One Piece Of History In A Loop

Twenty-six years on from 1992, when I wrote this poem in Cameroon, I find myself staring at it and thinking, history sure has an uncanny way of repeating itself…

CONNED

Come let’s play
John heard them say
Our minds are clean!
They screamed

John hedged
The rules! he neighed
For it’s no game
Where the rules are lame!

Spoilsport! they scoffed
Here, advanced rules
For fair play, they bluffed
None would sue

John thought, some regulations
Blotched with adaptations
Fraught with indentations
And sloppy implementation

He mulled, what rules?
Was his team made of mules?
Tools?
Or fools?

Dismissively, he called – Away!
We’ll not play!
Not your way!
Hie, to the highway!

Aye, came the reply, hit the highway
Don’t feature
We’ll win by forfeiture
And what’d you say?

John! fans chanted – let’s play! play to win!
Yes win! Win!
We can win! We can Win!

The field filled
The gates sealed
The whistle shrilled
Just no time to kill
The game’s begun!
Everyone’s on the run!
Close ranks!
Double donations from energy banks!

Fans ooed
They aahed
With pent up passions
And acrimonious anticipation

Yet team spirit
Was long lost
Players thronged the goal
Each wanting a go

With a push and a punch here
A prick and a pinch there
Fist fights and more
‘Twas foul-play galore

Still John’s goals were numerous
And the applause thunderous
As each side increased the scores
For it was win or be sore

The sweaty referee
Blew the final ‘pree’
Ending the goal spree
And John dreamt of victory

But this was not to be

With a blink
Things changed suddenly
Very suddenly
It’s black magic!

A bull frog conductor
And wide eyed professor
Began singing a different tune
A very strange tune

Then they switched scores
And vehemently swore
John never, never won
Oh, no! he’s been conned!

Justice’s been defiled
The thievery was decried
As fans and well-wishers cried
To no avail-
an ill-gotten victory was defined

From the anthology “The Dance Of Scorpions” By Lloney Monono.

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