By Dida Jallow-Halake
The poet once dubbed “Young, Gifted & Gambian”,
Going by the name of “Gambia’s Pen”,
Is mysteriously silent! (Like “The Prince of Brikama”)
Did The Pen break his pen? (Like “The Bard of Bakau”)
While blinded to the light of the Eternal Moon,
As he stayed stuck in the mud –
Hurriedly gathering the corrupting Sixpence?
So it is left to an older and rusted poet,
Whose own pen is nearly broken by Old Age,
To recognised the Achillean Heroism,
Of an even older Gambian Gentleman,
A quiet and humble 66-year old Lawyer,
Who, Joshua-like, is bringing down the Feared Walls,
Of the Rat invested “Mile 2” Prison.
Now simply named Defiant Darboe.
His Silent Roar emanated from indignation,
At the bloody torture of a Heroic Trio –
And the Heroic Death of a Biko-Like Hero:
The brutal death of Solo Sandeng was the proverbial straw,
That fired-up in his aged Leader Darboe,
A most un-lawyerlike Defiance.
“Their Body or Mine”, Darboe thundered –
In his own quiet way,
As he took to the streets hand-in-hand with colleagues,
Peacefully, Selma-style and Sharpeville-Style,
Demanding the release, or the bodies, of the kidnapped.
But, as with Selma and Sharpeville, no quarter was given:
The State beat the peaceful protesters and jailed them.
Then the State brought them to Court,
Charging the peaceful protesters with violence!
And the State prosecutor thundered:
“No bail – let them go sleep with the Mile 2 Rats!”
At which the Defiant Darboe quietly answered:
“There is no request for bail before the Court –
Until I get those beaten and buried like dogs”.
And so The Gambia and the World watches,
As a Brutal State takes on a quietly defiant Old Man.
Will the State give Defiant Darboe the bodies?
Or if alive, the broken bones on crutches?
Or will the reputedly merciless State kill the Old Man?
Mad thought: but brutal dictator Sanni Abacha did just that –
While the horrified World watched.
So it is that this old poet wishes,
For a few words from The Gambia’s Pen,
During whose own Mile 2 Sojourn this poet rapped:
“Young, Gifted and Gambian” and begged for his Freedom.
Now the Pen is free, says what he … about Defiant Darboe?
The self-styled “Silent Londoner” also remains mute:
When his Ministerial job is now to talk – to Gambians, not the BBC!