Benedict Ugor

Biography: A writer, artist and poet. Philosophical. "I love my world: Pen and Paper."

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Benedict Ugor
Saturday 17 June 2023

The Pains of War

He used to sleep with one eye open

But now, he sleeps with both eyes wide open

Because the horror of the cold war

Is now starting to unfold.


They had learnt to creep in crevices like cockroaches

And had begun to scurry like mice at the slightest sound.

A bed of metal scraps is to them, a pleasure

Because up north at the war front,

Their folks sleep on bombs and grenades.


Water and laughter are two things that are rare.

They have learnt to conserve water like desert ants

And every face is pale and blank;

Clad in misery and hunger.

The grain is now being sold in very small measure

Hardly enough to feed a day-old chick.

The last time he ate, he counted five ribs

But now before he slept, he saw all twelve!


The sound of music is everywhere;

of bombs, guns and fighter jets.

And the people dance to it in very awkward movements,

By scampering and jolting in all directions.

It does not rain with water anymore

But rather, it rains with torrents of bullets and shells.



He lived with his wife and two children in an underground rubble

And, of course, it was unsafe to go outside

But since the rats and insects had all been eaten,

He was forced to go out in search of food for his family.


As he sauntered across the broken fence,

He was met with his greatest surprise:

There sitting in the rubble

Was a nursing mother with her four sucklings clinging

Two to each breast!

His presence may have disturbed one of the sucklings

For while he was yet to recover from his shock,

It turned and cast a scornful look at him.

A wave of sadness suddenly surged through him

And he walked away bowing his head in despair.


The search for food was long and difficult.

On the first day, he got nothing but a bullet wound in his left arm

But he would not return to his family with nothing.

The next day, he still found nothing.

Then on the third day, he found a dog which just died from a blast.

He flung it across his shoulders and hurriedly set for home.


On reaching the ruins where he lived

He descended the dark tunnel and found his wife-

A thin black and battered figure with unkempt hair and crusty lips.

In her hand was their malnourished son.

He immediately sense something was amiss

And he cast a puzzled look at his wife.

Then his wife began to speak in a thin and shaky voice;

"The girl is gone," she said. "She starved to death."


There was a momentary pause of silence

He dropped to his knees

And full of anguish, he put his face in his palms and wept.



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