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THE ODYSSEY Featured

Written by JOHN ODEY ADUMA, CENTRE FOR CULTURAL, LITERARY AND POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES, SOAS, UNIVESITY OF LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
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SERIES: THE POETRY OF JOHN ODEY ADUMA

 

Please visit also: (www.vigilance-securitymagazine.com).

 

BY JOHN ODEY ADUMA

 

“…multiply, and replenish the earth….,” Genesis 1:28.

 

Just caught COVID or recovering from one,

Having lung COVID or not,

Still in tears or they are just drying up

After the loss of a relative,

Generally bereaved or not,

Suffering from COVID or other ailments,

Diagnosis postponed or just carried out,

Under the knife or above it,

New birth or death,

Mourning or rejoicing

We ‘ll get there!

 

COVID-19 or in a sound mind and a sound body,

Pinged or not,

Self-isolated or not,

In the ICU or not,

Forced to stay away from loving relations or not,

Whether you were able to get

the final word from your dying relatives or bid them

a final goodbye or goodnight or not,

Just buried your dead relative/s

or keeping vigil praying for their recuperation or not,

Do rest assured we will get there.

 

Surrounded by loved ones or lonely,

Looked after or abandoned,

Married or single,

Having your marriage deferred,

many times over or just wedded,

Holidays postponed or not,

On furlough or not,

Working from home or in the office,

Frontline worker or not,

Critical worker or not,

We ‘ll get there.

 

Come rain or shine,

Storm or calm weather,

Thunder or lighting,

Ozone layer depletion, ultraviolet radiation

or extreme heatwaves accelerating

global warming at a geometrical rate,

Domestic or wildfires,

Spring or Summer,

Autumn or Winter

Cold or warm,

Wet or dry,

Mild or extreme,

Natural or unnatural,

Spiritual or not,

Scientific or not,

Climate change or no,

Whether experiencing the effects of monsoon rains –

flash, severe, and devastating flooding or not,

Desertification or avalanche of sandstorms/dunes

and excessive winds, droughts, or famine,

Crop failure due to inclement weather or great harvests,

Afforestation or deforestation,

Conservation or unparalleled

exploitation of the ecosystems;

Desiccation of the river systems or

deleterious effects of the mega dams on the environment,

carbon footprint (GHG) or Co2 or permafrost thawing

or the melting of ice in the Arctic,

or the submergence of low-lying coastland communities,

or the receding of the underground aquifers,

nations sitting on hydrological edge,

Global warming or fast-melting ice caps,

or the current threats to the global coral reefs,

and other marine lives, wild flora, and fauna

bush fires or the depletion of the ozone layers

or the emission of carbon mono-oxide

or environmental pollution or nuclear waste,

And no matter how wide the spread of other plagues and pestilences,

Great or small,

Eventful or not

Spectacular or not,

Significant or not,

Colourful or not,

Bitter or sweet,

Pleasant or unpleasant,

Fortunate or unfortunate,

Lucky or unlucky

Present or past,

We ‘ll get there.

 

In fierce competition for waters?

Let common sense prevail.

But does this universal gift to mankind

Have to be damned to cut off many from using it,

And refusing to release water to downstream dwellers?

O selfishness! O greed! O gross inconsideration!

O lack of love! O lack of universal altruism!

War! War! War imminent!

Let this then be the price for this folly!

 

Cheated in life or not,

Faithful or unfaithful,

Defrauded or not,

Strong or weak,

Fearless or fearful,

Weary or strong,

Above or beneath,

Head or the tail,

In peace or at war,

Inside a bottomless pit,

or on top of the mountain,

Hills and in the valley,

We ‘ll get there.

Moving fast or slowly in life,

Waiting or moving on,

Making headway in life or not,

Life controlled by algorithm or not,

Self-made or inherited wealth,

Whether of working-class background

or middle or upper class,

Whether raised in Council flats or in palaces,

Homeless or housed,

Tenant or homeowner,

Living in a home share arrangement or a

rough sleeper,

We ‘ll get there.

 

And no matter how difficult and hard the journey is,

No matter how long the distance,

No matter how rough the road, seas, and oceans,

No matter the undulating topography,

No matter how crater-laden the road is,

And whatever be the number of

the potholes on the road,

Walking, running, or flying,

We ‘ll get there.

 

The roars of the lions yet cannot stop us,

And no matter the obstacles,

No matter the barriers,

No matter how thick and high the wall,

No matter how high the mountains and the hills,

And no matter how deep the valley,

No matter the hedges and the thorny shrubs,

And spikes along the way in this our life-long odyssey,

Be rest assured, we ‘ll get there.

 

No matter the threats of the innumerable beasts

on the way and in the jungle,

The roaring of the lions;

The very intimidating sight of giants and ogres along the way;

The chirpings of strange birds;

The grunting of the bush pigs;

The howling of the hyenas,

The clanging sounds of the rattle snakes;

The strange sight of the pythons lying across our way,

We ‘ll sure get there

As we shall always be undeterred

and undisturbed by such beastly sights.

