Herdsmen Attack: A Poem2 min read

The water pots tumbled and brok’n
and the hoes no longer make heaps
the beds have stopped squeakin’
there’s no more peaceful rest or sleep
the barn doors are unlocked
house doors, from the hinges, are unstuck
farm, market and stream paths are blocked
no merchants and traders in lorries and trucks
because the herdsmen struck

An old farmer sits in a quiet corner
his worn trousers and sad brows creased
used to be a proud father and barn owner
now BP is high and heart rate is increased
jaded from running without sleep or rest
wrinkles line his face with beards twistedly tangled
he feels so lonely and depressed
his body is a mess and hand badly mangled
doesn’t have a clue the herdsmen will strike again

Children’s laughter no longer in the air
death has never been this close and near
misty eyes filled with tears of despair
little faces painted with untold fear
teardrops, sweat, and blood in the dust
leaving mucky trails of bloody smear
but can’t stop running until it’s dusk
leaving a trail of blood before dawn
because the herdsmen may strike again

The plentiful harvest and crops have vanished
languished mothers and children wail in anguish
the young men unarmed and vanquished
sisters cum daughters slaughtered and raped
fathers and husbands brutally maimed
loom-woven blue, red, and black clothes ripped
farmlands and quiet communities forcefully claimed
orphaned hungry children unclad and out of school
because the herdsmen struck again

Freshly hunted game all gone rotten
and the unprocessed food is gone stale
because the savage attacks are sudden
in heaps of ash, the harvests lay meant for sale
fruits lie wasted and squashed
the people imminent famine and hunger quash
in a land known as the Food Basket
lies in waste with buried caskets
because herdsmen strike almost every fortnight

Bare feet tired from running to safety dusty
weak knees and throat gone sore and thirsty
helpless crying voices have gone husky
from earnestly praying to the lord for safety
once healthy faces looking sick and ailed
why does needed help seem to be delayed?
our promising government seems failed
and the awaited salaries remain unpaid
still, the herdsmen malady’s unended

Houses and barns burnt and razed
just to fight for cattle to graze
once home to kinsmen and the land of the brave
now littered with mass burial sites and graves
the ingrained memory of sorrow and despair
of damage done beyond repair
but surely as the sun rising from the East
off shall come the head of the beast
and the herdsmen that kill today will strike no more

Dedicated to the families and victims of all the herdsmen attacks in Nigeria, especially in Benue and victims of ethnic cleansing all over the world.

Read also Giant of Africa

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