It’s an unequal ecosystem
I was going through the NEWS feed last night, I stumbled upon a NEWS thread that made me angry. It read, and I quote, “Elon Musk is now richer than Warren Buffet.”
Reasons being, Warren donated 10 billion dollars to charity while, Tesla motors profit rose to significant amount. Since Elon owns 28 percent of Tesla Motors shares, he gets a huge slice. Here I’m in a remote town in Lagos state, Nigeria troubling my already broke relatives for sustenance. The Nigeria government cannot afford to send its citizens relief funds, but, lots of wealthy people are donating to different causes and some are making crazy profits. Here I’m without food.
My mother as gambled our living quarters. She received down payment to relocate from our current location to another, unfailingly, by the end of december this year. The location she intends to move to is currently occupied by another family. Due to the increasing entropy of the economy, It would be financially unwise to be looking for a new apartment anytime soon. The poor are getting richly poor and the rich are getting poorly rich.
If by happenstance, the super rich came togehter to create an account to donate a significant portion of their profits in the fourth quarter of this year, instead of gifting the donation to the leaders of the countries in need, they gift it to the banks that houses the bank account details of every citizen of said country. The banks in turn will distribute the money to its citizens. When I looked close enough at my needs, it boils down to food, power supply and WiFi. Is that too much to ask? The reality of it all is that, rich people can’t go less rich even if they wanted to, because, it will affect the banks already enjoying the benefits of their fat accounts and in turn will affect the citizens of the country where those riches resides. It all trickles down to the developing countries whom are already broke. For example, Mr A is super rich and he decides to cash out on his investment in a multi-billion dollar company which worth half the company. No bank will be happy with that, because, the company will have to let go of some workers, the day to day output will reduce, that company will have to settle for less profit by increasing the price of the commodity they produce. Developing countries have demands for those commodities. We’ll have to pay more for said commodity. Its like not donating to the affected countries is saving us, but, we are affected. So the chances are, if I’m given today I’ll go hungry tomorrow. The trend goes back and forth.
A few weeks back, University of Lagos became the first Sub-saharan African university to purchase robots that will fight COVID-19. All the pictures I saw trending on social media where taken in the school’s main library. In the hostel where I reside, Jaja hall, in my room we are 25. This is a room meant for 10 students. How will that robot fight the hostel congestion that obviously seems to be the plantation that boost the spread of the virus. If the school authority decides to stop all the students that are not bonafide members of the hostel from entering the hostel. The queue for shuttle bus will increase, lots of students will be late for classes and most of all, they would become vulnerableand easily manipulated to join social vices.
In otherwords, the reserve the school was supposed to use to build more hostels as gone into the pocket of the rich and left us richly poorer than we were before.
It would be wrong if I fail to acknowledge that SpaceX as taken a little step forward in the direction of space domination. All the tax paying dollars was put to good use. That money did not all come from American soil. Different international expexts and the raw materials from developing countries altogether found it way to establish that little step. But, his dream is bound to fail if the rest of the world is in chaos. There might not be a clear line as to how this issue can be solved. Why are we humans if we don’t try?
Out of Reach
My parents always had high hopes for my future.
They told me I could be great.
They said I could spread my wings and fly,
Because they had high hopes for me.
I had dreams for my future.
I dreamed I could be anything
In reality I just wanted to be something.
My parents expected me to know what I wanted.
They raised me to dream…
But did they let me hope too much?
I wanted so much and dreamed of even more.
Now I’m stuck with my reality,
Wanting, hoping, and expecting my dreams to be out of reach.
Never Contact the Dead
She cloaks herself in death’s sweet kiss,
comforting herself in black velvet and sandalwood to camouflage decay.
Her glass-covered casket
houses a beautiful corpse:
pale, porcelain doll
with sunken eyes,
blessed by self-made herbs and potions
coveted closely in a former life.
Surfaces are illusions,
hiding rot that festers deep inside.
Within intentionally silent mouth,
blackened tongue deceptively sleeps.
Forked with poison,
stained with a soul that has soured over decades,
one that filled those who would fall for banshee’s call,
with falsehoods of a putrid kind.
Her crooked fingers
once mastered the art
playing puppetry with souls empty,
lapping hungrily at the doorway
of false enchantments.
Don’t tread too closely,
a sorceress’s bride will surprise,
and snatch your soul from your quaking lips;
Equip a shovel at your side.
Witchcraft works quick,
so it’s wise to away hurried.
Demons are best kept
when eternally buried.
Hands pressed to floor,
blood rushing to head,
my stomach unaware of
which way points north.
