefs for bigmen,

Who strut about town with round potbellies,

Big enough to house a thousand women.

 

When we complain of them chopping down trees

And plundering our gardens, they muffle

Our voices with paper notes and police.

 

Will we ever be heard in this scuffle?

Can we retrieve pride of which we’ve been reft?

Perhaps, if we look well through the ruffle

 

We would find in cracks of concrete a cleft

In which a remnant of our right is left

And there regather the right we have left.

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