Can poetry be a vehicle for social change? When the protests and social media hashtags do not yield the results we want, can we turn to poetry? In this poem, “Who Hears Me?” Etim Bassey Onyam, sends a strong message enveloped in metaphors. Every verse of this poem will linger longer than expected but you will be glad you read it.

-Editorial Team

Who Hears Me?

Deep down their thoughts,
Poetic lines cut across putrid memories
Flowing from aggrieved souls of the land
Souls under the persecution of Sauls.

But do these lines speak at all?
Does the message massage their gall?
Like the inks of Soyinka, Okigbo and Rubadiri,
Shall these lines ever ring?
Pretty skeptical they ever will
For these ears are indifferent and the hearts rather cynical.

I am the voice bleeding through young inks
The voice resounding through the Savannah and the Mangroves
Reverberating the length and breadth of mother Africa
The voice of hope and the voice of change.

I am the voice of reason,
That dance not to the deceitful tone
Of political eloquency and propaganda
I am the voice above religious hypocrisy and sycophancy
Truth is my warrant and change is my cause.

Read Also: Song from the highway, A Poem By Habeeb Ajinifesin

I am the voice in black ink
Spreading my tentacles in the columns of white sheets
Calling on the last mired nations of the black race
Seeking a return to abandoned African norms and statuesque
I seek justice for slain African culture and tradition.

I am the voice ringing from million contemporary inks
I am a bard, a sage from the ancient waters of the Nile and Niger
Crying at the peak of Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro
Preaching the gospel of change and equity
I seek the emancipation of Africa from the fetters of corruption.

I am the voice of Hosea
Warning African continent of impending doom
I am African poetry
Who hears me when I speak?

Contributor’s Bio

Etim Bassey Onyam is a native of Agoi Ibami in Yakurr Local government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria. A graduate of English and Literary Studies. A playwright, poet, and novelist. Africa is the center of his Literary works.