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Oumar Farouk Sesay


Farouk Sesay

Sesay was resident playwright of Bai Bureh Theatre in the '80s. He has written several plays and serves as a columnist for several newspapers. He has been published in many anthologies of Sierra Leonean poets, including Lice in the Lion's Mane, Songs That Pour The Heart and Kalashnikov In The Sun. His first volume of poems, Salute To The Remains of a Peasant was published in 2007 in America. He was Cadbury Visiting Fellow in 2009 at the Center for West African Studies in Birminham. He is currently working in the private sector.




The Final Metaphor
(For Tom Cauuray)

Tom the day after you died
The sun draped in dark cloud limped across the sky
The stars twinkled with wrinkles
Sweat rivulets from brows of peasant spluttered on heaps
Like tears from the sky
Soaring Ravens console the weeping sky
That day children hug hunger in suicidal embrace
Drinking gulps of thirst
Hawking water in pales of wails like the wailers of Romaron
Just like the day before you died

The day after you died
The women of your poems die in child birth;
a tomb for every eight wombs
Their tears drawn the august torrent
Drenching the soil for the grave diggers
Just like the day before you died

The day after you died
The sky played the rain song again
Showers patters and splatters
Like the music in your “Farewell to My dying Land’’
We danced the funeral dance of our land
On the ambers of our memories
Just like the day before you died

The day after you died
The drums of the land went numb
The Balangie chuckles and choke
The Seigureh   stutters and sob
Feet shuffles and shackle
Yet we sing the dirge in muffle tone
Just liked the day before you died

The day after you died
The thudding feet of tyranny beat the drum of the earth
Making dissonance melody to the ears of the soil
And the soul of your downtrodden hacked
Just like the day before you died

But you are not here Tom:
to sieve the rays of their hopes from the rising sun
to rip the wrinkle from their twinkling stars
to Keep the splutter of their sweat in calabash of memories
to catch the crescendo of their cries in the pun of your poems
to capture the pitch of their pain in your melancholy song
And to hear the chorus of their heart singing the dirge of your metaphor
You are not here Tom

Tom you are not here to write their poems
I stand here not to mourn your mould
But to mourn for the metaphor of
the mould of mud mudding on the tiles
As you lay dead alone, for days
In a cold hostel room
Leaving your remains as a final metaphor
For posterity to read the rot in the land
Like Rabearevelo in the ghettos of Madagascar
Or David Diop dying in the skies of Senegal
You clutch a manuscript of metaphors 
As you descend to eternal time leaving your final metaphor
For poets to carve the ultimate poem

Tom, the day after you died
Is like the day before you died
But you are not here Tom
Tom you are not here
To poem our lives
Marred by the day after you died





The bodies of our women we made to a battlefield
Firing at them with chakabulars propped between our legs
Scaring their wombscape like Hiroshima
The sweats from the brow of their soul choke life from their bodies
We are an invading army looting the obelisk of their Ethiopia
The embers of our loins torch the sacredness of their being
And the fires of our lust consume the oasis of their soul
We beat our chest on their breast to test our manhood
Cheered by depravity anchored on the pendulum of our loins
The vows to die for their honour fade in the cacophony of our moans
 Echoes of the ecstasy of shame prowl in the cages of our emptiness
The flag of shame we hoist on the summit of their memories
 Fluttering and fanning the fires of hate in their souls
For the army suckling succor from their breast
While defiling the milk with the bile of their chakabulars

From Darfur to Congo to Rwanda to Kailahun
 Soldiers of shame limp across the continent soaked in shame
Sapping the allure of the muses of negritude
Hiroshima of contempt, we place underneath the core of their soul
Exploding everyday to multiple Hiroshimas in their mindscape
Shame bow down in shame
for the wars we fought on the bodies of women
The trenches we dug in their soul
The etu brute wounds we left in their wombs
With weapons of old forged in the furnace of their wombs
We rape them with chakabulars
And rape them again with the penises of our tongues
The stigma left blisters of shame on their image
Like the blisters we left in their wombscape
And their bodies, now a battle field with wreckages of arsenal
Burning!!! Burning!! Burning!

From the ashes, the phoenix of African womanhood rises
From the verses of Isis the resurrection beckons
From the pyramid of Egypt Cloepatra came on the heels of Nefertiti
From the sacred groves of sandathanka the ankle bells of Nasomayla struck
From the Peninsular Casely Hayford’s pen rages
From the rice fields and fishing ports they came chanting
From the shackles of forced marriages they break free
From Angola Queen Nzinga rallied the amazons
From Ashanti Ya Asantewaa raised the flag of pride
From Zaria Queen Amina shouts the command
To reclaim the milk of life we defiled
To gather the souls we scattered
To piece together the calabash we smashed
To redraw the sacred lines we crossed
To reclaim the territory we invaded
To return the obelisk we looted
To replace the beacons we uprooted
To reassert the honor we dishonored
To Nile the oasis we drained
And to wage a war in the landscape of our soul
They came wearing the scars of the battle of our birth like medals
The breast milk we defile drenched the battlefield
The battle cries of etu brute fill the air
The cries numb our soul
The chakabulars went limp
We retreat like eunuchs spoiled with spoils of our war of shame
And the loot of our burnt image
Saddled on the wounded camels of our souls

Chakabular  a locally made gun in Sierra Leone
Nasomayla, a traditional woman chief in Northern Sierra leone


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