The Sierra Leone Web

  Abdulai Walon-Jalloh was born in Freetown and grew up at Upgun and Congo Dust. He attended the UMC Primary School Fattah Rahman Street Ginger Hall, Sierra Leone Muslim Congress Boys' Secondary School Kissy Mess Mess and Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary Schoolat Kissy Dock Yard in Freetown. He furthered his education at Fourah Bay College for both B.A Honours and M.Phil Linguistics degrees. He is also pursuing his PhD Linguistics and Language Education degree at Njala University. Walon-Jalloh is the author of Voices and Passions (SLWS 2015) which is a collection of poems focusing on growing up amongst other things. He is married and together they have three sons and two deceased daughters. Since 2000, he has been lecturing Syntax in the Linguistics Unit Department of Language Studies Fourah Bay College University of Sierra Leone.  


Sierra Leone Library Board

What a squattish brilliance?
Of a sturdy character
Deposited at an intersection
Leading to numerous destinations

Your neighbours the foremost Gentlemen
Your gaze challenged by zealous pupils
As submissive ambitious knowledge-seekers wade through
To endure the tormenting quiet of steadied thoughts

Though noisy motorists are about
Yet the cacophony is kept at bay
As zephyr oozes through your inlets
Filtering through the Masonic edifice

Oh! Semi-centenarian!
Your longevity amazes
The multitude far and wide
As you slide through better or worse

Your continued presence
Is generosity to all
Shared by all
Be it big or small

As the beneficiary army galore
So the employees never tire
Against shine or wet, heat or cold
As the becomes "keep it up"

Though your limited presence
Is agony for many
Thus your presence in their midst needn't delay
As the 'Land that we love' depends on it

Oh! Great semi-centenarian!
Continue the wondrous accent
As you take along your children in your stride
For there are more heights to be scaled.


Nothing New

Of palatial mansions, beautiful women and fancy cars
With too many rooms, undying lust and never-ending models
So much confusion, insatiate desires and one at expense of many
Costly repairs, unhealthy competition and heightened neglect

Nothing new
To what they knew
Yet hopes will renew
In the minds of the few

The fortresses in resolute minds
Shall not long be resolved
As edifices crumble, beauty fades and fancy dulls
Witness the derelictions, the desert roses and rumbling monstrosities

Nothing new
To what they knew
Yet hopes will renew
In the minds of the few

As the birds on the mango tree
Shall continue to observe as higher mortals self destruct
In the thick of darkness and under the transcendental beautiful sun
So their numbers and kind shall continue to wonder

Nothing new
To what they new
Yet hopes will renew
In the minds of the few


4. 27. 61

Amidst the wild merriments
In distant lands and climes
With deafening laughter and agreements
The newborn bursts forth in prime

With reluctance and regret
The request fulfilled
The sun shines forth
As inspired folks re-lived

Yet promised galore
The dream fades
As nature ventures to explore
For aspiration within no longer abides

It's forlorn and awry
For no listeners attend
As lamentations multiply in cry
Your soothing presence you lend


Kissy Brook

How snaky you are!
How unfathomable you are!
How soothing you are!
How pleasant you are!

In your embrace
Many receive grace
In your bosom
Many will blossom

With your presence
An increased sense
In elevated beauty
With little pity

With feet pattering
And hands splashing
Patters are pounding
And basins are dipping

Patient hands
Folded hands
For guys
On land

Your traffic shall never cease
For your essence will always please
As your never-ending breeze
Always accompanies the trees

Running through mountains
Traversing flat terrains
A host for the brains
As you kiss the sea with your drains

You sanitize
You clean
You energize
You sustain

Flow you must!


The East-end

A wide expanse of extending frontiers
With rivers and hills on either side
A motley group of players
On the lookout for a ride

What a wonderful assemblage of eager-eyed!
In perpetual state of vigilance
For destiny their hands tied
In continued waste of brilliance

As the nefarious lutenist the companion
Many a hand is pinioned
For want of better opinion
As backs to the walls are positioned

The east-end the home of seminal processes
The backyard of upward progress
During penury the shelter from stress
And for the nude a sort of dress

Punctuated by disappearing streams and cemeteries
With emerging spots for groceries
And decreasing room for pantries
There is an urge for toiletries

Yet the east-end amazes
As youthful energy dazzles
In countless mazes
As the uninspired lazes

The seed is sown
When the outer flesh is thrown
The sapling will be blown
As the harvest is known

Yet in abundance the competition
In dearth the promotion
For in frenzy the destruction
Again in bundles the compunction
As the sun always rises in the east


Congo Dust

A stretch truncated
As sandwiching gutters speed passed
In the midst of dwellings
As kids go a-crawling

With gold dust a-scatter
As leaves to the ground with a patter
So are eagle-eyed folks in search of laughter
Between murky waters that run with a clatter

As boisterous feet roll over balls
Eager mothers roll out frenzied calls
As anxious stakers engage in brawls

The never-ending noise
The ever active girls and boys
The everlasting resting place for the toys
The home of the abandoned Rolls Royce

