WHEN THEY SPEAK OF WAR.
By: HUSSEIN, Abdulbasit.
I look and listen to those men that speak of war at palm kernel stores as the only panacea for political palavers of this nation. That this war they speak of should not be declare on a Sunny day, but arc of letters should be send to the sky on a full moon night as announcer. For children to go home, seek asylum under the blanket of their Mamas’ bed even though the stench from dead rats under these beds can obstruct the flows of oxygen in them and roads can be free from their toys for this war to be sweet.
Perhaps, I may be conscripted to hold a gun, wield a sword or bear a shield. Perchance, a bomber wearing a time bomb in his body like jacket to fight winter. Maybe, I will be spy in another party’s camp without the ken of my mother since a man in his twenties is said to be stilled by hope, time and gigantic success as Lenrie Peter said in one of his poems.
I have to join this campaign if I want the roof of my family safe, not to be treated as a treasonist if the gods listen to our wild appeals as victors, or to be make an architect of the affairs of the state and share in the hot-sweet national cake I have always heard of.
But, before this concoction would be served, I have decided to put my youthful strength, zeal, aspiration and thoughts on the scale of tomorrow’s conscience:
‘It is not that I can’t beat the drums of war. But I pity those innocent citizens who don’t know how to dance to the false rhythm of battle.’
‘It is not that I am not intetrested in their households.’
‘It is not that I wouldn’t have the strength to write when this war come to dine with us. But I am afraid of the 67 Okigbo’s that would be lost; dirge that will rent the air; talents that will become jagged; children as guards of graveyards; lullaby timid of serving children’s ear’; tears bathing for the air; elegy panic of being delivered here tomorrow for history shall frown at us…’
When they speak of war; I remember some of P.O.C Umeh lines that speak of those men who reduce our economy to form ‘M’. When they speak of war; I picture those who are happy that they are going to use blood of fellow countrymen to slake their thirst like Gbanagbom Hallowel ‘Dinning Table’. When they speak of war; I envision a storyteller saying: ‘There was a country’.