Not even the sight of the leviathans can force a retreat upon us,

Nor that of the huge evil sharks and the whales,

Nor the gathering of many hypos,

Nor the crocs, for we ‘ll get there.

Even if the sun ceases to give its light,

The moon refusing to shine,

And the stars stopping to sparkle,

Nor twinkle nor flicker its little light,

We ‘ll get there by the pillars of cloud by day,

And by pillars of fire by night.

 

Having a wayward child troubling you,

Or having a well-behaved one giving joy,

Children in school or out of school,

Children playing or can’t play because of the lockdown,

Children obese or healthy,

Just going to prison or set free,

Just about managing or earning living wages,

Low paid or well paid.

Pay rise or wage stagnation,

Bonus or not,

Clapped for, serving God and fatherland or not,

Nominated and recognised for service to country or not,

Poor or rich,

In debt or debt free,

Business just wound up or doing well,

Booming or into administration,

and subsequent liquidation or not,

Boom or doom,

Life thoroughly messed up or going well,

Life controlled by algorithm or not,

Famine or hunger or plenty,

In plenty or lack,

We ‘ll get there.

 

Sleeping or awake,

Light or darkness,

Our present here and future -

bright and beautiful,

or hopeless and ugly,

Bleak or promising,

Uncertain or unpredictable,

Amid friends or foes,

Loved or hated,

Accepted or rejected,

Cared for or abandoned,

Moody or in high spirit

Happy or sad,

Dejected or convivial,

Optimistic or pessimistic,

Sound health or ill-health,

Sound mind or diseased psyche,

Free or enslaved

Murmuring or contented,

We ‘ll get there!

 

Win or lose in any of life’s ventures,

We shall move on ‘cos such is life,

As in life, you ‘ll either lose or win and win or lose,

And if you win, how lucky are you!

But if you lose, move on, for tomorrow is another day.

And whether rough or smooth or easy,

Keep moving on without giving up,

And never give in to despair or depression,

or discouragement or to suicidal thoughts,

But keep on until you get to the finished line.

 

And no matter how hopeless the situation is,

No matter the frustrations of the moment,

We will get there still and not despair or be depressed,

Nor be in low spirit, nor worry, nor be anxious,

nor be fearful or frightful,

As we ain’t going to give in to fears or threats.

And we shall never be lukewarm nor be pessimistic

Nor entertain suicidal thoughts in this odyssey,

Nor turn against one another and afterwards,

war against ourselves and devour one another

Nor slay one another on the way.

But we shall always be in a good mood and keep hope alive,

And keep on keeping on because

it will not be long, and it will not last -

Temporary, temporary, and temporary then;

For I know, this too like the former times, shall come to pass.

This is my unfeigned assurance that of a truth,

And most assuredly that we will get there,

Somehow, sometime, someday.

 

But we must make the right choices

whilst here in this our earthly home

Entrusted to us to live in, work and preserve,

Respecting one another and other forms of life,

multiplying with common sense

and replenishing continually.

And as the chief stewards of the earth,

examine and review anew our relationship

with the environment as global warming

intractably heads towards a point of no return,

pushing our world close to the hydrological edge.

And now is the time we must all resolve severally

more than ever before, to look after our world,

lest be consumed by the impending Armageddon!

 

  • JOHN ODEY ADUMA.

                 April, 2021.

*This poem was inspired by Mr Mark Young’s response to my question at the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic: “How are you keeping?” on the shop floor of Tesco Express, Hammond Street, EN7 6PJ. And he replying, “We ‘ll get there.”

Dedicated to all humanity during this seemingly endless COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

John Odey Aduma, British Chevening Scholar, an international environmentalist and publisher, Vigilance – The World’s Leading Security Magazine and Scorpion News Corp – Africa’s Leading News Magazine, is currently a research scholar at the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies, SOAS, University of London, England, United Kingdom.

 

ABOUT JOHN ODEY ADUMA

A highly successful and award–winning British Chevening Scholar, Poet, Editor, Columnist, Communications Consultant, Author, Commentator on national and international issues, Publisher, Environmental and Publishing Consultant, with expertise in Conflict Management, Public Surveillance, Media, Business Management and Administration, General Marketing, Market Research, Sales, Advertising and Public Relations.

John Odey Aduma, British Chevening Scholar, Author of The Diamonds Are Here, Lord Rumens (ed.) and a renowned environmental journalist was born on December 13, 1963 at Okpoma, Yala in Ogoja, Cross River State of Nigeria.

