Poetry

Rape of Innocence: Poems by Ebele Chizea

RAPE OF INNOCENCE

Bloody Rivers
It was Sora who caused the flow
Barely a moon ago
She played ten-ten in dusty playgrounds
Under sunlit skies

Groans and Moans
The earth’s womb threatens to implode
Her insides smell like death
Flies and vultures ballooned with content
Her thighs exposed for all to see

That

Young butterflies
Armed with ak47s
Rummage jungles
Circling the war mill
That feed real life vampires
In high places.

Stolen innocence is nothing compared to
The rape of innocence

I wonder if those perpetuators
Were themselves depraved
And carried with them the memory
Of when their wonderment was forcefully drowned
In rivers of blood

In being the initiators
Do they heal, feel justified in their suffering
Pleased at the idea that they shall not be the only generation
That cannot remember heaven?

She needs to be sown up
Our mother
Look at her, don’t turn away
From her gut wrenching cries
No epidurals can silence this pain

Manifesting in the souls of her children
Forced to perpetuate the illusion
Of separation and disharmony

So that now when we talk of being real
We refer to something sinister – cynical
Anything that can prevent us from taking responsibility
Or bearing some guilt

And so day by day we lose little Soras and male equivalents
In the Middle East, in Africa, the ghettos and suburbs of America, Europe
Everywhere…
Moment by moment, flames extinguishing
Memories of paradise and magic disappearing…

———————

ANI SONG

We are the children of Ani
The great mother of life
We are children swimming in the pool
Of her sacred rivers

We hop with the butterfly
Coo with the bird
Delight in the fragrance of flowers in bloom

We dig our feet deep in the sand
Play with ocean tides
Flap our arms against the wind
Pick up stones, wear or put them in jars

We climb tree branches
To perceive its secrets and wisdoms
Collected through the rings
Of time.

We are not from here or there
We’ve existed before and forever will
We come time and time again
Because of love

And though we may be persecuted
Tried and refined by fire
We understand she is our friend
Together with water and air

We are the Kingdom of heaven
With all its riches buried within our hearts
We are the Queendom of earth
Come to manifestation

We are the children of Ani
The great mother of life
And our ammo is freedom

———————

DREAMS

I dream of Africa
Gold dust carried
By winds with
Ancient secrets
Against my skin
Nubian heat
Darkens my neck
In a land of legendary Queens
And skyscrapers made
Of the same dust
Beneath my sandaled feet

I dream of Africa
Riding on a camel’s back
Me in a shawl
A man in turban
Handsome as the desert
My companion
In a never ending
Journey on sand

I dream of
Places like Zanzibar
A land as beautiful
As its name
Where black men and women
Stand tall and lean
Unlike in other places
I’ve been
Except maybe Ethiopia
And Burundi

The best names are in Africa

I dream of
Crowded spaces
And bargaining customers
Market women
And area-boys
Places where inscriptions
On buses are common

A typical west-side story

In my dreams
I am in a South African
Safari
And the animals are with me
There is no invasion
Of territory
For here
Human and beast
Is evolved in unity

The cries of freedom persist here
The joys of freedom ring true here

When I envision
A dream-a goal-a destination
I end up in Africa

———————

THE VILLAGE BIRD

A long time ago
in a land far, far away
I arose to distant hills
in translucent shades of blue
In the backdrop
Black birds soared
flapping their wings to the rhythm of their coos
They spread gossip about other towns
Grandma heard, nodded and suddenly went:
“okay!”

I only got the part about Emekuku
What happened at Emekuku?
Grandma’s lips were sealed
It was older people’s business

I long for the days when birds could talk
and we took the time to decipher
When chickens and goats co-existed with humans
on the front porch
Swearing away the heat
each in its own tongue
Longing for harmattan…

Sitting under moonlit skies
Listening to tales of duality
as corn roasts with crackling sounds under the fire…

Chanting:
“udara mu cha nda cha cha cha nda…”
Some of us sniffling at the girl whose stepmother starved her
and who prays for the udara to ripen so she can eat

In a famine udara dwarfs itself to feed girl
and grows infinitum when step mother sings to it
We cheer!

It’s bedtime
And with a belly filled with corn and ube
I move lethargically towards my mat
determined to rise early
to decode what the bird from Emekuku had said.

———————

© Ebele Chizea
Free image courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

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