I can’t explain the exact difference
between memory and recollection
both to my poetry
are like analyzing
In Conflict writing…
They came in landing
and the breath were
the hot steam of war
sigh a murmur
from the congregated dead
ziz-zaged as the arrangement of this poem
A land of racial ghost
and ethnic fear
Moss grow of the dead
as carpet on the trunk of trees,
and on a new page
a fresh grave lay beneath
underneath each story
I recollect of politicians
Phantom turning to the amazing heat of flames
when they encounter resistance
from the poor
and the hungry
memory of the militants
recollection of religion
genocide! Genocide! genocide
and if a native was to see it
recollection of elders
…them as they corrupt the nation
the native was shot
or killed by accidental discharge
faith in and are broken
Bodies are broken
Branches of culture were searing,
thorn and thrown
I recollect a little blood
were bone poked through flesh
Talks about the genocidal child
Interred, the corpse were lain flat
In the north as in Somalia
The hillside grave drained
Our literary voices
Till rigor mortis set in
On Association of Nigerian Authors
We write with the biggest pay
…for us the darkness is not a curse
The unborn child is corrupt
Me; tribalpoetry is also first a sham
The thankless occupation
That will kill me eventually
“Let me be free to speak out of the bitterness of my soul” (Job 7:11)
I am seized upon the essential of the scene to which I have devoted my review, with these in mind I create novelty in the awareness I sought to construct from the conflicting state, that the person or scene depicted may seem secondary to source, and in the poetry to merge together into an interconnectedness… to merge with truth of what it really look like in the Shelled Creek
Recoil not from the sound of awful sorrow, Beautiful literature entwined with dead corpses, Please listen to an incident of the delta war, Were the greed for oil enemized everything, Painting the landscape with impending darkness, On graveyard as large as the antiquity of all suffering.
A corpse collapsed beside my review, And his laughter was cruel unto death, He ask for words to resurrect the creek, Rhymed to the cacophony of machine gun fire
First it was a child face stained by combat
Then the indigenes came running, running, running
Appearing like spirit from the coastal mist
To join the routine screams filling my mind
There was a wedding of Oyinbo helicopters above the jungle, The whip, whip, whip of rotors pounding like my pulse, Of more expatriates coming to rape the soil, Already killing the swirling sunflower, meadows, nature that surrounded me, encompass me, seems to reach out to me always
Research said the Government mounted a counter offensive, Seemed pressed by fear that there could be a shortage of bodies, And the frightened native population streamed ahead of the clash, As the gunfire started mowing the grass… And that it was like a shooting gallery
Research says the militant fight back by wielding the law, And the Government calls the militant outlaws, Because they operate with independence, Are horribly efficient in practical term, As they walked and killed these who raped our oil
Now there is no peace here
Only violation as in a state of war
That symbolizes the chaos of killed voices
Like the soft auburn of decaying cocoa leaves
Have you ever met good manner in battle? In the jungle you are always surrounded and so is the enemy, There is no clear demarcation between good and bad, It is a deadly game of hide and seeks, Were the enemy will never appear before your gun, Unless there is a negotiation of ransom
Their commander could never be certain of what they could do
Because they killed on the basis of prospect
They lost the idea inherent in the struggle
They are now phantoms fading through the creek
Like Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni eight
Who is our enemy I ask, An enemy oil-painted the colour of our screams, Like the sighs of living demons, Obscuring pampered graves, The enemy who will be to one side or behind your back, Day after day, week after week surrounded are you, As each develop a cautious pattern of insanity, And the country as a whole suffer,
Who is the enemy?
How many years had the air been full of smokes, cordite and screams
How much red was there, of fire of blood and mangled flesh
with oil Like the red pulp of Maiduguri tomatoes
Now you have heard the ruckus, Of skull beating to dirge, The clamor of each wail, The slack lip, The jutting tongue,The weeping of hollow faces, That once had known peace
Who is the enemy?
Violated homes stood like ancient thumb stones
The dead buried in symbolic beds
That is why the skull survive
To be collected by CNN called Jeff Coinage
Who studied our dead like pre-historic mammals
Churned amid the violated graves, Today the shattered vegetation wedded, The shattered work of men, and total darkness could seem a blessing, Of a poem sunk in the knowledge of horror,
Who is the enemy? When helicopter hosed the jungle with rocket fire, And the flame were real, as real as cooking dawn, Into the impenetrable umbrella of the motherland, With plenty of fresh graves unsettled,
Who is the enemy?
