Susty Stories

An immigrant’s prayer

Across Nile-Niger rivers,
Caribbean islands,
and nameless oceans.
Through harmattan clouds and Saharan skies,
we journey from the old world to the new.
The mystery before us,
seduced us like a sorceress;
an Ethiopian Queen of Sheba calling out to Solomon.
And yet not knowing what songs will play ahead,
we dared to dance to the talking drums.

We fled a land of hunger, – seeking Kellogs over Nasco.
We escaped an unruly fiefdom; a dictator’s lair.
We fled a place of pain; a land of despair,
-weary of watching our children idle and die
because greedy rulers and (s)elected politicians
play tricks, feasting off their future,
(like fumbling fools), night and day

We untangled the cobwebs
of culture and tradition
that held us down in bondage.
And wept with hope at the songs
of freedom of the West.
And so we came, freeborn all,
we begin as neither masters nor slaves.
Rather, we start life all over again.
Caught up in a snare with other rats
in a blind black, lost human race.
We live day to day on the grace of Ubuntu
showered from our beloved Afrika.
That distant homeland,
Nne oma; sweet mother of our birth

We refuse to give up or give in.
We shall make a home here yet,
a home for the little ones, yet unborn.
We shall work the farm fields
And stand in line like living robots
-factory workers, security guards;
on guard, for the future of our children.
Called only by numbers and punch-cards,
faceless and nameless.

We shall do these things and more
so that one day,
our children: Iyke and Zara
shall proudly bear our names.
As they unlock the chains of ancestors gone
and remember the songs of our mother-tongue;
– Ikechukwu, ChukwuZaramekpele.
We shall teach them well, our children,
how we found strength in the Creator.
how our pleas and prayers were answered.
We shall teach them well, our children,
of the old ways and places from where we fled.
For we see now, the masked beauty
in the grotesque shadows of the old world

We fled diseases, -malaria, lassa, ebola.
And now we’re plagued with strange fevers,
diseased bodies, depressed minds.
We fled poverty,
looked down on the rich, organic harvest
gifted to us directly from the braless bosom
of mother’s red Earth, Nne oma o.
And now in the new world,
we see the many sins in plenty,
Processed hens, mad, possessed cows
-fast foods, fast lives, fast deaths!
Nothing here is sacred, young and old separated
the wisdom of grey hairs, cast aside and defiled

We see the Las Vegas lights everywhere
and the darkness that lurks,
– a breath and a shadow behind
We shall teach them well, our children
so that none shall ever be
lost wanderer; efulefu.
We shall teach them well,
our children,
to marry the old worlds of soul
with the new worlds of steel.

“Floetry by JulietKego |”

© Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido

Floetry by JulietKego |

© Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido

Ore Adeyinka
Oreoluwa Adeyinka is a recent graduate from Georgia Southern University with a Masters of Public Health Environmental Health. Being a child of missionaries she was able to experience different cultures in different countries and that prompted her interest in the environment at a young age.