The Sierra Leone Web


Henry Akim Kamara was born in Port Loko in the North of Sierra Leone. He attended the Port Loko Catholic Secondary, The Port Loko Teachers College, where he acquired a Higher Teachers Certificate (HTC Secondary) and the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology in Freetown, where he acquired a Bachelor of Education degree. He once taught English Language and Literature at the Prince of Wales Senior Secondary School in Freetown. He still teaches English Language and Literature at the Port Loko Catholic Secondary School in his home town.



The Pick-Axe and the Shovel

You emerge from the furnace
Work of human hands
Through the tribulation of fire
And the anvil and the hammer
That formed
You the pick-axe and
The shovel
Like twins in the toil
To aid the labor
Of our hands until we are no more

Perhaps you lay
In the sun peacefully
Or in our houses
You sleep without bothering us
With humility
You take our responsibility
You speak in our homes to transform our lives
A free service you render us
With no reparations to pay
When we ebb away
To go to that
Lonely city of rest

You are never tired
In every house you've worked
Therefore, the metal we should hail
The pick-axe and the shovel
From the forge
With courage
You still accompany us to the forest
A city you built
To bid us your last respect


The Next Man

He bear in himself
A secrete war within
To pull his own brother down
He sits, the next man by him
And eat and drink always with him
But hate
Deep into his breast
He buried with a pale face
His brother to deceive
When no mirror can describe his
Heart's appearance in his face
In his countenance
His brother did not construe his hate
And up the ladder to climb
When at the brink of his success
The next man appear a Brutus
With a sword
He stood
Upon a fair grin
And his brother unknowing
The Ides of March
He face the dead march
At the ladder
From the sword of his own brother


The Grain

The grain farmers cut and bind
Men do feed upon to sustain
At tables the tiny seeds are dead
At breakfast, dinner and supper feasting

A farmer cuts with a sickle
Perhaps single in the field
Straws of grain of gold hue
With colorful leaves in swamps and upland

The old grain of centuries
Spread in acres of land
The machetes hewn the woods
While the hoe ploughs the ground
And before the withering year
The grain goes everywhere

But when the grain rise
Laziness deceives the toil and down tools
And abuse the plough
In swamps and upland it was scarce
To do disservice to the grain though

The tears of the grain hence was seen
The land lie
And the plough deserted
The shame of our race
Began when the grain migrates
And returned in colors of different sacs


Death Warrant

Seek no glamour
Through the madetarrenean water
Life withers quicker there
Without a grave
The sea is a death warrant

There lie the bodies
Of men in the bellies of fishes
The graves of fortune seekers
Whom men of cunning cruelty
And sign their death warrant

The Meditarranean Sea admits no reveling
Nor does it marvels in the morning
At a risky journey
Where souls depart unhappy
Snare of a death warrant

Once you act by orders
Of demi-devils, agents
Brooding restless for money
To become wealthy
Grant your death warrant

The desert friendly fiend
An open pitfall field
A route uncanny
Is fortune seekers perpetual quandry
At the death warrant

What wealth is more
Than your life? design your destiny
Where you are
And use your wit
And sign not the death warrant

The Gardener

A garden in a deserted yard
The water from the nearby gutter
Showering from an old can that shudder
in her hands
Around the garden was built a crooked fence
Mounds raised and arranged neatly with hopes
And the freshness of the vegetables
For the gardener in her hallucination

A variety of vegetables
Heaped up in a basket
The prism of expectations
Dreams of differed gratifications
That stood in front of her
She bows in the gutter
Throwing water on the vegetables
These gymnastics every morning and evening
Till the night is born
On where her hope lies

Her vegetables throw parties
In homes the smell of stews pervades the air
Her vegetables at tables
Are eaten with fried rice
She eats the unpalatables
And thinks of her vegetables
produced by her hands


Son of the Green, White and Blue

Son of the green white and blue
And to the Lion Mountains I am glue
The rain, the sun and the palm tree kiss
In the ocean of golden beaches
And the white sand, a paradise on earth
This beauty creation celebrated I cherish
Pedro da Cinta wakes to see the wonder
The blessings of the thunder
Breaths in the evergreen trees
Of breathtaking scenes

Son of the green white and blue
Seed of our ancestors
The folk with metaphorical richness
The history of our greatness
The shackle, the dirge at Bunce Island
The tempest of a dark episode
Odd transgressions and perceived mute
Made us a hermit race
Turned down by an apparent trajectory
Of William Wilberforce mentality
And the solace of the solitary cotton tree's
Stood our forefathers under it as one people
To this Lion Mountains
A nation was born to honor
The flag, the green white and blue
April has the date
The poet did not create


When Beggars Die

The sun is already dead
Days before he would die
Highlighting signals that men do read
In the heavens every eye can see
Such way noble men kings and princes end

Noble men and beggars nature destine
In our stars
To employ in
Men triumph or fall in common spirits

But when beggars die
The white celestial candles hide
Nor send forth a sign to the ground
That's how humble souls travel home

Though man's mind has its own judgement
That's far from fear
Utterances made
On how beggars retire reflects a bitter
Time that visioned how he lived


The Dance of the Lepers

The land was at peace
but the people were ailing
And the lepers called us to dance
To humor our lives
We couldn't see their faces
Crawling, chasing the boys are back
In black
And scruffy leather boots
Masacring the crest
When the night
Runs deep
They couldn't sleep
But to chase their brothers
Who died at their penknives
Lilies of learning bowers
Captured me at
The twilight
Of the primeval
That caused the land to tremor

The dance do claim the land
The music blared
We were in tatters and tears
With our dirty underpants
Our stinks we bore
When we heard the rumor

We claim
At them
And refused to dance the dance
" The death dance "
But they were too reluctant
At the table that
Calls us to dine
To seal our hearts
To win our brother's hearts

The table
Eventually foiled the dance