As the population continues to practice its ceremony, Hand forming the circle in death poetry, And each ethnic group create a spirit fence, Hungry fortitude that flew across the landscape,
Who is the enemy?
Now that the corpses are exhumes in each Review, But are alive in the famished land of the valley, Becoming one with the ravaged and oil watered soil, A country’s consultation with the sworn enemy,
Who is the enemy?
When the living tried best to forget the dead, Howling and weeping in their relentless quest, Where upturned graves in the fight reviews, Corpses flying upward in the bombardment,
Who is the enemy? When Villages are rebuilt, rice paddies are tended With the bones of the dead shining spectral, And moss soften the tread of mercenary and thieves, And pries into these darkest places
Martin Luther king, one of the fathers of non-violence, once said in reference to a quote by pres. J f Kennedy that, “when peaceful revolution is made impossible, violent revolution is inevitable”. Does this quote have any relevance at all in helping us understand the violence we see being committed by in Africa today?
Thanks you Please join me to make the poem below written by a community poet
a reality Peace is a chariot of fire.
It runs in teams across the troubled sky.
It gathers the youth of the world into a force of change.
Its heroes fall only to rise again in the arms of others,
holding high the torch of nonviolence.
This is no lonely flight of Icarus into the rising sun,
no risk of falling into the headstrong sea of error.
For those who would drive the team of peace
must link arms on either side,
harness their anger against injustice,
conquer the fears of centuries.
Those who would run the course of fire
must run in waves that shift their lands from strife to shared endeavor.
Those who would follow in steps of heroes must heed clearly the voice of the people and shape their dreams into visions.
For this is no journey of turning back,
no force that can be denied.
A culture of peace is dawning
and all will be changed in its light
“http:/omosun.wordpress.com” is one of my literary projects that are committed to building understanding, tolerance, and Peace initiative in . It aims to do this by inviting people to take part in inspiring discussions and in sharing of ideas. Its goal is to inspire people to stand for Peace dialogue in , and by doing so to initiate a chain reaction of the effected audience inspiring more people that will help make Peace in the and other part of the country a reality
My first thrust towards achieving this goal is to use http:/omosun.wordpress.com to start discussions on the Delta conflicts that begin by looking at and envisioning the things that would be possible if Peace talk in the creek is a reality.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger that announces peace!” (Bible – Isaiah 52) “He who walks with peace – walk with him!” (Koran)
I chose the use of the blog; http:/omosun.wordpress.com since it allows me to start discussions that people in various parts of the world can take part in. it is easier and more effective than local daily newspaper
Please try to participate
Poetry of Pain on the
Written by: Omosun Sylvester
Vivid pictures of pain and aching, suffering and death resulting from conflicts within Nigeria have been created at least as long as the delta conflict has been upon us, if the poet of today create such pictures about pain through their write-up on the delta the message can captures the reader when it is conveyed powerfully to the affected people and it can heal and forces them to listen
In the internet most Nigerians have set up poetry and literary groups, within were the confrontation of African Conflict are presented in ennobled art and is traditionally based according to each authors tribe/ethnic background
All the writings posted are noticeably different from one another, most present endless pictures of hurting and aggression, others goes a step further and deals with the approach connected to pain from the Nigerian conflicts – wound becomes the subject of the art. In this way, it has tried to get readers to look inside themselves and in lieu with the judgment of the poet, thus, become a more sympathetic person with what is happening in and around the creek.
All through points in time there have been people who sacrificed their live on behalf of others in the Conflict prone society of Africa by the vivid pictures of pain and aching depicted in their poetry, When an African writer experiences something on behalf of others through his art, he may expose himself to danger of political/ethnic hatred if he writes of it, the truth that send hatred their way killed them. Their death in our hand because they made us see, Ken Saro Wiwa, Christopher Okigbo are some of these scapegoats, through their own lives they give other members of society the chance to experience real ache of their brothers in the creek without having to feel it. Without having to be there
The Nigerian poets can show others what a feeling of pain or real fear of death looks like in the hand of hoodlums. They can also tell how it feels to live in area like
Sudan in a single stanza from their poetry; they will tell you about the waste of land, the raping of the local wealth in using the delta as an element of art
, the intention in using the delta as an element of poetic art may be to astound the readers and ask him to examines his feelings with the Victor-perpetuator principle (shell/militant)
The use of such poetry as a creative element appeals to the readers understanding and, through their own feeling, to identify themselves with a cause:
If one considers why a poet not born in the delta handles such poetry with a passion, it is easy to think that he has been influenced by the predecessor before him, because he is a poet and has certainly experienced all kinds of things as that poet’.
