Salih Shad Abubakar, 24-year-old Ghanaian poet

I discovered this moving poem and it reminded me of my experiences in Ghana.


Suhad Salih Abubakar


I can hear the drums of destruction!

I can sense the touch of solitude!

I can feel the eminent danger!

I can see the drawing nigh of a dark cloud,

Circling and dancing around our efforts.

Yes! It gazes pitiless at our solidarity.

It mocks our chance for redemption.

And it sneers its glare at our existence.


That is the sound of conflict I hear.

Slowly conquering territories.

Majestically gaining grounds.

Wishfully sipping the souls of the innocent,

But not the souls of many.

Able men are its firewood,

Used to rekindle flames of conflict.

Women are its play toy,

Used to keep hot bloods satisfied.

Children are its future,

Used to assure perpetual confusion.

The strength of able men channeled into wasteful ventures,

The morality and mildness of women turned into intoxicants,

The vulnerability of children plunged into flames of constant anarchy.


Ô! How I wish we all had common grounds,

A common stand where we can all be safe,

An oval table of sensible and rational leaders.

We all revere a supreme being after all.

Both factions of the eager zones do agree.

Religion has always been the opium of the masses, they say.

Why not capitalize on our common denominator?

Why not put away our selfish interests?

Why not join hands?

Not out of friendship or brotherhood,

But out of respect for our doctrines.

The doctrine which abhors callousness.

The doctrine which disapproves of bloodshed.

The doctrine which preaches tolerance.

The doctrine which chooses selflessness over selfishness.

Why not spare our statisticians the body count?

Why not restore our children’s naivety?

Why not cherish our women’s dignity?

Why not allow our men into fruitful ventures?

So we can be proud to call our world our own,

So we can walk and dream freely.

And dream of a safe world,

Where posterity can be assured and guaranteed.


Salih Shad Abubakar is a 24-year-old Ghanaian poet. She views poetry as an emancipatory tool capable of breaking barriers and forming new bonds with people. Her poem “A Dream from the Future” is a moving introspection on the themes of religion and violence. It highlights the impact of conflicts and the need to use religions as a tool for peace and unity rather than violence and division.

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