Coals of fire, dancing on Sambriero River,
Bubbles of lightening, sitting on plush sofas of gently bouncing waters.
It is sunrise, the sun has begun to soar like a kite in the skies,
And shadowy pockets of mangrove thickets are bathed with its rising light.
The world beneath, rivers and creeks, are still asleep,
Oh yes, the fishermen of Degema know this.
They set out just before the sun awakes, paddling the calm waters, armed with fishing nets and hooks and spears of steel.
Their silhouettes inundate the Sambriero,
Their nets sink to its very depths as it flows,
And before mr. fish wakes up, he’s already caught; he and his plenty neighbours are held taut and towed…
Towed up to a rugged dugout canoe,
There they’re poured out on a damp wooden floor…
From there, they’re taken to the fisherman’s hut.
With great joy he goes back to his home, filled with gifts from the bowels of the great Sambriero.
This short poem sketches a sunrise scene on Sambreiro River, as it flows past Degema community (Rivers State) in Niger Delta, south-south of Nigeria.