Monday, 19 November 2007

Under the Baobao Tree

by Archie bonka

Under the baobao tree, this huge tree
thinking my own thoughts,
suddenly there come this stranger
along this dull water logged plains.

Under the baobao tree, this huge tree
i offer him my last kola nut
we hold each other looking and staring
smiles on our faces

Villagers rush to see the new stranger
they stare at him, smiles fall on their faces.

Under the baobao tree, this huge tree
weighing the level of our hospitality
our dear stranger introduce his religion
with curiosity to learn, we embrace it.

losing touch with our own religion,
then comes destruction
of our civic society.

Under the baobao tree, this huge tree
the stranger does not stop there
he starts to divide my people
by inciting hatreds among us

he creates wars
which lead to our enslavement
oh, he shackles us, takes us
to unknown foreign lands.

Under the baobao tree, this huge tree
we are sad but life must go on
so we must fight for our freedom.

After this shameful act of slavery
he does not stop there
for he brings another agenda.

Under the baobao tree, this huge tree
this stranger divides our families, our nations,
creating misery among us - again.

we have come a long way:
cold war, dictatorship, military coups,
democrazy and globalization a new order
we have come a long way.

Under the baobao tree, this huge tree
bit by bit the house fly eat dog wounds

once again sitting under the baobao tree
reflecting upon my thoughts
about my first encounter with this stranger
this alien who has come to stay

Under the baobao tree, this huge tree....


Anonymous said...

I suspect you're talking about the white people who stole our properties...

hakeem said...

Traditionally, in West Africa, communities would regularly gather under the BaoBao Tree for singing, storytelling, drumming and dancing.
The physical size and out reaching roots of the Baobao tree created a protected space for people to gather.
Symbolically, the tree represented the continuity of wisdom and knowledge passed on from generation to generation...
Good thought my brother

Anonymous said...

Hakeem, thank you for sharing your writing. Such graceful sounds in all this madness.
Where i live, our trees are very different. Sadly, the stories of this land and its peoples are too similar.
I live in Australia. My father was born in Italy, my mother was born here, of an English heritage...
I wish you peace also.

Ella Wilde said...

Hakeem, I wrote the last comment.