Our Hearts Bleed (for Nigeria)

Our Hearts Bleed (for Nigeria)

In last years, Nigeria has lost
most forests,
but the Sambisa seems a place
of bush as much as tree,
or, at least, thorn.

Traditionally, only elephants,
or others with similarly thick skins,
could traverse it.

Elephants are few

but some trucks seem tough enough,
and too the hides of those who treat people
as things–
those who have been trained in the way
of the cutlass;
though the skin of even strong
young girls
is soft, warm, such
that fingers touching it
should sing.

Boko Haram:
“Western education is
Only the Western part
is a ruse,
it is education
that is

For things
should not read,
property does not write.
What is to be sold, used, fisted–
tethered to post
and slop pail–
should not have tools
to speak her mind.

The terrorizing
of schools
is a kindness truly–
so, they may say, pulling at their hats
and other parts–
for they are very good
at stopping mouths,
but they do not wish
to have to blind, maim, amputate–
no, they want girls
young limbs spread dark
as woods’ night shadows,
eyes pooling
stripped bark.

A poem of sorts for Abhra Pal’s prompt on trees on dVerse Poets Pub, about the horrific abduction of now more than 230 girls in North-East Nigeria. It is suspected that the girls have taken into the Sambisa Forest, a stronghold of the Boko Haram.

Religion has been misused against women and education for a very long time. But what’s happening in Nigeria right now to both girls and boys pursing education is beyond evil. It’s really beyond what I could write of here–just trying to raise awareness,

The drawing, like most on this blog, is mine. — this post has been edited– the last line– since posting.

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21 Comments on “Our Hearts Bleed (for Nigeria)”

  1. claudia Says:

    my heart bleeds as well k. – it is terrible what happens to those poor girls.. thanks for raising awareness…ugh.. it makes me sick when countries treat their own children like that…sick and angry

  2. lynndiane Says:

    Evil must be exposed for what it is…thank you for telling their story in a thoughtful way…it all seems too awful for words

  3. billgncs Says:

    I hope someone stands up to the bullies and reclaims the girls.

  4. grapeling Says:

    horrific. Kony still roams but his atrocities seem nearly pale. and that in itself is criminal ~

  5. journalread Says:

    K, the things going on in Nigeria are truly horrific – this sort of exposition can only help as our thoughts keep returning to those children.

  6. Difficult to click like for such a heart-rending poem, but I thank you for posting it, nevertheless. It should be plastered on every Nigerian wall and tree.

  7. Steve King Says:

    It’s horrible how children are used, either as the things you write of or as soldiers. This is powerful and emotional and a perfect response to the prompt.
    Steve K.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. I edited it a bit this morning, as I didn’t think the end worked very well. (That’s on the poem.) On the topic–agh–it is just terrible. k.

  8. brian miller Says:

    ugh….clenches the stomach…esp with the woman, their taking, and what we think might be being done to them currently as well…..good on you for going after it in verse k

  9. Glenn Buttkus Says:

    The treatment of women as chattel in Muslim & even Hispanic countries had been like a thorn forever; good of you to add a few more barbs, lest we forget. The evil inequity transpiring in Nigeria should be a wake up call; let’s hope so.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi Glenn, I don’t really think that Islam would promote the view of these crazy guys. But religions of all kind get used as excuses I think. K.


  10. Such hate and anger in those men.. terrible things happening.. I believe at the root lies fear.. which is even more dangerous

  11. I loved your poem even if the inspiration behind it is so sad. I, too, am thinking of those girls. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  12. janehewey Says:

    Your illustration is fitting, with focus a bit astray and the density coming forward almost off the screen. I appreciate your hand at raising awareness. There is a musical quality in the stanza that holds “through the skin of even strong young girls” and the last stanza so strong with imagery.

  13. hedgewitch Says:

    A harrowing, horrific tale, k. Looking at the footage of those thugs, they don;t even appear sane. I can’t think any religion would claim men like that. They are evil given free reign. Your poem manages to remain lyrical throughout, which of course only makes the horror stronger.

  14. Abhra Pal Says:

    Karin, Salute to you for taking up a great social cause to writing and creating awareness.

    As much as sad as the event makes me, I too feel that it is very important to spread the message across through our art forms.

  15. Sumana Roy Says:

    even beasts of forests follow rules of Nature but not so with the humans….they can stoop to such level…ugh and I can’t forget the lines….. “though the skin of even strong / young girls / is soft, warm, such / that fingers touching it / should sing.”……a poem written with heart Karin…..

  16. The last two lines are stark and heart breaking, as is the whole incident. When will girls/ women just be allowed to be and develop to be the humans they are?

  17. “…young limbs spread dark”…….thanks for raising awareness about this horrifying abduction.

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