Today on revisiting the letters of boys who are not stones, we read from three entries from the second edition of the Boys Are Not Stones Anthology—A Country of Broken Boys.
These three entries in form of poetry by Tukur Loba Ridwan, Bello Abdul Hakeem and Ibrahim Olalekan are titled “We Cry to Say We Are Not Dead Yet” , “Feel My Pain” and “Save The Boy Child Too” respectively.
Tukur whose contribution to the anthology appears in page 30 writes his poetry in the language of prose. As such it does not need so much hassle to interpret. Excerpts:
When you see a boy at the river bank of his face, allow
him to dive into his own eyelids & play with these
waters, let him the freedom of a parrot out of his cage,
so he could speak to you & me how painful it is to
grow, allow him to ask questions if to grow is what the
sky needs to take his hands, so we can tell him that
yes— the sky has lasers in the air,
He goes further to show what it means when you skin a boy alive and still chuck his throat from crying.
The second poem “Feel my Pain” (page 48) is a reminder to us that though the boy child does not go through the pain of menstruation, he goes through that of men’s nation. That though he is not used to shedding tears, the ball of his eye socket is a keeper of emotions. Bello Abdul Hakeem in stanzas 3 and 4 of the poem accuses the world which says “boys don’t cry” with a charge, find out what. He rallies on boys in the 4th and fifth stanza thus:
We’ve feelings, let our tears flow
Let our scream be heard
Let’s be freed from servitude
Let the world feel our pain.
While everyone is interested in saving the girl child from rape, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and all sorts of inhumanities; while the whole world is saying #BlackLivesMatter, Ibrahim Olalekan reminds us in page 43 of this anthology reminds to “Save the Boychild Too”.
A Country of Broken Boys is available for free download. Download below.