FEATURE ARTICLE

Augustine C. OhanweSaturday, November 8, 2014
chyinaho@yahoo.com


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A NATION WITH POTENTIALS (POEM)

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n the corner,
within the mid Atlantic portion
where the ocean wave caresses the shore,
up above the Bight of Guinea
is situated a nation with great potentials.

Beneath the fertile bosom of her earth
Mother Nature, in her infinite benevolence,
deposited precious gems and liquid gold,
of which the envy of her neighbours rest.

A nation endowed with man and material
and has what it takes
to project the sovereign state
to a higher height.

Since released,
from the clutches of colonial tutelage,
leaders have come and gone,
none capable of harmonizing
the nation's internal contraries
and harness its potentials for good.

Opportunities abound here and there
but millions move around with begging bowls
in the midst of plenty.

Past misrules and uncovered epic wastage
remain a constant subterfuge.
Failed to deliver the goods of good governance,
political weaver birds beguile the ruled
with sugar-coated propaganda hype
delivered in honeyed eloquence,

In truth,
the gimmick has the smell of cigarette stale
from the ashtray -
a foul odour that stabs the nose.

And the nation is now left in the doldrums
in the global march
toward progress
and more productive lives
for its citizens
who face additional dire plague
of religious intolerance, social regression
and descent into chaos.

And in this nation,
lack of mind over matter,
and artificial road blocks
erected by autocratic military rules
have stalled fruitful yields
of economic dividends
while shattered hopes with groined eyes
walk with bamboo crutches,
groaning under back-breaking burden of pains
like patients
suffering from severe idiopathic and scrotal edema.

Many others with slain desires,
have the misfortune
of eating bent nails and digest them
and like chained gangs, have found solace
in the back-bench,
in the hall of shame and solitude,
whose air is not too bracing,
and with formidable sorrow
they gnash their teeth
and conjugate tongue-twisting irregular verbs
on daily bases,
but are forbidden to sing the gracious epithalamia
or recite the poems of Catullus.

And with mind in a whirl,
they are unable to divine why the alphabet X
is used to designate the unknown in algebra
as they watch their desires
drifting away like nebulous dreams,
and not even sure whether
after the ill wind of Harmattan has gone,
their Spring will blossom with flowers.

November 10, 2014

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