The Sierra Leone Web

  Mohamed Gbow Sherriff, at the time these poems were submitted, was a doctoral student in Organic Chemistry at Louisiana State University.  


Pee Kin Soja

Dem Kaych we
Beat we
Dope we
Rape we
En use we
For watch en kaych
For thief en tote
For mine en farm
For chap en kill.


Sweet Sa Lone

I am coming back to you
Oh my Sweet Sa Lone
And, I am not alone.

I never tried to forget you
But, I was getting knowledge
And I am not alone.

Oh sweet Sa Lone
I hope you are wiser now
From all the suffering

Oh Sweet home
I am coming back to you
Sweet home Sa Lone
And I am not alone.


Parrot's Beak

In The Parrot's Beak Where The Mano River Union Dissolves,
Where Guinea's Gueckedou Touches Sierra Leone And Liberia,
Where Child Soldiers And Their Foreign Commandos Reign And Ruin.
There Are No Doves Here, Just Wolves And Their Sheep,
Victims Running From Liberia To Sierra Leone and Back to Liberia,
Suppliants Crossing Into Guinea from Liberia And Sierra Leone And From Guinea Too,
Back and Forth They Go, To and Fro They Come, Ah! Chaos And
Misery Govern Here.
Combatants Threatening, Raping, Amputating and Finally Killing,
But Desolate Mothers Can Weep No More Because They Too Are So Weak.
Oh! Someone Bring Me The Black Doves That Once Called This Place Their Domicile,
So That The Parrot's Beak Can Sing Melodious Tunes Again And Again And Again.


New Day

It is a new day!

The radiance came from the east
Whence the yellow Sun rose from the blue ocean
Which tumbles from side to side in the bowl of mother earth
To make the cities streets once more clean
And the poles and their posts fly the Blue, White and Green

Children Smile and Cheer
For they are once more dear

And the multitudes of adults endeavor in the towns and villages
To use the light
So that they can possess life's delight
Even as the sun fades into the night

Again the sun will rise in a new day
To make blue the skies
Then happy sounds shall toll
To reduce the death toll

Farmers shall return to the bush
To remove the brush
And restore the land to its old luscious fecund green



Come sister, come
You too brother, come.

Come to rebuild our land.
NGOs may do it for us
But they have careers to build.

Come God's children, come.
We have a soul to heal.
United Nations may do it
But, we can't hold our breaths.

Tired here and wearied there
Yet, we must come, right now
To grow our own food
We must come urgently
To build our own house

Come we have a dignity to reclaim
We can't blame God
Lest we don't come


I Got the Blues

I got the blues
‘Cause my mama is gone
My daddy too is gone.
What am I to do now?

My best friend James
He’s been gone too,

My auntie Mamie Musu
She is gone too
My grandma could not take it
So, she is gone.

My cousin Bockarie
He’s been gone

My uncles Dr. Gbow , Lansana and Sallu
They’re gone too.
And now Adu has just joined them.

But, thank God for the friends
I’ve got left.


Friends of Sierra Leone (FOSL)

Those people who came to toil in our land as youths.
They went into the world like the antennae of their beloved country.
With youthful exuberance, they plunged into Sierra Leone,
They ate the food, drank the water and walked on our narrow and sometimes treacherous paths.
Their hospitable hosts adopted them and they in turn adopted us.
These bonds were nourished by the cassava leaves, the jollof rice, the fried fish and the palm wine, the soccer games, the moon shine, the sun set, the girl friends and the boyfriends.

So, when our youths were maddened and took the land hostage
These FOSL did not forget, they galvanized in DC to become Sierra Leone’s voice.
They told the congress men and women about our plight
These FOSL told their senators about our woes too.
They lamented upon our behalf, because they never forgot Sierra Leone.
And when they shall pay this land a visit again
We too shall remember their friendship and kinship.


Bloody Diamonds

Our Diamonds, They Deck The Bosom Of The Affluent
And Ornate Their Fingers Too.

Lovers Seal Their Vows With Our Beautiful Gems
Yet, They Set My Country Ablaze.

These Diamonds Have Spun A Guileful Web Across The Globe
To Set My Country Aground.

Pennies For Me Here And Billions For Them There;
In Antwerp And London And America And Lebanon.

Oh You Bloody Diamonds!
End Your Bloody Reign.


In the Waters of Salone

In the waters of Salone
In Freetown, Solima and Bonthe
The Atlantic is constantly nudging our coast
To remind our souls
That our waters have pearls and gold
Fish! Fish! every species and size swim in the Atlantic

In the waters of Salone
Upcountry beneath the Mano
Is a depository of Gems
Diamonds! Diamonds! every size and color

In the waters of Salone
Every meander of the Rokel is a gift
Gold! Gold! enough to adorn every head and feet in Sa Lone.