Saturday, December 15, 2012

Puff, puff, pass (Spoken Word Poem by Ndukwe Onuoha)





Puff, puff, pass

Puff, puff, pass
Pain don’t last
‘Long as we got this grass
Puff, puff, pass
That’s all I hear
Yo; who’s that shawty
Over there?

My people excel on self-delusion
Puffing on this government-sanctioned infusion
Of misery and pain
Systematic degradation
Political polygamy laced with state oppression.
But that’s alright my friend,
Tonight we puff, puff, pass
Puff, puff, pass
Pain don’t last
‘Long as we got this grass.
Long as we got these lies
While still they ‘off’ our lives
Pain don’t last
‘Long as we got this grass.

My mom swears I was born into a good economy,
My dad says “screw it; the government’s a euphemism for sodomy”
My brother’s too busy working for the white man to pick up his phone
My sister goes “where?” when I ask if she’s coming back home
My cousin’s got a Shengen visa – says he’s going to husle
And back home Alex O’s lost the means to shuffle
‘E go beta’ – this too shall pass
‘Cos pain don’t last
‘Long as we got this grass

Jos is burning – your life’s not worth a penny, so lose it
Kidnapping is brown gold – there’s the fixed deposit account to prove it
The new ‘Joseph’ of our time is an ex-convict come from two years behind bars
But see, pain don’t last, ‘long as we got this grass.
‘Cos we will puff
We will pass
We will passWe will puff
‘Cos pain don’t last, ‘long as we got this grass.

So what if they keep kids off school, and on the streets ‘cos that’s cool?
So what if in the process they all turn to drugs?
Wouldn’t that be the perfect army for politicians in need of warlords?
Look, pain don’t last, ‘long as we got this grass!

So what if our mothers are kept in perpetual poverty?
Let’s keep making more laws that derail our own humanity,
While we allow our lawmakers corner the wealth of our nation
‘Cos pain don’t last, ‘long as we got this grass!

It doesn’t matter if our roads are another name for death traps;
And as long as no one says something, then perhaps
We can all get bye till the sweet bye and bye
‘Cos pain don’t last, ‘long as we got this grass!

So what if every mayhem is termed religious?
We might as well kill each other, for that might make us righteous,
‘Cos we know it’s election season, and the President won’t make a fuss.
Hey, pain don’t last, ‘long as we got this grass!

Anyone can aspire – as long as he has a godfather,
‘Cos they’re having a hard time making the votes of you and I matter,
And they’ll get top honours, even if they don’t pass class.
But pain don’t last, ‘long as we got this grass!
But.
What if we were to have a moment of rare clarity
And our eyes were opened to the grave calamity
Of our leaders’ unabashed vanity
A fostering collective insanity
A nation’s wasted opportunity
Seized by policies of clear-cut ambiguity?
Will we puff, puff, pass
Or will we pass to puff?
Will we ask for more,
Or will we say “enough”?
Will we stand for truth,
Or will we waste our youth?
Will we puff, puff, pass,
Or will we pass to puff?

by Ndukwe Onuoha