Stanley Oguh

(06-06-1992 / Lagos, nigeria)

DEAD AND DYING


Someone should write a poem, for all the dead and dying;
Of how inside their homes, the blood is red and drying.
Of how night came upon them, with flames and desolation.
Of faces fraught with terror, and fear and resignation.
Someone should write the words, to comfort the bereaved
Who saw what knives and swords, had done. And those who grieve:
The ones without their parents, the friends who weep alone.
Who know the pain that settles and seeps into the bone.
Someone should write the story of all the dead and dying;
Some scribe should write it nicely, who is not bled as I am;
Some go-getter poet better who can get it done.
Someone should write this history, and if you are the one…
Tell them about the crying, tell any who will listen,
That there are people dying, and there are children missing.
They took young men’s lives, and infants from their mothers.
Ask if we should hope or seek deliverance from another.
Tell of the sons and daughters, murdered as they slept.
Tell of the slain and slaughtered, and elders who have wept.
Tell them the streets are bleeding, the gutters running red.
Tell them the people grieving have asked if God is dead.
Tell them of all the anguish, of drowning in its flood.
And speak it in their language of shit and piss and blood.
Of naked women taken, raped, and men they execute.
Of lying waiting, aching knowing that the next is you.
Tell them of dying nameless, in blood and excrement
And of surviving flames to perish in the next event.
Of how when the fires die, the stench of burning flesh
Rises to the sky, until the cycle turns afresh.
Tell them about the students, they ones they’ve been kidnapping.
And if they wonder why, explain what must be happening.
Tell them of homes abandoned, who see misfortune rising.
Repeat the names of all the dead until they memorize them.
A man is dust and ashes, a soul but breath and wind.
And life too quickly passes, with solace left unhinged.
So write of all the innocent, the victims of their plotting.
Call them: The Taken, or The Lost, but never The Forgotten.
Someone should write it all, because my words are bitter.
The pain to chronicle this, is more than I considered.
The skill it takes to craft it, is more than I have got.
Someone should write it all, for God knows I cannot.

Submitted: Thursday, May 08, 2014

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