Treasure Island

Chris Jibero

(Ugbawka)

Crying Blood


Brooks of innocent blood
shed in my country with impunity
have gathered to form a scarlet sea
after flowing hither and thither
on my lovely land
tainting it with acidic tears
churned out day and night
in chains of agonising weeping
entreaties addressed to the throne of grace
to release the avenger of blood
which might come calling on us
if we, in our usual complacency,
allow our cup of iniquities
to get full at last

Oh goodness
what will stop the blood of people
roasted alive during Wetie from crying
how can the blood spilled in coups
and counter coups be calmed down
what will make the blood
of more than one million Easterners
slaughtered before and during the civil war
keep quiet
how can the blood wasted in senseless religious riots
by men who recruited themselves soldiers for God
be pacified
how can the blood of those killed
in inter communal wars at Umuode, Warri,
Zangon-Kataf, Aguleri, Umuleri,
Jos, Wukari
my fellow countrymen and women
many Igbos, Jukuns, Tivs, Kanuris,
Chambas, Fulanis and others
spilled as though we were vampires and cannibals
be consoled
what can mollify the blood of civilians destroyed
by unknown and redundant soldiers
in Lagos, Odi and Zaki Biam
how can the blood of Dele Giwa, Kudirat Abiola,
M.K.O. Abiola, Bola Ige, Marshall Harry, Funsho Williams
and others alike be placated
how can the blood of my people
who dare-devil politicians splashed about
in their ungodly sacrifices
to gain their purported landslide victories
even that of their firefly goons
be appeased

How can the blood of those snuffed out
By Niger Delta terrorists
Nicknamed militants
introducers of an evil tradition
spreading like a wild fire in the savannah
be atoned for
how can the blood of men, women and children
wasted callously by Boko Haram terrorists
even at worship centres and markets
be soothed
OPC and MASSOB, though subtle in their operations
have their hands also soiled by blood

How can we wipe away the blood stains
on the gates of Kaduna, Kano, Abagana, Nomeh,
Bulunkutu, Yola, Maiduguri, Bauchi, Gombe, Suleja,
Damaturu, Onitsha, Aba, Madala, Abuja
and the like that have been bathed in the dirty waters
of violence and mayhem fetched by mad men
how will the blood of students slaughtered
as though they were worthless fleas
at Mubi and Aluu be placated

Blood, blood, blood
blood calling unto blood
blood spurting and stinging my eyes without respite
blood flowing offensively like a tempestuous sea
because we have many Jonahs in our ship
blood stains and pains engraved
on impressionable minds
human blood lowered below that of chicken
blood demolishing our tower of unity
and erecting simmering wrath in its place
incessant horrendous downpour
blood rendering both man and land sterile
blood leaving no dry land for us
to set down our feet made culprits in quietness
and, therefore, made too heavy to move forward

We must commence jaw jaw now
praying and cleaning our hands and breasts
smeared with this gory wave
so we can prosper again as one united people
thus saving ourselves from drowning woefully
while bearing millstones of guilt upon our necks
that would hurry us deep down
unto the bed of the steaming sea of crying blood
where the condemned grind and gnash teeth
as a troubled and restless sea
whose water is but dirt and mire.

(c) Chris Jibero.

Submitted: Saturday, April 13, 2013
Edited: Friday, October 04, 2013

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