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Poems by Tembong Denis Fonge

On the Green Hill Summit

Step by step and gently I ascend
The Green Hill hoping to step on the summit,
I rock, twist and painfully pull upward,
To this spot all day long,
For, from this point, I long,
And I aspire to survive.
And to see Fonki in its entirety,
I hope to continue,
So life can continue.

What a submit! The Green Hill Summit.
Behind at the heels of the hill,
And behind me lies Fonki,
Houses like dishes covered
On table tops lie still,
With their silver caps.
Footpaths like strings wind and meander
Between mush-room-like huts.

Children like soldier-ants trace
The strings to and fro,
While flog in the green vegetation faintly spotted,
Like dots on plain sheet.
The calm sky filled with birds,
Floating and singing happily from side to side
And far at the horizon stand,
Mounts like giants with
Green heads kissing the sky.

Whistling sounds of insects
Compete with lovely melody
Of the joyful birds,
As Foggy cloud slide gently from on high,
Via gigantic forest wood above.

Oh! Atungong! My hope,
You make me see Fonki,
From end to end
And the land of seven rocks and beyond.
I toy and wail to arrive at your top
With kneels broken and tongue
Running out of my mouth.
While fine streams burst
And run down my top to toe.
In fatigue like a hunting dog,
I pursue my course to the summit, my hope.

Alas! Alas!
At the summit:
“I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith:”


His Majesty

The ever shining star
Of the greatest royal rocks of Nkongho,
Where always you stood tall,
His majesty Tazanu njung-efuellah.
You are the rose of Sharon,
And the lily of the valleys.
As the lily among thorns,
So is your love for your daughters.
As the apple tree among the trees of wood,
So is your care among your sons.

Years quickly have gone by,
The Morning Star steadily ceased,
To rise and pierce the dense woods of Tock.
Where have your Majesty been?
Where are those glittering eyes,
Which like the lion burst,
Through the hearts of your subjects?
Where are those solemn words of wisdom,
Which consoled the broken hearted
And the poor in spirit?

Has Death with his cruel hands,
Tricked you away?
Don’t tell me!
Don’t tell me!
That you now rest,
Where neither hopes, nor fears, nor joy
Rekindle your spirit.

Haven’t you learnt, no, heard,
That from the North and West,
Invaders have engulfed and walloped,
Those hills and valleys of yours?
Your kingdom in captivity lies,
In the hands of aggressors.

Day after day, ceaseless springs,
Down the chicks of your subjects,
Like summer-melting snow run.
Impotent and sluggishly,
Your regency failed
To stir fire in their hearts.
To stir this magnificent kingdom to resist
Cruel currents of captivity.

His Majesty,
Whereof the man, that with us trod
This soil, was a Napoleon,
Emerging before the times were ripe.
That father, comforter of ours who
Lives in the Lord.
That the Almighty, which ever reigns and loves,
One God, One word, One Spirit,
To which all creation drifts,
Compensates him.

“Where the word of the King is
There is power:
And who may say unto him,
What does thou?”


The Little Black Boy

When the little black boy was born,
Seconds after, it cried and sighed.
Far at the back yard greeted the firing gun.
Regretting that it had better died
Than to sprout like fresh season corn,
That is left to staff and turn white,
Then hope, like flying ribbon,
Shattered and loam the sky like kite


December 31st 2006

Saturday dawn saw the Persian Gulf Super-Figure
Escorted by armed-to-the teeth chamber guards,
And in solemn and gruesome mood,
To be greeted by the guillotine.

With hearts in the mouths
Shock runs down the spines of witnesses.
Then in an eye’s blink, below the huge machine,
In the hang-house, emerged,
The self-claimed hair of Nebuchadnezzar,
Rapped in snow-like immaculate sheet.

The great tree has fallen,
The grandeur of power abandoned
The aspiring Emperor. Vanity! Vanity!

Then momentary end was pronounced
Of the menace in Mid-East.
Hope may be on its way,
And so the beginning of peace.
So shall lasting peace be?
When by the sword they ascend
And so descend. Vanity! Vanity!


La Fortune

Far deep down the hill,
Between the huts that stoop low and still,
I saw a tall slim figure
Bustling with joy and lovely vigour.
That, in the valley of the shadow of death,
Just before the sun set.
As I move to and fro
Knowing not where to go,
I met my love, La Fortune,
In a little gentle tune,
Called and beckoned on me
With love her face beaming:
“Come forth and I’ll make you smile
Come forth and in a little while
Your troubles are forever gone
So happiness an be born”
Pretending not to see
I moved on with solace
So with each other we embrace.
But just when hope seems to come,
Doubt and uncertainty storm.