Sunday, October 10, 2010

Woman of Zleh town

Throughout my travels, that take me so far from home,
I often reflect back and think of my childhood and my mother.
Each morning she journeyed into the forest to provide for her family.

This poem is dedicated to my mother
Rozetta Zleh Goah
of Zleh town,
Grand Gedeh County,
Liberia.

Woman of Zleh town
Written by: Bernard Gbayee Goah

Old woman of Zleh town,
How great art thou in all you do.

You work the forest from morning to night,
From Sinagboa creek to Donie creek,
Creeks that feed sons and daughters of Gbao.

You need no GPS to navigate,
Neither do you need a compass
to know north and south,

For your north and south are in your head,
From knowledge passed down to you from old.

You know where the palm farms start and end,
And the swamp farms you know as well.

So, there is nothing to worry about.

When December nights get so cold,
And you return with joyous heart and thoughts,
With a fishing net hanging on your shoulder,
Where you go to fish so far from town.

Your movement seem to be so slow,
Helplessly you walk due to heavy weight,
That falls on the basket behind your backs,
Full with cat fish and fire fish as well.

You come to know that you must hurry,
Faster and faster you try to walk,
Because darkness is about to fall.

Although you know darkness comes so quick,
Your hope of light comes from above,
From the light that lights the sky,
From a large fufu high in the sky,
During the darkest moment of the night.

You march head up towards your hut ,
Like a lioness that returns from the hunt.

But unlike a lioness who body needs no bath,
You must wash the mud off your body,
And wash away the scent of wild bread fruit leaves as well,
Those scents that stick on clothes like gum.

You must sit and clean your fish,
From the warmth and comfort of your kitchen,
Where the fire hearths are red and hot.

You clean the fish and cook the evening meal

Before you rest your tired body.

Once my dad, my siblings, and I have eaten,

A glimpse of a smile appears Upon your faces,
As your heart cheers to show appreciation  of your hard work.

You lie and rest your head in bed to sleep and wait,
For the morning light that must come to pass,

To start your journey all over again.

In deed I love the old woman of Zleh town.





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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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