The Sierra Leone Web

  Fatu Forna grew up in Freetown. She is an obstetrician/gynecologist at Emery University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, and writes poetry as a hobby.  



Africa! My Africa!
Land of the milky waters and the dark forest
Land that when from apart
My heart would not rest
Land of the thundering lions
Sierra Leone!
I hardly can leave alone
In my wake I compare
In my sleep I draw near
My heart bleeds to come back
To rest in thine dusty bosom
To return to my land, my people
Paradise, home.

Home! My Home!
Home of the dirty shanty and the mighty castle
Home where education is sometimes a dream
I had to leave thee my heart doth scream
I want not, but my pen doth call
To seek, To find, To study!
In a land where I am alien, I am unworthy
But wait! I am yet to return to the swamp so muddy
To build, To re-build
For I bestow not my fate on anybody.


The Power of Love

What is it that fascinates me
What is it that makes me not see
The charades, the insults
The pain, the negative results.

I tell myself love conquers all
The emotion will heal pain whether great or small
Take a minute, examine
You will see it’s all a great big lie.


Fat Cat

He’s laid down on his velvet throne
His eyes roam the house he calls his own
The snow falls like a feathered mold
On whitest blanket cold as gold.

He purrs, he snores, he doth not implore
He’s bred, he’s fed, he wanteth more
He peers out the window
He does not blink
At another, trudging in the snow.


A Promise

I am brown, the color of chocolate or of cacao
Ask me why I hold my head so high
If you really want to know…
It’s because of the drums that beat in my heart
Making me walk to the rhythm of my ancestors
It’s because of the pride that rides on my back
That tells how great I will become.

I am black, the color of ebony or of smooth charcoal
Ask me why my eyes are so wise
If you really want to know…
It’s the knowledge of the struggles of my people throughout the diaspora
It’s the knowledge that I have to dream higher, work harder
Strive and strive some more, to re-claim a glory once had
That tells how great I will become.


Turning Point

The mountains are tumbling, the lion lamenting
Choking, sinking in his blood
Baobab branches are straining, don’t let them break!
A family divided, amends we must make.

My brother the sobel, is aimless, relentless
My sister civilian, she’s hopelessly helpless
Friendships all deserted, do this on your own!
Oh Auntie, Oh Uncle, help set right your home.

Our mother has spoken, our destiny’s changing
Our people united, progressing, amending
The rainstorm is over, the hailstorm was bitter!
We’re firmly committed, to tread this path never.


I Pray

Today I shed another tear
My land - sweet home - near gone I fear
In hopelessness this game I wait
I pray! I pray! no deadly fate.

The streets - deserted
The people - forgotten
From day to day
They hope and pray

Pray Lord, have pity on my home
Without which I am lost - denied - alone
Take heed! O sobel, brother, friend
Make this not - A beginning of the end.



I feel my heart burning in its little cage
Pray tell me what to do to appease this rage
My tears fight to be released
My emotions are reined tight, can’t let them be eased.

My heart is bursting, my face cool as stone
What can I do to release this itching bone
I must be strong and bear this pain
Until I discover how to vent this cruel villain.


My Prayer

Lord, let me be me
Let me bask in my sunshine and feel the heat of my heart
Let me love my skin so fine
And my frame slim or stout

Lord let me be thankful
For your blessings great and small
Let me be content Lord
With life, love, and family
And with friends who love me unconditionally

Lord let my light shine from within
Let my heart be full to the brim
Let me be proud of myself
Lord, let me live my life at rest.