Writings of the general word's body

Friday, November 24, 2006

Breaking News

I read the obituary
Of a tree, and a toddler fish

I pen a line in the condolence
Register of a cassava-stick

I attend the lying-in-state
Of a youth's dream; a fisherman's destiny

I've heard of death
By water
And fire
But death by Oil
Is new, fresh, far
From a cliche.

It is night, yet day
A streetlight of flares
In a land where electricity
Is an abomination,

Where streams are caskets
And the air is a floating pool of

Timed death. Where sea-Shells
Sing night and day in crude tongues,
Throats dried in oil slicks.

I have heard of rigged elections
In this land
But this news of Rig-ged Annihilation
Is Breaking News to me...

I lay a wreath
For a village that used to be.

And read the obituary
Of a tree, and a toddler-fish.

© Tolu Ogunlesi

  • Breaking News is taken from the anthology, Dance the Guns to Silence - 100 Poems for Ken Saro Wiwa. Reproduced with permission.