"Once upon a time," my grandfather used to say,
Our homeland was awesome to behold.
Lush green mountains beautiful to behold,
Surrounded by forests unravished and virgin,
Wild creatures prancing and happy birds chirping,
Men and animals had respect for one another.
The air smelt of peace and the land was pure,
Crystal clear rivers, home to healthy fauna and flora,
Borded from the land by rich mangroves,
The beauty of nature unveiled, unperturbed.
"Those were the good old days" he would say.
"Things are no longer the same" my father would say.
The world has been turned upside down,
There is hardly a tree left in our forests.
The mountains now look like heaps of sand,
Wild creatures lament the threat of extinction,
The songs of the birds are undulating dirges,
A cold war ensues between man and the creatures.
Poisoned air reverberates the atmosphere,
The purity of the land is lost to civilization.
Fauna and flora mourn the living-dead state of rivers,
Exposed further by the emasculated mangroves.
Everything judged before the judgement day.
"Things have fallen apart" he would say.
Where have the lush green mountains gone to?
What became of the unravished virgin forests?
How did the wild creatures all disappear?
Why do the birds sing only songs of sorrow?
Which substance transformed the fresh and peaceful air?
Who polluted the rivers and endangered fauna and flora?
These are questions I dread when I tell my children stories.
Peter Obiora Edoziem.