The Potomac - Ajumeze Henry
May 2008 - THE POTOMAC

Raped Homeland
   Ajumeze Henry

My homeland
like an over-raped whore
spread-eagled across the brothel

The sun smiles on her
nude, shameless body

Blood dribs from her lap
And fleas buzz by the hemorrhage

You will hear the groan,
the pant that escape like farts
released from a pleated anus

True, there are strikes
And you will hear howls of protests

But the fire is gone out
And only smokes emit
from  barkless embers
The streets will be deserted
The stores padlocked
But hunger has ravaged
our spirits
And maggots creep on our skeleton

A dog
wounded by thieves in the night
whimpers to the backyard
to die, shambling in the ashes
of logs of woods

Politicians stack away
as much as tenure can hold
like a bazaar in the State House
to relive the nightmarish dreams
of election,
mortgage eternity with holidays,
summer or no, in strewn
mansions architectured in London

Contractors befriend them
to stamp phony figments. . . .

Assassin befriend them
to silence the other poet
Who will befriend
the cobbler
so government touts throw
his hammer to the gutter
The tomato hawker
cries, picking her seeds
scattered by the revenue hustlers
Who will cleanse her tears?
Which senator will think
of tomato seeds decayed
in the grip of sordid basket?

Who will think of Isah, the
fingers swelling daily from the sun
as leprosies reach out
beyond the windscreen, bowl first.

Oil and Blood

Blood is the burukutu
that intoxicates the tyrant
from the tribe of herdsman
across dry, thirsty desert
unaware of the Shell-BP pipes
that rape the virgin groin
of sleeping oil in Ogoni

He grazed and grazed
beyond the pastures
to the oil and blood
of our bones.

Note: Burukutu is a local wine common in northern Nigeria.

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