We, the people of the Republic of Liberia, were
originally inhabitants of the United States of America.
Some of the early settlers . . . were formerly
inhabitants of the United States of America.
We were taxed without our consent.
They were . . .
We were made a separate and distinct class . . .
Strangers from other lands, of a color different from ours,
were preferred before us.
They were made a separate and distinct class, and against them every avenue of improvement was effectually closed. Strangers . . . were preferred before them.
— Albert Porte, Thoughts on Change; Crozierville, 1977.
Bill shall be. George–even our greatest.
Seeing that Jimmy is now puzzled about
what seems a plain transfer of Savannah to
Harbel. To state to (or ask?) the Firestone Plantation chief
“why” is deep thinking, Jimmy. If James was buried with the
key to a diseased city, it is also deep thinking to
wonder why Monrovia has been dying since birth.
Imagine a Lazarus’ relief, Mr. Poet,
in a renewed cancerous life. Would a new city–
away from this now
unmarked grave of all our pathos–be too much
for the thinking? Or the de facto national gods of
Ignorance, Disorientation, Elections and Enjoyment
sacrifice us to a vexed Atlantic, as Buchanan,
another dying city, lies hapless
for that watery knife?
* Born in Harbel, Liberia, Annaird Naxela lectures in English at CUNY/College of Staten Island and researches the development and evolution of Liberian literature. His soon-to-be-published collection of poems is entitled: ‘Memory and Migration.’
Culled from Pambazuka News.
2007: From Siahyonkron Nyanseor’s Archive