Posted by: Viola | April 28, 2014

New poems for Cameroon

About a month ago, I began working on some new poems. At the time, there seemed to me to be little connection between them, but now that I think of it, they are all connected. They all touch on the subject of injustice in one way or another. Some of the poems do so directly and others a bit more indirectly. One of the poems talks about homophobia in Cameroon, tackles it head on. It’s bold. Writing that poem was really a powerful experience for me. The poem took a few days to craft, but it happened very fast. I just knew what I wanted to say, and nothing felt complicated. I look at the poem now and it seems like something written by someone else, written by someone confident, fearless. It also reads to me like a poem filled with a blazing truth. A truth that can’t be ignored or brushed aside. It’s also a poem about religion, about Christianity specifically. About the ways in which Christians can break the most important commandments in the Bible, the pillars of their faith. The poem reads in a straightforward manner, nothing obscure or fuzzy about the poem’s major statements. And I think that’s the most beautiful part about the poem. Not it’s simplicity and directness taken for themselves. But the fact that injustice must be something we deal with directly, without obscurity. Where there is injustice, there must be clarity. We must be clear about cruelty and violence. We must stand clearly against it. We must never be obscure, or unsure, or apologetic, or make excuses for abuse. Yes, we can see all sides of an argument. We can see multiple perspectives. We can honor all those at the table. But when people are being jailed, beaten, killed, and discriminated against, we have to be clear about the wrongness of this. We cannot excuse it away. We must never ever say it is OK in any way to attack, insult, injure, and condemn others because we see them as different from us or flawed in some way. We must strive to not judge and hurt people on the basis of their sexual orientation, race, class, age, culture, sex, gender, or any other quality they may identify as or identify with. Most of us know what it feels like to be robbed of the opportunity to express the things that define us. How dare we rob others of what they cherish or who they cherish? We must never banish others from the possibility of a joyful life. I think this is the greatest challenge of our time: The challenge of learning to love and practicing that love. To love and honor and appreciate the people of our world. And that is what all people are–they are the people of our world. This world is not more ours than theirs, and life is not more about us than about them. This world is home to all of us, and we are all welcome here.



  1. A very touching but breathtaking commentary.. Very spot on !
    I’ve always said this that there comes a
    time that the pen will be mightier than the sword. Spot on !

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