Let us accept that the awareness of people is growing everyday about the direct relationship between their environment and their culture, their economy and politics, because their environment constitute their home and element of their religion, it is the source of their art and craft
If I hear that the shell/militia is the cause of unrest in the delta region and probable causes of the united state physiological war against Africa, and I say alright “I accept that” I may sound to you as if am saying I don’t care or maybe even that I like it or approve of it, in that case I wont do anything about it
But this is not the case is this article, my acceptance of shell only meant that I accept shell is the possible cause of the unrest that I was being told about, on the others hand it also meant that I did not deny it, I did not deny the news I have heard or read. If we don’t deny that reality of something we can respond to it in the best possible way we knew
“You can’t heal a wound by saying it is not there” Jeremiah 6:14
- Responding to Shell
If we as a people let go of our attachment (kidnapping, etc)of getting that which they wish for in lieu with our environment, we will still get it, the only difference is that we wont suffer if we don’t get it, because the odd of getting the “what” of our desire will be as good as ever
Our brothers were shelled in the delta and they got hurt, and then they, like most of us in the media spend most of their life tensed against the experience of the shell oil. The experience is over because it has already happened and I knew that we will not be shelled again because it is over, and the world as the onlooker will not allow it to happen again, the shell has been exposed
But for one reason or the other we wont allow the experience to go, we keep focusing on the time our leaders sold us off the shore of the creek, we thing of the people we love and the Ogoni eight, we think of them and we act out our anger by denying the reality of a new birth, the new development initiative, that in which the man (ken) we profess to fight for sought out with his life, it is development the ken dies trying to achieve. Nothing else
We have got to accept shell so we can respond to it, we have got to stop using excusing as reasons for not allowing development to take a new turn, let us be present, we are equal to every moment, and we need to be present in other to act
What if something else happen while we are focused in the past, what if it is another thing worse than shell, in life something always happen, we can’t be focused in the past that has nothing to do with the current negotiation principle being applied today
It is funny the way we are always protecting ourselves from the experience we just had in any conflicting situation, we develop a kind of militating sentient radar technology gear and when provoked we attack without reasoning
We need to get current and stop carrying out odd idea about our responsibility to accepting of shell that aren’t applicable to this present life and never will
If we live in the present we will be equal to facing new negotiation principle, new development initiative that Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni eight dies for
It is the belief of the delta indigenes that they need to be afraid of shell and therefore protect themselves that make them, stuck into this present circumstances, the belief is not based on anything sensitive nor is it protecting them from anything
I can see the militia saying… but protecting our domain is survival for the delta states, if we will not protect our domain, it will be shelled again
Is kidnapping and asking for ransom, protecting the creek, or staging you JamesBond007 act with CNN Jeff coinage propaganda a development initiative?
Many of us are so desperately invested in the assumption that development will not arise due to the presence of the shell in the delta, that we wont allow it to work anew even for a moment to know whether or not we may like it
Of course this is noted in the militia and other sponsors of it, because if shell is accepted, and they rebuild the devastation they had done in the delta, what your function will be, you all will be out of work, since you spend all your youthful age controlling the creek
Well I am not condoning a do-nothing approach in this article, but I an again kidnapping and so forth
The Press and Architect Mike Onolememen
“The State is reduced to a shadowy emblem which comes to consciousness only on occasions of unrest”
When have I read in recent times of a Nigerian journalistic inputs that concerns itself with the non-political aspects of the people in the delta, when has a newsmagazine solely focus on their ways of living or their personal traits as citizen, or of these villagers; the mothers, fathers and family of a people who had constantly swallowed the bitter pills of the previous confrontations involving the military and the militants,
More often than not, all I read is about the MEND (operating under the aegis of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta), and the modus operandi of the various groups, kidnappings for money as they seek development for the oil communities in their fathers land, and then the adage mode of identification by the press; fear-provoking freedom fighters, gun tooting hoodlums, money seeking illiterates etc
credit must be given to the majority of these reporters who like a typical Nigerian ruler usually ignore the State in times of peace, and like flies feasting on a Sudanese refugee they medialize their attack, sourced by jumbo pay in time of war and conflict,
MINISTER of State for Defence, Architect Mike Onolememen, must have been aware of this as he spoke to a select group of journalists early this month, because when someone mentioned one of the militant groups by depersonalizing them he responded with
?We are not talking about aliens here; we are talking about our brothers and sisters in the Niger Delta?
