Fiction writing comes alive with a lot of creativity. Be it prose or poetry, the creativity which a writer weaves into it, is often sparked or ignited. One of the triggers for creative writing I know is travelling. I am not talking of the act of being an imaginary foreigner. When you physically travel a lot, I suppose you will many times find lots of things you will want to share. Travel is expensive, but if you are lucky to have a career that encourages travelling, you are thus blessed with many inspirations.
Working in the Social Development sector is interesting. Over the years, it has garnered for its self and its practitioners, an identity. As people identify with their occupations like being a social worker, I can proudly say I am a development worker. Such identity is nourished by the many travels we ought to do considering the different issues and people you will have to work for and with.
With travelling comes reflection. Few days ago,while on a trip, I reflected on the impact travelling and working on different development issues has made on my life. I notice there is an unconscious act of surrounding your space mostly with people of like mind; who think and aspire to reshape the world. This produces what I call living in a cosmopolitan bubble. This bubble has been strengthened with so much knowledge and confrontations, which many times are greater than us. We are provoked to anger and passion, sometimes misjudgement of people who cannot see the urgency in the change we want to institute. We forget that unlike us, they have not travelled the many routes, seen hills of different shades, and seen people of different colours, culture and landscape.
There are more advantages we gain working in development. A rising number of development workers are taking to creative avocations; taking advantage of their insights and travels to produce creative piece evoked by reflections on the breathtaking landscapes, transformations, people, issues and perhaps nature. I have friends like Anne Chia, Carrie Ann amongst others on wordpress. Most of the others are inspired to do travel writing but are either too busy or too shy to publish.
I went reading from development workers who are doing some creative work and are perhaps too shy or too busy to publish. I found the work of my friend Victoria Nwogu. Vicky is a brilliant Nigerian lady who works for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Gender Advisor. On her working visit to Somalia, she was inspired to do the creative piece which she titled ‘Blow me Jeje’ below.
Blow me jeje!
My dear dear friend
Your cool caress on my face as I descend
Ah! I realize you’ve come along
And I have been away too long
How nippy and sprightly you feel
The jolt back there, when I felt the craft keel
I’ll never tire of your playfulness
Hey! I squeal as you ruffle my skirts
I can see you’ve come by in the night
Everything covered in dust so light
Naughty thing that you are
I almost thought you a burglar
When you stubbornly shook my window
I peered out in fear, but not even a shadow
Then I knew it was you
Sneaking up to command my view
You sound angry this fretful morn
Your wail, like a woman facing scorn
Boisterous and passionate in your ire
We cower as you unleash your temper
I wouldn’t want to be your rival
A clash with your power would be fatal
With what shall we assuage your fury?
Perhaps a roof or a sapling, but not a baby!
I feel like dancing
In tune to your infectious prancing
But you race past me as I reach with yearning
I see your other lovers persisting
Your attention leaves a twinge of pain
But oh joy, when you turn to me again
Virile men can’t face your great might
As you consume everything in sight
Now my sojourn is at its end
Till we meet again dear friend
Blow me jeje!
No, it’s not what you think. Its not an ode to a lover; its a poem written in honour of the Southwest Moonsoon Wind. According to Vicky, the Moonsoon wind comes every year from late May until late August, blowing over the Gulf of Aden from the western Arabian Sea onto the Eastern coasts of Africa. While the winds rarely reach gale force scale, there are a few days in the months of July or August when the speeds could reach a maximum high of 34 to 40 knots. She was privileged to experience the fury and the fun of this wind in Puntland in Somalia. This experience did merit an ode or ‘amateur poetry’ as she called it. For me, this poem has a good composition, verses and depth of expression, I cannot be asking for too much from a spontaneous writer.
On a lighter side, we can exhale while on the job in a creative way. It could be doing a poem, it could be taking a picture or sharing a story that makes our world Richer. Perhaps we would never know about some places or things if someone doesn’t write about it. Thank you Vicky for this windy ode. As the poem says, blow me jeje, blow me gently; may the wind of development blow us gently.