Three Poems from Liberia

The following poems were written in the first half of 2014 by students at Suakoko Central High School (Grades 3 to 12) in Suakoko village, Bong County, Liberia. All three of these students are members of the school's poetry club (Exodus Weah is the president). They are all Kpelle, and Kpelle is their primary language.

These poems were provided to OGOV by their instructor, Michael Rubey, who left Liberia a few months ago. To the best of his knowledge all Suakoko village, and therefore these poets, have not been directly affected by the Ebola outbreak. We offer you these poems as an alternate way of thinking of Liberia as it suffers the throes of the outbreak. And also as a way to reflect on what is under threat, and all the powerful, beautiful voices that have already been silenced. But mostly, we offer these poems in celebration of the poets and the poems themselves. And we send all our encouragement to the Suakoko Poetry Club - may your produce brilliant poems and poets for years to come!



Untitled - Naomi Keah

O potatoe green
you are so fresh
but slowly, slowly you give blood



Money - Herbecca Fahn

Money! Money! On earth in the
night, in the days and everywhere
people are all on their way
looking for you. Where did you come
from? What makes you so important?

Is it God who blessed you? Or gave you
special blessing from heaven or on
earth? Can you show me both your mother
and father? Name who gave you this blessing.

Can you please explain what makes you fine?
In the presence of you my life is possible.




A Poem About my Grandfather - Exodus Weah

I take my grand father from the village
and carry he in the (USA) to stay with me.
After two (2) years, my grandfather become
to think about the things he use to do in the
village, running after animals, setting traps
to catch animals such as dear, ground hog,
bush pig, bush cow etc.
When he think about February, March, April
and May, he become to feel bad about his self
to be in the (USA)
Oh!! My lovely son I know you love me
very good. Among all my children you are
the only one that show love to me. The best.
But you know that February, March, April,
and May are near the corner, so I want to go
back and do my farm work, to the village,
also to sees the birds flying in the air very
happily, to sees my friends beating the country
gata: I know my trap that I set in the
forest has catch animal, but no want know
about it. Son said remember that the work
of a farmer never end, even to eat the rice.
I promise are will take you back the next day.