bullets of fire burst over the niger delta
the land seethes like the middle east
up the palls of darkness shoot
hate fumes itself into a cauldron
religions boil a vortex

and my people spread
across the verdure breadth of my land
slash the palms of harmony
tear down the curtains of peace
batter their brows in the bloody field
of senseless crises.

We No Longer Weep

We no longer weep:
empty baskets
threadbare nets
glum fishermen
niggling wives
tattered children
restive youths
groaning bellies
drooping breasts
parched faces
lament for the lost plenteous past?
protest against the pestiferous present?
moan out dirges for our forlorn future?

we no longer weep:
warm rains corroding the comfort of rooftops
eroding the exuberant green of trees
smeared swamps
clogged creeks
awful air
fishes flopping in the Delta of oil
farms burrowed through
by bulbous pipes of despoliation
our lives are Shell-ed
stalks of shrivelled sap:

we no longer weep
even for the death of Heroes
who rattled the dreams of Them?

Uche Peter Umez is a winner of the 2006
Commonwealth Short Story Competition, and
his poems and stories have been published
on-line and in print. He is the author
of Dark through the Delta (poems), Tears
in her Eyes (short stories) and Aridity
of Feelings (poems).

2007 Underground Voices