ABOUT THE POET
He is a Sierra Leonia writer who has produced many works, to develop African literature. A dinning table is from the collection of his poems.
Table of Contents
Dinner tonight come with
Gun wounds. Our desert
Tongues lick the vegetable
Blood the pepper
Strong enough to push scorpions
Up our heads. Guests
Look into the oceans of bowls
As vegetables die on their tongues.
That gather us is an island where guerrillas
Walk the land while crocodiles
Surf. Children from alpha beta with empty palms dine
With us; switchblades in their eyes,
Silence in their voices, when the playground
Is emptied of children’s toys
Who needs roadblocks? when the hour
To drink from the cup of life ticks
Cholera breaks its spell on cracked lips
Under the spilt
Milk of the moon, I promise
To be a revolutionary, but my Nile, even
Without tributaries comes lazy
Upon its own Nile. On this
Night reserved for lovers of fire. I’m
Full with the catch of gun wounds, and my BOOTS
Have suddenly become too reluctant to walk me.
The speaker likens their dinner to a deep gun wound sustained in the battle field. The pain of the injury is compared to a dry tongue as the anguish causes slivia to dry in the tongue just like a desert which has been emptied of water. The agony resulting from the owund forces him to loose consciousness. Even the non participants are overwhelmed with the devasted effect of the bullet. Hence their own tongue are equally dry of saliva.
The speaker describes the dinning table as a war theatre where soldiers fight on land while the naval warfare takes over the sea. Hence, “The table that gathers us is an island where guerrillas walk the land while crocodiles surf”.
Thus it is a warfare that is fought both on land and sea. This war has already begun to claim its casualties. The innocent children are not left out of the devastation. They helplessly face the wars situation in tiers and silence.
“Children from Alphabeta with palms dine with switch blades in their eyes. Silence in their voices”
The war denies them of the toy and happiness in their usual play ground in joyous mood. Even the availability of instrument of play has become a taboo to demand for. Children toys and play ground have become unnecessary luxury and an inhabitation to say the list. This explains the rhetoric questions “who needs road block”.
As the fighting fiercely rages the unhealthy atmosphere. The filthy condition and the environmental degradation, or pollution results in outbreak of diseases such as cholera and Kwashiorkor. This takes its tolls on the emaciated body structure.
In the worsening war situation, the speaker is determined to carry on the liberation struggle “revolution” but the injury sustained in the battle weakens his bones and nerves. He laments that the gun wound has rendered him ineffective or useless in a night where brilliant warriors are called upon to demonstrate their military power. And that the leg has become heavy to enable him fight like a truly wounded soldier.
War destroys, devastate causes anguish to people. It does not discriminates, as it causes the participants to get maim, sustain injury so does it cause non participants to suffer anguish, despair and painful memory. The children are not equally spared. The war, deny them of their childhood joy and play. It inflicts injury on them and can lead to outbreak of diseases like cholera and even death. The wounded may be maimed for thereby putting them in perpetual agony.
“When the playground is emptied of children’s toys/who needs roadblocks?”