News, Views and Poetry

In The Africa Report Tuesday, Prince Ofori-Atta and Dagnachew Teklu wrote about what they called the world's most expensive election campaign as US voters hit the polls. 
" The 2012 election campaign will go down in history as the first to record billions of dollars in campaign funding by the respective candidates. By October 17, 2012, the two candidates had declared over $2 billion in campaign funding," said Ofori-Atta and Teklu. 
Other sources like OpenSecrets placed the total much higher. The Center for Responsive Politics in Washington calculated about $6 billion was spent by the presidential candidates and contestants for seats in the Senate and House of Representatives. 

A day after the historic vote, a lot of pundits like Detroit Free Press' Brian Dickerson have the same verdict. The election proved money alone can't buy you victory.

Below a professor of English and linguistics at Virginia state University pens similar thoughts in poem below:

When the Soles of Peasantry Walk

When the Soles of Peasantry Walk
To wake the Soul of Humanity
In vain Dollar roars

When Dollar roars
Threatening to impale Democracy
To snatch Light from the fingers of Right
And injure the Toe of Soul
Be not afraid

Take your broken Sole to the Booth
Peasantry’s voice is Judge

I overheard a conversation the other day
Many voices… and I could not make out…
Could not make out what each was saying…
Suddenly it was quiet!!!

A voice from the darkness of quietness pronounced a death:
“American Democracy is dead!!”

They say it was an accident planned in ballrooms
Dollar collided with Democracy…

She was not dead. Coma paid her a brief visit
She closed her eyes and they thought she was dead.

In her sleep Democracy was carried on the Soles of peasantry
Soles that kissed rugged routes
Soles that slapped dusty roads
Soles that pumped rusty pedals
Soles that leaned on old walking-sticks
Soles that took millions of fingers to wake millions of doors
Soles that walked uncounted miles
Soles broken and whole
That carried the weight of Will
To the sacred grove of Voting Booth
To save the Soul of Democracy.

America’s Sole from varied soles made
Walks across boundaries
To protect her Soul
To free love from the jaws of Poison
To cherish and share
The American Dream
On the voiced soles of America
Perches the Beauty of the American Experiment.

Sheikh Umarr Kamarah  (11/07/2012)

Sheikh Umarr Kamarah is a professor of English and linguistics at Virginia state University. He is a linguist and a poet. He has written two volumes of poetry, edited an anthology of Krio poetry, and is working on a third volume of poetry. Sheikh Kamarah has also published a grammar of Temne, several book chapters, and articles in refereed journals. 


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