- Abdulai Mansaray, author
Hunted, shackled, braced and shipped
From the land of the gods and baobab bliss
Down in the bowels of my watery coffins
To the land of the Tubab, all white and bleak.
In cold sweat and tundra bloodied veins
I burrowed the bowels for plaited – steel snakes.
Wallowed in black fumes of coal plated breathes.
In blacker faces that begot me Black Country.
My diamond and gold, we shared in common
In the chasm of wealth, we said was Commonwealth.
But the land that you raped and bled bone dry.
Is the ravished one, you fled and left to beg.
With clenched fists and furrowed brows.
You shook my hands with gritted teeth.
Under the veneer of shrouded guilt,
You made me think, was just a favour.
But the Empire you bled, is now coming home
Not to toil the soil or play steel drums.
But to share the spoils, of our common wealth.
During endearment, you christened “Common wealth”.
First time you gave me a voucher,
But this time you stamped me a visa.
But just when I thought I felt at home.
You beckoned to me, to “go back home”.
In the rivers of blood, you chastened the flood
With a nod and a wink, you bolted the door.
Why bury my roots in my mother land?
And blossom my flowers in your foreign land?
In your time of need, you opened your doors.
In my hour of need, you shuttered your doors
To your land I called, my commonwealth home
And sent me packing, to a foster home.
When the sun goes down, will you take me home?
Or my ashes on the Thames, will be my final home?
To ebb and tide like jetsam and flotsam.
With nothing to show, for your guilt of balm?
You enslaved my person, and colonised my conscience.
My mental slavery, you commercialised with patience.
With split personality, you devoured my identity
For all the commonwealth, you cast me with no pity.
For your Industrial Revolution, you had me for fodder
In your colonial era, you said I’m your brother.
But for your computer era, you said I am a bother.
With commercial conscience, you cast me asunder.
With your bible in one hand, the whip in the other.
When the sun went down, your bible in my hand.
When the sun came up, my gold from my land,
Was sheathed for cannon fodder.
Where is my gold, you battered for the bible?
Where is my land, you scrambled for my troubles?
Where is my land, I used to call home?
Home from home, you tell me to go home.