On Chibok: A poem
Shekau is Jay-Z
Singing I’ve got girls, girls,
Pointed rifles and aides flanking him
A Neanderthal in turban
Brazen and psychotic,
He holds the world to ransom
Call it terrorism
He kills in the name of a God
Leaving this god neither anonymous,
Bombs burst open
In market places, churches, parks, mosques
With seething effervescence
We condemn his gore and guts
Whilst our impotent imperialists masturbate
In clandestine spaces
The nation grows amok
Anomie twinkling persistent blips
The nation has been sabotaged
And they wave a flag of indifference,
Then a flag of denial, then a flag
Of amnesty, a flag of deliberation
In the face of carnage
Bombs, new land mines
Detonated by strapped suicide bombers
They die by diffusion and hope to fuck
Virgins in heavenly suites. They shout God is great.
But we already know. Man’s wickedness is greater
And God does not speak for man’s wickedness
When He called us after his image.
God is no poet; he does not fancy imagery,
He would have said: Man, look into a mirror
What you see is God.
Gory images spread across newspapers.
Everyday a new death. Not famine or
Malaria, not automobile mishap or Filaria
Not old age, the good death or dying,
Not even cancer, the new worm or
Diabetes, death from being too sugary–
It is suicide motivated multiple homicides
Just happy go lucky bombers who
Blast their god vehicle in a frenzied
Rant about the greatness of God.
Yes, man’s wickedness is greater. Look into
Craters and see blood flowing,
Tributaries connecting Buni Yadi to Izghe to Gamburu
Coalescing within the confines of
Lugard’s eternal mistake.
Then there was Chibok.
Chibok was inevitable, like death itself.
Chibok of yellowy dust, bucolic and sleepy
Like an octogenarian’s afternoon
Chibok happened upon Chibok
And the town’s name became its tragedy.
Insurgents razed the town
Stirring and stoking it with petrol
They made away with 234 virgins
At the very least 234 dreams.
The world was silent when they were taken
It was denied, their kidnap was first amnestic,
And remembered in slow bursts.
Who says hashtags can’t fan revolutions?
Catch a fire my friend.
But who keeps the vigil lamp burning?
Who keeps the dreams drumming?
Who sits as sentry at the fish-mouth
Who keeps the memory fresh by
Watering planted placards at Falomo?
This poem carries every name,
Every face, every trace of tear, every
Ounce of fear that these girls suffered
They have been scarred for life
This memory may not decay
How will they remember themselves by,
In the span of days, an innocent virgin
Becomes known by a prodding terrorist
His member, his stiff ramrod
Jabbing into her with the persistent unease
And the frenzy of a house owner locked outside.
He squeals his seeds into her,
Cuddles smearing her bruised sensitive side,
This rape is dual, of mother and daughter
Country and citizen.
Bring Back Our Girls fired up
By hashtags, social media props
That don’t give; social media activism
Is struggle at its laziest, pundits sip tea
And medicate retweets.
Retweet won’t bring back our girls,
Neither will hashtags, our voices have
Reverberated all over the world and that
Is enough for pushing our luck.
Whilst soldiers shuffle in their boots,
Dancing the feeble dance of the infirm
On the skirts of Sambisa.
Inertia is a new dance.
Inertia is a new trance
Inertia is a new prance
Inertia will not bring back our girls.
*A year has passed. We haven’t forgotten or forgiven.