The Nigerian press in such an act of depersonalizing our own brothers seems to educate us with the acknowledgement that they are more concerned with the government rather than the ?nature of state? and can be assumed as becoming a political tool working not for the good of the citizen of the delta, but the oil expatriates, more so by the undue attention of personalizing the militants at the delta sub domains,
?We are not talking about aliens here?? this quote by the honorable minister; Architect Mike Onolememen surely put the press in their place and welcomes the Nature of the Delta in the Context of the Nigerian sovereignty
Well you may assume rightly that it is the character of the press to seek the story, but the Questionnaires can leave any patriot quit baffled, let us examine another Question as put forward to the minister of State?
?The international community feels the government is not doing enough to address the Niger-Delta problems??
That is a good questions, but Note? the journalist asking the question did not say?how they; the press in Nigeria felt, or how the Nigerian nation as a whole felt about the situation, or the African brothers, no he didn?t, and that was the first question put forward to a new minister of state at his home town? they want the minister to know ?How The International Community Felt?? I laugh to think of it because I myself wonder what they felt
?On one side are the villagers with their thatch houses with no water to drink and nothing like electricity, on the other side, you see a camp built by the multinationals for their workers, with electricity, water and other state-of-the-art amenities. The question that then readily comes to mind is: if the oil companies can provide these for their workers in the creeks, if they know that their workers cannot live in the kind of environment they found their villagers, why should they not extend the same facilities to the villagers??
The international community feels the government is not doing enough to address the Niger-Delta problems?who are the international communities, are they not the owners of the camps built by the multinationals for their workers, with electricity, water and other state-of-the-art amenities
The honorable minister; Architect Mike Onolememen has shown that he doesn?t need the press depersonalization of the nature of the delta in favor of the government, and his exact words echoes it?I quite understand the issues involved in this crisis and I know that the youths from host communities are agitated that their places have been devastated by many years of exploration and exploitation and that nothing is being ploughed back.?
Amid the height of possessions
You hear the masses screaming
In this continent it’s quite a paradox
With much wealth yet so poor
In this world its a shame
The cradle of humanity is extremely poor.
You can literally see poverty everywhere
Its written all over the place and faces
Just take a look around you and what do you see
You can see it in the eyes and stance of the people
The bodies bent and weighted down by toil
You can feel it in pregnant air we breathe
And you can smell it all around you.
It’s all over the town and villages
The odor in every street and in every city
I believe this is a problem that merit my review
My pen my talent as the only rich store I have
Amid the poorest continent in the whole wide world
This poetry can afford three square meals
My write-up and poetry in this website attempts to comprehend the role of the Nigerian press in the construction and deconstruction of Niger Delta conflict with an aim of ratifying views that the current
Nigeria mass media hardly play any significant role in peace resolution aimed at the Nigerian federation
By studying the main supposition of the newspapers in relationship with the government “Plan for the delta’ I hope to profile how the local press has failed in “protagonist role” by not defining the responses of the larger citizens in the absence of a clear stance by the federal government
- In Conflict writing…They came in landing
- inner death: a poet destructive stress « NIGER DELTA AND CONFLICTS IN NIGERIA
- Conflict in Africa: A jolt of savage fear Part 1 Nigeria: The Cacophony of Machine Gun Fire
- Please try to participate
- Poetry of Pain on the Niger Delta
- Accepting Shell in the Delta
- Jujuman’s Poetry
- The Press and Architect Mike Onolememen « NIGER DELTA AND CONFLICTS IN NIGERIA
- The Press and Architect Mike Onolememen
- Writing the Delta
- · Does Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe support the Militant?
- Is there any One Innocent on Both Sides?