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Eden Lost

Here, where I live,
used to be Eden.
Before the ever swelling population,
spreading like an unruly wildfire
in the middle of harmattan,
brought one of its many arms,
it used to be peace made palpable
here where I live.

Voice of a vibrant forest
used to be the exuberant songs
of lives thankful for their share
in nature’s vast garden:
lascivious croaks of prurient frogs
slicing through the night,
nocturnal songs of invisible crickets
and music of jolly song-birds
in the morning all weave into the soul-strumming
voice of a vibrant forest.

Now the soul-strumming voice is getting quiet;
the forest is shrinking and dying.
The callous rush to plant brick and mortar
is obviating the need
to see the wilderness intrinsic to nature remains.
A mother, here, is getting raped, despoiled –
her once rambunctious children are scattered
like leaves into the wind of uncertainty.
Now the soul-strumming voice is getting quiet.

And louder is the cacophony of human activities:
music of sweet song-birds has given way
to aggravative noise of electric generators,
gentle hissing, moaning, of trees and grasses
pleasured by a quickening breeze is now the ranting
of quarreling neighbors,
and different lullabies of night hours
have become electronically amplified
fits of religious madness.
And louder is the cacophony of human activities.

I will abide here no more.
Man has come to usurp peace;
man has come to murder beauty.
Here, man has no respect for what had been
before him and will also be without him –
what he needed that needs him not.
I will abide here no more,
I will abide here no more.

Bello Akeem lives near Lagos, in a valley rapidly changing from green and peaceful to loud and ugly. He is deeply concern about nature and desires to see people begin to treat it with its deserved respect.

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