Originally published on my FaceBook page in February, the poem, "Two Questions??" was penned during the throes of the internet shutdown in the NW & SW Regions of Cameroon as well as a shutdown of Anglophone schools and universities due to teachers and lecturers down-tooling in sympathy with Anglophone lawyers.
no messages were sent
so chat rooms fell silent
statuses stayed inactive and impotent…
the forces East of Mungo doubly bent
won’t these aggrieved regions relent?
ghosts in the towns, though midnight’s past
the haunting of ghosts from the past
returning to wrestle where they left last
with an emboldened new generation and new cast
calling out for a colourful change on that mast
but, time has surely ticked forward
and stars have shifted forward
or perhaps was that backward?
isn’t one, one short of two? – don’t be awkward!
or maybe worse, a traitor and a coward!
the hand-shake to become singular shoal
cum marginalised pseudo-two-tongued goal
so now, watch the flow grinding to a no-go –
but, hold! no school run for those innocent souls?
what an own goal?!
dwelling in digital darkness
a fundamental human rights transgress
like collective punishment of a people’s no less
but who beyond West of the Mungo cares?
who out there has time for a redress?
parliament, not here but of UK
once ruled emotional torture was not OK
partners be they straight or be they gay
must treat each other with respect and no affray
but in this household, civility to brute force to has given sway
trucks of troops, in tons
with shields, kevlar vests, helmets and batons
with hoods and guns, jammed junctions
a potent portentous reminder who controls the cantons
and bears the big barrelled cannons
a sage, forgotten the name
once recounted how you played a chess game –
you study your opponents in the opening game
and prod their reflexes in the mid game
but you never, never fail to play for the long game
the trick from that nameless face of old
was knowing what to pawn off and what to hold
because education, the transformer from timid to bold
the marginalisation-buster, for that long game, you hold
lest another subservient generation, doing what they’re told
the Lions’ indomitable roar at their Gabonese hosts
lifted the golden cup and the curse of the Pharaohs
with ripples of cheers and bawdy boasts
‘Forever Cameroon!’, ‘Vive le Cameroun qui gagne!’, the toasts
failed to becalm the town’s idle ghosts
still, the loci of learning remain locked
hear vocal refrains for release of many under lock
but question, how to break a deadlock
in which the fate of painful fracture lurks?
and question, as an interconnected globe spins forward,
what sense reversing the local clock?
Lloney Eyole Monono (Feb 2017)