Liberia: Glory Days |Bai T. Moore

I wandered in the moonlit night
to view the glory of the past 

      The ruins of those pioneer days
      were silhouetted against the light

where once stood mansions decked with pride
now ruled by vipers and the bats
    
are ‘nough to make one stop and sigh 

The broken frames can hardly stand
the beating of the constant rain 

      And on the landscape high above
      the ruins of the parish too

can tell the ghostly story plain
beneath the grass stand epitaphs
    
 a remnant of some burial ground 

A lordly cricket once in a while
will break the silence with a sound 

      Or in some distant woods a drum
      a native feast in feverish swing

I wonder after all these years
these ancient ruins can rise again
    
and brighten up a dismal scene?

 

Bai Tamia Johnson Moore was born in Dimeh, Liberia in 1916. Moore experimented with various genres including folklore, poetry, essay, crime, and the novel. Commonly called Bai T. Moore across Liberia, he is best remembered for the novelette, Murder in the Cassava Patch (1968), which was followed by The Money Doubler (1976) and a poetry collection, Ebony Dust (1962), which was republished in 2001.

 

The African Book Review is posting a poem from each of Africa’s 55 countries over the next few weeks. Poem suggestions can be sent through the comments form below. ‘Like’ us on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr to read all the poems.

 

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