Diamond Poetry

Diamond Rhapsody - by Tatafoe Mani Tumoe

Tatafoe Mani Tumoe was a journalist and poet. From the diamond-rich Kono District in eastern Sierra Leone, he was educated at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, and lived in Freetown. He wrote passionately about the depredations wrought in his Kono homeland by largely unregulated diamond miners, and above all about the lack of returns from the diamond profits to the people of Kono. He died on August 16, 2012.

That Quivering Ruby
Around Your Graceful Neck
Was Toiled From My Tattered Land

By Broken Hearts
With Nothing To Show
But Bleeding Souls
And Broken Hopes.

The Squirrels Roamed
The Birds Chirped
The Snaky Moenday
Wound Majestically
Among Green Hills
Green Land Of Hope.

But The Cursed Stone
That Stone Dangling From Your Ears
Was Torn From The
Wombs Of My Land

By Men With Nothing
To Show
But Withered Hopes
Broken Souls.

The Elephant
Kept Court Roaming
But Men Pregnant
With Greed
Tore Away
My Roots
Killed All My Cattles
Looking For The Stone.

And The Hills
And The Green
Are No More--
Gaping Holes
Where Once
My Trees Stood Tall.

So Lady
When You Put On
Your Diamonds,
Remember The People
The Land
The Desolate Hopes
And The Broken Hearts
Even Though This Stone
May Make You A Queen.