By Ngam Emmanuel, World BEYOND War, September 6, 2020
Afternoon, visible rays of the hot sun,
Filtered through the dark grey sky.
The undulating hills overlooked a gritty wasteland below.
The landscape stood imposingly and sullenly, as though
It was been haunted by the witches of melancholy.
Hills that were once carpeted with thick forests
Stood forlorn, empty and weary. Her rugged valleys once
Soared of spectacular beauty. Today her verdant face is no more.
Once, sweet smeliing flowers attracted men and bees here.
Once, the turaco chirped in her lovely woods.
Once, its rapturous melody brought joy to our hearts.
Once, its red shiny feathers graced the crowns of nobility.
Once, the forest provided water for all.
Once, honey dripped abundantly here.
Once, her woods supplied wood for all.
Once, her faune provided cures to all ailments.
Once, the sacred shrines and totems enjoyed its protection.
The gods in their secret places spy and balefully,
Frown at those who neglect the path of the sacred python.
The brooding landscape stares on in disbelief, seeing everyone
Turning its back for pursuit of alien paths.
The defilers of the land increase dailylike raindrops on a drizzling morning.
Blood, spilled at every road junction.
Desecration has stamped wrinkles on every smiling face.
Multitude wander from place to place in quest of solace.
The drummers left behind, play out of tone.
The singers left behind to sing, produce a cacophony.
The dancers left behind to dance, do so awkwardly.
Ngam Emmanuel is a poet, writer, advocate of political justice, and high school teacher in Cameroon. Ngam graduated from Higher Teacher Training College with a Diploma in Languages (French and English).