He was educated variously at Christ the King’s School, Okpoma, 1969-1970; St. Mel’s Primary School, Woleche-Ebo, 1971; St. Gabriel’s Primary School, Ebo-Ipuole, 1972-1974; Christian Vocational Commercial School, Okuku, Ogoja, 1975; Faith Institute of Stenography, Shogunle, Lagos, 1976; Aladura Comprehensive High School, Anthony Village, Lagos, 1977-1982; University of Ibadan, Department of Adult Education, 1983-1984; Obafemi Awolowo University, 1985-1989, where he graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in English Studies; University of Lagos, 1991-1992, where he worked for and obtained an M.A. in English; and at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, 1994, where he took a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism; City University, London, United Kingdom, 2003 - 2004, where he was a British Chevening Scholar and studied for his M.A. in  International Journalism with specialism in Environment; City Business College, London, 2005-2006 for a  Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies, but completed only the taught course; Voice Coaching, CSV Media, London, 2006; Radio Production, CSV Media, London, 2006 and the City and Guilds Certificate in Conflict Management. 2006.

Besides, he has attended many training courses in Planning, Writing and Production Skills on Communicating for the Environment.

He was the winner of the Nigerian Media Merit Award for Investigative Reporter of the Year and the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, Reporter of the Year, both in 1992. He also received a Community Service Award in 1997 and the Outstanding Staff Award of the Daily Times of Nigeria Plc in the year 2001.

In 1994, he edited Lord Rumens, a book on a prominent Nigerian business tycoon and Lawn Tennis icon, Chief Ajisomo Alabi. He was a member of the Green Environment Movement, and the Nigerian Field Society (1990-2003), he was on the Core Committee of the National Technology Summit and was the Summit’s Publicity Chairman, in addition to being the Summit’s Chairman of the Products and Exhibition sub-committee, 1998.

Other national and important committees on which Aduma has also served or headed included the National Planning Committee, Youth Development, Federal Ministry of Education and Youth Development, 1993; Core Committee, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF)/Ford Foundation, Kano Eastern Bypass Roadside Tree Planting Exercise, 1997; Chairman, Planning Committee, Alhaji Babatunde Jose’s 75th Birth Day, 2000, (Dr Jose was a doyen of Nigerian journalism and was the first African Editor, Managing Director and Chairman of the Daily Times of Nigeria Plc); Chairman, Planning Committee of the 7th and 8th General Murtala Muhammed’s Memorial Lecture (the late Nigerian Head of State), 2001 and 2002; Chairman, Planning Committee of the Daily Times of Nigeria Plc’s 75th Anniversary, 2001 including sitting on many national techno-industrial committees (too numerous to mention here) in his capacity then as Executive Secretary, Foundry Association of Nigeria.

Aduma, Communications/Environmental Consultant, Critic, Poet, Essayist, and Columnist, was formerly Staff Reporter, The Guardian (flagship of the Nigerian media) 1990-1993; Consultant/Chairman, Media, Green Environment Movement, Nigeria, 1990-2003; Senior Correspondent, The Independent Weekly, (1993-1994); Head, Environment and Property Desk, The Punch (1994-1997); Editorial Consultant and Contributing Editor, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation’s Tortoise Magazine, 1995; Contributing Editor, Pole Star Magazine (1998); Member, Editorial Board of The Nigerian Conservationist Magazine (1995-2000), Executive Secretary, Foundry Association of Nigeria, (1997-2000), Southern Coordinator/Public Affairs Manager, The Pastoral Resolve, 2000, (a pastoralists NGO) headed by one of Nigeria’s former Head of State), Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, presently the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and Chairman, Editorial Board of the Daily Times of Nigeria Plc (2000-2003).

He was one of the twelve eminent Nigerians appointed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR) of Nigeria into the Administrative Panel of Inquiry, also known variously as Presidential Panel, Commission of Inquiry, respectively to investigate the illegal trade in and smuggling of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna into and out of Nigeria in 2003.

In year 2003, he attended the Chevening Leadership Programme, (sponsored by the British Council and Shell) at the elite Lagos Business School (the Pan-African University) in Nigeria and thereafter, proceeded to the United Kingdom as a British Chevening Scholar to study International Journalism at City University, London, where he worked for and obtained an MA in International Journalism with specialism in environment.

Between 2005 and 2009 he was the Media Director, PRONACO (Pro-National Conference), UK/Europe.

In addition to his array of degrees and extensive experience in journalism, environment, development, international diplomacy and international security, Mr Aduma obtained the AET (Award in Education and Training), Level 3 from CONEL, a Further Education College and member of the Capital City College Group (CCCG), London, including Higher Education courses in Education and Training – the CET (Certificate in Education and Training) Level 4 and the Specialist Diploma in Teaching English: ESOL & Literacy, Level 5 from the same Further Education College, all in 2018.

Aduma is currently a doctoral researcher at SOAS, University of London and he is the Chief Executive Officer of VIGILANCE-THE WORLD’S LEADING SECURITY MAGAZINE (www.vigilance-securitymagazine.com) and the founder of Scorpion News Corp (www.scorpionnewscorp.com).

His new book will be presented to the global public shortly.

 

  • ODEY KABO OBOYA ADUMA (Johnny Boy).
Read 365 times Last modified on Tuesday, 10 August 2021 12:43

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