The Sierra Leone Web


Mohamed Manzur Bah is from Freetown, where he attended Ansarul Islamic Secondary School and later Freetown Teachers College. He discovered he had a knack for computing, so he decided to study IT in the Gambia. Since secondary school, Mohamed has nursed the idea of becoming a poet, and to that end, he continues to write in between his hectic studies.



African Woman

Africa woman, who are you to me?
Are you the skies holding my heavens?
Or the sun pecking me with your warmth?
Are you a cloud holding my rains?
Or the harmattan fanning my comfort?

Who are you to me?

Are you the desert tricking me?
with your mirage or your oasis
quenching my thirst?
Are you the rains cleansing my sins?
Or a night hiding me from fatigue?
Are you the one in the voice of birds
Or in the waves of dancing trees?

Who are you to me?

Are you a hero in the stories of night?
Or the one hiding in the ditties of children's fun?
Are you the echo in the town crier's gong?
Or in the deep base of the Tom-tom?
Are you in the message of the rainbow?
Or in the errand of the wind
or in the shout of the thunder?

So tell me, African woman
Where are you and what are you to me?


Selfishness is Devilishness

Selfishness's a gutter; puffing a putrid stench
Which clings to the myopic mind like a sceptic sore
whose pang runs deep into the bones

Selfishness is a riotous sty in an icy soul
Squealing and oinking; eating itself to the bone
Soiling itself in its spit and droppings

Selfishness is a slough of a cobra; without
Eyes yet shudders the teeth; without a venom
Yet poisons the peace with its fang of fear.

Selfishness is a blown candle plunging
All seekers into an eclipse of groping and fumbling
Drowning all into a gang mare of hell


Jezebel's Eyes

In Jezebel's eye, I'm Adam again, gobbling the apple of Eve
waiting, in pleasure, for my fall; my eviction from the Eden.

In her arms, I grow a bunch of kisses, a cuddle of tomatoes
a bucket of hugs, a bed of roses and a peck of tulips

on her beach, I bask and wallow in a sand of libidos
ride on steeds of fantasies and pedal a tandem of love

In her court I'm plied with kegs of eternal euphoria
and serenaded with cymbals and harps of affection

who cares that I swim a sea of deceit and climb
mountain of heresies, abomination and blasphemy?
Tongues and lips- saliva-deep in her French kiss-
who cares if the moon meddles into our saucy affairs

In her canopy of love set with baskets of greetings
what is the darkest dusk to the stars in Jezebel's eyes?


The Nail in the Coffin

You're a bullet of death, a cardiac
that stills the heart, a filament that soot
a lamp, a crackling fire on dry grasses

You're a prick of nails to the eyes
a seal to the lip's laughter, a blow of hammer
that wells the eye's sockets with sorrow

You're an echo of blows that crushes
open the gates of whimpers; a screw into
the plywood that flares the nostrils…

You're a sawdust that ties red ribbons
across the bulging eyes; a grip that heaves
the hearts; you're a pointy head like a missile
that seals many a fate; a silvery finish like
pewter that blinds many eyes; you're a tetanus
like a snake Vernon that paralyses souls

Hammer upon your head is a deadly
curse of silence; of pallid, frowning faces
of lamenting minds of hoarse voices…


Toni Marie

Love, they say, is an illusion
But you, Toni Marie, have a kiss
That sprints like a titanic
And plants a peck on the jaws of my heart
You're a planet of appeasement
Hovering over the Canadian peninsula
deserting anxiety and stress

Nights are solitary because
They refuse to listen to your stories
Oceans are emotional
Because they refuse to listen
to your lullaby
Refused your room
Filled with balloons of love
Harmony of the archipelago
Love with an embrace of Utopia
Because of you there's no illusion.

The Tractor

Sunday morning woke us
in sweated skins to lament a horrible tide
that took our young and old away
woke us to lament an eclipse of our lives
woke us to stare at lips forever sealed to us
woke us to hands that'd, no more, greet us...

Monday morning woke us
to twisted faces of corpses, leaking with decay
woke us to trees bowed in prayers for the dead
woke us to hopes snatched from their cradles

Sunday morning woke us
to claws chasing off our peace at noontide
woke us to thoughts of our departed
in the folds of our forefathers
woke us with eyes seeing through rivers
for the snapping of our strength
under the weight of our exhaustion

Monday morning woke us
to pallid faces haunted by pain
of seeing love trapped under rubble
woke us to broken rhymes in our steps
broken string in our guitar strings
broken cord in our songs of joy
We lament...we lament... we lament.


A Month of Evolution

A month of Evolution is galvanizing
the hearts of Muslims across the world
in the oneness of Allah; fasting
and praying in that month of holiness
washing in that ocean of forgiveness

A month of Evolution is galvanising
All souls from the darkness of false living
To the glorious day of truth and bliss
A month of reflections that anchors individuals
In the wholeness of the teacher of oneness
Who steers hearts to their ultimate bounties

A month of Evolution is galvanising
All souls into that night of revelation
in the cave Hera to see the spread wings
of the wingless; to gaze upon the lamps of Eden
behold the night of miracles; the blessings
of Ramadan which is clarity of the unlimited
blessings as a reward for charity and sacrifice.


PC Doctors 

I dedicate this piece of poem to A+ students at Smart Technology institute of Engineering and Technologies and Microtech Institute of Multimedia and Technology.

In two of the seven days of the week
They'd stand stacked together inside a two-storey building
neighbouring the sky; no need of shovels or pickaxes
no need of scalpels, they'd mine deep into the innards of computers
cables plugged in their right plug-holes and screwed on
meticulously grounded in both soft and hard ware; they'd check
and re-check for offending anomalies; test for live wires
before touching anything too fragile to snap or spark or fume.

Deeply institutionalised into the fold of technology
clad in the garment of an institution pouring codes in their brains
Gladly; they'd see ignorance behind them; knowledge ahead
Possibilities of: jobs, self-employment, self- worth and fulfilment

Often, they'd sunbath farther away from doubters and taunts
rendezvous at the point of uploading themselves into the market
into the global village of universal trends just at a touch of a key;
night and day, they'd poke, prod and swim in the lagoon of data mining

Their ears strain to Lamin Jobe's explanations of PCs
Urging them unto the milky way of A+, PC Networks and much more
All luxuriating themselves in the garden of technology
After much rest, some day; each, will use sets of keys to open an IT door
where their eyes will explore the Alphanumerical keystrokes
savour the feelings and sounds of keyboard buttons triggering joy
of an expert hand at a touch of a mouse; they'd imagine
themselves looming large on LCD monitors like news readers


The Son of a Widow

Not with my lips but with my thoughts, I talk
Not outside my pocket but within my means, I live
Within and outside of the curriculum, I learn
Not the tongue of streets but with tongue of wisdom, I speak
Not by ill-gotten means but by craftsmanship I SURVIVE
Not by quantum leaps but by steady steps I proceed

Who says the road isn't slippery? Still, I've focus
Who says the wind isn't chilly? Still I keep my smile
Who says the stars aren't bright? Still, I keep my shine
Who says thunder doesn't drone? So, does my poems
Who says trees do not scowl down? Still, I keep my thoughts
Who says that time doesn't eat us up? Still I have my memory
Who say the shallow box doesn't steal joy? Still I have my faith
Who says your passing didn't invite the Nile? Still I hold up
Who says I won't bear your sandals? Still, I bear it with pride
With threads of hope and needles of determination,
Who says I couldn't weather this storm into prosperity?