Today (May 12, 2013) is the second Sunday of the month. It is a mothers’ day. It is their May Day; a D-Day, indeed! So what words and/or gifts do you have for your mum, dead or alive?

“When you see those big men
and women walking majestically,
don’t think they were just
created like that, we brought them
up like this,” said a mother nursing
a marasmic baby in Ward 5 of Juba
Hospital, when The STAR team went
there to wish them a blessed Mothers’
Day in 2009 (I was the reporter). Complete the story on this link: JST1804001

“M” is for the million things she gave me,
“O” means only that she’s growing old,
“T” is for the tears she shed to save me,
“H” is for her heart of purest gold;
“E” is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
“R” means right, and right she’ll always be,
Put them all together, they spell “MOTHER,”
A word that means the world to me.

– Howard Johnson

Therefore, the heroes mentioned in this song and in my other songs of literary liberation struggle, including my heroine, Keth, are primary beneficiaries of the title of this book, they are my black ‘christs’. In other words, she is my shadow saviour to whom I dedicate this poetry book, which she inspired in me in 1986 with a survival song she composed and taught me during that dreadful year of famine known in Bor as ‘Yang de Apar’, (the Drought of the Creeper, whereby people survived on leafy wild vines called ‘apat’). Kethdit also reignited the book in me when I met her after a16-year separation in 2006. And, alleluia! she will tangibly touch it when I present the copy to her this December 12, 2012. Like a Holy Ghost who biblically perspires the word into the heart of an evangelist, she is my only ghost writer, who biologically transpires the word into this mind of an essayist, a poet and an artist. See her hereditary influence in the origin of this book on Poem 199 entitled ‘By Genetic Lottery’ of Chapter 16: Nature, Nurture and the Environs.

Preface to my poetry book, The Black Christs of Africa (by J. Penn de Ngong), from which the following poems were selected:




Poem 152


Mama, what is this?


When a child is born,

For the mother

A new timetable emerges:

Day 1:


Day 100:


Day 300:

Mama, mama…baba, baba…jaja, jaja!

Day 600:

Mama, what is this?

Baby, it is food.

Mama, what is this?

Baby, it is a spoon.

Mama, what is this?

Baby, it is fire!

Day 900:

Mama, what is this?

My child, it is a pencil.

Mama, what is this?

My child, it is your book.

Mama, what is this?

My child, it is your school uniform.

Day 9000:

Mama, what is this?

My Child, it is your wedding cake!

Day 18000:

My Child, what is this?

Mama, it is coffee.

My child, why is this?

Mama, don’t  be a nuisance, please!

My Child, so my question is nonsense?

Mama, now pack  back to the village, ok?



The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother and to become fully independent.

Attributed to Erich Fromm (1900 – 1980)

German-born U.S. psychoanalyst and philosopher.


Poem 153


I’m mama


When I see my eyes,

And count my teeth,

And measure my height,

I am Mama.

When I hear my voice,

And experience my thoughts,

And watch my actions,

I am Mama.

I am Mama

When I build my home,

And marry my spouse,

And produce my children.

I am Mama

When I see her off,

And inherit her stool,

And follow her to hell or heaven.



All I am, or hope to be, I owe it to my angel mother.

Abraham Lincoln,

USA ‘s 16th President from 1961 – 1965


Poem  154


My Old Gold


If not you had to split yourself,

To produce and groom this elf,

Would I have got my new gold?

Hail Mother, my own old gold!

sometimes your voice I mightn’t heed,

But that means not that you’re mine;

Mama, You’re an olden golden mine,

Germinating this modern golden seed!



Your mother is your mother even if clad in toad skin .

Bor Proverb (Mor e mor naa cok cieng e biong ke thieu)


Poem 155


                                                                An Open Tomb

Like an abscess

That bulges often,

Likely to burst open

But downloads into success;

Like hollowed tomb,

Her hallowed  womb

Is but a life-filled bomb

That explodes into Tombe.

See, the womb

Is an open tomb

Where life is placed,

Misplaced or replaced.


A pregnant woman is an open grave.

Dinka proverb.

The world doesn’t want to hear about the labor pains, they just want to see the baby.



