The Blessing Accursed

On my fathers did they smile, these gods, long ago.

OIL
Map showing Ndian as a major oil producer in Cameroon. Source: Bowleven.

Like a constellation they shimmered all the away

From Congo’s mounts, across seas and hills

To these green colonnades beyond Rio del Rey.

For their seed, there was a blessing, my fathers’ journey here,

When the shores of my enchantments were only sand and stone.

The bounties, like the Congo, flowed with majesty and grace:

The fluids of the ground and the rhythms in the trees,

The humming of the jungle and the splash of the sea.

Yet from our soil, the fluids flow to the bowels of their banks.

Its black, smooth life sipped by devious snakes by night;

This blessing from the gods, through their smiles on our forebears.

By their craft of steel and powder, they fill their boats with pipes

And suck the morning dew from the forest of my birth.

And we in the mud, and we in the sand –

We in the jungle, we faint in cries of pain.

Our gods, oh their smiles! They blessed us with a curse

It haunts us through in discomfiture as we walk through penury.

In class, in church, I see the curse

It spits in my face; it blinds the eyes of Ndian.

I hear their cry, I shed the holy tears of my long-gone fathers;

Of their gods as they repent of their blessing to this land.

Shall they keep on dragging us?

Shall they keep to their gerrymandering?

Those by whom our blessing has so become a curse?

Shall they live in their plot of power

To keep this oil and all, a curse on Ndian?

By Blessed E Ngoe

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