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Abu-Hassan Askia Koroma

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Roaches In Our Paths
by Abu-Hassan Askia Koroma

Saturday, February 19, 2005
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Abu-Hassan Askia Koroma
•  The Challenge of an Artist at 12: AM
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           >> View all 12

This poem was conceived on a rainy day in Sierra Leone during a month-long visit from April 20 to May 26, 2001. A sudden and heavy downpour of rain has just stopped. Everyone seemed caught off guard as thirty minutes let loose nature’s wrath or, was it kindness? The gutters overflowed and deposited their stinking contents on the pavements. An intrusion of roaches were floated and scattered all over the place; running in various directions. Most were eaten by fowls. Their presence was such an eyesore.

The roaches in this poem may have taken a human form. The heavy downpour of rain is synonymous with both a symbolic wish for clarity and a mechanism to flush out the roaches.

The light is synonymous of hope and the lack of it. Either way, if one could see, the way is clear. But the pitfalls are many and darkness still looms.

As if a decade of war isn't frightening enough
Worsening downpours of rains makes it tough
In dirt, rut and filth
Roaches are wealth.
Behold the roaches emerge
Ruthless and filthy creatures converge
From darkness to light
Our paths are flooded with plight. 

Horrible, Horrible!!

No light; no illumination
In the horizon, hope seems like an abomination
Spreading filth everywhere
Time to strike back?  Stop here! 

Very horrible!
These wretched creatures
Have become our psychological features
Sickening within us
This unbearable stress
Very, very horrible!!
Fortitude and Veracity rein in determination
Moving toward destination
To keep the gutters clean
Behold the people of the book say, Amen!
Sanitary sewage of hope
With brooms to mope
Blessed with life, oh vengeance
The Nation strikes back with diligence
At roaches in our paths! 
© Abu-Hassan “Askia” Koroma  



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Reviewed by Cles Wilson 8/10/2005
This is the living truth.
Reviewed by Judy Lloyd (Reader) 2/20/2005
This is amazing and in 1997 after our house had burned down which nearly killed my husband and did kill my dogs what should survive but the roaches. Well we have not seen many in the new house as we are careful of paper products and had an exterminator come in. But a roach can survive a nuclear blast.
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