37.2 C
City of Banjul
Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sahelian earth

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This season is for the baobabs.

Baobabs are princes of height.

Their swollen feet command

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A whole empire under earth.


Above the baobabs,

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Seagulls dive in and out of brackish waters.

They stare at us with country-bred eyes.

They stare at us like Serere fishermen from Joal.


The sun radiates above splinter boughs.

This is a season of desolate laughters.

Very little warm water has fallen

To comfort our souls.

Very little water has fallen

On palm fronds to support

The throat of crows.


Rains have signed a contract of neglect

With our landscape. Rains have signed a contract of neglect.

Our soils are bare, without grass or shrubs,

Without weeds or creepers. Our inheritance

Has suddenly turned into

The restless despair of the camel’s fate.


Only the baobabs stride majestically

In our landscape; their octopus branches

Cling to some ancient hope.


We sweat till our bodies shrivel like bonga fish.

We sweat to cool off our body fires.

Sweat is catharsis for us.

God pours down cold water from the inside. 


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