John Chinaka Onyeche: Birds Without Nests
Image: Unsplash, downloaded https://unsplash.com/photos/tV12NVunWrQ (18.4.2021.)
MY ANCESTORS ANXIOUSNESS In their anxiousness to win favours, In the eyes of the navigators, men across the sea They gave them our most valued possessions Our young and vibrant men and women The strength of our fatherland, Even the gods were silent and blind Remembering not our dances at the full moon And we became like birds without nests For the prince over the sea foresees My ancestors and their anxiousness He found nothing else to equal his favour But the strength of his fatherland The nourished bull milked to death at will African young men and women Shipped across the high Atlantic sea Some against their own will cried And many for the evil sown as conquest Volunteered on board the ship of no return In my ancestors anxiousness to gain From the men at the seashore as gods He gave his land for exploitation and siege Human and natural resources exploited Our devotion to worship the gods In turn diverted to the men seen at the sea In their anxiousness to gain, Africans sold their future 1441 The indefinite that became definite, You could have looked for a way out. Bringing with you to my ancestors, Good news instead of humiliations. You are a curse to the events of time alas! Antam, you who hunted to and fro, The sea lions in the souls of kinsmen, You hunted them like a good hunter, Valuing their labour as the oil, And their blood on the vessels cries, Africa is hunted as sea lions ashore. Rio de Oro the land where stood first, Prester John the legendary priest of Africa, At your name men were captured alas! Looked upon to see if they could find you, Men presented to you oh! Prince Henry, For we understand humanity at heart, You rather have chosen to raid and enslave us, Quest for annihilation of people. 1434, the footsteps seen at the shore, They were not the lion skins you seek, but of my kinsmen's backs you torn, 1441 the blood of my ancestors dirge Flowing in the Atlantic Ocean red They were not the oil of the sea lions Their gold, in your quest you made them cry
About the Author: John Chinaka Onyeche (Rememberajc) is a poet from Nigeria, writing from the metropolitan city of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He is an undergraduate student at Ignatius Ajuru University Of Education, Nigeria. He is pursuing his first degree in History and Diplomatic Studies.