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Treasure Trove


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Treasure Trove

Olisaeloka P. Okocha Jr

The sun had completed its cycle, triggering the rainforest’s regeneration
A treasure chest comprising of the finest nutrients and minerals had been lifted up and poured into the soil below

The flora in response, surged upwards with vigour, and exhibited richness of colours akin to a painter’s palette

Nature’s marker had signaled to the rainforest’s human dwellers that it was now time to manicure this vast lush food garden once again

Medicinal plants, edible fruits and savory wine and rich oil from the palm were gathered, shared and consumed

The men cleared and plowed
The women and children planted
Harvest was a collective prize

Food was in abundance and excess stored, reaching heights resembling our tall sacred monuments
Awash with such wealth we in turn built great thriving empires

Then out of nowhere, a disease spread across our land
Our rainforests were hacked down with ferocity; no longer being accorded the time to regenerate
The treasure chest of nutrients and minerals could no longer replenish itself and began to dwindle with each successive pour

Whilst working the earth beneath our feet
We looked up in horror as mysterious dark plumes of smoke began to cover our beloved sun
The scent and touch of the rain that we had become so accustomed to was no longer the same
Crop production drastically reduced
Our monuments caved in from their hollowness
And the pangs of hunger was felt by all

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Oil, the blood of our ancestors, was sacrilegiously exploited and consumed and was given precedence over food
A curse took hold
Division set in
And empires began to fold

We in turn lost sense of self and purpose
And abandoned our rainforested land
Like herded cattle we crowded round tight spaces, with buckets in our outstretched hands hoping to catch a tiny droplet of the black gold trickling out from the tap above

And here we find ourselves today

We must get back to growing our own food
Rediscovering ourselves and restoring pride
It is only then that we can rebuild and surpass what we once had

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