World Poetry Day: Inferno in the Delta

World Poetry Day: Inferno in the Delta

By Jude Ndukwe

A conflagration erupts in the Delta

An inferno in the air

Raging in the sea

Endured for decades

Rapidly consuming inhabitants

Fuming death into the skies

And drawing tears from helpless eyes

A conflagration merciless



Ignited by oil merchants

From lands afar

Fuelled by corruption

Egged on in collaboration

With citizens anear

Enchanted by lucre so filthy

Enthralled by crude ornamented

With gold irresistible

To the irresponsible

Coagulated waters

With ceased beautiful waves

Once bluish waters

Now flowing in black oily matter

Skinny and deceased fish

Lifeless, buried in caked waters

An oily matter

Now a fishy matter

Gas of poisonous matter

Diffuses the air

Forcing a downpour

Of soot blackish

Suffocating our fish

In once flourishing aquatic life

Strangulating our people

And native agitators

Who helpless, turn to the ignitors

And soot-rain makers

For compensation not compensating

Enduring the denials and denials

Of industrialists, of captains

Of official collaborators

And of merchants coated in oil so crude

With tummies rotund

Bowels of degradation

Agents of dehydration

And poisoned clouds

And flaring gases

Tempers flaring

Merchants fleeing

To lands afar

Of origin

Heavily divesting

From lands wrecked

Creeks crude-caked

Swamps and mangroves mangled

Plumes of smoke billowing

On brittle trees

Of crippled growth settling

Ornamented with fragile leaves

In unending dizzying dance

Of crestfallen and fallen nature

Burdened by deprivations

Induced still by degradation

They then haul their luggage

Authors of the devastation


Leaving the Delta desolate

Jude Ndukwe, an author, essayist, and poet, sent this poem from Abuja (March 21 every year is World Poetry Day)

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