Monologue on the Sea — A Poem by Olayioye Paul Bamidele
December 22, 2021
Olayioye Paul Bamidele presents a poem "about the need for black people to unite irrespective of tribe, culture or tradition." According to its poet, the poem's inspiration comes from "the story of slaves being mistreated by their traders, as narrated to me by my father." The young writer and Mass Communications student adds, "These slaves were mistreated at home and betrayed abroad. Later these people became the freedom fighters of Africa and the founders of the Négritude movements across the globe."

Monologue on the Sea

In the siege of the night, while the sea kept snoring,
we were linked to one another with fetters.
They stripped off the clothes that named us.
They stripped off the beads that bore our identity.
Stripped off the crowns that entwined us to our heritage.
Off came the marks, on our faces, that had set us apart—
for the whip had added more.

Here on this ship, we are blacks.
Nothing pollards us from each other,
except our pharynxes,
which the white men cannot scale apart.

And we sink into the lines of this poem,
muttering about a convoy of trust
traded for penny to these people.

Back there, in the hamlet,
we were stallions for the rich.
A doormat for the King to dust his wasted days on.
I remembered we caught fish with our tongues
and our eyes burned to cook it.

But here, we are fed to the sea,
no name matters.
If we survived and reached the land in the clouds,
of which we are callow,
then we could have learned to be one as one. 

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About the Contributor

<a href="https://www.inversejournal.com/author/paulolayioye/" target="_self">Olayioye Paul Bamidele</a>

Olayioye Paul Bamidele

Olayioye Paul Bamidele is an emerging writer and a student of Mass Communication. He has a flair for writing, and loves writing plays, poems, essays, and fiction. His works have appeared in Lunaris, SpillWord, Terror House, and elsewhere. Aside from writing, he loves to play the piano.