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The Unbearable Age, a Poem by Njukang Princeley

She sits upon a rock, weeping

And watching the sky as it folds

Into buckets of toxic smoke

Rising from the endless burning

Of forest and of fossils.

In the sun, her head is melting.

Her hands blanket her nostrils,

Unable to inhale the baked

Dust that overtook oxygen

In the wake of industries.

She leaves the rock and moves away,

Her body covered in the feathers

of birds that could not stand

The darkened treeless sky.

In the distance, she hears

Black rhinos and tigers running

To seek safety somewhere where

Everything is still the same;

A plastic pungent mountain

Much like the poisoned seas

Where whales and fish are dying.

Hunger drums in her stomach,

But crops don’t grow in bombed soils.

She scratches her throat, drinks tears

To appease the gods of thirst.

There is something forming

In her heart, foaming

on her lips as she falls hard

on her knees: A prayer, for healing

To visit this unbalanced earth.


Njukang Princeley is a Cameroonian writer. He writes about anything that affects humanity and the universe. His works have featured or are forthcoming in Brittle Papers and elsewhere. Whether he writes poetry, short stories, essays, or whatever is determined by what comes to him and how it comes to him. In his free time, he loves good books, documentaries, movies, and music.


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