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POEM: Rats In dark Night



By Lawal Mu’azu

I saw a son yesterday in dark,
From sun up to sun down;
Tearing the virgin forest of dark,
In race of safety and survival.

His eyes were watching back,
Vigilant of monsters that carry gun;
For they have set the paradise on fire,
Without consent of the lord.

Oh the listening ear,
Children ran and jumped into ocean;
Not to swim but for fear of dark rats,
Today, we can only hear the crack of their bones;
As crocodile turns their flesh for the night meal.

Their stories of sorrow ends with water,
As they will never know the taste of happily ever after.

When the rats visited in cold nights,
Burning houses and turning silk to silver;
Tearing kingdoms apart and bathing the sky with rivers of blood,
Mothers ran away leaving their two pencils and children behind;
In state of grief, sorrow and sadness.

Fathers sleeping in cold of riverside,
In fear of losing their throats to knife,
Or guns of bullets breathing fire of hell;
Since dark rats keep burning his side,
Making a man hopeless, hapless and helpless.

Because of the bush rats that chase human beings,
We can no longer travel,
To Shiroro and harvest our yams,
Nor to Bida to eat rice;
Or sleep with eyes close in Kontagora.
We are caged in house of prison,
Surrounded by guns and bullets.

Oh the listening ear!
They raped a new bride and ask her father to watch with eyes open,
They cut the head of a father to clean the tears of children with knife,
These things know no sympathy of any slice.

From the south side to east side of the sky,
We can no longer ha-haa aloud,
They have turned the open sky in forest a home of children,
Making them beggars of street.

The children who once fed the mountains of mouth,
Now begging for a spoonful of water?
Where has humanity gone so far away?
That eyes can no longer close at night?
That we can no longer move from here to there?

Oh human rats in darkness!
Who have made this place a mourning ground;
Breaking our doors and windows into piece of dust,
Turning kings to beggars of street,
Go back to your holes and let us live the days of old;
When our houses and farms were paradise without any hell.

Because we have lords who worship desires,
Sleeping up skies with guards at door;
Protecting them and giving shield to their bear,
Even their dogs are guarded by police, solidiers and SARS,
When they go hunting for meal;
Or toilet to ease their pipe.

Because we have lords who do not worry about our safety,
The rats decide whether we stay home tonight!
Or make lesves of forest our beds,
Since they took over the houses we built we blocks.

When did rats become human beings to kill us at will?

Let me speak in riddles no more,
For we have grown so cold;
That we know pain not anymore.

I know what we must do,
I know the answers to prayers of crying eyes;
We must rise up and stand on feet,
We must send the rats of darkness back to their holes;
So that our fathers can return to farms.


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December 2022
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