Of nocturnal adventurers
Searching for plunders
With no robbers
In confined borders

Voices and drumming
Clapping and stamping
Beatings and crying
Laughter and rejoicing

A new day bursts forth
Folks hurry in different directions
As children hurry to school
Shrill voices issue from goats' horn

Again the balls are rolling
Folks are converging
Masquerades are dancing
Lovers are preparing
As parents are calling


Freetown Night

A vicious night
As men in wandering flight
In search of ego fight
With little in their fist
As they say; 'it's Freetown night'

It's night-time in Freetown
And the wolves are in town
Discolored with desperate frowns
As the search for the prized crown
As they say; 'it's Freetown night'

These are cold nights
When warm embraces disappear
With hurried steps hurrying out of sight
And the few good men are yet to appear
As they say; 'it's Freetown night'

These are anxious nights
With lone partners remaining open-eyed
As anxiety fades into fright
Their lachrymal faces shall never be dried
As they say; 'it's Freetown night'

They are fulfilling though
As waiting doorway lights glow
And the hurried clatter and patter race along
Entwining welcomes and kisses blown in song
As they say; 'it's Freetown night'.


The Story of Life

Move nearer to the bashing
With little smashing
In continued lashing
Is a prolonged crashing

Let the oceans roar
And the winds holler
As mankind becomes bolder
So is life's path broader

With calm turbulence
The persistent brilliance
Life's radiance
Without any dalliance

The aspiring driver
Shall possess the car
In spite of the mar
When moving across the tar

Many miles lay ahead
As mouths multiply
Bones and joints begin to crack
Slowed movements continue to bedazzle

The squelching increases
In groaning abundance
With moaning attendance
Life's meaning not a dance

With decreasing chances
Spaces exist in braces
Man understands the paces
In measured traces

Man fears it not
As it's in the lot
For him to knot
Within his plot


Differing Sameness

Let's make
For our sake
In our fate
To relate

The twittering birds
The chirping crickets
The lowing cows
The barking dogs

The shouting children
The quarreling women
The thinking adults
The breezing youths

As in sickness
So it's in joy
As in failures
So it's in successes

From our Maker
We issue forth
And to Him
In our different moulds we return


The Baboon's Bottom

We love to get by
With the lie
As they try
During the dry

With little to eat
Despite the abundance of wheat
In the middle of the mist
Others will feast

Though we cadge
In a cage
Our little rage
Shall effect rampage

And as trying pleasure
Haunts us in our leisure
So we experience great seizure
In our little measure

Though we be in pain
Yet we do not feign
As we get slain
With hearts free of disdain

Up we float
With light hearts for most
And free cheers for toast
On the right Hand of the Host



Man against Man

It's in those
Who fight them
To release that
Stored in venom

They are nothing
As is something
To the thing
That is anything

Try as they may
Why are they about?
Dry are the winds
Permeating among them

With utter dismay
They surely display
In a wide array
Their characteristic folly

It's maximum self-annihilation
That issues from profound self-preservation
That's in the need of rampant mutilation
In a world capable of needless remorse

Unending torture
Is the future
For a current feature
In a canvass of pictures

Man shall never learn
As man against man
Reverberates through the spine
With every quaking step
As the brilliant sun shows the way



Amidst turbulence
Raging schism
Cataclysmic encounters
Rioting hues

A wavy shoreline
A snaky glare
An enlarged rear
An embossed terrain

Of exaggerated outbursts
A scintillating phalanx
Increasing literati
A riveting tale

A tale of gnashed teeth
Of bruised elbows
Guaranteed broken shins
And tainted hopes


Oh! Transcendental beauty!
Cast in thunderous climes
Of assured resilience
And a punctuating zephyr

You are free
To the shackled hopeless
Searching for freedom
Land of the free


Fourah Bay College Mount Aureol

Approaching from the seafront
A lion is crouching at the front
An overbearing belch disguised in grunts
With large parched land and trees burnt

Wild hairs blown about
Extended ears standing to flout
Tensed claws ready for the bout
As grizzly rings on the neck begin to sprout

On the head an elongation
As wild characteristic boom in explosion
Of slow treacle of ants in upward progression
As in guaranteed slumber your projection

Busy ants about in every corner
As assured measure for the loner
Not often visits to the coroner
Busy ants rewarded by the commoner

Ubiquitous anthills dot the top
As they welcome every stop
Little is mentioned of the flop
As the littler ants on your back with a mop

Your eyes represent solace
For the few that can race
From a wild and warm embrace
Yours is a path of grief and grace


Neneh (Mother)

The cock crows
Neneh is up

The muezzin declares Fajr
Neneh genuflects in praise of Allah

The BBC Network beckons
Neneh is at her stall

The clock chimes noon
Neneh forages for food

The muezzin announces Zuhr
Neneh prepares lunch after prayer

The muezzin calls for Asr
Neneh is at her stall after praising Allah

The muezzin calls for Maghrib
Neneh is in praise of Allah

The muezzin calls for Ishaa
Neneh prays and returns home


Market Borbor

A noisy ambience
An oyster in its shell
A trail of brilliance
And a fascinating tale to tell

