a poem by Liam Caniffe, former Ambassador of Ireland to the Federal Republic of Nigeria
The heat of the torrid day
Lingers on through the night
As in bed uneasy I lay
Amid slumber unquiet.
Aeons of my kind have made
My skin a window that tries
To capture the rays in the shade
Of Northern sun-bereft skies.
Malarial mosquitoes buzzing
In my ears, unseen in the dark
En route I fear to causing
A diseased filled mark.
Here in Bishop’s House I rest
There basic wants are met
Where electricity is sporadic at best
And running water a dream as yet.
All around the dusty streets contain
Throngs of people everywhere
Eking out sufficient to maintain
Life from little in the putrid air.
Why does he endure so much
Forsaken all he could have had
To give to those whose needs are such
And do it with a heart so glad.
It takes a spirit most sublime
To reach far out to strong and weak
And give to those lost in time
The bread and life for which they seek. [Nigeria Easter 2007 – for Bishop John Moore SMA]