Posted tagged ‘Boko Haram’

Also, a Girl

May 27, 2015

Also, a Girl

When a woman is property,
she’s part of the furniture.

A table where men
dig elbows, take
their fill.

A wastebasket, kicked
to a corner, place
to spit.

Shelf where scuffed
shoes sit.

Her vagina, keyhole crowbarred;
pillows, sweated, punched.

When a woman is property,
she also serves
as a means of production.
Run through
an assembly line, busily dis-

Oh, how rich they are,
who can destroy
their property
like that.

Who blames a table
because it is scratched, one leg
But she feels blame, certain
no one wants
such a table–

She feels too
the table leg–still jammed
inside her–

She does not want it to touch
her inner thighs
so splays her own legs stiffly
to its sides
as if they were stilts,
as if they were splints,
as if they too
were wooden.


I’m back with a rather grim poem, sorry.  This one inspired by (i) reading about the girls released or escaped from Boko Haram in Nigeria, many of whom seem compelled to deny some of their terrible ordeal out of fear that they will themselves be censured or stigmatized.  (ii) This was also inspired by Shay/Fireblossom’s prompt on Real Toads to write a list poem.  I am linking to Real Toads Open Platform. The pic is my drawing; all rights reserved for it, and, of course, for poem.

Note that I was thinking specifically of Boko Haram in Nigeria when writing this poem, but women are treated like property all over the world.  

In terms of my own break–ah–not a good time for it!  Thanks for your real world indulgence.   

Our Hearts Bleed (for Nigeria)

May 6, 2014

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.