Poem 156




Hey Buddy,

Do you know that?

Mummy has only one day,

One and only single day,

Or only one simple say,

One singing, semi day,

Out of all 366 days,

To rest,

But not to resist

A call

From the routinely hunger quake

That has its epicentre

In the belly valley

Of my cross-legged daddy,

And my hand-folding bros.

Being her only baby daughter,

I sometimes shed tears,

And just wish, just,

I turn ten

To take over

And let mama celebrate her unholy Sabbath.

Why weren’t I twenty, thirty, forty, fifty…

To decode the riddle

Of her subjective responsibilities,

To ask if Baba owns the other 365 and so days?

If so,

Then it means,

Mama has only seventy days

To rest and celebrate her freedom,

If – God forbids— she had to die at seventy.

There is this other day, too,

June 16 for us children,

Like March 8 for women,

Like May 13 for mothers,

Unlike Jan. 1 – 31 Dec. for men,

Who claim to be our fathers and brothers.

Tomorrow I’ll ask

My Sunday school teacher

Or the other black man in white

That who assigns the days and duties.

Hey Jane,

You’ll get the same answer

That my teacher told me last Sunday.

That what, Janet?

That our great, great grand, grandma,

Long, long, long ago,

Made a mistake in the garden…

Stop! I now know,

It’s the politricks of the male politicians.

But which president can fix the days forever?

Any. Even that of our family,

Or of our country,

Or of our universe.

But I think the Lord of Sabbath,

The very God of Sabbaoth,

Knows women’s rights, too, doesn’t he?

I think let’s first grow up,

And go to school,

And become no longer small

To ask and know, but big,

Big enough to know and ask,

And ask where, when, why, what, who, how…



Children aren’t happy with nothing to ignore,

And that’s what parents were created for.

Ogden Nash (1902 – 1971)

U.S. humorist.

Happy Days, “The Parent”

Some mothers are murderers, watchout!


Poem 166




Like father like sons,

Cloned from the same clown,

Birds of the same feather,

Of the same height,

The same heart,

Same art;

They are his children.

Sired with Chol in their word and work,

With him on their tobac-coaled teeth,

Him in their alco-holed eyes,

In their sweet show for chow,

Their bitter choler for chores,

They give with Chol’s fingers;

They are his choldren.

One of them got named Magot,

Like his siblings, born to chew,

Begotten to devour – they’re maggots:

To divorce wives,

To devote to wines,

Childless swines;

Chol’s choldren – bacholers forever.

Born in the climax of the war,

Raised in the climate of the war,

From the warm blood of the warmonger,

Chol’s children are soldiers,

They are even choldiers,

His identical soldren;

These are real choldren.

Not mine at all,

For I am only a woman,

A whooo, man! A nothing in their clan,

A cheaply sheep-goat-bought child factory,

Whose feminine products are branded upon owner’s will,

And sold without a thank-you to the manufacturing machine.

I have no name among – even after – Chol’s choldren’s children.



Problem children tend to grow up into problem adults and problem adults tend to produce more problem children.

David Farrington (1944 – )

British criminal psychologist.

The Times (London)


For more about this day, click on The Star Newpspaer page link here:



The earliest history of Mothers Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to maternal goddesses. The Greeks used the occasion to honor Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology. Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. It may be noted that ceremonies in honour of Cybele began some 250 years before Christ was born. The celebration made on the Ides of March by making off erings in the temple of Cybele lasted for three days and included parades, games and masquerades. The celebrations were notorious enough that followers of Cybelen were banished from Rome.

Early Christians celebrated a Mother’s Day of sorts during the festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ. In England the holiday was expanded to include all mothers. It was then called Mothering Sunday. History of Mother’s Day: Mothering Sunday The more recent history of Mothers Day dates back to 1600s in England. Here a Mothering Sunday was celebrated annually on the fourth Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter) to honor mothers.
After a prayer service in church to honor Virgin Mary, children brought gifts and fl owers to pay tribute to their own mothers. On the occasion, servants, apprentices and other employees staying away from their homes were encouraged by their employers
to visit their mothers and honor them.