The upside-down churns
into swells of blood and tears.
It is the labyrinth of bones and teeth
I can’t seem to leave —
fingertips keep grasping ash.
Hands pressed to ceiling,
eyes open wide,
my chest easing into
all tension release.
Palms to sky
and heart to ground,
I am lifted in knowledge.
The owls perched on my shoulders
kiss my cheeks with gift of wise.
I do not want.
I do not need.
Exhalations expel you out.
Letting go is all ease.
Head to ground,
heart to sky,
the day chooses which
will possess me tonight.
The Earth Sighed Seven Times
The earth sighed seven times.
The first morning she heaved – oceans of garbage flooded beaches like tourists, never resting until the seas were emptied of every human relic ever tossed off a ship, every wine cork long forgotten after empty smiles and shallow promises, every distorted piece of plastic that brought momentary ease, fleeting joy, or a bit of convenience- then she sighed.
My dog barked seven times that day. No more, no less.
I hoped it was over, but then came the second morning. A guttural cough rumbled under my feet, and the world erupted. Every dormant volcano came alive with fire, and steam, and spirals of smoke. The seas began to boil and rage and roar, and then I feared it was the end. But it wasn’t. The earth sighed a second time.
My dog barked six times that day. No more, no less.
The third morning, the earth burbled and burped until every human corpse was lifted from its resting place. On land, they rolled out of the ground onto perfectly landscaped yards and gardens and ruined the mood for many a party. This one felt personal. My old dog was buried in the back. His resting place lay undisturbed while bloated bodies bobbed alongside buoys in oceans, and lakes, and rivers, and oh, what a stink! That night she sighed again, and I thought I heard mirth in the sound of it.
Five barks from my dog that day. No more, no less.
The fourth morning the earth groaned and the ground ruptured and fractured – consuming governments, and swallowing civilizations, and splitting countries, and families, and even hairs. Well, I only guessed that last part. Then the earth sighed a fourth time.
My dog barked four times after I fetched her out of the rubble. No more, no less.
The fifth morning the earth sang – through warbling birds and whistling trees, through the bellows of whales and the humming of bees – and it was beautiful! The song was full of hope and new beginnings. But many could not hear her song, though the sound was deafening. Men cleaved to their old ways, licking honey from thorns that split their tongues and numbed their senses, and the poison – oh the poison! Millions died because of it, and it seeped back into the earth. That night the earth was silent. Perhaps she was thinking. The quiet unnerved me as I bolted my doors, listening for earth’s song but only hearing the sounds of booted men patrolling streets, and cocking guns, and shuttered blinds, and whirring blades from aircraft overhead. Finally, the earth sighed a weary sigh.
Three barks that night. Three damning barks. No more, no less.
I awoke the sixth morning with a start as the earth shrieked. I covered my ears, and my cheeks flushed with heat at the pain in her voice. Her cries were desperate. They were horrifying. They were accusing. And they were powerful. Earth’s protective ozone shattered, and my skin blistered and cracked under the heat of the sun. I barricaded myself in the cellar as the top of my roof melted away into nothing. As night fell, the earth sighed a sixth time.
My dog barked twice. No more, no less.
I knew the seventh morning was our last, for the earth laughed. It was bitter and full of sorrow. It summoned the heavens forward, and they came. Meteors, and floating ice, and blazing stars struck the earth so violently they sent chunks of her spinning, spinning everywhere. They ripped her clothes and tore her flesh, but her response was laughter. Crazed, terrifying laughter. And then she sighed. Our beautiful, broken earth sighed. One final, mournful, dreadful sigh.
My dog barked once that morning. Now she lay mute in my lap as I pet her. I know she has no more barks for me. I close my eyes and take one last breath.
No more, no less.
Ghost of a smile.
A smile can hide a thousand emotions, you just have to practice.
That's right come on, lift your head.... That's it. Relax your shoulders. If you're tense it makes the smile unbelievable and stiff. Now try to smile. Try pulling the corners of your mouth up more but not too much - if need be show some teeth and give a chuckle while you're doing it. If you practice long enough you can learn to keep this facade up all day.
The eyes are often the downfall though - a real smile can be seen by the emotion in the eyes. My advice is focus on the area under their eyes or even their shoulder. Never focus on their eyes unless you are sure you can decieve them. It takes a lot of time to be able to decieve someone while maintaining eye contact.
I have perfected this smile.
This smile protects me from the hurt that others inflict.
I can wear this like a cloak and discard it in the solitude of my home.