The Sierra Leone Web

  Daniel Sahr Kenewa currently writes his poetry in the United States.  


Everything for Everything

The Almighty creator, Omnipotent
Fountain of wisdom
Wonderful, Marvelous;
All these are the greatest understatements.
I ask myself why you created
Snakes, mice, lice, bugs roaches?
Why mosquitoes, gnats, wasps.
To man, all obnoxious
To all others, the ogre is man
I see them all and know they're here
But the "why" has always remained
A jigsaw puzzle
To all who care to know.

Behold a jungle where only the fittest survive
The Kaleidoscope of devour or be devoured
Where the strong relish the annihilation of the weak
And yet live in anguish of the stronger
Where no player wishes to fail.
Yet they all run the gauntlet
Where failure is the bottleneck
The greatest enigma therein
Being who was created for what or vice versa;
Worse still the "why"?
You for me, and vice versa.

Life cycles and food chains
All speak of the same thing
So why discriminate
Against other species
When you know not why we're all here?
Everything tends to think the world is theirs
Trying to annihilate all others undesired
And nurture only those they cherish
But they go around and come around again
Looking for those they tried to eliminate
Because you can only realize yourself
When you compare to others
Either better or worse.

We are all going to be here
As we have always been
Both the desirable and undesirable
All living our separate lives
Owing it all to the one who created
All the species, all beautiful, all wonderful
Whether we like it or not
We were all meant to inhabit our habitat
As we were all made
Everything for everything.


The Course of Time

We see them coming: Siamese twins
Juxtaposed in the course of time.
Totally incompatible,
Constantly battling for survival.
Co-existent, until one conquers the other.

We named one, only using the other's name.
Both being very old,
One older than the other.
Two sides of a coin:
One for the goose, the other for the gander.

Goose or gander,
We all get the flip-side
In the course of time.

So they'll always be,
Whether we are content or we contend.
No matter what constancy we see,
We only wait for the coin to flip.



I was born
When the eaves dripped
Sweat from
My father's be-labored
And fatigued eye-brows
Forming a thousand ponds
In the threshold,
A dark bring morning star.

I was not to be,
But I am
Still learning to swim
In the turbulent pond.


Life in the City

It is a rat race of chase or be chased
Of tussle and bustle
As if it were in a jungle.
The elements being in a constant rush
Without a seeming hush,
In outright madness
Life continues constantly on the edge
of bourgeoisie, middle class,
Or, downright, abject poverty.
Where the elements reside in mines or mine fields,
As epoch making destruction becomes development,
Savored  by the "sages," "enterprising" and valiant" men,
Suffered by human parodies,
As garbage dumps become human habitation
With life and death intermingling
In an endless maze
Forming a crazy world
Of rush - rush - rush.

Where mechanized snakes
Meander with such dexterity
You marvel until you're kissed
By death, lucky still, damage.
Luminaries and ubiquitous, 
Even omnipresent
Hanging or scaling
With such ostentation.
That night and day
Get juxtaposed and sojourners left
Totally maladjusted.
Oh! Can I hear myself?
I guess it's a band of weaver birds
Heavily descending on a verdant palmtree
Dwarfing its giant fronds.
Or is it bats flying out to a banquet?
Not, they tell me, it's really life.

See the magnificent cigars
Smoked by machines
Exuding the most pungent
Toxic soot.
Who says there is a non-smoker there?
Who says second-degree smoke
Is not dangerous or deadly?

Yes they are still alive?
Eat, drink, breathe toxins.
Yet their children are all sound.
Where man and woman
Are not differentiated -
No, not by adornment, behavior,
Responsibility, morals or culture.
I think they are all androgyne, I say, if not
A new breed of aliens, fallen from heaven
Yet as I whisper above the chatter
They answer back in unison,
"It's life in the city."


Double Speakers

I set out
To become a double-speaker
And ended up even weaker
'Cause I'm not a fighter
But a cool writer.
I wonder why in hell
Many are be-spelled
By dare devils
Riding on horsebacks
Who are power-sozzled
And get them bamboozled.
I have no clue
Why it makes me blue
Yet I know it's true
That hunger slew
Not just a few
But a myriad of myriads
Who ever stood up to fight
Only to make writers write
When they cease to light.

I stood back and watched
and laughed as they marched
'Cause I knew it was a bottle of words,
Not a battle of swords.
Preachers preach the philosophy
Of give and take
And then knead and bake
And break bread
At the starving homestead,
Feed five thousand,
And the leftovers feed seven,
And there'll be no more need.

They came adorned in garments bright,
Riding on horses white
Straight out of the apocalypse,
Spitting out denunciations with trained lips
And raining down promises in huge heaps,
Declaring a grand finale
To all forms of suffering
Only to end up 
Dipping the rainbow
In a pool of blood
And ushering in 
The worst form of dying.
After seven days,
Release a white dove
With the wave of an
Olive branch
and a pile of carcasses
Into a gaping hold,
Names written on a wall,
Flowers strewn beneath
And the fallen sung as heroes.
In all their own sheep
They stir up hate
Against all who negate
Or refuse to imitate
Their gyrating waltz,
And make a fool
Charge at another fool
When they should pool
And form a school.

They play a game of chess
With the poor as their pawn
Whose lives they sell for less
And make it a game of fun,
Declaring them heroes
When all their families get is zeroes.
Seniors are diseducated,
Juniors miseducated,
the future uneducated,
And the masses join in the waltz
With the few wise folks
Left walking backwards,
their toes pointing forward...

You know what?
I just love double-speak
'Cause it makes me sick,
and love double-speakers
'Cause they're nothing but suckers.