At the Point of Stone
#(dedicated to the quest for indigenous technology all over Africa)
Potholes of broken floor filled the place,
It was evening time, our prayer time.
I saw her coming suspiciously near the point of stone,
And on her knees’ skin, impressed lines,
As she tiptoed pass at slow pace.
Then she dropped on her knees, with her back facing me
Like begging and begging, but speechless.
I couldn’t tell to who her begging could be,
Yet persisting, her knees rubbed against the potholes of broken floor.
“Hello”, said I, if she could hear,
But it seemed like her ears were buried deep in her cold and secret thoughts.
But still conjured into her, I wondered what it was she was doing;
As I perceived pepper in the air,
And heard a solemn sound like the rough voices of stones suffering friction.
Then I fell into more confusion, pondering
If gods could speak from stones.
But as I went round to see her front,
I saw that she knelt, praying or begging;
shaking and laboring her waist.
But there was no idol as I thought,
neither a person being caressed with pleas
nor a clergy dictating a prayer piece.
She was actually kneeling before a grinding stone,
crushing pepper, tomatoes and onions.
“Take an electric blender”, I offered to help.
“It will save your pretty knees and waist”,
but “who made it?” she asked.
“It was imported, my dear.” I answered.
“Thanks, I can’t fall to the temptation of borrowed glory,
it is like the flower which fades away.
Let my knees crack and waist break for all I care,
I won’t use an electric blender until my children know how to make one by themselves,
as they made this grinding stone.
As I stood shocked,
She gave me a smile that almost got me seduced,
And said, “if I don’t buy and use the substandard grinding stone my children made,
where will they get resources and encouragement to make indigenous electric blender?”
Then I felt stupid.