Of scattered stalls
In the shadow of dust
Of wonderful calls
And businesses going bust

As busy bodies are about
In the din of vanishing wares
And a wonderful world of reinvigorating sprout
Of telling and paralyzing snares

In the throng of bodies
Market Borbor excels
Amidst reckless robberies
With reduced moral cells

The sandwiched market
With innumerable exits and entrances
You frame your ingenious rackets
To high acclaim and warm embraces

Your presence is nourishing
To the many that behold
Your physique ravishing
For the multitude in your hold

You are charcoal at night
That burns bright during the day
As you pale off into the star lights
Marshalling the milky moon on its way


Sierra Leone at 48

I'm in ripe middle age
Facing the difficulties of a new page
Yet I'm expected to be a sage
Though I'm bound in my little cage

I can't take a wife
As little means attend my life
I remain that little knife
That causes occasional strife

I'm still in my parents' house
Though for every passing blouse
My passion is aroused
As my keen eyes browse

Too many children to call my own
Though for many their beings I disown
Yet for all of them I'm known
As I was at the time their seeds were sown

My essence now lies abandoned
As with perverted vigour my being is stoned
Grandchildren keep me constantly loaned
Like the flotsam and jetsam ocean-spawned

Why is my nativity so confusing?
Yet precise convenience is also troubling
Why the hurried labeling?
Is it for universal calling?

I outlast many a pretender
In languid fronting as a bartender
I'm water un-emptied in a cup
A cane-carrying verve at the top

What a bump I carry?
Is water suffused within?
Are my sides streamlined enough?
How bushy and wild my appearance?

Be it then that I'm '48


Moments of Glory

Too few are still standing
As the hurly-burly is ending
With diminishing hope
Relying on a long slender rope
Who would dare to venture
The cold ecstasy of adventure?

It's a punishing maze
In a wild blinding flash
That's destined to daze
As paces in restraining marshes eagerly splash
Along in confused movements
Anxious faces in wants
Suspended in temporary animated moments
Like the roosts patiently in wait on top of plants

The book is being read
As listeners hurry away
To a life of dread
In the cold dark way
Waiting for the ominous return
Of a mirage salvation
Engraved in dark old stones
Though, hope, within grows
Strength to discern ebbs
And the moment of victory fades
Like the subdued clatters of spiders' feet on their webs


The Distance

A tortuous yet deserving reality
In the midst of turbulence and equanimity
It treats though sublime
In depth and rhyme

A physical separation in body and sight
Yet connected in my mind and soul
Over distant lands and climes
The singing is fresh like grizzling sand in shoes

Painful the void seems
As lingering thoughts emboldened
Against receding tangible presence
Shadowed in locked hearts

In dreams and things
Figures do loom large
To appease and inspire
Against the seething chasm

Objects in the mirror
Closer than they seem
Absence breeds presence
In refreshed memories


Living Reality

It's an oyster ceiling
With cloistered feeling
That was foisting the willing
As toys for a shilling

With wild commendation for their bravery
So was little accommodation in slavery
In spite of the recommendation that was silvery
There abundant trepidation in each delivery

The sails sallied forth
With pails of sorts
In trails that blot
The veils continue their spurt

On lachrymal faces
With beautiful traces
Leading overflowing tresses
Over deepening creases

The blind lashes and brands
And strands on discolored fleshes
With forced crashes on lands
That cursed with rashes on sands

The wailings persist
As bodies willing to resist
So eager and undying souls exist
Side by side with boundless hope in fist

The living reality
In deserving personality
Is re-living austerity
With perplexing severity

The battle then begun
Is prattle yet begun?
With no title for a gun
So the little attention for the goon


It's in your Eyes

It's in your eyes
The daily toils under the skies
And in the middle of the dries
When you hope someone will listen to your cries

You are everywhere
As he will rage and swear
When he tries to bathe and wear
Yet you move your burdensome wares without fear

Some say it's in your gait
As you move through the gate
Your destiny lies in wait
Though you've decided not to be late

Others acknowledge your beauty
For they say your are pretty
As you move across the city
So the chosen few abide in your pity

Many say it's on your back
When they ogle to display their lack
With sham effort they will fill their sack
As you are taken aback

The honest folks see it in your embrace
A touch costly as expensive lace
With the searing burns of an unforgiving mace
As heart's contents laid bare without disgrace

Yet you inspire
Those who aspire
With no pyre
For the martyr



A sprightful lad at five
Under the protection of parents
A wonderful life thrives
In the community eyes

With rushing gaiety
And flushing beauty
To school and mosque
With understanding piety

Wurrie is the name
With achievements to his fame
And a soaring spirit
A fearful bravado frames

A wonderful agility abounds
As heightened intelligence astounds
Amidst the warmth of relatives
And increased communal spirit

At peace with nature
In the embrace of forests
Over the tops of hills
Across cemeteries he transcends

Wurrie the fish of the streams
The birds of the trees
The lion of the hills
The living corpse of the grave yard