So What Changed?

by Solomon T. Hamza

A lot and If I am to begin this poem with portraits, the first will 

reveal the Sahara extending its territory across the Sahelian 

region of Africa. Don’t you know that the Earth has lost too 

many lungs in trees which has tasted the brunts of a chainsaw? 

The air above our heads is a chimney thick with smog, carbon 

monoxide and every other toxic gases other than oxygen. That is 

to say when someone coughs close to me, I can see a glimpse 

of soot in it. In another portrait, intermittent rivers are carting 

away with people and properties like a heartless thief. And it 

felt as though the world is 99% water. In the 3rd portrait, the 

Artic thaws away like parafins tumbling into the tunnel of a 

raging fire. And there are polar bears waving & waving. Each 

time we visit the seashore, there’s always an ocean tide on the 

spot we once built our sandcastles. Don’t you know that even 

though climes of the world differs, the changes are the same for 

everyone? That each time the Celsius scale pulls up we get drawn 

into our own ruins? The last portrait Isn’t really a portrait. It is as 

empty as the promises to give up fossil fuels. As empty as a 

blank canvas. But this time around, we are the artists gripping 

tree seedlings, meditating on the vestiges of clean energy, ready 

to repaint our beautiful world where we are not the infernos on 

the verge of burning together with it.

Solomon T. Hamza is a Nigerian writer. His works have been published on Brittle Paper, Ice Floe Press, RoadRunner Review, Lumiere Review, Salamander Ink Magazine, Agbow├│, Isele Magazine, Afritondo and elsewhere. He tweets @ST_hamza001.