On a lone and silent hill,
Occupied only by the fresh and rolling wind,
Stands a scarecrow in the middle of a corn farm.
And I, mesmerized by the stunning beauty of nature,
Stand gazing as if into a mirror,
The wind caressing my temples,
Whispering sweet and secret songs in my ears.
Even the lifeless scarecrow reacts to this
And spreads its arms to the melody of the wind,
Like an angel in a choir,
Swinging from east to west.
I try to sing to the wind, to embrace its refreshing scent,
But like a maiden flirting with a suitor,
The wind dances around me.
I am drunk with the beauty, with the bounty, with the freshness.
I lie down on the soft green fields, and dream of such a bed in the city.
The trees and the grasses dance in a frenzy,
As the wind brushes about and plays with them.
I look down from the hills, and find man’s destruction of nature,
In the name of the metropolitan city.
There, no wind blows, no rivers flow,
The trees have been hacked down and skyscrapers erected,
Streams and rivers are jammed with waste that can never be retrieved.
Rivers turn green, gutters stink,
And mosquitoes are in eternal harmony with man,
Their marriage thriving in the city.
I shudder as I think of my home in the city.
I want to stay here with my sweet and romantic friends in nature.
I don’t ever want to go down there again,
Where the soot from industry covers the sky like an old mother’s blanket,
The rain tastes salty, and hailstones hit our heads instead of hitting the trees.
Our generation knows no trees, no earthworms, no frogs, no grasshoppers.
The song of birds has been replaced by eardrum-blowing loudspeakers from every corner.
The food, adulterated with chemical fertilisers,
Rots before one even takes it out of the market.
In the absence of trees, the sun gapes upon us mercilessly, as on an open grave.
Nature is crippled in our city.
Geraldine Sinyuy teaches English Language and Literature at Government Bilingual High School in Bamenda, Cameroon. She was an assistant lecturer of Medical English at Université des Montagnes, Bangangte from 2010-2014 and will soon be defending her doctorate in English (Commonwealth Literary Studies) at the University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon. A creative writer with a special interest in poetry, she is also an examiner for the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level English Language Exam, and has published several academic articles.